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Thread: Who's elbows have lasted the longest?

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by gjnl View Post
    I know it is hard to rest your elbows, but that is the number one thing you need to do when you are trying to heal what is most likely tendinitis. Paying attention to how you arms are positioned while working at the computer will help as will a vertical mouse. A normal mouse keeps you hand and arm in a twisted position, while the vertical mouse keeps the hand and forearm resting on the desk and you can control the mouse in a relaxed posture. Keyboard pads can also help you relax your arms as you type. Try using a dictation program to type. And a telephone headset works well to keep tension off your neck and elbows. And for a while give yourself a break from your hobbies, just long enough to let the tendons heal and start some strengthening physical therapy exercises before you launch back into things.

    I understand not being able to take anti inflammatory medications while you are on blood thinners. I take Warfarin for Atrial Fibrillation. Why are you on blood thinners? Sometimes a doctor can give you a break from the blood thinners depending on why you are taking them. That break may give you the option of taking NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) to get the inflammation under control. Other modalities for treating inflammation are:
    Icing: every 3-4 hours for 20 minutes each time

    Bracing: Llikely you've seen the elbow straps that you wrap around your forearm. The are available at drug stores

    Stretching/Range of Motion: https://www.summitmedicalgroup.com/l...bow_exercises/
    • Wrist active range of motion, flexion and extension: Bend the wrist of your injured arm forward and back as far as you can. Do 2 sets of 15.
    • Wrist stretch: Press the back of the hand on your injured side with your other hand to help bend your wrist. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds. Next, stretch the hand back by pressing the fingers in a backward direction. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds. Keep the arm on your injured side straight during this exercise. Do 3 sets.
    • Forearm pronation and supination: Bend the elbow of your injured arm 90 degrees, keeping your elbow at your side. Turn your palm up and hold for 5 seconds. Then slowly turn your palm down and hold for 5 seconds. Make sure you keep your elbow at your side and bent 90 degrees while you do the exercise. Do 2 sets of 15.
    • Active elbow flexion and extension: Gently bring the palm of the hand on your injured side up toward your shoulder, bending your elbow as much as you can

    Strengthing (once inflammation and injury has subsided): https://www.summitmedicalgroup.com/l...bow_exercises/

    • Eccentric wrist flexion: Hold a can or hammer handle in the hand of your injured side with your palm up. Use the hand on the side that is not injured to bend your wrist up. Then let go of your wrist and use just your injured side to lower the weight slowly back to the starting position. Do 3 sets of 15. Gradually increase the weight you are holding.
    • Eccentric wrist extension: Hold a soup can or hammer handle in the hand of your injured side with your palm facing down. Use the hand on the side that is not injured to bend your wrist up. Then let go of your wrist and use just your injured side to lower the weight slowly back to the starting position. Do 3 sets of 15. Gradually increase the weight you are holding.
    • Wrist radial deviation strengthening: Put your wrist in the sideways position with your thumb up. Hold a can of soup or a hammer handle and gently bend your wrist up, with the thumb reaching toward the ceiling. Slowly lower to the starting position. Do not move your forearm throughout this exercise. Do 2 sets of 15.
    • Forearm pronation and supination strengthening: Hold a soup can or hammer handle in your hand and bend your elbow 90 degrees. Slowly turn your hand so your palm is up and then down. Do 2 sets of 15.
    • Wrist extension with broom handle: Stand up and hold a broom handle in both hands. With your arms at shoulder level, elbows straight and palms down, roll the broom handle backward in your hand. Do 2 sets of 15.

    TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) as mentioned above. Generally best to get initial instruction from a physical therapist.

    Ultrasonic treatments, extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) may help too.

    Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS). Generally best to get initial instruction from a physical therapist

    You may want to consult your doctor about getting an EMG (Electromyography) to make sure there is no nerve impairment or impingement.

    Of course, steroid injections are a good alternative and may give you the inflammation relief you need while changing habits and using alternative therapies.

    I haven't been through this myself, by my wife, NL had elbow tendinitis several years ago. It took work, change of habits and patience, but she is a lot better now.
    Thank you for the detailed response. I do use a vertical mouse and have made sure my posture is correct at work. I ice my elbows almost everyday. I am on a blood thinner (Xarelto) because I had a pulmonary embolism two weeks after I got home from rehab, so I have been on it ever since as a precaution (it doesn't affect any other aspect of my life). I wear braces on both elbows everyday. I think it boils down to resting them, like you mentioned, which I can do with my hobbies. However, I can't rest them at work as its mostly using my mouse (a lot of CAD/3D modeling as an architect), and I have to provide for my family. I also have two kids under 4, so not much resting at home either. If the cortisone shots weren't the most painful shots I've had in my life, I would go that route. But they wear off in a few months and don't seem to have any long term benefits. Plus there are studies that say they actually do more harm than good.

  2. #12
    I use to get terrible golfers elbow from handcycling. It hurt so bad I couldn't lift my legs to transfer or pick things up. Finally I figured out if I grabbed the bottom half of the pedal below the axel of the pedal instead of the top half of the pedal which was more comfortable, I no longer have any issues with my elbows. Not the most comfortable way of grabbing the pedals on the handcycle but got use to it and am now pain free. Just shows how a little adjustment can change how the tendons respond differently.
    Last edited by Mike_Stan; 06-21-2019 at 10:05 AM.

  3. #13
    Senior Member Oddity's Avatar
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    13 years post, 48 years old, only joint related comorbidity I've experienced, thus far, is in my right elbow. Not entirely sure what's wrong, but it sure aches sometimes, on the inside bone protuberance (dunno its medical name) and the connecting tissues running from it down to my hand. I'll mention it to my D.O., eventually, I'm sure.
    "I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it." - Edgar Allen Poe

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  4. #14
    In no way is the healing of damaged elbows a quick fix. NL endured nearly 3 years of pain and limitation of movement before she began to heal. She couldn't take a lot of time off to heal either. She is my sole caregiver and had this problem while I was working which meant a lot of travel for both of us. Sometimes just rotating her wrist a few degrees caused a lot of pain.

    One thing I forgot to mention was compression. She seemed to get a lot of relief from compression sleeves and wrist supports in addition to the "tennis elbow" bands. Today, there may be braces that perform all three functions, but when she was suffering with this problem she was at any one time wearing one or the other and sometimes all three. She does credit her physical therapist for her recovery, while I credit her tenacity to work on the problem. She tried just about anything that was thrown at her and stayed with stretching and exercises. She swears by icing and stuck to a routine of icing at least 4 times a day (wrist to bottom of the biceps).

  5. #15
    I have extreme right elbow pain that is unbearable at night and prevents me from doing anything without pain, from driving, using a computer, using my power chair or even doing other mundane tasks such as brushing my hair. I'm a C6 quad for 31 years. I thought for sure was some type of nerve compression. Unfortunately, and this has happened several times, the EMG and nerve conduction studies are inconclusive due to the denervation of the nerves in the area which prohibit a valid test. A supposedly special MRI revealed nothing more than extensor tendinitis, though a plain film showed a bone spur on the coronoid process. It is extremely discouraging to see the lack of basic examination on the part of orthopedists, who, if they cannot decide your diagnosis in less than five minutes, immediately resort to imaging. That comes back negative, well then, sorry there is nothing we can do.

    I never had a problem with my elbow until either or both of the two following factors: 1) I got a power chair and my arm was confined to a fixed position on the armrest resulting in chronic compression (a Roho arm/T foam/sheepskin all to no avail) and 2) I had shoulder surgery in which they resected part of my clavicle, one of the heads of the bicep and cleaned out the area in general. Not only was the shoulder surgery a failure, but in retrospect I probably should've not have had. Within 2 to 3 months of the shoulder surgery I started having extremely bad elbow pain. I thought for sure it was your classic pictures elbow, as I cannot do that motion without extreme pain. Most distressingly, I like to lay prone on a table to give my butt a rest and in that position the inside portion of my elbow is in extreme pain.

    I tried the comparable prescription strength sodium diclofenac which did not provide any relief, and after two weeks resulted in severe skin reaction and had to be terminated. I was thinking about trying a tennis elbow strapping system, but worried about my lack of sensation in the area whether I could wind up doing some skin damage. In addition, I read that such strapping systems may reduce the blood flow to the area, only worsening the problem. My dentist, who really needs his arms professionally, said one of the strapping systems really saved his life, in terms of preserving his arm.

    My elbow problem is literally one of the worst things that is ever happened to me since my injury and I do not know how I am going to make it going forward if I do not get some relief.

    Every time you take your results to a different doctor for a second or third opinion, I feel they begin to question you as a possible hypochondriac who "doctor shops". Between my horrendous pain in my shoulder, elbow, both on the right side and hand/wrist pain due to a TFCC tear, bone spurs in the carpal bones and a thumb basal joint issue, my whole right arm, unfortunately my dominant arm, is painful all the time. It hurts on either side I sleep. I am lucky if I get three hours of sleep a night and this is done on the last 5 to 7 years.

    I thoroughly sympathize with those that have bad elbow pain.

  6. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by crags View Post
    I never had a problem with my elbow until either or both of the two following factors: 1) I got a power chair and my arm was confined to a fixed position on the armrest resulting in chronic compression (a Roho arm/T foam/sheepskin all to no avail) and 2) I had shoulder surgery in which they resected part of my clavicle, one of the heads of the bicep and cleaned out the area in general. Not only was the shoulder surgery a failure, but in retrospect I probably should've not have had. Within 2 to 3 months of the shoulder surgery I started having extremely bad elbow pain. I thought for sure it was your classic pictures elbow, as I cannot do that motion without extreme pain. Most distressingly, I like to lay prone on a table to give my butt a rest and in that position the inside portion of my elbow is in extreme pain.
    Have you tried different joysticks. Body Point makes quite a few to address different problems. There are other companies who make other types of joysticks. A physical therapist or an orthotist my be able to fashion a custom joystick to help.
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  7. #17
    I use the body point dome as I was having trouble with the conventional joystick which rested in between the thumb and index finger. That was putting too much pressure on the proximal thumb joint, the one up from the wrist. The dome, because of its greatly increased diameter, requires less movement to activate it.

  8. #18
    59 and in the chair 14 years. My right elbow developed very strong pain for about 2 years. I kept using heat, ice, compression sleeve, and Salonpas (a cover up - I know). For the past 6 months it has felt good. But honestly don't know why it started to hurt, nor why it got better.

  9. #19
    Inside elbow pain is possibly what is known as cubital tunnel syndrome, where the all our nerve runs to a confined space and can suffer compression. It is very common and can be treated through what is an ambulatory procedure called transposition/relocation, with a move it slightly out of the way.

    Diagnosing, which is done through nerve conduction study, is very difficult if you are a quad due to the denervation of the peripheral nerves. I do think there are other compression syndromes on the lateral aspect as well.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by crags View Post
    Inside elbow pain is possibly what is known as cubital tunnel syndrome, where the all our nerve runs to a confined space and can suffer compression. It is very common and can be treated through what is an ambulatory procedure called transposition/relocation, with a move it slightly out of the way.

    Diagnosing, which is done through nerve conduction study, is very difficult if you are a quad due to the denervation of the peripheral nerves. I do think there are other compression syndromes on the lateral aspect as well.
    I required that procedure because, though I complained of pain when rolling up on my elbow in rehab, the PTs just insisted I "try with all my might." A year later i could no longer use a cane and hd the cubital tunnel release. I think a small bit of bone had broken off to obstruct the cubital tunnel in the elbow. Procedure and recovery went well, but I was months without serious use of the right arm and have never been able to climb stairs since then. It is not the only injury for which PTs were responsible.

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