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Thread: Who's elbows have lasted the longest?

  1. #1
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    Who's elbows have lasted the longest?

    There was a recent thread about shoulders, which I have had no issues so far 7 years post, but peaked my interest about elbows because both of mine have had pretty significant tendinitis for the past few years that doesn't seem to be getting any better.

    I'm T6 complete, work 9 hours a day at a computer, can't take anti inflammatory meds because of my blood thinner, do a lot of woodworking/metal fabrication as a hobby. Like all of us, it's difficult to rest my arms/hands for healing when we have to use them to do everything.

    There is a lot of controversy about the long term effect of cortisone shots (they only helped for a few months then back to square one). So are elbow issues something I am always going to have to deal with as a wheelchair user, are they common for people with SCI's? I seem to hear a lot about shoulders but not much about elbows...

  2. #2
    Senior Member pfcs49's Avatar
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    my shoulders AND elbows are failing me.
    I'm 72 and 24 years T12.
    It's scary. So far, when they flair up, I've been able to wait it out and resume my life but I wonder how long that will work
    PS: I'm 5'11" and 200lbs.
    69yo male T12 complete since 1995
    NW NJ

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Brad09 View Post
    There was a recent thread about shoulders, which I have had no issues so far 7 years post, but peaked my interest about elbows because both of mine have had pretty significant tendinitis for the past few years that doesn't seem to be getting any better.

    I'm T6 complete, work 9 hours a day at a computer, can't take anti inflammatory meds because of my blood thinner, do a lot of woodworking/metal fabrication as a hobby. Like all of us, it's difficult to rest my arms/hands for healing when we have to use them to do everything.

    There is a lot of controversy about the long term effect of cortisone shots (they only helped for a few months then back to square one). So are elbow issues something I am always going to have to deal with as a wheelchair user, are they common for people with SCI's? I seem to hear a lot about shoulders but not much about elbows...
    I had bursitis in an elbow, was on IV antibiotics to clear up the infection. Haven't had any problems since.

    Quote Originally Posted by pfcs49 View Post
    my shoulders AND elbows are failing me.
    I'm 72 and 24 years T12.
    It's scary. So far, when they flair up, I've been able to wait it out and resume my life but I wonder how long that will work
    PS: I'm 5'11" and 200lbs.
    Phil, have you seen this? I'm trying to get in the next phase of the study. My right shoulder is always in pain.

    https://eurekalert.org/pub_releases/...ME2v94Q61qJnCk

  4. #4
    Senior Member pfcs49's Avatar
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    Phil, have you seen this? I'm trying to get in the next phase of the study. My right shoulder is always in pain.

    https://eurekalert.org/pub_releases/...ME2v94Q61qJnCk

    Yes, I perused it and forgot it a few days ago
    Thanks for resetting my feeble clock!

    However-what's the likelihood that this will be approved and available before I fail or pass?
    69yo male T12 complete since 1995
    NW NJ

  5. #5
    You can apply to be in the next phase. I'm gonna se the Dr who is running the study tomr, I'll find out more info.

  6. #6
    Senior Member pfcs49's Avatar
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    Very great!
    I was at Kessler Tuesday for a cysto and also ran into Dr Kirshblum.
    69yo male T12 complete since 1995
    NW NJ

  7. #7
    70 years old and 46 years post injury tomorrow. Both shoulders are gone, both biceps torn off the long head, rips tears and who knows what else. Today, my masseuse said there's a difference in my right elbow, probably another rip in the bicep tendon. Worked out today with my trainer using lots of tricep exercises. Will be cognizant of that in the future. I pushed 'er pretty hard these past 46 years. And still kind of push it to the maximum with what I have left. I did add power to my handcycles and use a ZX1 much more when I leave home.


    I stay active, work out lightly, stand in my stander and hand cycle just to get on the road out of my chair.
    Last edited by Patrick Madsen; 06-20-2019 at 07:54 PM.

  8. #8
    Spend a lot of time PC gaming (25 years of it!)

    Don't game as much as I like anymore. I switched to the 3M ergo mouse for the chronic tennis/golf elbow that I get. Has made a difference. There's no scroll wheel on the 3M, so I still have a normal mouse connected for that.

    When things flare up I use a simple Tens machine for releif (happened upon one in a supermarket isle!). It's very good, it has a knee/elbow sleeve. I twist and adjust the pad to get a sweet spot so it's right on the pain part, helps a lot.

  9. #9
    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.

  10. #10
    Shoulders and hands have severe arthritis. Elbows are ok.

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