Saturday, January 5, 2013

Tennis Elbow

I have no idea how I managed to get tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) in my right arm. I haven't played tennis since 2006, and even then I didn't play often. I didn't want to blame my workouts, but I did the research anyway and still couldn't find a link between those and tennis elbow. I did have some repetitive motion going on: I'd been taking Anne to the playground nearly every day for a year and pushing her on the swing for at least 15 minutes. The repetitive motion was the flick of the wrist when pushing the swing. Often my wrist hurt so bad that I would have to either switch hands or or push the swing with the back of my hand.

I don't doubt that the ChaLEAN Extreme and TurboFire workouts aggravated the problem, even if they didn't cause it.

In the past two or three months, I have spent a good $400 or so on multiple visits to a chiropractor. I've spent $200 on two visits to my M.D. Add to that $100 to a massage therapist/bodyworker and $100 to Urgent Care one particularly painful morning, and you can see how this tennis elbow has been expensive as well as painful. The M.D. said to take lots of ibuprofen and offered to give me a cortizone shot in my elbow. There were several times when I seriously considered going in for the shot (and I am a person who hates to take painkillers because they muffle the body's signals that something is wrong).

I've also had to curtail my writing, my computer use, and just about anything in life that requires right-hand use for a right-hander. I haven't been able to lift anything that requires my hand to be facing down or sideways. And by anything, I don't mean just heavy stuff; I couldn't even hold a coffee cup without wincing, and forget about picking up the coffee pot to pour the coffee.

The chiropractor, the bodyworker, and the ibuprofen all provided temporary relief, but the pain always came back. I think I've finally found lasting relief, though. Two things: (1) soaking in a hot tub twice a day (poor me), with a jet of hot water directly to the elbow and forearm, and (2) sitting in a chair, with my arm resting on the top of  the chair arm, and lifting a light (2-lb.) weight (more like curling a light weight upward) 15 times, two or three times a day.

The tennis elbow, I'm happy to say, is almost gone after two weeks of hot tubs and the weight exercise.

Now I'm dealing with piriformis/sciatica pain, and it is a real pain in the butt. Once I figure out how to fix that, I'll post it here, too. Because I know all four of my readers are dying to know.

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