Tennis Elbow - Epilateral Condylitis

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MrElbow
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Tennis Elbow - Epilateral Condylitis

Post by MrElbow » Sat May 01, 2010 2:54 pm

Hi all,

I have a problem with my elbow. Before I tell you guys what I wonder, let me tell you the story a little bit.

For 2 months, I went to gym 3 days a week and did full body workout which consisted of compound movements. Then I switched to the 2-day split program ABXABXX, A for upper body day. While creating programs, I followed the guidelines in exrx. I've run for 25 min before lifting weights and I haven't done any stretching after reading the article "Stretching and Flexibility" in exrx.net . I planned my diet again according to the exrx and sticked to it.

Last week, in a paragliding trip, after doing some manouvers in air, I felt pain in my both elbows. It went away after 2 hours or so but came back after any sort of task like carrying the glide or swimming.

3 days ago, I visited a doctor. His diagnose (after an x-ray) was tennis elbow and he told me that I shouldn't use my left arm in any way for 3 weeks and shouldn't do any hard work 3 months. There starts the problem. I really like lifting weights and I was gaining muscle mass in a nice way. Let's say I'd followed his advice and didn't do any stuff for 3 weeks. What about after? I mean what if this pain comes again? While lifting I always tried to push my limits and probably while pushing I hurt my tendons. What should I do to prevent reoccurence of this pain?

Thank you all.

PS: Sorry for my English by the way.

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stuward
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Post by stuward » Sat May 01, 2010 6:55 pm

Do what ever you can that doesn't hurt. For instance, maybe chin ups hurt. Try reversing the grip and see it's better. There's always something you can do. I don't usually recommend machines but sometimes when you're trying to work around an injury they do the trick. It's also not going to go away in 3 weeks.

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ApolytonGP
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Post by ApolytonGP » Sat May 01, 2010 8:19 pm

I had golfer's elbow and found that modifying my grip (hammer curls, hammer motion whenever possile even presses, pressing more on the wrists rather than in palm, removing tricep extensions, etc.) was enough to help me get over the golfer's and avoid recurrence. I also do some crosswise massage on the tendon when going from machine to machine.

Now that it is flared up would definitely give it the 3 weeks off and then just try easing back in. And with neutral grips a lot.

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Post by frogbyte » Sat May 01, 2010 9:00 pm

You stopped stretching completely after reading http://www.exrx.net/ExInfo/Stretching.html ? I don't think that's really the point of that article.

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Post by MrElbow » Sun May 02, 2010 12:44 am

frogbyte wrote:You stopped stretching completely after reading http://www.exrx.net/ExInfo/Stretching.html ? I don't think that's really the point of that article.
Well, actually, yes. I thought that I don't need a more flexible body than I have now, and since stretching doesn't do anything to prevent injury I stopped stretching.

There is another point, I think I need to mention about. I do 2 sets as explained in the low volume-high intensity article. One of the sets is a warm-up set. Maybe 3 sets would be more convenient for me. Because in my one set program I push myself to the limits which maybe causes the issues in my elbows. But in the 3-set program, one must sacrifice some weight to complete all the sets and reps.

Lastly, I don't have any pain or something in my elbows right now. Do you people think that I really should wait for three weeks? Cause frankly, I really don't want to.

Thank you all.

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Post by Jungledoc » Sun May 02, 2010 8:53 am

Well, this really shouldn't affect ALL of your lifting. You'll have to figure ways to adapt.

You should take a week or two to allow the pain to subside. Then start lifting very cautiously, using light weights, and trying one lift at a time to see which lifts will bother you.

With squat, if you have wrist pain you're probably not holding the bar correctly. Your wrist should be straight, the palm of your hand pressing the bar into your traps, not trying to hold the bar up. The thumb should not be around the bar. If you can't find a way to hold the bar without pain, consider front squats with a cross-arm grip, or a "safety bar".

Deads. Grip could be affected. Try different widths of grip. If you can use a trap bar (named for it's trapezoidal shape, not the traps muscles), try it. the neutral grip might be better.

With other lifts, work on them one at a time. This may mean abandoning your program for a while. On one lifting day, choose a particular lift. Warm up light. If you feel pain, start trying various grips. Again, pay attention to how you hold the bar. For lifts like bench and overhead press, make sure that the wrist not extended unnecessarily. It should only be tipped back enough that the bar can be resting directly over the wrist, which should in turn be directly above the elbow.

It may be that dumbbell lifts could work better than the barbell version, because you can vary the angle of the grip freely.

If a lift does not cause pain while you are actually lifting, give it a day or two to see if the pain flares up after lifting. If you don't have any trouble, you've found a lift that you can keep in your program. Spend a few weeks working through the lifts.

Has the doctor suggested physical therapy? If you can get in with a therapist who is sympathetic, he or she could be very valuable in finding lifts that you can still do, and helping you adapt troublesome lifts, help with stretching, and other types of therapy like ice or contrast treatments.

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Post by frogbyte » Sun May 02, 2010 1:40 pm

The article says stretching doesn't prevent injury in the short term. Ie, stretching just before a workout won't help you much for -that- workout. But long term I think it certainly is advised, especially if you're doing strength training which can reduce flexibility.

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Post by Ironman » Sun May 02, 2010 10:17 pm

frogbyte wrote:The article says stretching doesn't prevent injury in the short term. Ie, stretching just before a workout won't help you much for -that- workout. But long term I think it certainly is advised, especially if you're doing strength training which can reduce flexibility.
In other words, lets change the topic to long term so you can pull something out of your ass and assert it as absolute truth, completely unencumbered by pesky studies that impose reality on your beliefs.

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Post by ApolytonGP » Mon May 03, 2010 12:03 am

I went through a substantial strength upgrade and had a lot of resultant fleixibility loss. Adding in stretching borought it right back.

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Post by MrElbow » Mon May 03, 2010 2:33 am

Jungledoc wrote: Has the doctor suggested physical therapy? If you can get in with a therapist who is sympathetic, he or she could be very valuable in finding lifts that you can still do, and helping you adapt troublesome lifts, help with stretching, and other types of therapy like ice or contrast treatments.
Doctor didn't suggested any therapy. He gave an anti-inflammatory drug and ,as I said, suggested not using my left arm for 3 weeks and not doing any hard stuff for 3 months. Though I won't follow his 3-month advice because I don't feel any pain in my left arm and I don't want to leave the gym for that long. Unfortunately, unless you pay a lot of money, you get quick diagnoses without much explaination about etiology and-or the causes in my country.

I got one last question. After work-outs I usually (not everytime) felt some slight pain in my elbows. Real pain came after this paragliding stuff I mentioned. Does this mean that all the time I've been working out, I hurt my elbows without knowing and the trip was the last drop? Or there was nothing wrong with my workout at the gym, there was something wrong with paragliding stuff?

It is too bad that I won't be able to push or pull the weight as if I am trying to hold the edge of a cliff not to fall down. I am just 22 and one shouldn't be this careful while working out at this age :).

Thank you all for the help, especially Jungledoc.

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Post by frogbyte » Mon May 03, 2010 12:06 pm

If your joints are more sore than your muscles after a workout, you might need to reduce the weight and up the reps.
Ironman wrote:In other words, lets change the topic to long term so you can pull something out of your ass and assert it as absolute truth, completely unencumbered by pesky studies that impose reality on your beliefs.
When was the topic ever not long term? What everyone cares most about is long term not short term anyway - and that article was aimed at dispelling that short term benefit myth.

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Post by Ironman » Tue May 04, 2010 2:34 am

frogbyte wrote:When was the topic ever not long term?
When it was tennis elbow. Like the entire time basically.

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Post by Jungledoc » Tue May 04, 2010 7:12 am

Yeah, but tennis elbow has to be about the long term. It probably develops over a period of time before pain actually starts. Recovery and rehab can take a long time. But, more importantly, it tends to recur over time. So people who have trouble with it need to thing about the long term, about what exercise they will do, and how they will do it.

That having been said, I'm not aware of compelling evidence (not that I've looked all that hard) that stretching prevents TE either in the short- or long-term, nor that it really makes much difference in recovery. I suspect that it's just something that people do while their body is healing.

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Post by Jungledoc » Tue May 04, 2010 7:24 am

I'm trying to think through the mechanics of TE. The classic model is, of course, tennis. It seems to me that it's not so much the forehand stroke that's the problem. I don't know what to call the "wind-up", the throwing the racquet back in preparation for the stroke. It seems to me that decelerating this movement and reversing the direction of the racquet's movement would be where most stress would occur to the structures that originate at the lateral epicondyle. I suppose that it's on the stroke of the back hand, probably the point of impact on the ball.

Does anyone here know much about tennis? I don't know what correct technique is in this case. Is a lot of this movement supposed to come from the wrist? Or is it supposed to come mostly from extension and external rotation of the shoulder, with the wrist relatively rigid? I've heard or read that tennis players who are plagued by TE have to learn better technique in their stroke. What is involved?

The sites I've found about TE are pretty general, and don't seem too well-researched. Mostly they say things like "eliminate or modify the offending activity." I'm trying to think through how to do that for weight training.

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Post by KPj » Tue May 04, 2010 7:40 am

I'm wondering if the OP actually plays tennis....

In my view, the elbow is a stupid joint, like the knee. The knee has no control over itself and it's condition is a result of hip and ankle function. I see the elbow in the same light. If there's something wrong, I would be looking at the wrist and shoulder region for the answer.

Also, anywhere you see the 'itis', think 'overuse'.

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