I'm Down 0-40, a double break, and two sets to none
June 24, 2016 9:37 AM   Subscribe

I hurt my arm while playing tennis back in October. Saw a doctor in April, May. I'm still in pain. I don't know where to go from here. Recommendations? Location: Mid East Coast VA.

History of pain:
I strained my elbow and bicep in October and couldn't lift my arm without pain. I rested it for three months but saw no improvement. I started exercising (plyo, running, yoga, HIIT; no weights) from February - March to see if a more active lifestyle would fix it. It did not. So I caved: in April, I saw a doctor.

Medical history:
The doctor (GP with a background in sports medicine) said I had tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis). In April, he said to brace my wrist and take Aleve (prescription) for a month. I did -- saw no improvement. In May, he gave me a shot of anti-inflammatory something in my elbow, told me to continue wearing the brace, and said to stretch my bicep and forearm. I rested it for four weeks, iced it, resumed stretching, and began strengthening the elbow/forearm with a resistance band as instructed. It now feels the same as it did before I saw the GP.

Should I find another sports medicine doc? I don't know if seeing the same guy would do any good. He has my history, but maybe he and other similar docs would just tell me to be patient. I've been doing that. Would a chiropractor or massage therapist for A.R.T. help? Should I seek out somewhere that will give me X-rays? I don't know why the GP didn't do X-rays in the first place.

I live near the Hampton Roads region of VA, near Norfolk, Williamsburg, Newport News. Recommendations for anyone local? I have insurance, but getting a referral for a specialist could be complicated (the GP would have to do it). I don't have a ton of money to spend out of pocket. Responses welcome here and in MeMail. Thank you.
posted by mr_bovis to Health & Fitness (3 answers total)
I would go back to GP and say, "The suggestions and the shot are not working. Do you have any other ideas or is there someone else you can refer me to who might." Either he gives you a referral or another suggestion. If that course of treatment does not work, it will be much easier to ask for a referral at that point.
posted by AugustWest at 10:34 AM on June 24, 2016

Sounds like you might need a referral for physical therapy at this point. Alleviating the symptoms is not going to help the underlying problem. If it's fixable or improvable, a PT will be able to help.
posted by ananci at 11:17 PM on June 24, 2016

IAAD. Seeing an actual sports-fellowship-trained orthopedic doc might not be a bad idea -- they're pretty good at what they do. Have your PCP refer you. I'd guess they'll probably just provide you with resources for targeted stretching and exercises, instructions to continue NSAIDs and a referral to PT, but who knows. I assume you've had an MRI? If not, have your PCP order one. Bring it with you when you see the sports orthopedist.
posted by killdevil at 3:21 PM on June 25, 2016

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