Why is McEnroe stopping me from picking up iron?
January 21, 2008 7:35 PM   Subscribe

DamnTennisElbowFilter... Ok, I have tennis elbow in my left elbow. Got a cortisone shot (ouch!) about 3 months ago, but it's back...just let my elbow pain, there is...

So what I am wondering is if I chew a couple of Aleve prior to hitting the gym, am I going to further damage something in there?

It really only hurts on biceps days, but I can bear it if necessary.

Anyone have experience with this?

posted by keep it tight to Health & Fitness (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Watch the cortisone shots. They are temporary and over your life you can basically have just so many without further damage. Get a good (and this is no easy task) physical therapist and follow the painful instructions. The PT, at this stage, is more important than the doctor. They have the time and the knowledge to guide you to better joint health.
posted by caddis at 7:59 PM on January 21, 2008

If you still have tennis elbow, it means your form is a wrong. I correctly swung forehand or backhand should not lead to tennis elbow (which is why top-level players never get tennis elbow, and weekend warriors often do).

If you really want to fix your tennis elbow, stop playing tennis for a month, and switch to a less stiff racquet. I've noticed that older players tend to use crazy stiff racquets (in order to generate power), and it lets them get away with just moving their forearm, which leads to tennis elbow.

When you hit a forehand/backhand, you generate most of your power from your body, not your forearm. The movement of your forearm should just be a natural extension of what's happening in the rest of your body.
posted by unexpected at 8:31 PM on January 21, 2008

You gotta rest the arm for a couple of weeks to give it a chance to heal. Also, the type of movements that aggravate epicondylitis are rotations of the wrist. Wear a wrist brace (the kind with a metal stay in it) for those two weeks.
posted by neuron at 9:16 PM on January 21, 2008

Do you mean tendinitis?

You need to not do any serious load resistance training or any training to fatigue with your arms for a month at least not just a couple of weeks. Seriously. It will become chronic. And then you'll be screwed. Trust me. I ignored tendinitis and "golfer's elbow" (from doing pull-ups too much) for a few months until I couldn't lift a can of soup. I finally had to stop lifting for about six months.

The tendons don't get strong as quickly as the muscle does and once you start developing scar tissue on the area it will just get re-injured. So maybe go swimming or something like that to keep the joints strong but don't do isolation exercises with your arms at all for a while.
posted by tkchrist at 9:26 PM on January 21, 2008

Listen to caddis, who knows of what s/he speaks. The shots are a merciful relief from the agonizing pain, but unfortunately last a short time. I've had enough cortisone shots in my very painful elbows to have the flesh under the skin atrophy and it's just now coming back (and if you think that sounds creepy, you should have seen it!). The better alternative for long-term relief, for me, was with my physical therapist and I've had much better luck warding off the pain when it gets bad, thanks to those exercises! Good luck!
posted by Lynsey at 9:55 PM on January 21, 2008

Friction massage.
posted by callmejay at 12:44 PM on January 22, 2008

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