May 16, 2022 – First thoughts about potential elbow tendonitis

My new pains include chopping my finger tip with the lawnmower and elbow tendonitis (tennis elbow).

Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) is a painful condition that occurs when tendons in your elbow are overloaded, usually by repetitive motions of the wrist and arm. The pain of tennis elbow occurs primarily where the tendons of your forearm muscles attach to a bony bump on the outside of your elbow. Pain can also spread into your forearm and wrist.

The finger isn’t bad. That was incredibly careless on my part, but it must not be that bad because I can still type.

The elbow tendonitis? That’s been going on for perhaps three or four weeks now. I arrived at this self-diagnosis after Googling around and reading. I believe that I aggravated this condition from spending too much time palming a basketball in one hand; shooting baskets; and doing exercises like dips and bicep curls.

In brief, I think I overdid it and strained those muscles. It’s only in the right outer elbow. My right arm is the one that I use to shoot baskets, palm the ball, etc.

Live and learn.

On the upside, the gluteal pain has been chilled-out for a few months now.

I’m 21 months into my spinal fusion rehab and my back is feeling pretty damn good most days.

June 5, 2022 Tennis elbow/tendonitis update

Okay, so truth is I’m not 100% certain that this is tennis elbow, but I’m pretty damn sure that it is based upon the research I’ve done. Al the pieces fit. Overuse injury, my exercise regiment at the gym, etc. etc. etc.

And, I still have a pain. And, I have been doing daily ice and rest and not using the arm strenuously etc. etc.

Still pain.

So, I’m at the point where I’m trying to figure out when this started. Very bad sign. Any time you’re trying to figure out when it started you know you’re in trouble.

I believe I can SAFELY SAY that this had started by at least May 1. Probably a bit before that. But, I think May 1 is sort of close.

And, let’s presume for a minute that this is tennis elbow. This can take a  LONG TIME TO HEAL!

Tennis elbow will get better without treatment (known as a self-limiting condition).

Tennis elbow usually lasts between 6 months and 2 years, with most people (90%) making a full recovery within a year.


Two years!

Added: Yes, indeed. This pain really did linger a long time!

What treatment attempts am I doing?

1. Stopped doing any exercises that stress the arm

2. Daily ice multiple times a day

3. Using the elbow compression sleeve

4. Trying to get enough rest/sleep

5. Today I just started using Voltaren which is an NSAID cream

August 1, 2022 tennis elbow update

Around the beginning of July, I felt frustrated that this damn elbow pain won’t go away so I wen through a ten-day Prednisone prescription that I had been hanging onto in case my back acted up. I came to this Prednisone decision on my own. And, it did basically work at reducing the elbow pain significantly.

That holds true still today. My elbow isn’t hurting much. But, if I flex my muscle or pick up something I can still feel a tiny little tinge of a sensation. So, this ain’t over either!

And, it’s my impression if I went into the gym and knocked out a dozen chin-ups I’d be right back where I started: with that same damn ELBOW PAIN.

So, I don’t really know where I’m at.

The daily pain isn’t much but the whole thing definitely IS NOT over.

August 14, 2022 tennis elbow update

So, I’m at a point now the past week where I’m not even icing my elbow much. Nor am I wearing the compression sleeve. (As a side note, I’m not really sure the compression sleeve ever really helped, and there were moments when I thought it might have made matters worse. Additionally, I think the cream was misguided because I believe that’s more for joint inflammation, and perhaps not relevant. But, the Prednisone MOST CERTAINLY DID help.)

Okay. So, the elbow and forearm region still is kind of all-around tender. This is very difficult to explain. Because, there’s not really pain. And, I forget about the issue for hours at a time. But, there’s still this almost subconscious experience of tenderness and vulnerability. I sense that doing things like chin-ups, chin-up bar hangs, bicep curls, overhead press…I sense that it’s not a good idea for me to do these things. I sense that if I tried to do them it would trigger the issue, and I might extend the whole duration of the recovery by multiple months.

So, that’s where I’m at. It’s been about 3 1/2 months since the onset of this issue. And, it’s definitely still going on and relevant and influential to my everyday life. But, it’s not causing me discomfort or really diminishing the quality of my life: though, it is limiting my exercise program, certainly, which in a sense, really is quality of life…

August 23, 2022 elbow update

For the past bit, it’s not so much my joint that’s hurting…it’s my actual Goddamn forearm bone…the pain is at the midway point between my hand and elbow… the forearm BONE hurts…not at the elbow joint… what the hell is going on here? I don’t know.

October 16, 2022 elbow update

The other day I got into a car accident. That’s to say: some guy ran into the passenger side of my car. My arm/elbow was feeling pretty damn good from September until now. And, the morning after the accident, I woke up and my arm hurt. God damn it! That’s what I said to myself.

And, it makes sense. I was holding onto the steering wheel when another car ran into me at perhaps 35 mph. And, that force got transferred through the wheel to mys somewhat stiff/tense arm.

I went to the hospital on October 14. They did an X-ray. That ruled out that the bone wasn’t broken or chipped or hairline or any of that stuff. So, I imagine this is the same soft tissue (tendon/ligament) problem that’s now been aggravated by the accident.

What can you do? Shit—as they say—happens.

August 19, 2023 update

It’s not bothering me a great deal these days. But, I’ve also adjusted my life to avoid flare-ups. And, I can still feel it. I don’t know how to explain it, but it’s still a bit “twangy.” Very minor. But, I can feel it!

And, if I went to the gym and start with the pull-ups and planks again, I’d definitely feel it! Anyway, I decided to do some hardcore tennis elbow treatment research because it’s really just a matter of time until this flares-up again. Like I said,

Tennis Elbow Treatments Discovered By My Internet Research

So, here’s what my research found. I encourage you to not take this as the final word but a starting point for your own investigations. A lot of this, though, is really conventional wisdom: things like rest, ice, NSAIDs, bracing, physical therapy, massage really aren’t controversial. That’s consensus opinion.

Tennis elbow, medically known as lateral epicondylitis, is a condition characterized by pain and inflammation on the outer part of the elbow, typically caused by overuse or repetitive movements of the forearm muscles and tendons. There are several treatments available to manage and alleviate the symptoms of tennis elbow. It’s important to note that the effectiveness of these treatments can vary from person to person, and consulting a healthcare professional for personalized advice is recommended. Here are some common treatments for tennis elbow:

1. Rest and Activity Modification: Giving the affected elbow adequate rest and avoiding activities that exacerbate the pain is essential for healing. Avoiding repetitive motions and activities that strain the forearm muscles can help alleviate symptoms and prevent further irritation.

2. Ice and Cold Compress: Applying ice or a cold compress to the affected area for about 15-20 minutes several times a day can help reduce inflammation and provide pain relief.

3. Over-the-Counter Pain Medications: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen or naproxen, can help reduce pain and inflammation. These medications should be taken as directed and under the guidance of a healthcare provider.

4. Bracing or Splinting: Wearing a brace or splint designed to provide support and reduce strain on the forearm muscles can help alleviate pain and promote healing. These devices are typically worn during activities that trigger pain.

5. Physical Therapy: Physical therapy involves targeted exercises to strengthen the forearm muscles, improve flexibility, and correct improper movement patterns. A physical therapist can develop a customized exercise plan to aid recovery.

6. Massage and Soft Tissue Techniques: Certain massage techniques and soft tissue mobilization can help relieve muscle tension and promote blood flow to the affected area. Consult a trained professional for proper technique.

7. Corticosteroid Injections: In some cases, corticosteroid injections may be recommended to reduce inflammation and pain. However, these injections are usually reserved for cases where other conservative treatments have not provided sufficient relief.

8. Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT): ESWT involves applying shockwaves to the affected area to stimulate healing and reduce pain. It is typically used for chronic cases that haven’t responded to other treatments.

9. Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy: PRP therapy involves injecting concentrated platelets from the patient’s own blood into the affected area. This therapy aims to accelerate healing by promoting tissue repair.

10. Surgery: Surgery is rarely necessary for tennis elbow and is typically considered only when conservative treatments have failed. Surgical options may include removing damaged tissue or repairing the affected tendon.

It’s important to start with conservative treatments and progress to more invasive options if necessary. Consult a healthcare provider, such as a doctor or orthopedic specialist, to determine the most appropriate treatment plan based on the severity of your symptoms and individual circumstances.