T Nation

Chronic Tendonitis

I have been dealing with chronic tendonitis of the medial epicondyl (inner elbow) or golfer’s elbow for literally two years now. I have tried virtually everything- 3 cortisone shots, two long periods of not playing (about 3 months each), ART(active release therapy) it’s a kind of soft-tissue/friction massage, hours upon hours of icing, hours upon hours of rehab including strengthening, stretching, ultrasound, shockwave etc.

My elbow has definitely improved since I initially got injured (I literally couldn’t straighten out my arm all the way) and it doesn’t really affect every-day tasks. It hurts a little on my strokes while I am warming up(I play tennis) but usually goes away after a few minutes, however, it really swells up when I serve and just gets f*cked up. My stroke mechanic aren’t really a problem since I have worked on them to near perfection.

I have seen 3 different doctors and am going to ask the trainer to schedule me an apt. with a doctor tomorrow. The last doctor I saw, an elbow specialist, said he didn’t think surgery would help it that much (amazingly, the “tests” they do to measure pain don’t really hurt me, go figure). As for the cortisone shots, the 1st helped for about a month with the pain and really improved my range of motion, the 2nd helped also, and the 3rd had little to no effect- the latest was early this year. I am willing to try anything at this point that I can pay for- voodoo, witchcraft, faith healing, whatever.

So the reason for this little bitch, sob story is that today in practice when it was hurting I started thinking about all the sh1t I have done and that it will never heal. That was pretty fcking depressing- the injury that prematurely ended my junior career was following me to college. Will it prevent me from even having a college career and what only two years ago, I thought was going to be a succesful professional career? UnfckING real, well at least the depression will go away this weekend- BLACKOUT!

I had a similar issue. My pain was around the oleacranon(sp?). After months off and no change, I saw an orthopedist and did a couple of months of PT. Nothing changed and I was still in pain. I eventually saw a chiropractor who also performed a type of acupuncture he called “Trigger Point Acupuncture.” It wasn’t like traditional acupuncture where they put a needle into a meridian point and leave it there for a while.

Instead, he’d feel along my forearm muscles for tightness, and then insert the needles into the knots. He’d sorta go up and down on them until the muscle fired and the knot released. He did it on my brachioradialis and where my tricep attached to my elbow (medial tricep, I believe). After 2 years of chronic pain, I was fixed after 3 weeks of treatment.

I still get tight every now and again and continue to stretch really often, but knock on wood, I’m all set. I still have to avoid certain exercises like pull-ups and really heavy shrugs, but apart from that, I’m doing everything I used to, including dips. If you can find anyone in your area that performs this type of acupuncture, you should try it.

[quote]engerland66 wrote:
I had a similar issue. My pain was around the oleacranon(sp?). After months off and no change, I saw an orthopedist and did a couple of months of PT. Nothing changed and I was still in pain. I eventually saw a chiropractor who also performed a type of acupuncture he called “Trigger Point Acupuncture.” It wasn’t like traditional acupuncture where they put a needle into a meridian point and leave it there for a while.

Instead, he’d feel along my forearm muscles for tightness, and then insert the needles into the knots. He’d sorta go up and down on them until the muscle fired and the knot released. He did it on my brachioradialis and where my tricep attached to my elbow (medial tricep, I believe). After 2 years of chronic pain, I was fixed after 3 weeks of treatment.

I still get tight every now and again and continue to stretch really often, but knock on wood, I’m all set. I still have to avoid certain exercises like pull-ups and really heavy shrugs, but apart from that, I’m doing everything I used to, including dips. If you can find anyone in your area that performs this type of acupuncture, you should try it.[/quote]
Thanks, I will look into it.

I also read about something called DMSO (DiMethyl Sulfoxide), does anyone know anything about it?

It is probable that you have tendonosis (degenerative tendonopathy) rather than tendonitis. You should stop recieving cortizone shots. As has been noted before on this site, eccentric exercises are thought to be useful for rehabbing chronic tendon problems. I’m not an elbow guy so I can’t really provide specific advice.