tennis elbow, revisited

Discussion in 'General Fitness' started by Madelaine, Jan 3, 2006.

  1. Madelaine

    Madelaine Guest

    I seem to have tennis elbow. It seems to be caused by my increase in
    the time I spend on crawl. It seems, from reading old rss posts on the
    same, that I need to revise my catch in crawl and move away from the
    straight arm technique that I was taught in junior high (a while
    ago--Nixon was president) and into a high elbow catch. Bending your
    elbow more seems counter-intuitive, but I'll try it.
    Do I have to lay off swimming completely for a while? I only did 750
    yard this am, and only a little more than a third was crawl. Does
    backstroke contribute to tennis elbow?
    I also have the bizarre sleep habit of extending my left hand over my
    hand and burying my face in my arm, which seems to be contributing to
    why it is much worse on the left side. I'm trying to break that habit.
    Madelaine
     
    Tags:


  2. Liz D

    Liz D Guest

    Madelaine wrote:
    > I seem to have tennis elbow. It seems to be caused by my increase in
    > the time I spend on crawl. It seems, from reading old rss posts on the
    > same, that I need to revise my catch in crawl and move away from the
    > straight arm technique that I was taught in junior high (a while
    > ago--Nixon was president) and into a high elbow catch. Bending your
    > elbow more seems counter-intuitive, but I'll try it.
    > Do I have to lay off swimming completely for a while? I only did 750
    > yard this am, and only a little more than a third was crawl. Does
    > backstroke contribute to tennis elbow?
    > I also have the bizarre sleep habit of extending my left hand over my
    > hand and burying my face in my arm, which seems to be contributing to
    > why it is much worse on the left side. I'm trying to break that habit.
    > Madelaine


    Hi Madelaine

    I suffered from tennis elbow in my right arm for several years, which I
    hasten to add was NOT from playing tennis - I think mostly from nappy
    changing as my twins were babies at the time it first developed and
    also just general household jobs - lifting heavy pots, etc. I had
    about 6 cortisone injections over a 2 year period before being referred
    for surgery and it has been mostly fine ever since the surgery, though
    I did get some twinges in it last year. I was straight down to the
    doctor at the first sign, as I knew where it was leading. Fortunately
    a course of anti-inflammatories and strict avoidance of activities
    which I know aggravate it and it has settled down again.

    Now, this doesn't have much to do with swimming, but I know where you
    are coming from and I can sympathise. Also I have had some similar
    tennis-elbow like pain in my left elbow which might be similar to your
    problem. My elbows hyper-extend when they are "straight" and this
    seems to be the main cause of the problem. I think maybe the
    muscle/tendon gets irritated by rubbing across the elbow joint at the
    extreme of the extension.

    I have found that a lot of backstroke definitely aggravates it, so I
    make a point of consciously not extending my arm fully as I recover it,
    and this seems to help. It is actually geometrically straight but not
    fully extended from a biomechanical point of view. The same applies on
    the catch of freestyle - I make a conscious effort not to extend it
    fully.

    A while ago it got quite sore and I made myself a sort of tennis elbow
    brace, out of a piece of nylon webbing, a plastic buckle and some
    velcro, all of which I had lying around the house. I could wear this
    in the pool and it took the pressure off the joint, and also acted as a
    physical reminder not to straighten my arm too much.

    Not sure if any of this is much help, but I would suggest at least
    trying some anti-inflammatory medication, and if it doesn't clear up
    fairly quickly then get to the doctor without delay. My experience is
    that it doesn't go away on its own and you need to nip it in the bud
    asap.

    Good luck

    Liz D
     
  3. Madelaine

    Madelaine Guest

    Liz D wrote:
    > Madelaine wrote:
    >
    >>I seem to have tennis elbow. It seems to be caused by my increase in
    >>the time I spend on crawl. It seems, from reading old rss posts on the
    >>same, that I need to revise my catch in crawl and move away from the
    >>straight arm technique that I was taught in junior high (a while
    >>ago--Nixon was president) and into a high elbow catch. Bending your
    >>elbow more seems counter-intuitive, but I'll try it.
    >>Do I have to lay off swimming completely for a while? I only did 750
    >>yard this am, and only a little more than a third was crawl. Does
    >>backstroke contribute to tennis elbow?
    >>I also have the bizarre sleep habit of extending my left hand over my
    >>hand and burying my face in my arm, which seems to be contributing to
    >>why it is much worse on the left side. I'm trying to break that habit.
    >>Madelaine

    >
    >
    > Hi Madelaine
    >
    > I suffered from tennis elbow in my right arm for several years, which I
    > hasten to add was NOT from playing tennis - I think mostly from nappy
    > changing as my twins were babies at the time it first developed and
    > also just general household jobs - lifting heavy pots, etc. I had
    > about 6 cortisone injections over a 2 year period before being referred
    > for surgery and it has been mostly fine ever since the surgery, though
    > I did get some twinges in it last year. I was straight down to the
    > doctor at the first sign, as I knew where it was leading. Fortunately
    > a course of anti-inflammatories and strict avoidance of activities
    > which I know aggravate it and it has settled down again.
    >
    > Now, this doesn't have much to do with swimming, but I know where you
    > are coming from and I can sympathise. Also I have had some similar
    > tennis-elbow like pain in my left elbow which might be similar to your
    > problem. My elbows hyper-extend when they are "straight" and this
    > seems to be the main cause of the problem. I think maybe the
    > muscle/tendon gets irritated by rubbing across the elbow joint at the
    > extreme of the extension.
    >
    > I have found that a lot of backstroke definitely aggravates it, so I
    > make a point of consciously not extending my arm fully as I recover it,
    > and this seems to help. It is actually geometrically straight but not
    > fully extended from a biomechanical point of view. The same applies on
    > the catch of freestyle - I make a conscious effort not to extend it
    > fully.
    >
    > A while ago it got quite sore and I made myself a sort of tennis elbow
    > brace, out of a piece of nylon webbing, a plastic buckle and some
    > velcro, all of which I had lying around the house. I could wear this
    > in the pool and it took the pressure off the joint, and also acted as a
    > physical reminder not to straighten my arm too much.
    >
    > Not sure if any of this is much help, but I would suggest at least
    > trying some anti-inflammatory medication, and if it doesn't clear up
    > fairly quickly then get to the doctor without delay. My experience is
    > that it doesn't go away on its own and you need to nip it in the bud
    > asap.
    >
    > Good luck
    >
    > Liz D
    >

    Liz,
    It is quite fascinating how on the mark you are with your comments--when
    I read the old rss posts on tennis elbow (often caused by many other
    things than tennis) one of the things most often mentioned was wearing
    the little brace. How clever of you to make up your own! I think that I
    also hyperextend, and that I have been doing so in yoga. Also, I think
    my habit of resting some of my weight on my arms when going up and
    downstairs to help protect my arthritic feet is a factor, as is another
    sleep habit of burying my head in my crooked arm. I suspect that
    backstroke is as much a culprit for me as is crawl, since I think that
    I habitually hyperextend.

    Another thing I read about tennis elbow in general is that it tends to
    be worse in women because women give little attention to strengthening
    their forearms. In fact, most women don't give very much thought to
    their forearms at all...

    I have the swim leg of tri relay scheduled for August, so I have to be
    better by then, so I'm hoping for physical therapy beginning next week.
    Madelaine
     
  4. rtk

    rtk Guest


    > Madelaine wrote:
    >
    >>I seem to have tennis elbow. It seems to be caused by my increase in
    >>the time I spend on crawl. .......

    >



    Liz D wrote:
    > I suffered from tennis elbow in my right arm for several years, which I
    > hasten to add was NOT from playing tennis - I think mostly from nappy
    > changing as my twins were babies at the time it first developed and
    > also just general household jobs - lifting heavy pots, etc.




    I get tennis elbow from open turns. I have to be careful not to pull
    myself to the end before turning and not with the same arm all the time.
    I think pushing off the wall hard is another source of ache and pain,
    but of course to foot and ankle. I agree, Liz, backstroke is a culprit,
    too. My daughter's caring of her twins caused malfunction of her whole
    body, especially brain. But they are my joys.

    rtk
     
  5. rtk

    rtk Guest

    Madelaine wrote:

    > Liz D wrote:
    >
    >> Madelaine wrote:
    >>
    >>> I seem to have tennis elbow. ..............

    > Another thing I read about tennis elbow in general is that it tends to
    > be worse in women because women give little attention to strengthening
    > their forearms. In fact, most women don't give very much thought to
    > their forearms at all...

    ...........

    I think wrist curls and reverse curls would be strengthening. I also
    have hyperextended everything. I've just spent several days sitting
    next to a 12 year old family member who imitated the various ways I sit
    at the table. This is serious pretzel stuff that I didn't quite
    realize. I understand that hypermobile joints are prone to injury.
    Larry W has illustrated this very well. Of course. If he can't, who can?

    rtk
     
  6. Liz D

    Liz D Guest

    rtk wrote:
    > Madelaine wrote:
    >
    > > Liz D wrote:
    > >
    > >> Madelaine wrote:
    > >>
    > >>> I seem to have tennis elbow. ..............

    > > Another thing I read about tennis elbow in general is that it tends to
    > > be worse in women because women give little attention to strengthening
    > > their forearms. In fact, most women don't give very much thought to
    > > their forearms at all...

    > ..........
    >
    > I think wrist curls and reverse curls would be strengthening. I also
    > have hyperextended everything. I've just spent several days sitting
    > next to a 12 year old family member who imitated the various ways I sit
    > at the table. This is serious pretzel stuff that I didn't quite
    > realize. I understand that hypermobile joints are prone to injury.
    > Larry W has illustrated this very well. Of course. If he can't, who can?
    >
    > rtk


    Stretching can also help. Straighten the arm (not fully, of course!),
    flex the wrist and then gently press against the back of the hand with
    your other hand. You should feel a stretch around the point of your
    tennis elbow pain. I don't know the name of the muscle, but it's the
    one that runs from the wrist to the elbow joint and stretching it can
    help to reduce the friction over the elbow joint.

    HTH

    Liz D
     
  7. Liz D

    Liz D Guest

    rtk wrote:
    > > Madelaine wrote:
    > >
    > >>I seem to have tennis elbow. It seems to be caused by my increase in
    > >>the time I spend on crawl. .......

    > >

    >
    >
    > Liz D wrote:
    > > I suffered from tennis elbow in my right arm for several years, which I
    > > hasten to add was NOT from playing tennis - I think mostly from nappy
    > > changing as my twins were babies at the time it first developed and
    > > also just general household jobs - lifting heavy pots, etc.

    >
    >
    >
    > I get tennis elbow from open turns. I have to be careful not to pull
    > myself to the end before turning and not with the same arm all the time.
    > I think pushing off the wall hard is another source of ache and pain,
    > but of course to foot and ankle. I agree, Liz, backstroke is a culprit,
    > too. My daughter's caring of her twins caused malfunction of her whole
    > body, especially brain. But they are my joys.
    >
    > rtk


    I find open turns aggravate the soreness at the back of my shoulder. I
    don't seem to be able to master doing them the other way, using the
    other arm, so I'm just careful not to push off with my hand with too
    much force. The answer, obviously, is to do more flip turns and I am
    always meaning to do this but am still very intermittant with it.

    My twins (identical girls) both have my bendy-back elbows.

    They say insanity is hereditary - you get it from your kids. LOL

    Liz D
     
  8. Madelaine

    Madelaine Guest

    Madelaine wrote:
    > I seem to have tennis elbow. It seems to be caused by my increase in
    > the time I spend on crawl. It seems, from reading old rss posts on the
    > same, that I need to revise my catch in crawl and move away from the
    > straight arm technique that I was taught in junior high (a while
    > ago--Nixon was president) and into a high elbow catch. Bending your
    > elbow more seems counter-intuitive, but I'll try it.
    > Do I have to lay off swimming completely for a while? I only did 750
    > yard this am, and only a little more than a third was crawl. Does
    > backstroke contribute to tennis elbow?
    > I also have the bizarre sleep habit of extending my left hand over my
    > hand and burying my face in my arm, which seems to be contributing to
    > why it is much worse on the left side. I'm trying to break that habit.
    > Madelaine


    Grrr. I'm supposed to lay off for two weeks and not swim, and gulp
    NSAIDS. I have something called cubital tunnel syndrome, and one of the
    things that makes it worse, other than swimming, is leaning on your
    elbow, which it turns out that I do all the time. So this is a big
    habit-changing experience.

    I guess I can go to the pool and kick and tread and get a workout that
    way once this rotten cold is over.
    Madelaine
     
  9. a.c.

    a.c. Guest

    You know those strain/sprain supports... like a very, very short sleeve
    to wear over the area concerned, well, from experience ther elbow one
    is quite good at making it slightly uncomfortable to bend the elbow and
    I've worn it at night (now and then) precisely to ward off bad sleeping
    positions.

    Other than that, I've tried a bit of reverse backstroke. to counter the
    usual backstoke movements.
     
  10. Martin Smith

    Martin Smith Guest

    Madelaine <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Madelaine wrote:
    >> I seem to have tennis elbow. It seems to be caused by my increase in
    >> the time I spend on crawl. It seems, from reading old rss posts on the
    >> same, that I need to revise my catch in crawl and move away from the
    >> straight arm technique that I was taught in junior high (a while
    >> ago--Nixon was president) and into a high elbow catch. Bending your
    >> elbow more seems counter-intuitive, but I'll try it.
    >> Do I have to lay off swimming completely for a while? I only did 750
    >> yard this am, and only a little more than a third was crawl. Does
    >> backstroke contribute to tennis elbow?
    >> I also have the bizarre sleep habit of extending my left hand over my
    >> hand and burying my face in my arm, which seems to be contributing to
    >> why it is much worse on the left side. I'm trying to break that habit.
    >> Madelaine

    >
    >Grrr. I'm supposed to lay off for two weeks and not swim, and gulp
    >NSAIDS. I have something called cubital tunnel syndrome, and one of the
    >things that makes it worse, other than swimming, is leaning on your
    >elbow, which it turns out that I do all the time. So this is a big
    >habit-changing experience.
    >
    >I guess I can go to the pool and kick and tread and get a workout that
    >way once this rotten cold is over.
    >Madelaine


    I recommend the step machine and the eliptical walker. I prefer the
    TechnoGym models. Good workout.
     
  11. Madelaine

    Madelaine Guest

    a.c. wrote:
    > You know those strain/sprain supports... like a very, very short sleeve
    > to wear over the area concerned, well, from experience ther elbow one
    > is quite good at making it slightly uncomfortable to bend the elbow and
    > I've worn it at night (now and then) precisely to ward off bad sleeping
    > positions.
    >
    > Other than that, I've tried a bit of reverse backstroke. to counter the
    > usual backstoke movements.
    >

    I tried this,and it works. It is also nice to have the extra warmth.
    Madelaine
     
  12. I was a tennis player and swimmer with bouts of tennis elbow.

    Take a light dumbell and twist it (pronate/supinate) while isolating
    the arm. It worked for me every time. Not curls or reverse curls but
    a side to side twising. If you don't have a light dumbell you can use
    a soup can. Ice after excercise.
     
  13. Madelaine

    Madelaine Guest

    [email protected] wrote:
    > I was a tennis player and swimmer with bouts of tennis elbow.
    >
    > Take a light dumbell and twist it (pronate/supinate) while isolating
    > the arm. It worked for me every time. Not curls or reverse curls but
    > a side to side twising. If you don't have a light dumbell you can use
    > a soup can. Ice after excercise.
    >

    I technically have cubital tunnel syndrome,which seems to be slightly
    different, but I'm willing to try this.
    Madelaine
     
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