Elbow pain - tendinitis


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2005 Vette
March 19, 2012, 11:40 PM
I have developed pain in my elbow, on the outside bone similar to tennis elbow from shooting and dry firing I believe. Has anyone else had this problem? Am I gripping too tight?

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Tommy Van Alen
March 19, 2012, 11:47 PM
have you seen a doctor for it yet?

I had a friend who had something like it. He is now a USPSA Master classed shooter.

I think it was some sort of nerve entrapment, where a nerve passes in or around the elbow.

he had to have surgery for it.

baseball pitchers get something similar to it and it requires "Tommy John's" surgery.

Swing
March 19, 2012, 11:52 PM
Yes, been there, done that, had the ulnar nerve surgery. Many, many years of pain, but the surgery brought it back to like 80%. Please, see your doctor soon rather than later.

writerinmo
March 19, 2012, 11:59 PM
I'm going through testing for it now, waiting on a call for the nerve conduction testing, on 800 mgs of ibuprofen 4 times a day and 10mg of flexeril 3 times a day until we get it sorted out.

Chip1wa
March 20, 2012, 12:18 AM
I had it...operative word...HAD it. Hurts like mad.

A few shots of cortizone over the course of 4 months and it kept coming back.

A friend saw my forearm wrap and said to start drinking a tablespoon or two of apple cider vinegar in the mornings and in the afternoon.

I thought it was snake oil until I googled "apple cider vinegar for tendonitis" I started off mixing it with OJ, but after a week I began to take a little nip 3 or 4 times a day.

5 to 6 weeks later no more hurt, and I still hate drinking vinegar with a passion.

It worked for me.

Dirty

Serenity
March 20, 2012, 12:48 AM
Glucosamine with chondroitin also helps with tendonitis and osteo-arthritis.

BCRider
March 20, 2012, 01:00 AM
You need to get an ergonomic gun.... :D

Likely if it's your elbow you got it from something else and your gun hobby just exacerbated the condition.

I suppose it's possible to get it from holding too tight but you'd need to be holding so tight and for so long at a time as to result in your arms shaking after a session with the gun with either live ammo or from dry firing.

On the other hand if you even think you may have got it from tensing up while holding the gun then likely you ARE holding it too tight. You only need to give it the same sort of support you put into a firm but friendly handshake. Anything harder than that and you're holding the gun too tight and your accuracy will suffer with no good side to the issue.

HDCamel
March 20, 2012, 01:08 AM
I've had tendinitis on and off for years from playing the guitar. Usually affects the wrists and hands before the elbows in my experience.

JRH6856
March 20, 2012, 04:24 AM
I have the same problem from time to time. It is caused by the tendons weakening and the bone displacing outward. You can get a tennis elbow strap (http://www.futuro-usa.com/wps/portal/3M/en_US/Futuro/Global/Products/Product-Catalog/~/Sport-Tennis-Elbow-Support?N=5148313&rt=rud) that prevents the displacement and allows the tendons to recover. Grip exercises to strengthen your grip can help prevent it.

makarovnik
March 20, 2012, 06:39 AM
I got it. It is from squeezing too hard and too long. You probably need a steroid injection at the pain site.

drsfmd
March 20, 2012, 03:04 PM
I have the same problem from time to time. It is caused by the tendons weakening and the bone displacing outward. You can get a tennis elbow strap (http://www.futuro-usa.com/wps/portal/3M/en_US/Futuro/Global/Products/Product-Catalog/~/Sport-Tennis-Elbow-Support?N=5148313&rt=rud) that prevents the displacement and allows the tendons to recover. Grip exercises to strengthen your grip can help prevent it.

This. I have periodic flare ups in both arms, and the straps help immensely.

EddieNFL
March 20, 2012, 05:26 PM
Both elbows. Try the steroid injectors, but lasted only a couple of weeks. Last summer my orthopedic guy tried Enriched Plasma Injections. They drew blood and used a centrifuge to separate the plasma which he injected into the joints. I watched him bounce the needle off the bone 30 or so times in each arm. Sore and swollen for a few days, but the results were pretty good. Seven months later and my right elbow is doing well. The left, which was by far the worse, is better, but I'll probably need another injection.

These days, I'm careful about what I do and I wear one of these everyday. http://banditelbowbrace.com/_vti_bin/shtml.exe/index.html/map2

Serenity
March 21, 2012, 01:54 AM
When I was doing an activity at my job that caused this, I wrapped the thickest part of my forearm with vet wrap every day. Snug but not tight. It worked wonders.

montanaoffroader
March 21, 2012, 02:20 AM
I own a pair of the straps and I had a few cortisone shots back in the day. The straps seem to work the best for me, the shots didn't work so well. I make my living as an auto mechanic, so tendonitis is an occupational hazard.

DO NOT WAIT to see a doctor about this! If left untreated you can wind up with permanent damage, possibly requiring surgery to alleviate the symptoms. One of my coworkers had a severe case, but he "pushed through the pain" and kept on going, right up to the point where he couldn't even hold a coffee cup.

He no longer works in our shop, and is under lifting restrictions for life. The doctors flat out told him that he waited too long and the damage was done. The surgery he underwent was primarily for pain control, and it was not particularly successful in one of his arms. They are looking at going back in, it's not settled yet. He will never have the level of function that he used to have.

He is now retired and living (poorly) on disability.

Hopefully in your case, it's not serious. But ignore it at your own risk...

DoubleTapDrew
March 21, 2012, 06:23 PM
There are several excercises on this site you can do to help relieve it and prevent it from reoccuring once you start to feel better: http://www.nismat.org/ptcor/tennis_elbow

7thCavScout
March 21, 2012, 06:47 PM
I feel your pain LITERALLY! After tons cortisone shots a enough Vicodin to kill an elephant this is what finally fixed me.....Lateral Epicondylitis Release Surgery.
I was unable to shoot handguns for about a month afterward which sounds bad but it had progressed to the point point where I was unable to rack the slide on an automatic.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v200/7thCavScout/19846_1190197714430_1212976715_30442820_4683597_n.jpg

Swing
March 21, 2012, 11:48 PM
What, exactly, does the strap do for you? I get a flare up from time to time, but nothing like pre-surgery. Just wondering. Thanks.

JRH6856
March 21, 2012, 11:59 PM
What, exactly, does the strap do for you?

For me, it pulls the bone back in place, relieves stress on the tendons, and reduces the pain to a barely noticeable twinge. When the twinge goes away, I can take the strap off and be good for several months. I usually have a flare up once or twice a year.

Swing
March 22, 2012, 12:10 AM
Alrighty, I'll give'r a try. Thanks for the info. :)

Guy B. Meredith
March 22, 2012, 12:43 AM
If the doctor just says it is "one of those things" and doesn't need treatment to prevent further damage my understanding is that resting it is the answer.

Interestingly, I have experienced the pain on the inside of the arm--golfers' elbow (I don't golf) and the doctor said just live with it, give it rest, etc.

About that time I decided to overcome my loathing of exercise routine and begin doing pushups to build strength for offhand shooting and the pain has gone away. Don't know if that's cause and effect or just coincidence.

pintler
March 22, 2012, 12:47 AM
FWIW: my better half had that, from bullseye pistol. We eventually noticed something - when I'm shooting bullseye, my bicep points almost straight up. Her natural stance had her bicep pointing almost parallel to the ground. When she changed to have her bicep on the top of her arm in the firing position, her elbow probs disappeared (eventually). YMMV, of course.

(also, her scores went up!)

JRH6856
March 22, 2012, 12:52 AM
Her natural stance had her bicep pointing almost parallel to the ground.

Ouch! I just tried to do that. Now I have to find my strap. (and I didn't even have a gun in my hand).

Gator 23
March 22, 2012, 01:09 AM
2005 Vette - Go see your family/primary care physician first and ask for a consult for therapy. Either a PT or OT hand therapist can put you on the correct road to recovery. The M.D. may offer injections, but conservative therapy is a good first step and is usually offered. Be careful about following advice here online - no offense to others who offered advice. Yes - I am in the upper-extremity rehab business.

OTR
March 22, 2012, 03:46 AM
Gator 23 offered great advice.

As an Occupational Therapist (OT) myself, that is what I would recommend that you see and ask your M.D. for a script for OT, usually written as: Epicondylitis: Eval and treat. The OT will probably see you 2-3x a week for an hour each session. Teatment sessions usually go as: 1:Moist hot pack, 2: Ultrasound, Laser, Interferential (IFC), or iontophoresis, 3:then a manual massage over the affected area and stretching followed up with 4: an ice pack. These can very greatly with the Therapist and or clinic.

Also, you can go to any clinic that you wish, not where your M.D. sends you or wants you to go.

Good Luck,
OTR

ball3006
March 22, 2012, 12:30 PM
You have been dating Rosie too long. Switch hands. You may have the condition in your elbow that is like carpal tunnel in the wrist. Same thing happens with the elbow during long exposure to repetitive motions. You need to reduce the inflammation in your elbow, ice and rest. See a sports doctor. In the mean time, shoot with the other hand. people need to be able to shoot with either hand anyway......chris3

dprice3844444
March 22, 2012, 12:36 PM
ask the doc if you can try a med called diclofenac.
http://www.drugs.com/diclofenac.html it's cheap

Well Now
March 22, 2012, 12:37 PM
Fill a styrofoam cup half full of water and freeze it. Then tear enough from the cup to expose the ice and rub the affected area for 20 minutes at a time. It won't cure the problem but it will reduce inflammation and help with the pain. This works for shoulders, knees, and other joint problems.

intercooler
March 22, 2012, 12:46 PM
I got this bad in both elbows from lifting 50lb salt bags to a high level twice a week at work (I know that's the cause). Saw a Doctor who gave advice of therapy or later injections if that didn't work. Job ran out so never did either and I was basically out for over a year. In that time it got better from the rest. Never nice to lose your job, but at this point it is what saved me! At the time I had a hard time shooting, sleeping and almost sold my motorcycle because it was hard to work the handles. I get a little pain every so often when I work them hard but not like what I did have. It's annoying to say the least!

That link has some good info in it up there. I put it in my favorites.

OTR
March 22, 2012, 02:00 PM
Fill a styrofoam cup half full of water and freeze it. Then tear enough from the cup to expose the ice and rub the affected area for 20 minutes at a time. It won't cure the problem but it will reduce inflammation and help with the pain. This works for shoulders, knees, and other joint problems.
20 minutes is to long to massage the area directly with ice. I would recommend 10 minutes no more than 15 minutes max for direct exposure to an area that is inflamed with ice. The reason is that the body will naturally increase the blood flow to the area (to increase warmth) by sensing trauma via cold exposure to the ice. This in turn does the exact opposite of what you want and is in sense too much of a good thing.

PT92
March 22, 2012, 02:17 PM
I too doubt shooting caused the problem, only exacerbated it. I reached my mid-40's and continued on with lifting etc. things as though I were still 25 and, boom, I developed tendinitis in my elbow (couldn't even carry groceries at that point). Oh the wonders of getting older... Now I am still as active as ever (who else is going to cut the grass etc.) but I have tweaked my approach/method to meet that of my age. But yeah, I am not a one handed shot so I would use the bench-rest at that point until fully recovered.

-Cheers

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