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tendonitis of 'ze elbow ...

 
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Digimon
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Joined: 01 May 2003
Posts: 168
Location: Austin, Texas

PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2004 12:39 am GMT +0000    Post subject: tendonitis of 'ze elbow ... Reply with quote

Hi Doc Nolan:

First - I feel a bit cheap hittin' on you for free professional advice, but .. I can explain - my brother's been pursuing our geneology (?sp?) for a while, and recently discovered that we have some Scottish blood in us ...

Second - We missed Warda this year - the first time in about 5 or 6 years, and I hated that that happened ..... Long story made short - Kristin is a Sophomore in high school, and I got caught up in so much volunteer stuff (photography-related ... close to 19,000 pics from the fall and another 10,000 since Christmas) that the rest of life has just about ground to a halt. I really missed the tall pines and manicured pastures of your spread.

A few years ago, I was diagnosed with "tennis elbow". But, I don't play tennis - it came about when I started doing alot of road biking. I think it has something to do with the way I clench the handlebar during sprints and climbs. If I remember correctly, I was given a perscription for an anti-inflammatory (?celebrix?) and for physical therapy. And I was warned that the second worst-case scenario could be a cortizone injection and the worst case scenario .... surgery. I finished the celbrix, skipped the physical therapy, and have spent a few years waiting for it to get better ... During periods of inactivity (such as settin' in front of the computer, processing 100's to 1000's of pics from an event shoot), it bothers me very little - only when I try to lift a full 16 oz's at arm's length. But, it takes very little for it to flare up. I recently shot 8 consecutive high school lacrosse games over a 2-week period of time, with a kind-of heavy, telescoping zoom lens. That did me in ... I can't even lift 12 oz's at arm's length now ....

I have a problem with needles. I almost passed out when they stuck me for my blood test for our marriage certificate 21 years ago. I've gotten a bit better with time, but not much ...

The grand finale to my long-winded question ... any magical exercises or herbal remedies that you know of that might fix this up for me without involving needles or scapels?

thanks
js
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The Bike Doc
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Joined: 08 May 2003
Posts: 1371
Location: Corpus Christi and Warda, Texas

PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2004 5:52 am GMT +0000    Post subject: Reply with quote

JS:

Sarah and I missed seeing you and Kristen at the Warda Race. I haven't missed one in 14 years. Very Happy

The tendonitis of your elbow sounds quite serious. I would recommend getting back to the doctor for a re-evaluation and a PT referral. You may benefit from some non-needle intervention still. Rest needs to be in your immediate treatment plans three weeks ago if not sooner. You cannot get the tendonitis to settle down without resting the arm. You could also benefit from using an arm sling to force you to rest the arm. Severe tendonitis is sometimes managed with splinting or casting to mandate a rest period to allow it to heal. Massaging and deep tissue ultrasound from the Physical Therapist can also help your tendonitis heal. BTW you now have a doctor’s order to back off on the volunteering and allow your arm to heal. It will do you no good to continue to shoot pictures if you continue to hurt your arm and force you to the needles and the knife.

As far as herbal remedies for tendonitis, I cannot recommend any. There are some herbals (such as willow bark) that contain salicylic acid which is an effective anti-inflammatory but there are problems with dosage amount and well know side effects that can occur often, gastric bleeding and persistent ringing in the ears, once you get adequate anti-inflammatory activity. The common name for salicylic acid is Aspirin.

You have read it before, but I will repeat it again, switch from a conventional road bike to a recumbent bike, preferable one with underseat steering to allow your arms to rest in a neutral position at your side while riding the roads. If you are willing to spend some money, you can get an extremely FAST underseat steering recumbent made out of titanium from Reynolds Weld Lab http://www.reynoldsweldlabs.com/ called the T-bone. Check out http://www.bentrideronline.com/ for some serious enlightenment about recumbents. You should also look seriously at recumbent trikes with under seat steering. One very popular model is also one of the faster and more affordable models out their called the Catrike Speed, http://www.catrike.com/ You also have another doctor's order you can take to your wife, "Honey, Doc says I have to get a new bike!"

I hope this information helps.


Thanks,
_________________
Paul K. Nolan, MD
AKA: The Bike Doc
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Digimon
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Joined: 01 May 2003
Posts: 168
Location: Austin, Texas

PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2004 9:44 pm GMT +0000    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the advice, Dr. Nolan. One last question: just out of curiousity, having sort of lived with and deferred this issue for some time now, what are the possible results/consequences of deferral to date and of continued deferral of problems such as this tendonitis or other tendon-related issues, such as carpel tunnel?
- js
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The Bike Doc
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Joined: 08 May 2003
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Location: Corpus Christi and Warda, Texas

PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2004 6:29 am GMT +0000    Post subject: Reply with quote

JS:

Unchecked tendonitis can lead to a ruptured tendon requiring significant surrgical intervention. Additional complications include progressive swelling of the tendon, worsening pain and reduction of range of motion of the involved joint and in a worse case senerio it can lead to the down fall of an empire (see Greek Mythology). Wink

Thanks,
_________________
Paul K. Nolan, MD
AKA: The Bike Doc


Last edited by The Bike Doc on Fri May 14, 2004 10:27 am GMT +0000; edited 1 time in total
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Digimon
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Joined: 01 May 2003
Posts: 168
Location: Austin, Texas

PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2004 6:35 am GMT +0000    Post subject: Reply with quote

okay - thanks again. Loosing my empire is a pretty scary thought - I'd better get it taken care of Smile
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