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Friday, October 31, 2008

What can I do for chronic tennis elbow?

I have a chronic case of tennis elbow for which I was treated about 18 months ago with a cortisone shot into the elbow area. The pain resolved but returned about 9 months later due to repetive motions (mostly golf but I must admit also playing video games). About 4 months ago I had a second shot but the pain did not completely resolve, I would say it was about 80% better, though the pain was bad enough before the shot that it would wake me at night.

Over the last month the pain has steadily increased and I thought about seeing my sports doctor again, but I was getting nervous about the side effects of these shots. I found your site and was more than a bit shocked that I did not know about these dangers caused by deterioration of the bones, tissue, etc.

My question is, so far, only the shots have seemed to help. I do the stretches, wear a band on my arm when I play golf and I generally try to go easy on it but I also work at a desk and type all day which also seems to aggravate it. What can I do, in terms of stretches, supplements, etc. that I haven't been doing, or need to do more of, in order to relieve the pain?

Gary replies:
The flexor and extensor muscles of the forearm are most likely to be very tight and probably have sore knotts in them.  The point of pain at the elbow may be inflamed and probably thickened with some gristle.

The best treatment is some form of deep tissue massage of the obvoius area sof pain, lumpiness and thickening, as well as the whole of the lower and upper arm.  Those areas affected and not affected.  This shoudl include the wrist, hands and fingers even if there is no discomfort.

Some areas may be acutely painful at first but should ease as the massage proceeds.  It would take about an hour to have both arms completed.

This should be repeated every week for 4-8 weeks by which time significant relief should be obvious.  Continue with this therapy untill 100% and have followup sessions every now and then.

I believe that adequate nutrition is essential to ensure the healing processes are up to the job between each session.  If not, then there will be only partial relief.  Nutrition should centre on minerals (Principally silica and calium flouride), the fat soluble vitamins, protein and essential fatty acids.  If you complete the Active Elements Assessment and supply all the additional information requested, I can assist in more detail since the best diet advice is that which is tailored for the individual, rather than a one-size-fits-all set of guidelines.

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