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View Full Version : How much heating to heal Tennis Elbow/Golfer's Elbow?


yemenmocha
12-02-2009, 01:59 PM
Assuming rest from tennis and no significant pain, how often would you treat your elbow with heat?

Heating blanket wrapped around it?
Other device?

How long?
How many times per day?

Thanks

LeeD
12-02-2009, 02:14 PM
Heat is good to get blood moving, but you need ice to alternate with the heat to reduce the swelling, it seems.
Don't bet on heat alone to cure any type of pain. TE's are not remotely the same for everyone.

lawlitssoo1n
12-02-2009, 02:28 PM
ice/heat right away after i play. i put bengay on my knees and put a wrap over it and go to sleep.

yemenmocha
12-02-2009, 03:50 PM
It's not for the pain. I rarely have any (but I'm not playing tennis, just doing my PT exercises and resting).

I want it to heal.

86golf
12-02-2009, 04:55 PM
I think it comes down to your self diagnosis. If you believe that you have tendonitis (inflammation) then ice is best. If you think you have tendonosis (micro tears and scar tissue) then I think heat is better. I'm getting better results from heat. I iced for a couple mos with little success and I think the heat is helping get those tendons lengthened and more flexible. I wrap a heating pad around and use two straps(one TE strap and one patella strap) on either side of the elbow to maintain pressure and good contact. I'll do it about 3 times per day for 15-20 mins and then I'll do my stretching routine immediately after the heat.

I just started using a consumer grade ultrasound but haven't noticed any change from that yet. Just a couple days into it.

yemenmocha
12-02-2009, 05:51 PM
Thanks, 86golf. I'd love to hear about your progress.

86golf
12-07-2009, 06:10 PM
Thanks, 86golf. I'd love to hear about your progress.

I've discontinued all my therapies except the Ultrasound. I've found that you need to set the Ultrasound to "pulse" to get the healing benefit. Constant wave just heats the tendon and could inflam it more. Getting good results after about a week of use. First couple days I saw no improvement. Played doubles tonight with Zero pain during and after. I think I'll have a scotch to celebrate.

mikeler
12-08-2009, 04:25 AM
I have no pain anymore from my GE and triceps tendinitis. So I went and hit for a few minutes on Sunday morning. My elbow only hurt on mishits with no problems at all on volleys. That is when I decided to try some serves which is where the pain has always been worst. 3 of the 4 serves I experienced a decent amount of pain, so I stopped.

Back to the question. I'm alternating between one icing a day and one heating a day because that is the last recommendation I got from my chiropractor. I stopped doing ultrasound and electrostimulation since I'm pain free except when I serve.

jazzyfunkybluesy
12-08-2009, 05:52 AM
Ice and heat on alternating days works best for me too.

86golf
12-08-2009, 11:10 AM
I have no pain anymore from my GE and triceps tendinitis. So I went and hit for a few minutes on Sunday morning. My elbow only hurt on mishits with no problems at all on volleys. That is when I decided to try some serves which is where the pain has always been worst. 3 of the 4 serves I experienced a decent amount of pain, so I stopped.

Back to the question. I'm alternating between one icing a day and one heating a day because that is the last recommendation I got from my chiropractor. I stopped doing ultrasound and electrostimulation since I'm pain free except when I serve.

Does the serving motion hurt, or striking the ball when serving? When I was stage IV of tendonitis, I could do the serving motion but as soon as I tried to hit a ball, it felt like a 16 penny nail was hammered into the bottom of my elbow. Can you do the pronation exercise with a pipe wrench or hammer pain free?
Have you ruled out any ulner nerve issues?
I had about a week period where I could play tennis but not able to hit serves or overheads. Took me about two more weeks of physical therapy to serve pain free.

yemenmocha
12-08-2009, 11:17 AM
There are stages?

mikeler
12-08-2009, 11:39 AM
Does the serving motion hurt, or striking the ball when serving? When I was stage IV of tendonitis, I could do the serving motion but as soon as I tried to hit a ball, it felt like a 16 penny nail was hammered into the bottom of my elbow. Can you do the pronation exercise with a pipe wrench or hammer pain free?
Have you ruled out any ulner nerve issues?
I had about a week period where I could play tennis but not able to hit serves or overheads. Took me about two more weeks of physical therapy to serve pain free.


The motion does not hurt. If I do a mock serve with no racket in my hand there is no pain. What is the pronation exercise? Don't know what an ulner nerve is so I'll have to examine that too. I've undergone 3 weeks of therapy to be able to hit groundstrokes again. Maybe I'll pick it back up again for 2 more weeks to see if I have the same type of results.

princemidplus
12-08-2009, 11:52 AM
hope the PT gave you stretches to do as well as soft tissue work. tennis elbow is different from ulnar nerve injuries. TE involves radial nerve.

mikeler
12-08-2009, 11:55 AM
hope the PT gave you stretches to do as well as soft tissue work. tennis elbow is different from ulnar nerve injuries. TE involves radial nerve.


I have GE and triceps tendinitis.

princemidplus
12-09-2009, 09:47 AM
triceps tendonitis cannot be fun. Have you tried slow eccentric strengthening exercises? This would be like concentrating on the lowering of your body in a push up position slowly. Then return to starting position without too much strain.

For GE it is different as this is an overuse injury more than likely rather than a strained irritation. Stretches and frictions (deep firm tendon massage) would be useful.

Good luck in recovery

PS: I'm a PT myself

mikeler
12-09-2009, 09:56 AM
triceps tendonitis cannot be fun. Have you tried slow eccentric strengthening exercises? This would be like concentrating on the lowering of your body in a push up position slowly. Then return to starting position without too much strain.

For GE it is different as this is an overuse injury more than likely rather than a strained irritation. Stretches and frictions (deep firm tendon massage) would be useful.

Good luck in recovery

PS: I'm a PT myself


I'll be back doing ultrasound/electrostimulation this afternoon. The triceps thing happened a year ago on a serve I tried to hit too hard. My forearm felt weird after that event too but I did not get the GE until a few months ago, probably because I changed my form to lessen the pain on my serve. Now the triceps thing seems to be gone and the GE is what I need to get rid of. I plan on some light hitting again this weekend for 30 minutes. Just gotta take it slow, not much else I can do since I've already tried the cortisone pills once.

dlk
12-09-2009, 01:45 PM
I once had a massive bout of elbow/tendonitis problems. Tried all the above ICE, total rest from tennis, PT, etc...What worked for me was like an $8 elbow brace that covered distal bicep to superior radius (~14cm long that engulfs elbow); two straps to secure. I went from escruciating pain w/serve one day to playing next day at about 90% & pain free w/soft brace/wrap. I wore it for about 3 weeks til 100%, but I lked the way it felt so much, I wear everytime I remember to put it on, to this day.

yemenmocha
12-09-2009, 05:43 PM
I once had a massive bout of elbow/tendonitis problems. Tried all the above ICE, total rest from tennis, PT, etc...What worked for me was like an $8 elbow brace that covered distal bicep to superior radius (~14cm long that engulfs elbow); two straps to secure. I went from escruciating pain w/serve one day to playing next day at about 90% & pain free w/soft brace/wrap. I wore it for about 3 weeks til 100%, but I lked the way it felt so much, I wear everytime I remember to put it on, to this day.

Glad that the strap-on made you feel good so easily. I wish the rest of us could experience those results.

morten
12-10-2009, 01:33 AM
took me about 18 months..

dlk
12-10-2009, 02:58 AM
Glad that the strap-on made you feel good so easily. I wish the rest of us could experience those results.

Yeah, intially it was some moderate tendonitits, but during a hard flat serve I felt my elbow hyperextend. From weaknees & pain I thought tennis was over for the summer. But the brace did the trick, lucky I guess, or it just supported site of injury perfect. Always healed faster than others it seems.

mikeler
12-10-2009, 04:18 AM
Yeah, intially it was some moderate tendonitits, but during a hard flat serve I felt my elbow hyperextend. From weaknees & pain I thought tennis was over for the summer. But the brace did the trick, lucky I guess, or it just supported site of injury perfect. Always healed faster than others it seems.


Do you have a link for this brace? I'll try anything!

dlk
12-10-2009, 07:40 AM
Do you have a link for this brace? I'll try anything!

I got it at Wal-Mart. When I get home I'll post/list the brand.

dlk
12-10-2009, 02:06 PM
It's called a Mueller Green. [url]http://www.muellersportsmed.com

86golf
12-10-2009, 02:15 PM
There are stages?

If I remember correctly, my pt listed these:
Stage 1-slight pain after tennis
Stage 2-slight pain during activity, pain after
Stage 3-significant pain during activity and after
Stage 4-pain 24/7 with or without activity

I'm back to stage 2 but I continue to play. I'm on a week break right now.
I'd be curious to know how many players have stage 1 or 2.

mikeler
12-10-2009, 02:24 PM
I'll check it out, thanks.

BreakPoint
12-10-2009, 08:14 PM
It's called a Mueller Green. [url]http://www.muellersportsmed.com
I went to that website but did not see an elbow product called "Mueller Green". Do you have a product number? Thanks.

dlk
12-11-2009, 03:04 AM
When you're on the "home page," click on "Sports Care@Retail" page; then on right side there are site links for various products. Mueller Green is there (left column, towards bottom). The "green" is just a treehugger style (made w/recycle-friendly materials). I had no idea that's what the "green" met til I went & saw it on the website. I'm guessing the other braces would work, but let me say mine places the tightening-velcro straps at upper forearm & lower upper arm, cupping the elbow; I'd noticed the tighter the more secure my elbow felt & really did not affect my game or strokes.

mikeler
12-11-2009, 04:36 AM
I see wrist, knee, back and ankle products but nothing for the elbow?

Is this it?

http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=12444337

dlk
12-11-2009, 05:38 AM
I see wrist, knee, back and ankle products but nothing for the elbow?

Is this it?

http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=12444337

Yes, that's it.

mikeler
12-11-2009, 05:43 AM
Looks about the same size as a neoprene band I used for awhile which helped a little by heating up the area.

dlk
12-11-2009, 06:11 AM
[/QUOTE=mikeler;4188494]Looks about the same size as a neoprene band I used for awhile which helped a little by heating up the area.[/QUOTE]

There is some heating, just from the wrap, but the actual support is what helped me. It was a shot-in-the-dark attempt to fix my severe injury, so I am still amazed that something less than $10 worked so effectively. Tighten that badboy up & you should be able to play w/o pain & will gradually heal as if you were not playing; actually, I healed faster playing with brace, than I did when I did not play at all, to attempt to rest it.

mikeler
12-11-2009, 06:21 AM
I'll be at Walmart this weekend!

dlk
12-11-2009, 07:01 AM
I'll be at Walmart this weekend!

Good Luck. I hope it works for you like it did me:) I even had pain down to my wrist & resolved.

mikeler
12-11-2009, 07:06 AM
I never had pain in the forearm or wrist, just the inner forearm bone and my triceps tendon.

dlk
12-11-2009, 07:09 AM
I never had pain in the forearm or wrist, just the inner forearm bone and my triceps tendon.

Yeah, that's where mine was worse, as well as outer elbow tendons/ligaments.

BreakPoint
12-11-2009, 11:24 AM
When you're on the "home page," click on "Sports Care@Retail" page; then on right side there are site links for various products. Mueller Green is there (left column, towards bottom). The "green" is just a treehugger style (made w/recycle-friendly materials). I had no idea that's what the "green" met til I went & saw it on the website. I'm guessing the other braces would work, but let me say mine places the tightening-velcro straps at upper forearm & lower upper arm, cupping the elbow; I'd noticed the tighter the more secure my elbow felt & really did not affect my game or strokes.
Oh, OK, thanks. I found the page but they don't list the green elbow brace at the bottom, just 4 other joint braces. I guess that's why the green elbow brace didn't show up on the page with all of their other elbow braces? I wonder if it's discontinued? :(

Edit: Now I see that they sell it at Wal-Mart. Thanks.

morten
12-11-2009, 12:53 PM
If I remember correctly, my pt listed these:
Stage 1-slight pain after tennis
Stage 2-slight pain during activity, pain after
Stage 3-significant pain during activity and after
Stage 4-pain 24/7 with or without activity

I'm back to stage 2 but I continue to play. I'm on a week break right now.
I'd be curious to know how many players have stage 1 or 2.

i am at stage 1 mostly, sometimes 2... still play... had TE bad 3-4 years ago..