Golfers elbow with swelling....

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by topsltennis, May 28, 2013.

  1. topsltennis

    topsltennis Semi-Pro

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    I have been dealing with moderate inner elbow pain for several months that has now gotten very bad. Forehands and serves are very painful, I have adjusted my contact point on my FH to take the ball with almost a locked elbow, further away than my normal contact point, which seems to cut down on the impact on the inner part of the arm. If I hit a shot too close to my body or late, the pain is crazy, causing me to drop my racquet, etc. Also, I have a big knot, swelling on the inner part of the elbow... it is hard though, almost feels like bone. My concern is the dreaded "Tommy John" injury, which after research is what I'm afraid I'm looking at. I teach for a living, so taking time off is not as easy an option as for some. I am currently without insurance so I haven't had it looked at yet. I'm thinking it may have reached the point where I will have no choice but to either have surgery or take extended time off. Uggh.
     
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  2. NE1for10is?

    NE1for10is? Semi-Pro

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    For sure take time off from tennis until there's no pain, see a doctor, RICE a lot (rest, ice, compression, elevation). When you're pain free and eventually return to tennis, ditch any polyester strings and racquets that have a high stiffness rating and use natural gut.

    stiff racquets + stiff strings = stiff joints
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2013
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  3. topsltennis

    topsltennis Semi-Pro

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    I am very curious though if anyone has any input concerning the swelling on the inside of the elbow, it sort of looks like someone put a golf ball under my skin there.... my right arm is quite larger than my left anyway due to having one handed bh, but until recently with the onset of this pain it looks different there, everyone I show think it doesn't look right
     
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  4. RogueFLIP

    RogueFLIP Semi-Pro

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    Kinda hard to speculate based on just a description.

    I know you said it's hard to take time off because you teach....plus you have no insurance.

    My suggestion is to cash in some favors, perhaps you know a doctor client or someone who can prescribe an MRI or some imaging on the elbow. Get a better idea of what you're dealing with.

    Tell your doctor that you have no insurance, it's affecting work, etc....they may be able to ask the imaging place to get you an MRI at cost which would be a significantly lower out of pocket expense than if you had to pay the regular cash price. These places do these gratis services more than you think, can't hurt to ask.

    Good luck.
     
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  5. NE1for10is?

    NE1for10is? Semi-Pro

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    I've had Golfer's Elbow, which is now gone, but it never swelled up at all the way you're describing. If it's your livelyhood, all the more reason to have a doctor look at it. Better to pay some now and get it healed than have severe and much more costly problems down the road.
     
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  6. topsltennis

    topsltennis Semi-Pro

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    thanks, it's all good advice, i really want to get it looked at...... the pain when my arm is cold is excrutiating, i have to warm up with backhands, even a simple feed is horribly painful, however once i get warm, i can play at a reasonable level; having to be very careful on contact points on my fh, and i can only serve at about 25 %...my buddy i hit with basically everyday as practice noticed like i did today that the swelling seems to be expanding to a larger area down the forearm on the inside of the arm...anyone with anymore insights on this, particularly the 'tommy john' injury and if this sounds like what i'm dealing with, please chime in..l have had numerous bouts with tendonitis type injuries in the wrist previously as well as this elbow a number of times but before but it had always gone away.... this is going on about 5 months, with a marked increase in pain for the last few weeks... thank you
     
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  7. garywsyu

    garywsyu New User

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    Mr. OP, you are really crazy indeed........take time off from tennis at this point of time. I have been suffering both TE and GE since las May. The culprit I believe was the cause of using poly string. I couldn't stop playing since the pain started but fortunately the irritation(both TE/GE) is subsiding gradually. The TE is getting better(still there but very minimal sensation) but the GE is still having me everytime after play. I've tried many suggestions here(tt) but have found the most effective treatment that really fits me is timely massaging on the affected tendon(with pain)and the aid of an electro pulsation device to massage the elbow areas. Both can effectively decrease the pain overnight. Of course, I also have limited my playing frequency to 2-3 times a week. So far so good......wish you would find a solution to accommodate your situation. Good luck pal!!

    Oooh....lastly, an elbow sleeve is also found helpful.....
     
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  8. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

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    Since your livelihood depends on this, you must see the necessity of stopping all tennis activities aside from teaching.


    Are you using an ice elbow sleeve for symptomatic relief?


    Try to find someone in your area with a real expertise in taking care of those with elbow injuries in throwing/hitting athletes.

    You need to see someone for peace of mind
    - hopefully it is not a Tommy John injury [rupture of the ulnar collateral ligament].
    - hopefully a conservative course can be recommended.
    But it will be eating at you until you know what is actually going on.

    Let their office know ahead of time you are not insured.
    See if you can work out a "deal" to pay for the visit for a predetermined amount.
    Offices often set very high fee rates knowing that the insurance company may pay a higher fee if the rate is high, but may be willing to offer you a different rate knowing you don't have any health insurance.
     
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  9. topsltennis

    topsltennis Semi-Pro

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    #9
  10. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

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    There are many causes of elbow pain and swelling. Just because one appears to fit your injury or those of some other forum posters does not make for a diagnosis.

    Another cause of swelling could be an enlarged bursa sack. My friend's was very large, golf ball sized, but did not cause much pain.

    Tennis is rough on your arm especially if you are repeating the same stress that caused the injury in the first place.

    Can you get a ball machine to use with your students to give yourself a break?
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2013
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  11. topsltennis

    topsltennis Semi-Pro

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    ^^ good point, there's really no way to know until I get a professional to look at it... mine is ridiculously painful until the arm warms up, then it's not that bad unless I hit late and/or too close to the body, then it feels like someone is stabbing me in the arm
     
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  12. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

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    Here is a thread on tendon injuries with calcification. I have never had this injury and know nothing about it. Whoops, I now see that you posted this thread.
    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=455675

    Here is a thread about tendonitis (with inflammation) and tendinosis (with defective healing). There is one short British paper and one longer paper discussing the issue.
    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=442912

    I've had golfer's elbow and possibly TE many years ago.

    You may not have a tendon injury or have a combination of injuries. For example, sometimes bursa sack injuries can follow injuries to adjacent tissues.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2013
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  13. topsltennis

    topsltennis Semi-Pro

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    I'm almost sure now this is bursitis. I have a tennis client whose father is a Dr. The wife snapped a picture of my damaged arm and based on the pic, that's what he thinks it is... I also google image searched elbow bursitis and it looks very similar to mine...

    The question is how much tendon damage might be associated with it....

    this is the best article i could find on it
    http://www.tennis-elbow-help.org/elbow-bursitis.html
     
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  14. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    Oh boy, sorry to hear that, that really sucks!

    You just got to really take it easy for awhile.

    One option I can think of is to get someone, a good friend perhaps or even a good HS player (summer break is coming up!), to assist you during your training. They can pass the balls to your clients while you inspect their strokes. You can even put a marketing spin on it, at any rate you need to give your arm rest!

    Good luck!
     
    #14
  15. superdave3

    superdave3 Rookie

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    Obviously, the first thing is to see a professional. In some states, like the one I live in, you can go straight to a physical therapist without a doc's order. I also had GE, and my problem was tendenosis, as Chas Tennis above mentioned. This results is that hard feeling you may be feeling in the tendon area, which is built up scar tissue. If this is the case, the PT has to painfully massage the tendon to get rid of the scar tissue, so new tissue can then form. Without this treatment, the tendon will never regain it's normalcy on it's own. Also, this is something you should not try to do by yourself. You need the professional services of a PT.
    The PT may also find some weakness in the shoulder that could have lead to the condition in the first place, and in that case give you approprite excercise therapy to do. That is what lead to my condition (weak external rotation).
     
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  16. RogueFLIP

    RogueFLIP Semi-Pro

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    There are other manual techniques besides massage that can break up scar tissue that doesn't have to be painful. It's not always no pain, no gain.

    And I agree that initially I wouldn't try something by yourself until you've been instructed by a professional.

    But as a general rule, as long as you listen to your body and don't force anything, you shouldn't injure yourself.
     
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  17. Raidy

    Raidy New User

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    I'm suffering the same problem as you, minus the golfball sized swelling on my elbow. That sounds bad.

    I went to a doctor and he said I didn't have a bone problem but there was nothing much he could do. I got a cortisol injection and he sent me on my way. I've been treating it with RICE ever since, but recently was recommended foam rolling by another professional. There are certain exercises and foam rolling things you could possibly do to help strengthen the region and relieve the symptoms.
     
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  18. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

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    What was the diagnosis?
     
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  19. topsltennis

    topsltennis Semi-Pro

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    the scar tissue angle makes a lot of sense, this isn't my first go around with GE
     
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