Weird issue inside elbow - feels like pulled muscle?

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by SonRK, Sep 26, 2013.

  1. SonRK

    SonRK Rookie

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    Hey all

    http://img41.imageshack.us/img41/9495/3vo1.jpg

    This is a picture of my elbow, I know it's not useful or anything, but I wanted to visualize that it was on the inside portio, and doesnt really feel like on the outside of it

    Anyways, about 2-3 months ago, I attempted a running squash shot on the forehand side since I was pulled in that direction. Had this weird sensation where it felt like I pulled my muscle in that area. Gripping the racquet did not hurt, but attempting to swing it did a bit, and when it hit the ball, it hurt, so I immediately stopped my session, and went home to rest.

    The next day, I didn't feel anything, and then the following day I went ahead and hit with no issue.

    Today, I was hitting a rather intense session (I should note that yesterday I played 2 sets of single, and 2 sets of doubles)

    We started playing a set, and I had to quit after 4 games. I got the same sensation again. I did attempt several running squash shots, so I don't know if they're related. I usually don't hit those kinds of shots ever, but my partner today really pulled me out wide on the forehand side, so I did several attempts.

    Stopped immediately and after about 30 minutes the pain subsided that I decided to hit a few puff balls (like 3) with minimal pain. Obviously decided that was wrong, went home, and now I am icing the inside of my elbow at home. I plan to take a few days off, but can anyone shed some light on what it could be?

    The feeling is more like a muscle trying to cramp. That's what I could related it to. As I type this right now and move it around/stretch I don't feel anything .

    -edit- http://img90.imageshack.us/img90/5121/id7e.jpg Here is where I believe the pain was, like I said, it subsided really quickly once I just stopped hitting so I cannot pinpoint anymore
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2013
    #1
  2. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

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    Misc. Information

    Detailed video with the muscles/tendons of the forearm
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjIab-huqgU&list=PLA42AC7FBC0B31765&index=18

    Find videos or descriptions also of the elbow ligaments, UCL, upper arm muscles and tendons, and the nerves that pass through the elbow. The nerves get pinched, etc.. Other injuries...?..

    Search: squash injuries or common squash injuries or common tennis injuries

    Get a large number of Google pictures on any subject. Search: elbow pain pictures

    Evaluation of Overuse Elbow Injuries
    http://www.aafp.org/afp/2000/0201/p691.html

    John Hopkins Sports Clinic links for common injuries. See UCL, baseball pitching, elbow, etc.
    http://www.hopkinsortho.org/conditions_diseases.html

    Biomechanics of the elbow joint in tennis players and relation to pathology
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2465285/

    If a tendon injury (and probably most other injuries) you should not stress it as you risk chronic tendinosis if you interfere with the early healing. Other injuries are probably the same.

    Use the above for your research. There are many possible injuries.

    See a Dr for a diagnosis and treatment.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2013
    #2
  3. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    I'm guessing that you partially tore your distal bicep tendon.

    http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00376

    I tore mine last year playing tennis (swung hard at a ball, wind was blowing it away from me; straightened my arm violently). When I did this, I had partially torn my tendon. It felt "funny" when I did it. Hurt a bit. Nothing major. Sort of like a weak electric shock. I continued playing for an hour or so. Didn't think much of it.

    Next day in the gym, I was doing an exercise I had done many times. Heard a "pop". That nearly tore the tendon off the bone (and it actually didn't hurt at all and I had no idea what had happened). Fully tore it off the bone later that week (playing tennis). The full tear hurt. Like a strong electric shock (as the tendon which is stretched, was broken, much like a rubber band). It throbbed for the next day or two. Opening a door, starting my car, etc was impossible. When I had only partially torn the tendon, I had no noticeable effects. Heck, that day in the gym, I continued with my workout.

    Anyway, a partial tear can be really tough for a doctor to confirm, even with an MRI. And as the article says, it can't heal on its own (the torn part can never grow back into the bone). It will either stay as a partial tear, or get worse, until it eventually tears off the bone.

    But what you describe (squash shot on the run) tells me that you had to straighten your arm quickly and violently. Exactly how you tear your bicep tendon.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2013
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  4. SonRK

    SonRK Rookie

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    Okay, so originally your message said turn a knob, I did and I didn't feel anything, but with your new edited message, it seems to be more likely.

    Especially since that pretty much describes what I did, moving to forehand side, straightened my arm SUPER quickly to hit, and then re-position.

    So if this really is the issue (I know I need to go to a doctor and get fully evaluated) it looks like surgery is the cure? Damn.
     
    #4
  5. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

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    Illustrated reference on the arm and its injuries.

    There are many structures and injuries around the elbow.

    http://www.uta.edu/faculty/lfincher/Elbow, Forearm, Wrist, Hand.pdf

    Does a torn biceps tendon cause pain? I'm not familiar with the UCL and its injuries but it is commonly injured by high stresses at the elbow.

    Many injuries take a much longer time to heal - months - than what we have experienced or expect. Playing on it simply when it seems OK or may not hurt too badly can lead to chronic injury because you are stressing the same tissue, in the same place, by the same excess forces that caused the injury in the first place.

    You need to see a well qualified Dr to get a firm diagnosis and to tell you what to do.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2013
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  6. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    I edited the message remembering that, if you tore the tendon, it's a partial tear. It probably won't hurt. Just going by what you did and where you feel it, it sounds very similar to what I did, (partial tear).

    The bummer is, the doctor probably won't be able to diagnose a soft tissue problem. I really doubt a doctor will diagnose this as a partial distal bicep tendon tear for two reasons. First, tearing this tendon is pretty rare. Second, if you tear it, you will normally tear it completely. Partial tears are even less common. They will be very hesitant to order an MRI (too expensive). And even if they do, it will be hard to see a partial tear. And even if they diagnose this, they probably won't consider surgery until you tear it completely.

    But as Chas says, there are lots of things it could be. Definitely a good idea to get it evaluated by a well qualified doctor. If it is a partial tendon tear, resting isn't going to help, and really, playing isn't going to hurt. When I fully tore mine (on a Saturday), I called in and asked what I should do. Doc told me to do anything I felt like doing. I wasn't going to do any more damage. Obviously you might tear your tendon more and more, but it isn't like you can just baby your arm for the rest of your life.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2013
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  7. SonRK

    SonRK Rookie

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    So I haven't played at all despite a few invitations and such.

    I formed a small tiny bruise on the inside of my elbow !

    http://img18.imageshack.us/img18/9816/1it4.jpg

    The only thing at all strenuous I did yesterday was open a tightly closed jar, and go out to a bar and hold mugs of beer!

    So bizarre
     
    #7
  8. mattavery24

    mattavery24 Rookie

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    I tore my ucl playing baseball and you will definitely feel a pop and when I did mine, it went numb for a little bit. Through doing rehab before surgery I was able to do basically anything except throw a baseball. The ucl is a ligament that shouldn't hurt unless you are moving your arm at high rates of speed. After tommy John surgery my elbow feels great and I have no pain even playing with a stiff racquet and poly strings. You will be able to tell if it's torn, the pain should be excruciating trying to throw or serve. A contrast MRI should be able to show if it is torn. Mine was a complete tear and was very visible on MRI.
     
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  9. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    I think we've narrowed it down to either muscle, tendon, or ligament. (Unless someone wants to chime in with a broken bone option) :)

    Isn't the internet wonderful?
     
    #9
  10. SonRK

    SonRK Rookie

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    Heh, I know I need to go to an ortho, but I am in the process of changing insurance, and it will be ready for November 1st.

    Anyways, I went out there and played today. Really focused on using more of my core, hip rotation, etc. to keep the ball deep as opposed of too much arming the ball. Pretty eye-opening experience. Pretty deep balls (but didn't penetrate as much as slapping the ball would), and I lost my practice match pretty terribly, but I wasn't too depressed about it.

    Was happy to just go out there and play.

    If it's the distal bicep tendon, then I'll try to prevent any rapid straightening of my arm, and focus more on them topspinny shots
     
    #10

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