The Cure for Golfers Elbow (Medial Epicondylitis)

EDIT March: Wow, I never expected this post to get so busy. I’ve just checked and 18,000 people have visited this page in the last 12 months! That’s a lot of elbow pain. However I wrote this post 3 years ago and have learnt more about how to cure golfer’s elbow since then, so have written an update. Please do read this post, and/or comments, but I have summarised and updated all of the below in my new post entitled: The Golfers Elbow Treatments & Exercises That Cured Me. Check it out for 3 more years of my research and experience.


Yep, my Golfers Elbow is holding up nicely in the face of many exercises! So I thought a round up of my treatment for Golfers Elbow was in order, including the exercises I’ve been doing etc. Sorry this is a monster post, but it’s the culmination of 6 months of my life.

A quick recap first: I have been suffering with Golfers Elbow (or Medial Epicondylitis if you prefer) ever since I banged my elbow at my brothers stag do back in September 2007. It got progressively worse over the latter quarter of 2007, culminating in me stopping attendance at my local Crossfit Gym at the end of Jan 2008. The reason was that I wanted to concentrate solely on the cure for Golfers Elbow and getting better as fast as possible, as it was just getting worse. Now 4 months on, I’m well enough to go back, woot!

So, how did I do it?

The first point to note is that I tried many different Golfers Elbow treatments (pretty much all of them in fact), so I can’t say if any one was the definitive “cure” or not. All I can do is take you through the list and explain the effects, the following is in roughly chronological order.

1) Complete Rest

The first thing I did was totally stop doing anything that hurt. None of this “work through it” lark which I had been doing for 3 months. To my annoyance, that meant no more Crossfit. I did try for a bit, but soon got bored with just doing sit ups, box jumps and squats (I couldn’t even do weighted squats, just holding the bar on my shoulders hurt!).

2) Physiotherapy – Ultrasound

In the end I’ve been to 3 different physios and had 3 different sets of treatment. The first made the interesting comment that most cases of Golfers Elbow she saw, didn’t actually occur in golfers! (She also noted the same thing about Tennis Elbow.) The first trick up her sleave was an ultrasound machine, designed to promote healing somehow. I think the thing could have been turned off for all I know, didn’t really notice much apart from possibly my elbow getting hot, but that could have been from the constant manipulation of the ultrasound probe on my elbow. I had 5 x 10 min treatments of this over 5 weeks.

3) Physiotherapy – Interferon

I’m not sure this is the scientific name for it, it’s what the physio called it. This one requires pads stuck to your arm and the frequency sweep artificially activates your muscles, this one you definitely notice! Lot’s of tingling and making my whole arm twitch and move, it was quite uncomfortable at points. Very odd and very strange, there was definite movement of the elbow components, once can only hope that was a good thing. I had 5 x 10 min treatments of this over 5 weeks, at the same sessions as the Ultrasound.

4) Physiotherapy – 10 min Massage

At the same time as the Ultrasound and Interferon treatment, I had a short 10 minute elbow and arm massage. Now like the next man, I normally like getting a massage, not this one! I was poked and prodded and many many painful ways. It certainly hurt and manipulated things. 5 x 10 mins over 5 weeks again.

The argument for all these physio treatments, was to get blood into the epicondyle tendons. Apparently the blood supply to tendons is generally poor and so helping to get new blood in, aids the healing process… To be honest, that sounds like bolox to me, I’m not convinced that blood effectively sits stagnating in any blood vessel, and requires manipulation to replace it, would love for someone to tell me otherwise?

5) First Stretching Exercise

colin-mcnulty-golfers-elbow-stretchHere was the first exercise I tried, designed to stretch the epicondyle tendons: place your hands flat on a table, twisted 180 degrees to the outside so that your fingers are pointing at your body. (So twist your right hand clockwise, and your left hand anti-clockwise.) Make sure your whole hand is flat on the table, from fingers to the heel of your palm. Now by leaning back away from the table, you will feel your whole forearm muscles and tendons stretch. Stretch them as much as you can comfortably do and hold for 30 seconds. I did this 5 times a day for several months (both arms for consistency and a control test).

6) CT Cream off the internet

Around this time I was casting about the net looking for alleged Golfers Elbow cures, and stumbled on something called CT Cream, which is a herbal cream full of the right vitamins etc that promote healing. I found lots of nice testimonials from people who claimed it had cured them. At about £15 I figured it was worth a shot and bought some off eBay. I dutifully applied this stuff twice a day for about 6 weeks… and noticed nothing. There was not miraculous cure, nor even much improvement over the time period.

It occurred to me afterwards (duh!) that there is of course no regulation to buying “medicine” off eBay, and it could have been repackaged Nivea skin cream for all I knew. Either way, I don’t recommend it and I’ve subsequently spoken to other epicondylitis suffers who tried it, with similar non-existent results.

7) Band-It forearm Band

This was recommended to me by several people on a CrossFit forum in the States. you can get it from Amazon here. At first I wore it during the day all day, and didn’t notice a huge amount of difference. Getting the tension right is tricky: just tight enough so that it doesn’t fall off, but not so tight that it pinches. The issue of course is that the cross section of your forearm changes, depending on what you’re doing with it.

I wore it list this for several weeks, then back on the forum, the guy who’d recommended it said it only started to make a difference for him when he started wearing it 24/7. So I started wearing it at night too. That took a LOT of getting used to, but I did wear it day and night for about 2 months in total. One of the physios I saw pointed out that wrapping something around an appendage and going to sleep was not a good idea! To be fair, I nearly lost a finger like that one Christmas, but that’s another story!

How the BandIt band is meant to work is still out for debate, I’ve heard 2 explanations: A) It relives the pressure on your tendons, allowing it to heal. B) It constantly stretches your tendons (seeming the polar opposite to (A)) which means that normal use is easier. All I can say is, it was around the time that I started wearing it day and night, that I first started to notice an improvement in my elbow. Not much, but some. Each week didn’t seem to hurt quite as much as the last.

It was late March I think and I had started to turn the corner.

8 ) Acupuncture

Around the same time, my first physio recommended that I try acupuncture. Clearly things were not improving very fast and acupuncture does seem to work for many people. I’ve always shied away from it in the past, chi and energy lines and stuff, just doesn’t fit too well with my western scientific mind. However I was prepared to give anything a try (see CT Cream above for example) so had 2 acupuncture sessions in the end.

If you read my posts at the time, you’ll know that acupuncture hurts! Well it did for me. Maybe it was because it was in the arm, wrist and elbow and I had to look at it, I don’t know. I do know that I soon learnt that when the (now 2nd) physio said “Does it hurt?” I had better reply “Yes, that’s a sharp pain.” or she’d come and grind those needles in further until she was sure they did! When the 2nd session left me with debilitating pain for the rest of the day, I called it quits on the acupuncture front, and was glad of it. My verdict: Acupuncture is an exercise in pain only and a waste of time for treating golfers elbow.

9) Physiotherapy – Remedial Massage

Now on to my 3rd physio, I started going for weekly remedial massage. These were 30 min sessions of massage (3x what I was doing with the first physio) and didn’t hurt quite as much. Whereas the first physio enjoyed really shoving her fingers into areas of pain, this remedial massage was of a slightly more therapeutic nature. Did they help? I have no idea, but I did enjoy them. Certainly the most enjoyable of all the physios I visited. I went 4 times over a 3 week period and (in combination with the exercises below) each week felt better than that last.

10) Golfers Elbow Exercises

Along with keeping up with the stretching, the 3rd physio gave me a list of exercises to do twice a day. The regime was this:

  • Heat the elbow with a wheat bag for 10 minutes
  • With an empty dumbbell bar (weights 1.5kg) do 10 palm up wrist curls, with back of forearm resting on your leg and hand jutting out past your knee.
  • Reverse the hand so palm is down, and do 10 reverse wrist curls i.e. back of hand is raised, again forearm rests on leg.
  • Keep the arm resting on your lef, grasp the dumbbell bar at one end, and tilt the bar back and forth from the horizontal on the left, through 180 degrees, to the horizontal on the right, and return. Do that 10 times.
  • Setting the dumbbell bar aside, form a circle with the tips of your fingers (make your hand like a claw) and wrap an elastic band around the outside of your finger tips. Now try to stretch the elastic band by spreading your fingers out wide, maintaining the circular shape. Do this 10 times.
  • End by cooling the elbow with an ice cube.

These exercises were tough to start with, but I soon moved up from 2 rounds of 10 of each exercise, to 3 rounds of 10, then 3 rounds of 15, all twice a day still. I also did all this with my good left arm too, partly as a control test and partly so that I was exercising my body evenly. I actually soon ditched the final icing of the elbow, which was far too uncomfortable, with a 2nd heating with the wheat bag.

These exercises were done twice a day all through April and May. I also added another once I had worked up to 3 x 15 of each:

  • Tie some string round the middle of the dumbbell bar and wind up about a meter of it, like a yo-yo. At the other end, tie a weight. I used a 1.25 kg weight and that was more than enough!
  • Grab the dumbbell bar at each end with both hands, and just by moving your wrists, unwind the weight (you may need to stand for this) until all the string is paid out and the weight is at the bottom.
  • Now keep winding with your wrists in the same direction so that the string winds on the other way and the weight rises up from the floor to your hands. This is surprisingly hard!
  • Finally reverse the process completely.
  • Do this for every round of the above set of exercises, so 3x in total, twice a day.

Golfers Elbow ExercisesEDIT: These may have got me on the right track, but I eventually found what I credit with my curing golfer’s elbow: which was Todd Scott’s golfer’s elbow exercise videos and book. It applies for tennis elbow as well as golfer’s elbow because they conditions are very similar (it says Tennis Elbow solution simply because more people get tennis elbow than golfers elbow) but it’s much much cheaper than paying for expensive physios! I highly recommend it.

11) The Zone Diet

Throughout all this I’ve been on the Zone Diet, which if you believe the hype is a naturally anti-inflamatory diet. I can’t tell you that it made a difference but I can provide 1 bit of evidence: at Easter, I basically threw the diet out of the window for 2 weeks (hey, it was Easter!) due mostly to the consumption of large quantities of chocolate. And yes, it DID make a difference, I definitely noticed that my elbow felt worse during those 2 weeks, until I went back on the diet. Coincidence? Maybe, but I’m a Zone Diet convert, so I’m not so sure.

12) Fish Oil Supplements

I also take a high dose of fish oil regularly. That’s 2.5g of high grade, super refined, EPA/DHA per day. Note not 2.5g of gross Fish Oil, but 2.5g of the good stuff in it, the EPA and DHA. For most high street off the shelf fish oil, that would be about 10 capsules a day, because it’s such poor quality. In fact, I can’t find anywhere in England that sells stuff I’m happy to take, so I import mine from America. And the funny thing is, it’s actually cheaper that off the shelf stuff here!

Anyway I can’t say that it made a difference or not. I did try upping the dose to 5g per day for 2 weeks but didn’t notice any change. I include it here for the sake of completeness. I personally believe that fish oil is an important part of our diet, fundamental to our evolution into homo sapians and vital to long term health, but that’s the subject of another post some time.

Finally Getting Better

Throughout April and May, I was definitely getting better. Each week I noticed my elbow hurting less and less just in normal use, and when doing the movements that would always bring me pain (making a fist was a good typical one) it took more effort to induce pain in the elbow than before. But what was the Cure for Golfers Elbow?

If you speak to people who’ve had medial epicondylitis, or read up about it on the web, you’ll find 2 interesting facts:

  • Everyone eventually gets better, whether that be 6 months or 18 months later.
  • There is no consensus on a golfers elbow cure.

So here’s my take on it: If you have golfers elbow, providing you don’t continue to aggravate it, you will get better… eventually. There are several things you can do to help the healing process. It’s likely, that when you do decided you’re fixed and the treatment has worked, whatever you were doing last, will be what you reckon cured you. For me, I saw no benefit to the main stream physio, CT Cream or acupuncture. But I did see improvements begin around the time I was wearing the BandIt band 24 hours a day, and saw weekly gains whilst getting remedial massage and doing twice daily sets of exercises at home.

One potentially interesting point, is that I’ve got better pretty quickly. Most people say 6 – 18 months, and I’ve heard as much as 24 months to heal. Whilst it’s been 8 for me, I only started doing anything about it in Jan, so only 5 months since the start of treatment really. In the scheme of things that’s a fast cure for Golfers Eblow.

Where am I now?

Now at the end of May, 8 months after I initially hurt my elbow and 5 months since ceasing all elbow related exercise, I feel able to go back down the gym and restart Crossfit again. I’ve possible left it later than the earliest possible moment I could go back, but then I’m not yet 100% better either. I’d say currently I am 95% cured. I say this because I still feel slight twinges occasionally.

For example 5 x 30Kg Shoulder Presses on Tuesday I could definitely feel in my elbow and so didn’t go heavier. But I can row and knock out pull ups, wall balls, kettle bell swings, dumbbell push presses, all without any pain, albeit currently with much lower weights than I have been used to. That’s ok though, I’ve been patient enough for the last 4 months and will continue to be. I’ll take it easy and build back up slowly. I expect to be 100% back to normal and going for new Personal Bests in about 2-3 months time. Hopefully just in time for the Crossfit Certification at Manchester in September.

I also hope to improve my Clean & Jerk and Snatch enough to compete in the Northern Masters Olympic Weightlifting competition in Feb 2008 and fingers crossed, qualify for the British Masters a few months later. But I’m getting ahead of myself a bit. To be honest, I’m just glad to be back down the gym. :)

EDIT March: Well done on reading this far, your elbow must be painful indeed. You can checkout my 3 years on updated post here: My Golfer’s Elbow Cure where I discuss:

  • Active Release Technique (ART)
  • Cortisone Shot for Golfer’s or Tennis Elbow
  • Icing and Heating the Injured Elbow
  • Laser Treatment
  • MRI Scans
  • Prolotherapy
  • Thera-band Flexbar
  • Voltaren Gel (also Voltarol Gel)
  • Remedial Exercises

However if you just want the short answer (after having read all this, lol!): I set about to look for the best program of exercises I could find. After all, I didn’t want to be splashing money out for physiotherapists or more quack pot cures month after month. There had to be something out there that was quick and easy to do, and cheap too!

It took me a while as there’s a lot of fluff and nonsense out there, but I finally found a program that met my criteria as being low on bull and high on simple, effective stretches and exercises, that’s cheap and you can get your money back if it doesn’t work! There’s no expensive kit either, you start with a hammer and an elastic band, lol! What’s more, because it’s a set of downloadable PDFs, you can be up and running in minutes and the videos make it impossible to get wrong.

It’s by an unassuming guy called Todd Scott, and deals equally with Golfer’s Elbow and Tennis Elbow Exercises and Stretches (click here) That link takes you to a big waffly sales page, a sad reality of internet existence these days, but don’t let that put you off. At the end of the day it’s up to you, but it only costs $4.95 for a 7 day trial and of all the different golfers elbow treatments I tried, these exercises are what I credit my cure and continued pain free existence to.

Should I exercise if I still have pain?

This is a question that I’ve been asked several times, and is something that Todd deals with in his videos better than I can here, it was certainly something I was keen to find out the answer to. I’ll leave it to Todd to answer that then.

I know I was a bit worried the first time I bought something like this online, so I thought I’d put together a quick video of the order process, so you can see exactly how it works (note that this video was taken when I still had my old website theme, not this groovy new one, and before Todd put up a specific Golfer’s Elbow Solution course), take a look:

The link you need is this one: www.ColinMcNulty.com/tips/golfers-elbow Good luck, and do come back and let me know how you’re getting on, I love reading everyone’s comments!

{ 287 comments… add one }

  • Darrell 6 June 2008, 6:56 pm

    Can you explain again how to do the stretch exercise you mentioned? It doesn’t seem possible to do as you instruct: “place your hands flat on a table, twisted 180 degrees to the outside so that your fingers are pointing at your body. (So twist your right hand clockwise, and your left hand anti-clockwise.)

  • Colin McNulty 15 June 2008, 9:24 am

    Sure Darrell. Start with one hand, let’s say your right:

    - Stand in front of a table.
    - Place your right hand flat on the table.
    - Twist clockwise, keeping fingers and palm on the table.
    - Keep rotating until your fingers are pointing at your legs.
    - At this point your arm will be straight and you will be standing up, leaning over the table.

  • Hurting 1 August 2008, 3:45 am

    Just wondering how your elbow is now two months after you wrote this. I have golfers elbow too. Been resting completely for 2 months and I feel I have a lot longer to wait before I can lift again.

  • jose 14 August 2008, 10:18 am

    Great reading Colin,thx.You just saved me from wasting money on a quick cure out the internet. I feel pain for 1 month.I think i know exacly when and how i damaged this tendon.By the way,i am a professional massage therapist since 1996, and the 6 people a day for a one hour treatment 6 days a week for sure is not helping.But anyway you just won your self 1 or 2 massage treatment whenever you visit Estoril Portugal.It makes much sense to me all you said back there.I have a rather broad and deep experience in bodywork… just to tell you that you might like to start to look at exercise in terms of quality as opposed to quantity…. thanks so much Colin José 00351 964725666

  • Colin McNulty 14 August 2008, 5:17 pm

    Glad I could help Jose. Hmm a free massage or 2 is attractive, but as I’ve never been to Portugal, I think you’re time is safe. ;)

    Crossfit is a great Quality over Quantity regime, you should try it. Just to be clear, it wasn’t exercise that gave me golfers elbow.

  • joe 21 August 2008, 3:30 pm

    my arm has been messed up for a loooong time now. oi recently started physical therapy and have been going 3 times a week for the last 3 weeks but my arm actually feels worse than it did. im starting to think it will never heal or will require surgery. has anyone else experienced more pain before getting better??

  • Richard 23 August 2008, 5:36 pm

    Colin– I am suffering from same ailment. Thanks for your prescribed routine. Question: what fitness program did you follow during these four months to avoid complete loss of upper body or other conditioning? RW

  • Colin McNulty 24 August 2008, 6:15 pm

    Joe, it was months before I started to notice improvement, and it got worse before it got better.

    Richard, I ran a few times a week. When I went back to Crossfit however, I soon discovered that running is no substitute for exercise! Lol

  • jeremy resnick 31 August 2008, 8:40 pm

    I’ve had medial epicondylitis for 2 weeks after trying out a new forhand grip in tennis after going to watch the Championships at Wimbeldon in July. Started copying the pro’s and hitting really hard full swing shots and now am paying the price! The tennis serve at full extension with wrist and 2-3rd digit flexion really aggravates.

    Your advice is most welcome, but it doesn’t mention corticosteroid injection which has a high success rate at least in the short term. This I learned from true tennis elbow which I had last year. I hope I have stopped my tennis early enough to prevent a stubborn injury.

    Getting an injury can be a message to try another sport temporarily.

    I wish you all success in the weightlifting.

    Jeremy

  • Colin McNulty 5 September 2008, 7:38 am

    Hi Jeremy, thanks for the comment.

    Ironic that you get Golfer’s Elbow playing tennis, lol ! :) If you only suffered it for 2 weeks, you were lucky and definitely caught it in time. I didn’t mention corticosteroid injections for 2 reasons:

    1) I didn’t try them so didn’t have an opinion.
    2) As you point out, they are short term pain relief only.

    As I understand it, corticosteroid injections artificially suppress the body’s inflammatory response (Dr Sears of the Zone Diet has some comments on this subject) which alleviates the pain, but doesn’t treat the underlying cause of the problem. Whilst such injections may be required for an injured professional athlete trying to get through the next Wimbeldon round say, I took the view that I didn’t want to mask the symptoms and press on regardless, in case it made matters worse.

    For the same reason, I didn’t take aspirin.

  • steve 22 September 2008, 7:16 pm

    hi, i have had ge now for about 5 months – very annoying since i am a tennis player. I think original cause was old weight lifting injury aggravated. Anyway i tried everything you did (and more) – with no results. About 6 weeks ago I had MRI taken which showed 2 tears (one high grade). Not good. At that point stopped everything and had to move – lift heavy boxes etc.. but tried to be careful. Anyway after moving a friend told me of a chiropractor using a class 4 laser (K laser) and said she had great results with a neck injury. Amazingly my elbow is feeling really good after 3 treatments (actually felt much better after 1st treatment). I will get another MRI at end of month and see if any improvement but i know it will be much better.

  • Colin McNulty 22 September 2008, 7:58 pm

    Wow, laser surgery for golfers elbow is certainly at the more radical end of of the spectrum, but I fully understand where you’re coming from. I got to the point where I was prepared to try anything, hence the accupuncture. I’m glad for you that you’re on the road to recovery.

  • Rob 22 October 2008, 10:31 pm

    I also recently realized I had Medial Epicondylitis. I think it was from upping my weight lifting regime very quickly. I thought it would be good to put everything I had into it and thought I was getting stronger but apparently I screwed myself over : / Just sucks that I also have runner’s knee which I have to wait a month and a half for the VA to give me PT sessions(active duty injury). No medical insurance is a bitch. I feel like a vegetable.

    Thanks for your advice though, I’m gonna pick up some 10lbers and try the exercises!

  • Wessley 6 November 2008, 12:13 am

    Hi to everyone… just one question, when you wore the bandit, did you take it of for the exercises? does anyone know? I’ve had this condition for over a year and I really donn’t know what to do anymore. Greetings

  • Colin McNulty 6 November 2008, 8:14 am

    Hi Wessley, No it didn’t wear the BandIt arm band during exercise, simply because by the time I got round to trying the BandIt, I had already decided to stop all normal exercise. If you’ve had golfer’s elbow for over a year, I’d suggest you try 3 months off too.

    Or if you mean during the remedial exercises above, no I didn’t wear it then.

  • Wessley 12 November 2008, 4:16 am

    Hi Colin, thanks for your reply. I’m trying what I read here in your post, because of the great results it has given you but, have a few questions:1.how long after you started using the elbow strap did you started remedial exercises? 2.for how long did you wear it? (I’ve heard 21 days is tops) & 3. how tight did it have to be?(did your forearm turn purple?) he.
    before hand, I thank you, and I wish the best to everyone here. peace.

  • Colin McNulty 12 November 2008, 9:30 am

    Hi Wessley, It’s taken over a year to get back to virtually 100% (I still occasionally feel it when lifting very heavy weights, but it doesn’t limit me anymore) so I wouldn’t call that “great results”. Everyone gets better it seems, it’s just a matter of time.

    1) I don’t remember to be honest, I don’t think it was that relevant, possibly a month.
    2) About 2 months in total.
    3) Tight enough to hold it in place throughout the day and night. My forearm didn’t turn purple. :P I took it off during exercise as I was uncomfortable with how tight I needed it to be to keep it in place.

  • brian 3 December 2008, 2:35 am

    Colin-

    did you have pain that travelled into wrist, forearm and hand as well or was it always just in elbow? I’ve had mine for 2 months and no improvement

  • Colin McNulty 3 December 2008, 6:16 am

    Hi Brian, no it was just near the elbow. The symptoms you describing could be symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or some other “squeezed nerve” type ailment. I suggest you go see your Doctor or phsyio.

  • Anita 23 January 2009, 1:39 am

    Hi Colin,

    Thanks for sharing….I had a question. Did you ever do deep friction massage on the tendon area (at the elbow)? Did this help? I’m about 2 months in and have started doing exercises with the 1 lb weights.
    Anita

  • Colin McNulty 24 January 2009, 8:57 am

    > Did you ever do deep friction massage on the tendon area (at the elbow)?

    Hi Anita, the honest answer is, I’m not sure. Certainly the massages I had were rough at times, but what constitutes a “deep friction” massage?

  • Steve Kole 3 February 2009, 5:05 pm

    Colin,

    Thank you for sharing your experience. I’ve been struggling with medial epicondylitis (“ME”) since October 2006. Not sure what caused it. Can’t do much with my left arm. Curls are the worst. Not being able to work out is depressing. X-ray and MRI negative. (In the past I’ve also had false negative MRI results for back, shoulder and hip, all subsequently repaired with surgery. I’ve found MRIs to be useless.) For the ME I’ve tried two cortisone injections and Voltaren Gel (Novartis). These only worsened my condition. I’ve also tried a wrist splint with seemingly no effect. I am doing wrist curl exercises. I also did them as part of my workout before I was injured. I’m going to try a forearm strap because it seemed to work for you. I’m trying to avoid surgery, but becoming desperate. I’ll let you know if the strap works for me.

  • Colin McNulty 3 February 2009, 8:18 pm

    Sounds like you’re having a terrible time of it Steve, sorry to hear that. AS I understand it, Corisone injections only mask the symptoms anyway, they are not a treatment towards a cure. Hope you get some results soon.

  • joe 26 February 2009, 7:45 pm

    Oh man…I’ve been suffering from golfer’s elbow for 6 months and counting. I’m a pro fighter so I have no choice but to use my arm almost every day. I am icing my elbow 3-4times a day along with stretching and massage therapy for it. I hurt it doing a crossfit pull up workout..I’m hoping it will get better even though I still train with this terrible pain

  • Colin McNulty 27 February 2009, 6:42 am

    I hope it gets better for you Joe, I understand how you feel. I continued for months with it getting worse, before deciding to take drastic action and stop all elbow related exercise.

    Even now, some nine months since I was well enough to go back, I still occasionally get small bouts of it again. Just this week on Wednesday for example, my elbow was hurting for no apparent reason which didn’t help the clean & jerks I was doing at all. But next day, it was fine again.

  • joe 27 February 2009, 8:13 pm

    Thanks Colin, and thanks for posting your rehab it is a big help for a lot of people who are suffering from this

  • Darron 28 February 2009, 11:48 am

    Interesting blog. I am on my second round of Golfers Elbow, the first time lasted 6 months and this time I am up to 4 months and it is driving me crazy. I have tried everything in this Blog. Has anyone had any success with Cortizone shots??

  • Colin McNulty 28 February 2009, 6:26 pm

    My understanding is that Cortizone shots provide short term relief of symptoms and are not a treatment for the root cause of the pain.

  • jeff 9 March 2009, 2:01 am

    Okay for the past month I have been soaking my arm in a warm tub of epsom salt 2-3 times a day for 10-15 min intervals. After I soak my arm, I perform strength work and stretching specifically for my injured tendon. Then I either ice it for 10 min or heat again. This has had a dramatic effect on my golfer’s elbow. I have almost no pain in my elbow, and I have regained much of my strength back in my arm. Before starting this treatment, I had pain and weakness everyday for about 6 months. I’m thinking my arm should be at full strength in another few months of this rehab. I only wish I would of started this rehab 5 months ago. Hope this helps out

  • tasos 13 March 2009, 3:17 pm

    hi guys,
    I suffer ME from Oct 2008, one day I realized that I had an elbow pain for some days at the Barbell Bench Press and the Biceps Curls. Especially at the Chin-Ups I could perform not even one due to pain. My doctor suggested me rest. At first I avoided only the excersises that caused me pain, later I quit gym. No improvement. Tried some pills (biofenac and some else, I don’t remember)-no effect. He suggested me cortisone-injection and that in 3-4 days I would be perfect, and if no, I should have one more in a month. I told him I don’t want just to ease my pain, but total cure. he told me it was about a total cure. I did it, I was better not in 4 but in 10 days, and after 2 months i started gym again. at the time i started, i had no pain, but my left elbow wasn’t exactly like the right (the healthy one). i decided to be very careful and I was. After 2 weeks, I performed Biceps Curls. Nothing happened, but next day I realized pain in my left elbow again. I quit gym again, but the pain is worse than 3 months ago, and not improving. I started laser, I have already 2 meetings, but no improvement (and it’s too expensive). He told me i need at least 6-7 treatments (and that cortisone is only a contemporary relief for athletes who must recover quickly). also, that it happened that to me because i did minor distentions: flexibility first, then strength-which i think is true. We’ll see…

    PS. I love gym so much too

  • Steve 16 March 2009, 5:10 pm

    Tasos,

    Here is a link to an article about ME. I have had ME in my left elbow since Oct 2006 and I am now thinking about surgery. I will report my decison and results.

    Steve

    http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1231997-overview

  • Tasos 20 March 2009, 7:33 pm

    on Monday 16/3/09 i had the 4th meeting, and since now nothing changed. today the doc stack on my arm a kinesio tax tape but i refused to have more laser (it costs me 40e/20′). if nothing happens with it, i’ll go to a chiropractic in a near village. the flexibility-stretching exercises seem to me childish.

  • MJ 24 March 2009, 3:25 pm

    I’ve been ‘suffering’ from M.E. for about 2 months, now. ‘Don’t do that’ , pain meds and Motrin have NOT been helping.

    I’ve been working at the exercise you suggest here….and wonder at what level of pain I should stop.

    I was originally told to wear a brace which, as you say, is difficult to gauge the tension. But like you said, loose enough it doesn’t pinch – tight enough it doesn’t fall off.

    After the first week, I began to experience numbness in my pinky and ring finger. Dr assumes I’m wearing brace too tight and orders me off the brace.

    The tingling not only persists but gains a 110v quality to it.

    I’m not asking for medical advice- but you’ve dealt with golfer’s elbow for a long time. Is this anything you’ve experienced?

  • Colin McNulty 24 March 2009, 10:42 pm

    Jeff: One of the issues with golfers elbow is that it’s a tendon problem and tendons have poor blood circulation. Alternating heat and cold as you were doing is a good way of forcing new blood into the tendon (so I’m led to believe) which can speed up healing. I’m glad it’s working for you.

    Taso: It’s sad for you, but interesting generally, that the laser treatment hasn’t worked well for you. What exactly are they lasering? (If “to laser” is indeed a verb?!?) Sorry, I can’t really comment on the ME bit.

    MJ: I’m no Doctor, but I’d ask for a second opinion. A tingling finger has many causes, but I believe that Medial Epicondylitis is not one of them! The most obvious first guess is that it’s possibly a trapped nerve.

  • jeff 26 March 2009, 10:40 pm

    Colin yes your right thats what I had heard about poor circulation into the tendon, but hot and cold does seem to be working for me.
    MJ, it sounds like you have some kind of nerve impingement from prolonged inflammation of your tendon. I had the same problem. What you need to do is nerve excercises that release the pressure on the nerve. You have to do these exercises everyday and in a few weeks it should subside.
    There is a site called injury rehab advice, they have all the excercises on there

  • Tasos 7 April 2009, 8:54 pm

    i ve heard for the low blood pressure at that point too. only cold hasn’t helped me, i dont know if hot+cold will. laser is an apparatus like a laptop with various heads that sends signals till 1cm under the skin, and helps blood pressure and awakes the body to recover itself. totally painless-totally unhelpful
    2 weeks ago i went to the chiropractic, he pushed my arm in a way, a crack was heard and he told me that the two major bones in my arm was not fitted but then ithey did. but the pain is still hear. these days i ll try physiotherapy.

  • Eli Dale 10 May 2009, 7:44 pm

    1 PROLOTHERAPY treatment

    will take care of your golfer’s / tennis elbow problems

    and will not weaken tendons unlike cortisone.

    You want a permanent fix to elbow issues ?

    PROLO is the way to go. strengthen / fatten up those tendons.

  • Cat 25 May 2009, 3:35 pm

    Hi there – thanks Colin for this detailed info. I am 4 months into the total rest + physical therapy (ultrasound, electrostim, massage) as well as stretching and strengthening exercises. Although the pain is much improved the slightest bit of work irritates it greatly. I’m giving the acupuncture a go – for every Colin there’s someone else who says it was the only thing that helped them so, nothing to lose. Wish me luck.
    Anyway, wanted to mention something about injections. First, I have heard from some people that it can in fact speed the healing – I got a whole scientific/chemical explanation why – but anyway, there is some thinking that it doesn’t just mask the pain. BUT I have also been told by more than one physio that injecting the medial epicondyle is much more risky than the lateral (tennis elbow) because it’s so close to the ulnar nerve. If they hit the ulnar nerve it may burst, which sounds painful. Something to keep in mind.
    One other thing I haven’t seen mentioned here: my physio said that grip strength is very important for prevention. The injury is often caused by gripping tightly while engaging the forearms (as when swinging a golf club or, in my case, pulling on an oar) so a stronger grip means less pressure on the tendon when doing this. So while I wait for the magic cure I am squeezing a little grip strengthener several times a day.
    Good luck everyone!

  • Colin McNulty 25 May 2009, 7:50 pm

    >pulling on an oar

    Thanks for the comment Cat. I see you actually have “rowers elbow”! ;-) The thing to find solace in, is that every story of golfers elbow, ends in a happy ending. Everyone gets better eventually, it’s just a matter of time. Good luck for a speedy recovery.

  • don hollinger 21 June 2009, 11:38 pm

    My comment on Eli Dale post regarding “Prolotherapy”.

    Please expound on your post. Have you tried Prolotherapy? Do you know of others who did?

    Thanks,

    Don

  • Gary Ward 14 July 2009, 5:47 pm

    I have suffered with the medial epicondylitis problem for years. One thing that has helped during arm exercises is to do them hammer style with my palms facing each other. For instance, if I do bicep curls with my palms facing up, my elbow will give me problems. But, if my palms face each other it seems to take the strain off my elbow and I have minimul problems.

    A little side note on the accupuncture: I have been told that when you start feeling pain, that is when it has started working.

    Thanks folks for all the information.

  • Alex 6 August 2009, 12:46 am

    Even though this injury sucks It was great to see so many people who have experienced what i am experiencing and to know that there could possibly be light at the end of the tunnel.

    I have golfers elbow in both my arms, ( right way worse than left, i’m right handed)

    I have had 3 cortisone shots in my right one. and it is still no better ( only temporary relief like you mentioned)

    I’ve done physical therapy and ive tried acupuncture. which i thought was helping but then one day the lil chinese guy tugged on my arm real hard and i feel like my right elbow is back to square one.

    Every time I feel like im getting better i feel like somehow it comes back.

    What i really want to know is when can i continue or start to do exercises to strengthen it. if im in pain now do i wait till the pain subsides or can i do strengthening exercises now and ice and heat .

    I don’t know if im re injuring it or its just not going away. I used to be a 5 day a week weightlifter who hasn’t lifted weights since december and im starting to feel depressed. its very frustrating and i feel like it will never go away. I have heard about this prolotherapy and am also considering trying that.

    Pretty much what im asking is what should i do at this point to start my healing process. Like i mentioned i was doing better and then this guy (accupunture) tugged on my arm (two weeks ago) and still it hurts. what things should i avoid and how can i heal this problem and get back to being in the gym again. can i do this exercises now even though its bad or do i wait

    Any advice would be great.

  • Colin McNulty 6 August 2009, 4:29 pm

    Sorry to hear your story Alex. It’s hard for me to advise you, but I know where you’re coming from. I tried to just scale back my exercise for months, but it got worse and worse. Eventually I gave up all arm exercise for something like 3 months and only went back when it started to get better.

    All in it was still 12 months, and even now, another 12 months later, I still occasionally get some discomfort, but only when I do repeated and heavy exercise that stresses my elbow in a particular way. My personal feeling is, take the hit, stop the exercise and it will get better faster. If you continue to exercise whilst it’s not obviously on the mend, you only prolong the problem.

  • Joanne Young 27 August 2009, 1:06 am

    I have had golfers elbow since Dec. 2008. I go to the gym regularly and now only work out my legs and abs. I went to the doctor and they gave me a cream with capsicum in it. I’ve iced it forever. I am an artist that paints and sometimes I feel it if I paint too hard. I mainly feel it when I vacuum, clean the counters or do a spin class at the gym. I am now doing acupuncture, ultrasound and interferon and doing exercises the chiropractor told me to do. I’ve worn a band but not the one you have. I will get the one you recommend for 24 hours. Thank you. This is the first good information I have received. I will give it a go.

  • Nancy 1 September 2009, 5:01 pm

    Thanks for sharing all your stories – I thought I was at my wits end with this pain that I have been having for the past 3-months as well. Can someone explain what is Prolotherapy? And, Colin, do you know of a website that shows pics of the excercise you discribed? I too have seen chiropractors, PTs, Masseuses, had 2-cortisone shots, ice, heat, 600mg Ibuprofen daily, and AM just plan tired of it – so it sure makes me feel assured realizing that this is “normal” and WILL get better – I was shocked to read how long it may take though when both my PT and Sports Med Dr. say 6-weeks…I think I’ll look into that band – what the heck.

  • Colin McNulty 1 September 2009, 5:27 pm

    Good luck Joanne.

    Hi Nancy. Sorry I don’t have a website with the exercises, they were given to me by my last physio.

  • Michael Klein 7 September 2009, 3:13 am

    I’ve had ME for two months. As a bodybuilder it pains me to train around it but that is what I’m doing on doctor’s orders. He said as long as I don’t work that tendon it’s okay to workout.

    Gary – you are correct. I cannot do palm up dumbbell curls yet, but hammer curls I can do at full strength.

    ME effects a major major tendon. It’s easy enough to know when you can train around it. For instance, it does not effect me in anything other than Biceps and Back exercises. Many of those bring in that major tendon. While pushing exercises really don’t use that tendon. I took off completely the first two weeks of the injury. Now I’m just going to keep training carefully.

    They do not do cortisone injects for ME. It’s a high risk for tendon rupture. If you are having a cortisone for this I would get a serious second opinion.

    Best to all.
    MAK

  • Jill Dains 14 September 2009, 1:02 pm

    Hi, I have had golfer’s elbow for 4-5 months now and no change! A trainer told me to try Boswellia…ever hear of it? A Chinese herb that I am going to try. Can you tell me where you purchased your high-grade fish oil?

    My job entails my using a computer for hours at a time. Clciking the mouse even hurts my elbow. I have been teaching my left hand to do the mousing with some success. Did yours hurt doing that?

    Also, I am having no luck trying to grasp your exercise. I know this has been asked and answered, but my fingers don’t ever point to my legs as I twist my right arm clockwise. They just point outwards (away from my body). Am I doing this wrong? I should be twisting my arm as well, correct? Or just my hand?? Sorry, I must seem stupid, but I can’t quite grasp it…any pictures?? Thanks for ALL your help/suggestions. Glad I found your post!

    Jill,
    Warsaw, Indiana
    USA

  • Colin McNulty 14 September 2009, 6:52 pm

    Hi Jill,

    I didn’t get pain whilst using a mouse, but using your other hand is a great skill to learn. It takes a while but allows you to completely rest your hurt arm.

    Re the stretching exercise, obviously I’d suggest you seek professional advice if you’re at all unsure what you’re doing. Try this, start with your hand pointing straight down, fingers together, and twist so your knuckles are facing you. Slowly put your hand down, finger tips touching first and pushing your palm away from you. Take care not to over do it!

  • Tony 17 October 2009, 6:41 am

    Colin,

    I damn near thought I was reading a post from myself when I googled “medial epicondylitis” and came upon your blog. Mine started after I torqued my elbow wrecking a scooter on a vacation in Bermuda a couple of years back, eventually subsided, then came back with a vengeance when I began Crossfit. My wife says, “just take some time off from Crossfit”. Sure, easy for her to say. My coach is training me to compete on our affiliate team, and possibly to go to a regional qualifier to try and qualify for the 2010 games as an individual. So, while I should be taking it easy, I only find myself going harder. I am definitely going to try and be more diligent, per your own experience and advice, with stretching and strengthening exercises. And thanks, I’ll bypass the crazy creams.

    I have found that the number one Crossfit exercise that aggravates the area for me is kipping pull-ups with a traditional overhand grip. I have found that switching to an underhand grip alleviates a lot of the pressure. But when you are doing “Angie”, or another WOD with 100 pull-ups, it really doesn’t matter what the hell kind of grip you use, your just happy if the skin hasn’t ripped from your palms.

    And finally, I have to agree with you on the Paleo diet, as well as the fish oils. I realize that your healthcare system “across the pond” is different than here in the States, but a couple of months back, my physician wrote me a prescription for Lovaza. It is marketed by Glaxo Smith Kline here in the US, and is nothing more than a highly purified 1 gm fish oil caplet. If you have the availability of this product, and your prescriptions are not cost-prohibitive, I highly recommend getting your fish oil this way. To get the same quantity and quality of fish oil from a decent supplement manufacturer, it would cost me about $100 (US), but instead I pay less than $20.

  • Colin McNulty 19 October 2009, 8:29 am

    Hi Tony. Fish oil on prescription?!? How did you pull that off? I’m not aware that such a thing is even possible in the UK, nor what complaints I’d have to go to the Doctors with in order to get such a prescription. Good luck on the Crossfit qualifiers, I hope your elbow sorts itself out soon.

  • Cat 29 October 2009, 8:47 pm

    Wow this thread just goes on and on! I thought I’d give an update – I’m the one with ‘rower’s elbow’ who was about to try acupuncture back in May. In addition to the needles, the acupuncturist recommended a Chinese herbal supplement called ‘bone and sinew formula’ which she said ‘stimulates the body’s ability to repair tissue’. I did 2 months of weekly acupuncture and this supplement, while continuing the stretching strengthening exercise but otherwise resting completely. Then spent a month on a work trip total rest, no needles, and very sporadic stretching/strengthening. At the beginning of August I got in a boat and started rowing again. Took some care with it, taped it with kinesio tape, iced it after every practice, and by September it was like new. Someone asked me about it today and I realized I hadn’t thought about it or had any pain in it for weeks – with regular, intense rowing.
    My gut feeling is that that herbal remedy did speed up the healing, though I guess it could have just been a matter of needing that much more time to heal. But maybe worth looking into when the 6 weeks is stretching into months. I have to support Colin’s repeated advice though: in the end it comes down to resting it as long as it takes, and when you try coming back to activies that stress it, take it S-L-O-W and back off immediately if it worsens.

  • Colin McNulty 29 October 2009, 9:48 pm

    Hi Cat. It does rather doesn’t it, I appear to have hit a nerve with this post, pun *intended* haha! …. sorry, I’ll get my coat. ;-)

    Thanks for coming back and posting an update. It’s great to hear that you are over it and back to normal, that’s really pleasing. Whilst it’s very tempting to (to me anyway) to think that it would be a good idea to try one remedy at a time, I feel it’s probably the right thing to do to try as many as possible in the hope that some, or just one remedy, speeds up the process. Time and rest is the big healer I think though.

    Still, it’s good for people to hear that everyone gets better eventually. Hope is a surprisingly important aspect to many walks of life. Thanks.

  • Yash 4 November 2009, 1:24 am

    Awesome thread!!!!! I had ME in both elbows somewhere around Aug 2008. I tried physio therapy, icing, NSAIDs and at last cortisone shots in May 2009. My right elbow seems to be working fine now but i just noticed a pain again in my left elbow. I got an X-Ray done and the doc told me that apart from Golfers Elbow I might also have Bursitis. I have to get MRI done now and after that this doc will suggest something. He did give me some signals that cortisone shots might be the best treatment. Looking at the thread I still cant figure out the perfect treatment for this condition or may be different things worked for different people.
    Please keep us updated if you have revived from the pain.

  • Patti 5 November 2009, 4:02 am

    Wow, I wasn’t expecting this thread to go on quite so long. I have had Golfer’s Elbow since August 2008. I started with PT, since I was already in there for my Tennis Elbow in the same arm. I ended up getting the TE injected, and continued with therapy on the GE. As it continued to worsen, I endee up having a Nerve COnduction Test since I was losing the feeling in my ring and pinky fingers. All signs kept ponting to GE. Finally I gave in and had it injected. That shot lasted 3 weeks, not what I was looking for! After trying therapy one more time, I ended up having surgery in April 2009. Anyone who ends up going that route just know it is a VERY long and slow recovery. It’s now been 7 months, and although I’, not totally pain free yet, I can do my job without pain. Anyone who has questions about the surgery let me know. My tendon was torn, and EXTREMELY painful. I am trying a few more things just to get it the rest of the way healed!

  • Yash 6 November 2009, 4:27 pm

    Update – My MRI was ok and the doctor finally concluded that I have GE only. He suggested cortisone shot but I was reluctant as I already had one 4 months ago and its just a temporary solution. I told him that I am gonna try RICE for 2-3 weeks. He gave me Voltaren Gel to apply on the elbow three times a day. I also asked him about surgery but after listening to him I felt that I’ll keep surgery as a last option. My pain is between Mild and Moderate. I am still looking for other options like Chiropractic or ARTS. Did anyone get any relief through Chiro or ARTS?

    @Patti- Can you tell me how much did the surgery cost you?

  • Patti 7 November 2009, 3:45 am

    Yash thankfully with insurance I paid under $500, this was without all of the physical therapy. Use it as a last resort for sure! I don’t regret doing it though! Good Luck!

  • Ronnie 8 November 2009, 1:36 pm

    Hey Colin, great post. I’m a professional guitarist. In relatively good shape (due mostly to genetics, I’m afraid, not exercise) A few years ago I bought a new and expensive guitar that I did not realize took a little more effort to play. I fingerpick with my right hand, and I was having to ‘squeeze’ ? extra hard for the sound to come out. When you get a new instrument, you tend to practice more than you used to. presto: golfers elbow! I own some clubs but they are covered in dust. A couple of years ago I had a case of tennis elbow in my left arm (my fretting hand) I eventually went to my doctor, I think the third time, and she gave me a cortisone shot in my elbow. The shot was painful, and after my doctor got up she said it would be fine in the morning. I apologised, she was right. I was. She gave me a bunch of stretching exercises that helped somewhat, but I have actually found your palm on the table stretch seems to be the best thing I’ve tried. I’ve started working out. Feels good. I believe the secret is preventive maintenance. Stay strong. Thanks for the post.

  • Mick Byrne 9 November 2009, 1:03 pm

    Hey Colin,

    Not been down to Crossfit Manchester this month, I seem to have picked up tennis elbow. I think its because I have been trying to learn kipping everyday for about 2 months!

    Just had 3 weeks rest and not really helping, think I may try a Band-It, do you think its worth a go?

    Well annoyed I picked this injury up, just felt like I was getting somewhere with my olly lifts. Oh well I guess its time to learn double unders and build a plyo box.

    Cheers,

    Mick

  • Yash 9 November 2009, 3:52 pm

    Update- I am using Band-IT since my last injury and definitely its the best band out of 2-3 different kinds I have tried. It takes pressure off your stretched/inflammated tendon while you are doing your daily activities.

  • Colin McNulty 9 November 2009, 6:12 pm

    Hi Mick. Sorry to hear that. The key to remaining injury free I think is to not over do it, i.e. not focusing on a single exercise too much. 3 weeks in though… I’m sorry to say it was a year for me to get back to 99%.

  • Mick Byrne 10 November 2009, 8:52 am

    I agree: “routine is the enemy”, just wish I had paid more attention instead of getting obsessed with learning something.

    Yes I am being slightly optimistic but I think thats the best way. I think it takes so long to heal because its so difficult to rest it. Gripping anything aggravates it.

    I have ordered a Band-It so will see how it goes.

    Cheers,

    Mick

  • Jeffrey 11 November 2009, 10:31 pm

    This is is some extremely helpful information. Since summer I noticed some very light tenderness in my left elbow (I am right handed) when I pressed it into an arm rest on a chair for example otherwise there was no pain. I bike a lot, about 6 hours a week from March to October, and think the road buzz from the street may have contributed to the slight discomfort.

    I also do kettlebells but never noticed much pain from that. In late October I started doing pullups in between my kettlebell clean and press ladders with a 20kg kettlebell. I’m not great at pullups and am sure that overdoing it on pullups lead to some shooting pain in my forearm in the same workout a few minutes later while doing clean and presses. I’m 40 and pretty active and know that as soon as I feel pain the best thing to do is to stop so I quit doing the pullups and clean and presses and am just doing getups instead. Swings do not bother me at all, snatches will and I am not going to do them either.

    I have some Ironmind Grippers but those are a definite no-no. For now, I am trying to work around it. It really is not painful any more but I know that unless I take it easy I could get that forearm pain again.

    For rehab I’ve been trying rubber bands at my fingertips to work the extensors, stretching, and the light weight wrist extensions in pronated and supinated position.

  • Steve G 10 December 2009, 1:10 pm

    G’day Colin and fellow sufferers.

    Now, I consider myself fairly intelligent, but for the life of me I cannot figure out or make sense of your rotate-your-palm-on-the-table-stretch-excercise.
    Can you pleeaase have one more go at an explanation, maybe making reference to horizontal and vertical planes, an in relation to the front or side of the body?
    I too am now relegated to leg, core and cardio excercises, having ME due to heavier back excercise without first having further strengthened my forearms.
    Another train of thought by my physio is that an old shoulder injury leaving it forever weaker has brought other muscles into play during certain excercise that wouldn’t have normally been called on if the shoulder was at full strength. Along with some of the excercises listed in this thread, she has suggested rotating my forearm arm laterally in the horizontal plane away from my body, keeping my elbow firmly tucked in to my side, against a rubber chord held with my other hand to improve shoulder strength.
    It’s a work in progress, I’ll see how it goes…
    The Chinese Bone & Sinew Formula sounds interesting, in that comments found speak of it’s ability to counteract blood stasis which seems to be a common consensus of opinion regarding tendon damage and medial/lateral epicondylitis. Might see if I can find some of that here in Oz.

  • GuiltyCol 10 December 2009, 6:23 pm

    Hi Steve, I’ve uploaded a picture and edited point (5) of my original post above.

  • Adam 21 December 2009, 12:59 am

    Prolo was the only thing that made any difference for me. I’ve tried everything!

    I had golfer’s elbow in both elbows for 7 years. Tried everything and kept giving up. After 3 rounds of injections I had about 95% relief.

    To date, I’d say I’m 99% pain free. I feel a twinge every now and then and do some extra stretching and give myself a massage when it comes on. I now lift heavy weights at the gym again and am pain free.

    I still:

    - massage my elbows before and after exercise
    - stretch for forearms every day
    - take fish oil (6 to 9 a day)
    - take 10-15 grams of MSM every day.

    Good luck. Prolo is the answer you seek.

  • Yash 31 December 2009, 1:26 am

    Update – I had no option but to take 3rd shot of cortisone. The doctor has asked me to give my elbow a complete rest for 2 weeks. I dont know what else to do. Shall I go for physical therapy, prolo or chiro?

  • Nick 4 January 2010, 4:39 am

    I have what might be a comparatively ‘mild’ case of golfer’s elbow since no damage is visible on an X-Ray. However, once this has gone away, I’m sure I’ll be rather gun-shy in terms of using the weight machines (i.e. not free weights) at the gym although I’d like to get back into that. Is there some kind of accepted formula in terms of how much not to press in comparison to the weight one was doing before this happened? Put the pin up two or three blocks? I have no idea.

  • Mick 14 January 2010, 7:52 pm

    Anyone tried this?:
    http://www.medpagetoday.com/Orthopedics/Orthopedics/15048

    Sounds interesting.

  • Yash 5 February 2010, 4:44 pm

    Update – I tried 8 session with ART chiropractor with no success. ART is Active Release Technique.
    @Mick – I might receive a green Theraband Flexbar today. This is my last hope before I go for surgery. I will update Flexbar results soon.

    Probably in sometime I would as well start a consultancy on Golfer’s Elbow about ‘What not to try’ … lol

  • Mick Byrne 17 February 2010, 12:56 pm

    Yash:

    Flexbar is definately working for me. I have done 3×15 with the red one three times a day for maybe 6 weeks and pain has significantly reduced. I have just bought the blue bar and am starting with that.

  • Yash 18 February 2010, 10:46 pm

    I tried 8 sessions of ART (Active Release Technique) and it didnt work for me. It did work for the chiropractor’s pocket :D.

    @ Mick – Thanks for sharing. I just do it 1X15 one time a day with green bar and surprisingly it has shown some positive affects.
    I will definitely start doing 3X15 just like you. Immediately after Flexbar I cover my elbow with an ice pack, probably that helps.

  • Mick Byrne 19 February 2010, 2:42 pm

    Yash,

    I just checked the study and it says do 3×15 once a day.

    I am going to stick with 3×15 for 3 times per day because I am getting such good results. I am using the blue bar now.

    I am still wearing my Band-It most of the time.

    Mick

  • Kathryn 25 February 2010, 4:31 am

    Hi Mick,

    Great website. Just some info for your readers. I used to wear the BandIt brace for my left elbow but found it uncomfortable. My hand therapist at the Curtis National Hand Center here in Baltimore switched me over to one made by Bioskin. Talk about incredibly comfortable. I don’t even know it is on. So if folks can’t tolerate or don’t like the hard plastic pad on the BandIt they should check out Bioskin.

    Kat

  • Yash 2 March 2010, 10:26 pm

    @Mick
    You know what, since the day I read your comment about Flexbar 3×15 3 times a day I started the same routine and it has given me amazing results (I said amazing cuz I have tried almost everything with 0 results).
    Yeah I am also wearing BandIT most of the time. it has now become a part of my body :D.
    Thanks a lot.
    Keeping my fingers crossed.

    Are you doing any kind of strengthening exercises or is it too early to start?

  • Donna 4 March 2010, 7:19 pm

    I have a case of golfer’s elbow in my right arm that I’ve had now since the middle of January. I was doing pull ups one day and injured my arm and that’s when I realized finally that I had tennis elbow. That was back in late September/early October. I thought that I could just ignore the injury and keep working out. Of course, that didn’t work. I had a cortisone shot in November. I even had physical therapy for it. Everything had been fine until I went dancing (yeah, dancing of all things) in January and I was shagging and doing the jitter bug…having an awesome time really. The next day is when I realized I had re-injured the same arm, but this time is was medial intead of lateral. So…now I’ve had my second cortisone shot. I’m afraid to work out and use this arm now because it seems as though once it’s been injured, it is easy to re-injure. Any thoughts?

  • Colin McNulty 4 March 2010, 7:36 pm

    > I’m afraid to work out and use this arm now because it seems as though once it’s been injured, it is easy to re-injure.

    That is definitely true. Fortunately there are lots of solutions on this thread for you to try whilst it gets better. Good luck.

  • loretta hoolmaa 6 March 2010, 12:27 am

    I have suffered for years with golfers elbow. I also tried every remedy under the sun but to no avail. In the end i had surgery which i have to say has worked very well.
    I now have no pain but will need physio which is a small price to pay.

  • AB 6 March 2010, 4:41 pm

    Do you guys using the Flexbar have golfers elbow or tennis elbow?
    The webiste doesn’t really indicate golfers elbow, and I am wondering how it would work on medial epicondylitis.

    I have had mine since July ’09 and looking at PRP treatment or ASTYM. Had a cortisone shot in October and then reinjured playing basketball.

    MRI just shows swelling, no tears. The thing just feels bruised all the time and no power in curling anymore.

  • Dale 9 March 2010, 5:57 pm

    Whew! That was a long thread.
    I’ve had GE in both elbows at least twice. I think I’m on my third time with my left elbow right now. I’m not sure if that makes me an expert or a fool. For me, the cause of the injury was heavy pulling exercises, such as lat pulldowns and barbell curls. Unfortunately, there is no easy cure. Each time it took me months to heal and would not do so until I stopped re-aggravating it with exercise. Once it has healed to a certain point, though, I did try to train around it, being sure to wear a neoprene sleeve for extra protection. I found that hammer curls aggravated it less tban regular curls, and dumbell rows less than lat machine pulldowns. The pullover machine was also a good alternative for lat work, as the upper arm pads bear the weight, not the hands, forearms, or biceps. The real key is prevention: warming up thoroughly, increasing weight gradually, and not going super-heavy or doing any jerking movements. A steady diet of wrist curls helps, too. Unfortunately, I always get greedy and try to do too much.
    Very informative post. Thanks to all.

  • Yash 9 March 2010, 9:37 pm

    @Donna – I have had 3 cortisone shots and I would suggest you not to get anymore cuz its a temporary fix and going forward it will make the tendons weaker. All you need to do is pamper it like a baby, give rest and try Flexbar (that has helped me the most – read my posts). You may want to ice it 3 times daily and if possible take NSAIDs under a doctor’s administration. If its new then physical therapy might help but otherwise I have all my doubts.
    Wear a BandIT band if possible.

    @AB – Yes I have golfer’s elbow (now I have started feeling tennis elbow too :( ..). Again, I would not suggest any further cortisone shots. Its kinda hit or miss … for me it was a “miss” three times… you can search the flexbar exercises on youtube as well. You must stop any kind of weight training. I didn’t and that is why I am suffering since 1 and a half year.

    BTW, although I am slowly improving GE I have somehow started feeling TE now :(, its quiet frustrating.

  • Mick 15 March 2010, 4:45 pm

    Hi Yash,

    I am on the blue Flexbar now, progress has slowed but I still think results are amazing overall. I am not doing any other work to strengthen yet, i am going to see if all my pain dissapears first.

    AB; I read that you can use the Flex bar for Golfers or Tennis elbow, just do some googleing, I think the exercises are different for each.

    Mick

  • Yash 16 March 2010, 9:53 pm

  • Mark Prior 23 March 2010, 1:58 pm

    This is a great site!

    I’ve been sufering with golfers elbow for about 6 months now. I had it 5 years ago and a cortisone injection cured it within a week or so. This time around – no such luck! I’ve had a couple in the last few months and nothing.

    I’m currently following most of the advice on this blog (stretching, bandit clasp, strengthening etc) but I’ve seen no improvement so far…although I realise its going to take time!

    Anyway, I’ve seen these “Powerball” gadgets on the internet and they claim to aid in the rehabilitation of golfers elbow. Has anybody had any success with them?

  • Mick 24 March 2010, 12:47 pm

    Hi Mark,

    Nope, get the Flexbar and do the Tyler Twists. Only way I got any results.

    Reckon Im 80to90% cured now, just struggling with the last bit.

    Mick

  • Rick 7 April 2010, 12:00 am

    Time to put the suggestions to a test!!! I injured my elbow playing tennis. I have been playing for most of my life, but when I switched to a stiffer racquet w/a smaller grip that seemed to be helping my game – the trade off was a case of golfer’s elbow.

    I live in the U.S. (Home of the Tennis Hall of Fame) and of course there are quick cures posted everywhere but Colin’s approach seems the most sound. So the icing has begun, the light stretching as well, I have a tennis elbow arm strap w/a gel compression point and once the pain subsides I have a number of light to heavy weights I will begin using. I need to be back on the courts by June so I will track the progress and any other additional approaches I add.

  • Stephen 23 April 2010, 9:15 pm

    Hi,

    I fell hard on my elbow at the start of December 2009.
    I am unsure if I have golfers elbow/tennis elbow or what. Maybe someone who has had either can let me know?
    Heres my problem and my background:
    I am a regular gym go’er and boxer.
    After I fell on my elbow I let it rest for 1 month.
    When I went back to boxing training and threw out a fast straight punch (i.e. fully extended) I would get a shot of pain in my elbow, and my arm would instinctively drop. The pain lasts for about 10seconds and then the elbow is sore again. The pain seems to be focused on the the tricep-elbow tendon/ligament, as that’s the place that pains and heats up.
    I only really feel pain when my arm is fully locked, under heavy tricep work or pullups/lat pulldowns.
    I have very mild discomfort with rows and bicep work.
    I have no pain from heavy deadlifts.
    I seen 2 physios over the course of 2months and they did all the treatments Colin mentions in his first post but I seen no real results, only temporary relief. Once I through a quick punch it would be aggravated again.
    I got an xray (clear) and am due for an MRI in 6weeks. (Ill update here with results)

    Does this sound like GE?
    Has anyone else experienced this?

  • Tim 4 May 2010, 9:26 pm

    I’ve had golfer’s elbow off and on for 2 years. This time, it was in both elbows and it was from a combination of lifting weights and wrestling.

    Most recent bout started in mid Jan 2010…I completely stopped working out (no lifting, no wrestling) on Feb 15th. It got WORSE over the next 2 months. On April 28, I got a cortisone shot in each. I was trying to do it without (ice, heat, band, etc), but it wasn’t going away and I wanted to get back in the gym. 3 days after the cortisone….both elbows are pain free with movement, and have only very slight pain when pressing on the bone on my inner elbow. So I’d say they are 90% better. Before, it hurt to wash my face, ring out a wash cloth, pull doors open, etc.
    I see some say that cortisone MASKS the pain. It doesn’t. The pain you are having is from inflammation. Cortisone is a very powerful anti-inflammatory drug, and it greatly reduces the inflammation, therefore greatly reducing the pain. Now…if you go back to doing the same things in same manner in which you got golfer’s elbow, you will get it again.
    So now comes the problem of not repeating what I did before. I am also going to therapy….starting tomorrow. I think they will be doing massage and what not. I will also look into the flexbar and additonal stretches.
    In my un-expert opinion, cortisone is a miracle drug for Golfers elbow. It is VERY important that you get it from a doctor who KNOWs exactly where to give it. The first doctor I talked to wouldn’t give them, as he said “if you put the shot in the tendon, it will cause deterioration”. I guess it is supposed to go NEAR and AROUND the tendon, but not in it.
    So…here on out…my focus is on prevention.

  • Yash 6 May 2010, 5:50 pm

    @Tim – I use to be a cortisone lover but now I hate it!!! Just like you my pain went off in 2 days puff!!!! and I started my regular gym ( with extra stretching and warm up this time)… after 3 months the pain was back….

    I am not trying to scare you…I’d say, just do everything to prevent it and take it easy on the weights for sometime….

    Best luck…

  • Mick Byrne 18 May 2010, 3:22 pm

    Hey,

    I think I am 99% fixed now. Tyler Twists got me to 90% massage, stretching and some strength work as done the rest.

    Took approx 8 months. Could of been quicker If I had spotted it and started rehab sooner.

    Soon be training again. Huzzah

    Mick

  • Colin McNulty 19 May 2010, 7:38 pm

    Good to hear that Mick. BTW I had a Pose session with Jon Port at the weekend.

  • David 1 July 2010, 11:10 pm

    I’ve had ME in both elbows for over a year and it blows. I am fairly certain it is from lifting weights too often. I quit lifting for a long period of time (8 months), had countless cortizone shots, physical therapy and even had surgery on one elbow. I have never had a single day of relief. Now they hurt even when I don’t bend them. They just hurt. The pain just randomly shoots down my arms. I have decided to go back to lifing and learn to spend the rest of my life in pain.

  • Yash 9 July 2010, 7:59 pm

    @David – Try Thera Band’s Flexbar… It might help you.

  • mike 13 July 2010, 3:25 am

    Mayebe this advice might help you guys, stop weigth training take diclofenac once a day for 2wks put ice twice a day for 10 min and after soak the elbow in lukewarm waterr , i suffered GE On july 1st and now im pain free , I’m just gonna do the same for a month and Ill let you know how is it going

  • Phil 2 August 2010, 6:04 pm

    Hi, I had golfers elbow, probably from doing stupid weight on curls, and had surgery back in April at Kaiser…yuck. I should have known better than to go there since they botched an earlier torn meniscus surgery. Anyway, I went to a specialist outside of the evil HMO and the doctor said that he would have never done what they did. He said they re-attached the piece of torn tendon and his teacher told him that that only tends to cause pain in the patient. He would have just completed the tear. I have really been through hell as far as limiting my workouts and not really being able to work out like I want. The new doc also said that he cannot do an MRI yet cause the surgery is too recent, but that the pain should eventually go away. It’s good to hear that everyon’s pain eventually goes away. Thank you for that. :)

  • Jason 30 August 2010, 9:42 am

    QUESTION FOR FLEX BAR USERS – YASH AND MICK…

    I have had GE for 3 years – just had a good year off and was able to do work on a cross trainer but not weights. Problem began after doing MMA training and hitting a pad hard – my ‘mouse arm’ is the main culprit. I went back to MMA last saturday and my elbow exploded in pain. Been icing ever since and I have just ordered a BioSkin® Tennis Elbow Skin for GE. I plan to take 3 months rest and use this daily.

    I plan to then begin using the flexbar red – should I wait until all signs of pain are gone or can I begin whilst still feeling some pain…are you both nearly healed now or are you still suffering?

    Anyone else had any sucess with flexbar?

  • alexei 31 August 2010, 4:34 pm

    I started to feel pain on my inside elbow in January 2009 after heavy weight training. By end of January 2009 the pain was unbearable. I went to see the doctor and it was the first time I heard about something called Golfer’s elbow. As recommended I went through R.IC.E + NSAIDs + Physiotherapy + Flexbar (good to relieve the pain but not sure if it can cure GE)for 3 months with no improvement at all. The pain was still the same. So I decided to have Cortisone shot in May 2009. Like magic, the pain disappeared completely in a few days. 3 weeks after the Cortisone shot I started again with weight training. I felt great with no pain until 2 months later when I woke up one morning with severe pain. I tried again complete rest with ice and anti inflammatory drugs for 3 months and the pain was still there. It just didn’t go away. So I took another Cortisone shot in November 2009, but this time I changed my plan. After the shot, I completely rested my elbow for 6 continuous months, and I was aware not to put any load on it. Last June I started weight training again and for the last 3 months I am pain free.
    So I think the secret to cure GE is to have a Cortisone shot then REST, REST, REST and REST. And when you feel that you’re good enough REST. Give your elbow around 6 months to rest after a Cortisone shot and you’ll be ok.

  • Mick Byrne 1 September 2010, 1:02 pm

    JASON,

    Start on the red, I still had a fair amount of pain and it helped.

    I am not 100% healed yet but I keep aggravating it. i believe this is caused by poor wrist flexibility. IMHO poor flexibility in forearms is the main cause.

    Read this:

    http://www.eatmoveimprove.com/2009/08/on-tendonitis/

  • Doug Garver 1 September 2010, 8:27 pm

    Great blog. i appreciate you thoroughness. My golfers elbow started about 3 months ago. (although it’s always been in the background) Doing straight curls with a bar and pullovers always aggravated it. I’ve been lifting since 1977. Anyway it finally tore. An Xray and MRI show it to be golfers elbow. The exercises you describe sound very painful, but I am going to try them. Interesting thing happened at the same time as this. My chronic back pain got so bad I had to stop exercising altogether for 3 months. Every attempt only set me back further. Doc prescribed drugs for pain and inflammation. I refused them, except on days when the pain was too much to bear. Then I got gout in the foot. I thought maybe I had broken my toe. In researching this, I read online that cherry juice can relieve it. I found it and drank 8 oz. Two hours later ALL my pain was gone (except the elbow). That’s been over a month and it has not returned. (I drink 8 oz 2xday). This is life changing for me. I am now back in the gym and nursing the elbow through daily excersize. I got a cortizone injection which I think did nothing and don’t intend to repeat that. I want to join a track club for seniors (over 50) and am now encouraged that I will be able to do that. Thanks for your post – Doug

  • Brandon 3 September 2010, 2:01 am

    Hey all GE suffers. Thanks to Colin for starting this wealth of knowledge. I’m recieved my first bout of GE from a labour position as a stone mason. The constant large rock picking spelt desaster or my elbows.

    It continued off and on for 3 years now. Now it’s at its worst. I also enjoy to work out and play on the computer which I think can stress it. Thanks to this thread I’m going to get either the band-it or bio skin, which is better?
    Also getting the thera bar. I have got one round of prolotherapy so far and have seen physio’s aswell.

    I’ve seen a couple other people ask this question but no one has chimed in yet. Can a guy start the strengthening exercises even when the tendons are abit sore still? I’ll keep you guys updated with my progress.

  • Jason 4 September 2010, 6:50 am

    Mick – thanks for the link and post appriciate it greatly.

    Brandon – I have been using bioskin for 3 days – already there’s a massive difference but my advice is not to have it too tight if you are at work unless your arm is straight – can pinch if too tight if your arm is bent for long periods.

    I haven’t used it overnight yet but during the day is fine – deffo helped the pain subside and can be worn under a shirt without discomfort or it being noticed. Only element that is plastic is the holder for the strap and this is tiny.

    Highly recomend bioskin so far…

  • Paul 15 September 2010, 2:57 am

    One year in a half 3 cortisone shots, physio, ice stretching rest, nothing works , the cortisone shot # 2 worked the best but came back, have to rest and rest..

  • Yash 27 September 2010, 11:02 pm

    @Jason,
    Sorry for a late reply. Flexbar did work for me for quite sometime. My pain reduced quite a lot but never 100%. May be I never gave my elbow a proper rest. I still have the pain. Surgery is very expensive so I am still looking for a better and cheaper option.

  • Peter 11 October 2010, 1:21 am

    Hi Colin,
    I’ve read on this thread about Flexi bar and Tlyer twist. What is it and were can i get one?

  • Mikkel Ravn 14 October 2010, 11:18 am

    Hi all!

    Got GE from being overzealous with my attempt at bagging the one-arm pull-up. Felt a sharp pain during training, adapted my training regime to minimize the pain, but should have backed of from the training there and then, since the pain would not go away.

    Consequently I took a months rest, until the worst symptoms had died down; however, I was by no means pain-free when I resumed training.

    4 months on I’m well on my way to recovery, following a simple rule of thumb: If an exercise causes pain during or after, drop it immediately – you can always come back to it in two to three weeks. Do only exercises that cause absolutely no pain! Work around the injury. It seems that exercises that involve a pushing motion (using triceps) are unaffected by EG, while pulling motions (with biceps) can easily cause pain.

    Following this approach, I have been doing one-armed push-ups, weighted one-legged squats, kettlebell snatches, swings, presses, jerks, L-seats, deadlifts, macebell swings etc., adding more and more exercises as I get progressively better. The kettlebell clean was impossible to do at first, even with a 16 kg. I am now able to clean a 32 kg without pain, but I am careful not to overdo it. I am still not able to curl even a light weight, and pull-ups (my favourite exercise) start to cause pain after 2 x 5 reps, so I am leaving those at the moment.

    The main point is that excessively long rest periods will weaken your tendons, so that upon returning to one’s sport, one is even more susceptible to repeated symptoms. Do the exercises that cause no pain, and very slowly build up from there, constantly listening to your body to avoid aggravating the injury.

    Just my five cents.

  • Mikkel Ravn 14 October 2010, 11:48 am

    By the way, forgot to mention an important point about exercises: I’ve experienced that with my arm straight I can grip heavy weights, suspend myself from climbing holds etc. without pain. It appears to me that pain results from a combination of activation of the forearm (gripping something) while simultaneously bending the elbow joint. When the forearm starts to compress against the bicep, that’s when the pain starts for me – anybody else experience this?

    So, while this means that for the time being full range-of-motion pull-ups and curls are out of the question, it does open the door to deadlifts, kettlebells snatches, swings, and not least, the turkish getup. Just focus on what you can do, and enjoy it.

    Bottom line: pain = no gain

  • Tony B. 22 October 2010, 11:00 am

    Well Chris, I bet you didn’t really expect to see this blog still active over 2 years on eh?
    Like you I’m an active sufferer of this condition and probably like most of us here I throw regular curses to the gods, their mates and their dogs – none of which is printable although frequently repeated!
    They say prevention is better than cure. Hmmm ok, but we can only prevent if we know the causes to avoid – and as I’m revisiting this pain in the ar…m for a second time it finally occurs to me “it’s something I’m doing wrong?” Obviously slow on the uptake!
    I’m interested that a lot of sufferers here relate the start of their problems to weight lifting or injury direct to the elbow like a knock on the [not so] funny bone perhaps? ..or a change in a given routine like for the guys playing tennis changing their equipment/grip etc.
    Now you’re reading this, have a think about your first time – no not THAT first time – but your first experience of GE … were you over gripping perhaps? Over reaching? Both? Could you describe it as an impact injury (and here I don’t just mean from a knock, this could be impact or sudden stress on the tendon, like when hitting a training pad or bag – the “impact” shock must go somewhere, or a weight loaded acceleration like bench press…) Have a think guys and write back, it’d probably help a lot of us understand a little bit more.
    ps… tried the various creams and stuff. Chris you’re absolutely right. Bollox.
    pps…how’s your condition now – any recurrence?

    Cheers!
    Tony

  • Raju 25 October 2010, 4:46 pm

    Colin, Wonderful narration, great resource for golfer’s elbow nightmare.
    I noticed pain inside of of my left elbow some time Nov 2009, actually after the end of my golf season. I never experienced any pain while playing the entire summer. I went thro’ pysio therapy twice for 6 weeks without any cure and aslo used the band, which helped me a great deal. Again I resumed my play for the entire summer and never experienced any pain in the left or the right elbow while playing. Lucky me! we also won the league champioship too! However the pain has come back to both my elbows (medial) after the golf season and prevent me from doing my VERY normal chores. Since Sept ’10, many creams and massaging oil which I tried, hasn’t helped any. Now I’m in my 3rd round of acupunture and will continue for next two weeks. I begin to wonder if my golf is what is causing the pain or my regular work out at the Gym, as I can still drive balls and play my golf pain-free. I think it’s important to find out the cause, so that I can prevent it from getting worse.

  • Mike E 29 October 2010, 10:01 pm

    Golf is INDEED what caused my GE in the right elbow. I can narrow its onset down to the day back in August 2010 when I was on the practice tee for 2+ hours and hit 200-250 balls trying to groove in a swing change to stay on plane all way the through the backswing and downswing (i.e. letting the arms/hands drop straight downward from the top of the swing, bringing the right elbow in closer to my right side while at the same time holding the lag, the wrist cock, just a bit longer…and finally…reaching impact with the shaft leaning forward). That final position, shaft leaning forward with my right hand still slightly cocked at impact (think final “push” of the shaft the instant prior to release) is the action that began the micro tears. Two months hence, near-complete rest (I hit a few easy wedges one day 6 weeks ago to test it), and I still have pain in certain weight bearing movements (palm up lifting). I assume I have a mild case as there is very, very minimal pain to the touch of the effected area. I do a variation of the Table Stretch as in…while sitting, palm up, elbow bent, left hand pulling the right fingers downward as I slowly straighten the elbow and hold. I also to the Table Stretch against a wall…arm straight out, fingers pointed downward.

    Until I read the 2+ years of everyone else’s GE issues and non-effective rememdies, I figured I had just another 3-4 weeks to go. The common thread that seems to be running through many of the comments is rest, resT, reST, rEST, REST. I have a hunch that’s what my M.D. will tell me when I have my annual physical next month. Last year, I complained about my plantar faciitis expecting him to write me a podiatrist referral. He didn’t. All I got was “…we recommend rest and stretching…” I figure I’ll get the same on my GE.

  • Jaspal 2 November 2010, 8:34 pm

    Hi Guys, this is a great blog with great info.
    Ive had bad elbow pain for many months, inside of the elbow, however i have no problem training biceps, back, but any pressing excercise- chest/ shoulder press, pressups, dips, triceps i cant do them. Is my condition still golfers elbow? Thanks

  • robert 8 November 2010, 1:35 am

    Hi!..
    Any one tried taking piroxicam?Does is cure?
    thanks
    /r

  • Brian Butterfield 12 November 2010, 9:07 pm

    I’m surprised you didn’t have a cortisone treatment. It took the daily pain away immediately, but it is not the cure. Time heals all wounds.

  • Colin McNulty 14 November 2010, 8:39 am

    Hi Brian, I didn’t have the cortisone treatment for exactly the reason you state: it is a temporary relief from pain so you can continue to train, it doesn’t cure the underlying problem. As continuing to train could only make the situation worse, as evidenced by the pain getting worse when I did train, I figured cortisone injections would only prolong the recovery time. Having said that, if you are a competing athlete and need pain relief for an up coming competition, cortisone injections would seem like a good idea, if you’re priority is the competition rather than recovery as soon as possible.

    I have no idea if that theory is sound, but it seems plausible to me. Basically for me, I wanted to treat the cause, not the symptoms.

  • Ian 25 November 2010, 1:22 pm

    Hi everyone, I’ve been dealing w/ME in both elbows since April ’09. I lifted weights for years w/no problems. It wasn’t until I started doing kettlebell lifts that my problems started.

    I’ve had 3 cortisone shots in each elbow, NSAIDs, ART (active release tech), acupuncture, hollistic dr, massage therapist all w/no results.

    I had my first round of prolotherapy 2 weeks ago and it is still so sore. Much moreso than normal. I’m gonna try this a few more times and if that doesn’t work, its onto prp and then lastly surgery.

    I have the red and green flexbars, but I noticed that this started to give me LE. Did anyone else have this problem?

  • Chris Girard 30 November 2010, 9:24 pm

    Well, I had surgery last Wed. for ME. Before that, I lived and worked with it for 3 years. I am 44 years old and have been involved in heavy weightlifting since I was 13 years old. I am also an arborist and get to climb trees for work. Never had time to completely rest the elbow, which was part of my problem.

    I have read through most of this Blog, and haven’t read of anyone having gone under the knife. I can tell you that they can’t do the surgery arthroscopically, so they do have to open you up to repair the tendon.

    I’ll post as I go through the rehab starting in a few weeks

  • Colin McNulty 1 December 2010, 9:25 am

    I hope it goes well for you Chris.

  • Chris Girard 2 December 2010, 8:26 pm

    Thanks Colin, I appreciate it. I’m really looking forward to starting physio next week and I know that I will have to temper myself in the upcoming months as the tendon slowly starts to heal and feel better.

    Hope to be climbing and cutting in the trees as well as doing heavy deadlifts and presses again by spring, but I know that it may be up to a full year.

  • Ian 2 December 2010, 9:06 pm

    Chris, did they put you in a cast or anything? I’m wondering cuz I’m debating surgery and both of my elbows are messed up, so I’d like to get them both done at once if possible.

  • Chris Girard 5 December 2010, 12:06 am

    Hi Ian, no they didn’t put my arm in a cast, but they did put it in a 45 deg. splint and wrap the arm from shoulder to wrist, to keep the arm and tendon from moving.

    I’ll find out more this coming Thurs. when the splint is removed and can start physio.

  • Cya 5 December 2010, 11:42 pm

    Hi Colin
    Out of curiosity, ru still pain-free after 2 years?

  • David - CCTV Suppliers 6 December 2010, 12:35 am

    Great article, didnt realise how common my complaint was. Started doing some of the exercises and got some relief.
    David

  • Chris Girard 6 December 2010, 2:08 pm

    Like Colin has said, in time, most ME injuries will heal with enough rest and with the proper physio excercises. My problem was after 3 years of battling it and with my job as a tree climber, it just wasn’t getting better. Surgery was the only option.

    Doctor performed a procedure called “debreeding”, where he went in and removed all the torn and dead tendon tissue and then reattached it to the bone. He also checked the ulna nerve to make sure that there was no impingement, which there wasn’t.

  • Greg 28 December 2010, 10:08 pm

    Hi. Very interesting blog. Thanks Chris.
    I am a physio with medial tendonopathy ME for the last 2 years at least.
    I noticed it cutting veges and blocks of cheese initially but thought it was my tricep tendon. A generous client offered to fix my golf grip so I got into lots of golf. Yes I do qualify for golfer with golfers elbow! The new grip put my elbow into full supination so I presume the tendon got seriously rubbed against the epicondyle. The final straw was two hours of overdone backhand with a tennis coach April 09. Physio work is manual so my elbow doesnt like it, especially manual therapy. Ultrasound didnt help me nor friction, but several tennis elbows I treated have. Eccentric training with light loads didnt work because I am a great distractee, I kept missing ex sessions. Also being top procrastinator doesnt help.
    Long story…nov 09 cortisone#1: 3months pain free but then return to symptoms. 2nd cortisone 4 month efficacy then worse than before plus have now lost end range flex and extension. Have actually asked ortho why they use cortisone, and he couldnt rationalise why. He offered me another but I am going to try loading strategy again plus running as I have read adipose tissue (fat) releases chemicals that irritate tendon(adipocytokines). I have always known cortisone inhibits tissue repair, but its true that anecdotal evidence from the many people you talk to, including wise health professionals will make you leap for that miracle cure. Good things come from hard work. This is my lesson here .

  • sean 29 December 2010, 12:52 am

    Hello to Chris Girard, who just had surgery. I have had ME for 3 years and now have noticeable swelling on my elbow and constant medium pain.

    Who did your surgery and do you recommend them? I’m probably at that point now and would like to investigate this option.

  • Crystal 31 December 2010, 7:08 pm

    I read this post several months ago, including all the comments, to try to heal my golfer’s elow. I had it for four months while trying to fix on my own, and finally i got some help that absolutely worked. Two therapies, Active Release Therapy, or ART, and also ASTYM. You can find providers online, but I went to one appointment for for each type of therapy every week (2 total appointments with two separate providers) and got better over 6 weeks. I’m so exited to finally find something that works. ART is done by a chiropractor, and they press into your arm and bend it around, it hurts a little, but I got immediate relief. ASTYM is done by a physical therapist, and during ASTYM, they put lotion on your arm, and rub tools up and down your arm from your wrist to your armpit on both sides with tools. This doesn’t really hurt, and I don’t know why it works, but oh my goodness, it does. Please email me if I can help you in any way aggirlcrystal@yahoo.com

    Good Luck!

  • Chris Girard 2 January 2011, 12:22 am

    The orthopedic surgeon who did my surgery is in Concord, NH and I have nothing but good things to say about him. I just started my physical therapy last week and so far things are going great. No more pain at all. It has only been a little over 5 weeks and I still have a long, long way to go, but I know that it’ll be fine.

  • sean 2 January 2011, 2:10 am

    Thanks Chris – would you mind emailing me seank@logic.bm if you are able to talk to me more about what you went through?

  • Mary 5 January 2011, 2:40 pm

    I have golfer’s elbow as well, from over-use during swimming, and from carrying a heavy camera for a prolonged time. I got a cortizone shot last year which lasted about 9 months, but unfortunately, I probably aggravated it by not resting properly. I had a second shot, and it didn’t really last that long. I was going to do acupuncture, but my health plan doesn’t cover it. I went to PT once and started their exercises, but the pain has gotten worse, so I’ll probably stop that. I think rest is the best option, but I’m not very patient, and want to return to my swimming and biking. I may try going down to Chinatown and see if they have some lubricants to help increase circulation. I guess rest is best, and recovery is a personal issue…

  • Alex 6 January 2011, 11:57 pm

    Persons whose GE won’t heal have Tendinosis and not Tendonitis.
    Tendonitis is an inflammation of the tendon and it responds very well to RICE and NSAIDs and in severe cases to Cortisone. Tendonitis can be 100% healed.
    However, Tendinosis is NOT an inflammation of the tendon, that’s why RICE and NSAIDs won’t work. Cortisone will simply hide the pain for 2-3 months but the true problem remains. Tendinosis is the degeneration of the tendon where good collagen is replaced by bad collagen and scar tissue is formed, that’s why the pain continues.
    The only thing that can relieve pain in Tendinosis is eccentric exercises or stretching. The other way to treat Tendinosis is surgery where scar tissue is removed.
    I had GE for almost a year now with 4 cortisone shots and endless NSAIDs with complete rest for 6 months and still no improvement. The only thing that relieves my pain is the eccentric stretching. The worst part of the day is when I wake up with this terrible pain because my arm is not stretched but bended all night. I want to undergo surgery but I still hesitate as the tendon will probably lose up to 30% of its strength after the surgery.

  • Chris Girard 8 January 2011, 12:26 pm

    sean, I would like to email you to discuss it more, but my outlook is not working correctly and I can’t send emails.

  • Brian 13 January 2011, 5:39 pm

    Try ART (www.activerelease.com) once or twice a week and ice massage 3x per day. Keep doing that stretch in your picture with the fingers toward the body and the palm flat on a horizontal surface in front of you as many times per day as possible. This works for me to resolve golfers elbow, and as long as I stay away from weighted pull-ups then I can keep my issues at bay. Once I had it really bad and had 2 cortisone shots. The second one finally did the trick, and I was very careful to SLOWLY build back into heavy lifting.

  • Bobi 19 January 2011, 8:34 am

    Accupuncture does work. But it has to be nerve accupuncture which hurts more than normal accupuncture and the needles are twice as long. I live in Korea where accupuncture is common. But there are only a few nerve accupuncture experts here in Asia. He puts the needle in the opposite arm and you feel this electricity going through the arm with the pain. I went when I was in extreme pain and I could feel the arm getting better as I was sitting there. Hurts like no other but definately helps. Don’t know if you can find it where you guys are at.

  • matt g 19 January 2011, 9:47 pm

    can you tell me what brand fish oil you take/where you order from? I have been combatting golfers elbow for over a year and now am going to try alot of what you mentioned. I have taken fish oil, but cheap stuff.

    Thanks.

  • jeff 21 January 2011, 8:51 am

    one thing most people should look at is do you have medial epicondylitis or an ulnar collateral ligament tear. an mri can help with this. both seem to mostly heal with some rest but a good hand surgeon will make a plan for you based on which problem you have. An xray 1st might be good to see if there is any fracture or loose bone fragments.

  • mG 10 February 2011, 8:27 pm

    Thank you, Colin, for starting this thread ! Internet at its best!

    M

  • MG 14 February 2011, 5:59 pm

    Hi Colin,

    Did you begin the ‘fist stretching exercise’ (i.e. hand rotated on table in front) immediately? or did you rest first?

    Thanks … more questions probably to come!

    MG

  • Justin 16 February 2011, 5:51 pm

    Hi guys,

    New to the forum boy this is a wealth of knowledge. I first started with TE and went to a PT to have that cleared, after a few painful weeks for the most part it has cleared. I am using a mouse called the contour roller mouse which allows me to move a bar as a mouse instead of a mouse itself. This has helped the TE but may be leading to my GE. I’ve had GE for a few weeks. What would everyone recommend here first?

    I’m on the icing/NSAID routine right now, if I have no pain doing exercises would you recommend I continue those? I’m interested in using the flexbar but the website looks a bit shady. Did you guys buy it directly from Flexbar? I’m using a Futuro TE brace and reversing it for GE, would you recommend the band-it?

    Unfortunately, I can’t give my elbow much of a break as I’m using it every day for my mouse.

    Thanks in advance,

  • Guy 19 February 2011, 4:29 pm

    I first started noticing elbow pain last April after a cycling holiday and I attributed it to gripping to tight on the handle bars as I came down steep descents.However I realised that it was the pull ups that I do! Anyway almost a year on and I have the pain still but not as severe.After much deliberation ( like Colin) here is my list of attempted cures with the best first!

    1. Rest…..tough for athletes but essential.If it hurts do not do it.Your body will not degenerate and it is likely that you are still fitter than most of the population. You do not want dodgy elbows in your 50s, 60s etc.

    2. massage .Deep massage and also rolling a hard ball up and down my inner forearm for several minutes.I believe that it is called myo fascia release.

    3. Ice

    4. Good nutrition.Supplements could help and unless taken excessively should do no harm.

    5. Rest again,patience and time.Keep fit by finding what does not hurt.I could run,do push ups and kettlebell swings and am in very good shape .

    Might try cherry juice though…..!

  • Hashim 21 March 2011, 3:05 pm

    Elbow exercises (wrist curls with light weight) seemed to have done the trick for me along with heat treatments but you need to stop aggravating the injury. wearing an elbow brace also helped but i don’t need that anymore and wearing it for too long isn’t a good idea i think. i also found that pushing a finger or pen into the pain helped but only until the pain becomes unbearable.

  • Golfers Elbow Treatment 6 April 2011, 7:26 am

    Thanks for this nice post. I also have been researching on golfers elbow for a long time. Your post helped me learn a lot. Specially the zone diet and fish oil supplement are quite interesting to me. I never thought of diet for this type of problems.

  • Cecil 26 April 2011, 2:40 am

    I’ve also tried using elbow brace or support band on my arm. I can say that it worked well in relieving the pain and reduce the inflammation. My doctor told me that wearing tennis elbow brace also helps the blood to travel better at the same time, the essential nutrients are properly absorbed by the damaged tissues so it would heal faster.

  • Wei De 24 May 2011, 5:01 am

    hey there,
    i got my elbow pain from being over-eager i guess…pushing harder each time using heavier weights (the main philosophy of body building) was maybe asking too much. i have had GE on my left elbow in Dec,which only hurt in certain positions (bi curls with palms faing outward,pull ups,tri overhead exercises). i went surfing on xmas,did 40min each day with stones from the beach and TRX. i started using an elbpw strap in jan and was able to train pain free since. BUT since a month i have pain in my right ekow,and it feels much different than in my left elbow! i have pain basically everytime i lift my arm (like scratching my head). i gave it complete rest for a month,was fine and good last week. had 3 sessions (20min chestblight weights,30min shoulders light weights,deadlift heavy weight). no problem. but did chest again yesterday with a bit heavier weights and the pain is back. pisses me off a lot! i lost 3kg of muscle in one month (i a, not naturally a big guy and need to put in the work). i had accupuncture 8times (and it helped,though i live in china and it only costs 20€ a session. she has the neddles in there for 30-40min and then heats them up externally by having a hot stick close to the needles). i will gp back to accupuncture today. my fault really,but i want to get my 3kgs back!
    now the question:
    what do you guys think of machines where you dont use your elbow ( i hate machines,i think they are for girls,but now open for anything that helps build mudcle): some machines allow u to do shoulders by side rotating them upwards (u tuk yr arms underneath them),others allow for chest work out by pressing yr arms against pads and pushing them together whilst sitting. any other ideas?
    deadlift seems fine (but i use straps attached to my wrist and the barbell so i dont have to squeeze hard with my hand. overall: i never exercise if i feel the slightest pain. i stick to walking uphill on treadmill (afraid running will cause more pain beacuse u bounce off the floor),and squats,sit ups.
    it is very frustrating,and only because the pain is so much different from whatbi had in my left elbow do i completely rest my arms.
    cheers from beijing!

  • Rachel Prescott 2 June 2011, 5:09 am

    From this page you link to another page that recommends The Tennis Elbow Solution. Please note that they did not honor the statement “If you decide it isn’t for you, just send me an email within seven days and you’ll never be charged a single dime again.” I sent an email and my credit card was charged anyway. I sent a subsequent email asking how I should handle the fact that my card was charged and received no reply. Do not believe this statement. If you want to check out the tennis elbow solution it will cost you $57.77 to do so, not $4.95 That, in my opinion, is a ripoff. Colin, you seem like a straight up guy. You might want to reconsider your recommendation.

    [Edited to remove all caps - Colin]

  • Colin McNulty 2 June 2011, 9:23 am

    > Colin, you seem like a straight up guy.

    Hi Rachel, thanks for the compliment. Your comment concerned me greatly, because there’s no way I want to recommend anything that causes problems. I can only imagine that Todd is away or something.

    I’m really sorry you thought that the $57.77 price was a rip off. I know I spent hundred of pounds and many wasted months on other quack cures before I followed Todd’s common sense approach. It’s not an over night fix for sure, but his exercises put me on the steady path to recovery and I’m happy to continue to recommend them. How long had you been trying the exercises for before giving up?

    Anyway don’t worry, you can get a refund directly from the company that takes the cash. Look on your email that has the subject like “Receipt for your ClickBank Order #XXXXXXXX”. Scroll down to “CUSTOMER SERVICE” and click the link that looks like: http://clickbank.com/cs/?xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    You can submit a ticket to get a refund there. Under “What problem are you having?” select “More options” and you should then see a selection button that says “Refund Request”. Just fill in the reason and hit Send. It should take a couple of working days (longer if over the week end).

    Please come back and post a comment if that doesn’t get you the refund you want. If you don’t get any joy from that, I’ll refund you the money personally myself! After all, you wouldn’t be in this situation if it wasn’t for my recommendation, and I’m not having that.

  • Rachel 2 June 2011, 10:16 pm

    Thanks for your response. I tried a different email address for Todd (the one from the ClickBank receipt) and did get a response. He said that he would refund the charge.

  • Colin McNulty 3 June 2011, 6:40 am

    That’s good to hear Rachel. I’m just sorry the remedial exercises didn’t work for you. You have 60 days from the point of purchase to get a refund if they don’t improve your elbow pain. How long did you try them for?

    You didn’t say why you think 50 something bucks is too much to pay to fix your golfer’s elbow? I’ve managed to do my shoulder in now (trying butterfly pull ups *sigh*) and 4 months in and 2 specialists later, it’s no better. I’m considering going to see a consultant shoulder surgeon. That’ll be $400 USD (£250 GBP) just for the diagnostic appointment! Makes Todd’s $57 a bargain I can tell you.

  • Colin McNulty 28 June 2011, 9:38 am

    I spoke to Todd the other day and asked him about Rachel’s issue above, this is his reply:

    I just looked up Rachel’s order info, and you’re right, she didn’t do any of the exercises. She bought the product on May 24th at 5pm, and at 6 pm she sent an email requesting cancellation.

    The problem arose when I couldn’t confirm her order. She just sent in “cancel me”, and I had no way to confirm which order was hers. Turns out she used what appears to be her husband’s or brothers credit card. So her name or email wasn’t even on the order. Although there was a last name match, I wasn’t going to cancel it out until I was 100% certain it was her order. The next I heard from her was after her card was billed.

    So, I tend to agreethat I don’t believe she ever intended on seeing it through. Some folks are like that.

    Hmmm, pretty damning really. Especially when Todd also sent me a testimonial he’d had from someone who mentioned he’d only tried Todd’s program after reading this very post i.e. someone who actually was prepared to try the exercises and see how they worked out (notice he agrees with me that cortisone injections are definitely a bad idea):

    ============
    Hi Todd,

    Just in case you were serious about wanting to hear about progress with my elbow using your method, I thought I’d write…

    First some background… I’m a swimmer… and a rower… I have MEDIAL epicondylitis in both elbows… I’ve had it in the left elbow the worst (although the right elbow is the worst right now) and that started sometime in the summer of 1990… I remember pulling myself out of the pool August 2nd of 1990… stayed out of the water for about six months and then when I finally got back in, it wasn’t any better… the right elbow has been troubling (but much less so) for a long time but about a year ago it completely went wild … and so I’ve been out of the water again since then…

    In the course of trying to fix both elbows, over time I’ve tried:

    - Rest
    - Ice
    - Various anti-inflammatories
    - Massage
    - Various forearm bands
    - Physical therapy
    - Stretching

    And most recently… and stupidest… cortisone

    None of these worked… well the cortisone worked but only for a few weeks. The reason I say stupidest was cuz I have no experience with cortisone and didn’t quite understand that it was masking the pain… I thought it was acting as a topical anti-inflammatory.

    After a couple weeks, the pain rushed back on me way worse than before… of course because there wasn’t much pain I had been way over using the arm… so that made it much worse… so cross cortisone off my list of things to try.

    Out of desperation I consulted the internet one last time… recognized the postings of a blogger from another swimmer’s (golfer’s) elbow sufferer who has tried more stuff than I have… read his updates since the last time at colinmcnulty.com… and there was a link to your site… so what the Hell, I followed the link… read through your material… and ended up buying your package… then began to diligently apply your methods…

    OH MY GAWD!!!

    After less than a week… What a difference!…

    it’s been almost a week that I’ve been doing the exercises and while I’m notsaying the pain is gone… it is really reduced. I still don’t dare get back in the water… or back out in a rowing shell… but I am daring to think that I might again someday… I really do miss both of these activities.

    I’ve been doing the exercises three times a day… and the stretches about two times… I know that the improvement will be gradual… but now I’m getting all excited that maybe I can get things back to normal so it’s getting hard to wait… feeling very impatient… gotta work on that… been a medial epicondylitis sufferer for over 20 years…

    it’s not just gonna go away over night… but still… I want it to.

    Not sure why I’m writing… I guess cuz you asked how I was doing…

    and also to express my gratitude to you for discovering this … and I’m further grateful to you for not keeping it to yourself.

    All for now… I’ll let you know how I’m progressing…

    Very warm and grateful regards,

    Larry
    =======

    Cool huh? :)

  • Rayca 15 July 2011, 8:29 pm

    Thanks Colin…Great post and wonderful comments. I’m going to be trying quite a few of them. Hurt mine this week. I was on seated calf raise and my legs are too short to lift the bar completely into its resting slot. I always use my hand/arm to push it up into place. I felt the paint immediately and proceeded to do yet another set. DUMB. It’s getting much worse as week progesses. I find it to be more painful with pulling movements, rather than pushing as most folks seem to experience. I have an Ortho. appt. next week but I will be cautious with his recommendations. Physio in the past has been a waste for a few different ailments. I do like keeping injuries stable though, so I will try the band and I just tried the stretching exercise and LOVIN IT. Ice/heat seem to exaserbate injuries (for me) past the 24-48 hour mark. Note: I have NOT stopped lifting but I think I will take others’ advise and train smarter. That doesn’t seem to leave much though. Argh. –Thanks again. I bookmarked this site.

  • les huyton 29 July 2011, 8:28 pm

    Hi Colin
    Sorry to hear that you had a bad experience with acupuncture
    for your Golfers Elbow.
    Many of my patients have had a different experience to you and and have had good benefit as a result of having had acupunture treatment for this condition.
    Grinding needles does sound a little painful and probabably did hurt, however this approach is not my experience of acupuncture treatment unless the person was not well trained or a qualified acupuncturist. A plea from me to other readers is don’t dismiss this treatment as it has helped thousands of patients with success and your experience although painful as it was, is not always the case for others. Thanks for you Web Pages It’s great that many people are viewing and sharing and benefiting from your experience with this condition.

  • Micky 1 August 2011, 6:34 am

    I came down with GE after playing two really bad rounds of golf where I hit one fat shot after another on hard pan fairways. I started a regime to cure my GE and then found this website. I had been on the right track and in the end I followed Colin’s advise 95%, including wearing the Band-IT brace 24/7. I rested the elbow (stopped playing golf) for two months. I also stopped doing any repetitive motions that would cause the elbow the slightest pain. I tried to do the exercises that are recommended for GE but it caused too much pain and decided not to do them since they were painful. The most painful manipulation was trying to take the lid off a jar of pickles. That activity set the healing process back a few weeks. Other activities I refrained from included resting my hand on the computer mouse, brushing my teeth, combing and washing my hair, stirring a pot; etc. Not only was I amazed at the amount of things I did solely with my right arm, I realized just how easy a life my left arm had. It was time to put an end to that. Now my left arm works equally if not more than the right arm. Equal Arm Rights.
    One curious symptom that I experienced during the healing process was that as the Golfer’s Elbow (medial epicondylitis) was getting better, suddenly I came down with Tennis Elbow (radial epicondylitis) in the same arm and then pain in the center of the elbow surfaced. I began to wonder if there is some degenerative tendon disease at work and not just poor execution of the golf swing.
    Well after two months of rest the arm and dieting (I lost 26 lbs /12 kgs while on a no fat-no sugar- no carb diet) I started playing golf again. I try to swing the club with only 75% of my full swing speed. I have been playing well and only experience minor pain after the round. I continue with all the other therapies that I have been using, and I hope that one day the pain will just disappear. All the other golfer’s I’ve spoken with describe their experience and say that the pain just eventually goes away. I can’t wait for that day.

  • Colin McNulty 1 August 2011, 8:24 am

    @Rayca: I know what you mean about Physios, I’ve always been underwhelmed by them and walked away thinking I’ve mostly wasted my money. And yes agreed, self help exercises are defo the way to go IMO.

    @Les: You may be right about acupuncture, but I suspect hell has more chance of freezing over before I let anyone else stick needles in me again!

    @Micky: That’s a great story, thanks for posting. Your symptoms were very typical, certain it was the same for me too. Great news on your diet (though no fat and no carbs sounds extreme!); I too have lost a lot of weight compared to how I was 4 years ago (see these Before and After photos if you’re interested. It’s certainly interesting that you got tennis elbow as well as golfer’s elbow. Until I read Todd Scott’s story, I hadn’t heard of that before.

  • james 16 August 2011, 5:20 am

    Hi Colin,
    Thanks for reporting your findings. I think it’s important that you have written it in a way where everyday people can understand and relate to it without all the medical jargon. I have had a number of cortisone injections in both elbows with some success but this time it has not helped. I’m going to give your advice a go and see how it works for me. Thanks again

  • Gav 17 August 2011, 3:45 pm

    Hi Colin,

    What a great site!!
    I have been putting up witgh this for a few months now and have all of the symptoms that everyone is describing here. Pain at the inner elbow, etc.

    I’ve recently caught the Olympic lifting bug and wondered if you stopped your exercises altogether? Or was there any specific exercises that you felt didn’t aggrevate your elbow too much. I will really find it difficult to stop lifting for a few months. :-(

    Any tips would be welcome.

  • Colin McNulty 17 August 2011, 5:29 pm

    @James, your story of the cortisone injections is all too common. Thanks for the comment and good luck.

    @Gav, cheers mate. First I reduced exercise, reducing load and reps and cutting some things out altogether. That didn’t work so then I stopped all exercise an sulked for a while(!) only really running a bit. I know it sucks, but I’d stop doing anything that hurts, you’re likely only prolonging your recovery. Once I started proper golfer’s elbow targeted exercises did it really start to get better. The good news is, it does get better for everyone, the differentiator is just how long it takes.

    Sadly I’m having to go through this all over again with my rotator cuff tear. I’ve been through the sulking stage (again!) and am back working out and doing specific rotator cuff exercises whilst waiting for the great, but slow, NHS to treat me.

  • Noel 28 September 2011, 2:01 am

    Hello Colin,
    sorry to hear about your shoulder injury–i’ll bet if you face it with the same resilience and proactive mentality you have with your GE you’ll pull through alright.

    your post has been perhaps the best source of honest information I have found on the web concerning GE. I have consulted it many times(perhaps a bit too many–looking this thing up kinda gets me down) during my bout with GE. I’ve lifted weights for about 10 years off and on. I have also held laborious jobs and played guitar and piano–I think all of this eventually led up to my GE. Word to the wise if you have GE and play an instrument you probably need to take a break from that as well as working out–double the fun right?

    anyhow… I never noticed any inflammation after a workout really during this time and then one day about two months ago my elbow ached the day after lifting–I have quit lifting completely and have been stretching my arm every day–just today I started the forearm exercises recommended. Where I am at now is that the sharp pains I had gripping and applying pressure have passed–I get through most of the day without and notice of my elbow at all except occasionally (especially if i am thinking about it) i seem to have a dull ache in that arm. Did you experience this kind of ache or did your sharp pains last longer than 2 months?

    I am planning on taking another month off (this is frustrating)and simply work on the forearm exercises and continue stretching–do you think this is too timid?

    thanks for your post it has been very helpful
    and again best of luck with your shoulder
    Chris

  • Noel 28 September 2011, 2:07 am

    Colin,

    also what are your thoughts on tendonitis vs. tendonosis–there seems to be this controversy out there in the internet weight lifting community–the “itis” usually resolving in a week or two and merely being inflammation and the “osis” being the more chronic condition occurring without inflammation but with degenerative tendons–given my time with the problem i would venture to say mine is chronic–but it seems odd to me that I can have a chronic condition without (knowingly) experiencing the acute condition.

  • Noel 28 September 2011, 2:07 am

    thanks again

  • ken 29 September 2011, 11:30 am

    Hi There all nice site I have learnt alot I have ME in both elbos not as bad as some here but enough to piss a builder off and a little concerned with what I have read here it might or could get a lot worse if I don’t get this condition under control .What I would like to know is how is Chris Girard going with the surgery option. As I have had this ME for a year and been a builder seem to be going around in a circle. Interesting today I meet an old friend ( also a builder) in the street who had been through this in both elbow too for 2 years, had surgury and has been 100% since 4 weeks after opp 1 year ago . He said he had all the scar tissue removed between the tendon and the sheath that it slides in . His diagnosis was as mine no real injury to speck of more over use than anything,ongoing injurys only follow once ME has set in . Chris I was hoping to hear more as to you progress as due to your job your boat sound simular to mine as I,m considering an opp to resolve this

  • Ascanio 1 October 2011, 1:28 am

    Great site. Thanks everyone for all your comments. I am a rockclimber with pretty bad ME. I have had LE in the past and ironically have started to feel the LE come on again as I agressively rehab my ME. I have learned a lot these last few weeks researching ME like crazy and find one thing really stands out: stretching. I read that scar tissue turns rubbery tendons into leathery ones, thus flexible tendons, or those stretched often, are far less prone to getting torn.

    About 16 years ago I broke my right wrist in several places. My rehab at the time was excellent and I regained 95% ROM. For almost ten years, the wrist incident was a long lost memory- until I started climbing quite hard. I soon noticed that the day after a hard day of climbing my right fingers were a lot stiffer than my left. (I assume this is attributable to all the scar tissue built up in the right wrist.)

    Now I stretch every time I remember too and encourage everyone else to do the same. The ME is slowly going away, but today, after climbing a relatively very easy route, the pain came back. I will eliminate any and all forms of rockclimbing until the pain is virtually gone (as climbing injury free is a virtual pipedream). In the meantime, I will train my forearms focusing specifically on the extensors, but also on the flexors. I guess my question is “should I do some serious grip strength training even if there is no pain, or should I refrain from any and all forearm excersizing?” I will be heading to Europe in exactly two months for my first climbing roadtrip and need to get/stay strong and fit. The idea of getting out of shape and/or cancelling the trip is highly unrealistic, but I would like to be as close to painfree as possible.

    Thanks in advance, Ascanio

  • Karen 5 October 2011, 1:50 pm

    Been suffering golfers elbow for about three years. I’ve done everthing the doc said to do and did a lot of what you did. Today, I have so much pain, using the hand can bring me to tears. At this time I am working to a message therapist (the soft and easy doea it kind) to help. We’ll see where it takes me. All I know is that my doc wants to cut nto me ajd I am not for that. Thanks for you article.

  • Ralph 14 October 2011, 3:18 am

    As near as I can tell, I got golfer’s elbow on the driving range when I was really practicing for distance but just kept chunking the ball, trying to “improve” my swing. Lifting weights agravated and it took a while to learn what exercise to avoid, and what was okay. Heavy curls were bad, weighted pushups that acentuated tri muscles were the worse, and am still experimenting. I have a mild case, stiffness when I stretch my arm, especially in the am after sleeping. Had this for about 10 months now. Stopped all weights for six weeks which really helped, but damn it’s back since I’ve resumed my regimen, even with modifying the intensity. Being 67 years old is not helping, either, though I have been active again with the clubs. Some rotator cuff exercises, lying on the side, lifting the weight, with elbow tucked into side was a no no. Colin mentioned he has a rotator injury, so I hope his rehab doesn’t include this movement.

    I read somewhere that whey protein, besides fish oil, was good for joints. Can anyone confirm this?

  • Grahame Falconer 17 October 2011, 4:53 pm

    I took up golf again in August this year after a number of years absence and immediately started to feel the pain of golfers elbow in my right elbow. The doctor said rest and anti-inflammatories. After many Ibuprofen and Nurofen tablets no result. So this did not really cure the pain – I must admit I did keep up the golf with the help of a band.
    Then a friend suggested acupuncture. After 3 treatments I am cured. It did not really hurt not compared to the pain of golfers elbow.
    So I would recommend Acupuncture.

  • Ralph 18 October 2011, 1:31 am

    Grahame: How are holding that club? I went to a PT person yesterday, a good golfer, who pointed out that the inside of my elbow was facing out too much, towards the target,maybe causing my problem. I used to keep the back of my right elbow aimed toward my right hip. She said it should be pointed more away from my body, behind me to reduce the stress on the elbow joint. Just so you know, my golfing on good days is generally wretched, so this is grain of salt info.

    Good to hear that acupunture works. Are you still golfing without pain? What about the next day, or the day after that, when it hits( me) the most. No tingling?

  • JIM R 23 October 2011, 5:08 pm

    Great info! Thanks!
    Has anyone who read this and suffers from Golfer’s elbow had any treatment called ASTYM? What was your experience?

  • judy 7 November 2011, 3:41 am

    try motion medicine, now available in Canada. I just started using it for neck and shoulder pain and TMJ (chronic jaw pain) helps relieve pain in 10 minutes. Gave some to my boyfriend who was diagnosed with Golfer’s elbow–he is getting some relief from this painful condition. (just google motion medicine) as with other pain conditions, it will go away eventually with time, but a little help is nice along the way.

  • Larry 9 November 2011, 4:35 pm

    I had GE in my right elbow for 8 years. Got it from too much golf (over use). Initially tried RICE and progressed to PT with no improvement (interestingly my PT said I’d been better off breaking my elbow as far as healing is concerned).

    Finally got a shot of cortisone (kenalog) which initially made it feel worse, but after ~ 4 days it was like someone hit a switch, instant pain relief and no sign of soreness. Basically a miracle.

    I tried using more left arm in my swing. That caused what I would call minor LT in my left elbow. For eight years the LT never progessed beyond soreness or tenderness to the touch in my left elbow and never hurt while I was playing golf. Manageable.

    Six months later the GE in my right elbow came back. Back to square one. Tried another cortisone shot (not kenalog) and nothing. Tried another and specifically asked for kenalog and nothing. The doctor said that he would not advise another shot due to the possibility of muscle atrophy.

    He told me surgery was 70-80 percent successful, but he would recommend that I just go play golf, if I could withstand the pain, I probably would not do any more damage. Stretch before, wear a elbow strap while playing and ice after. And don’t over-do it. Which I did for eight years.

    He gave good advise and turned out to be the right option for me. I never had any static pain and I would guess if I stopped playing golf it would clear up completely.

    The elbows hardly ever hurt during golf, but was always sore afterward and always was tender to the touch regardless of whether I played golf. In other words it was manageable. This went on for ~ 8 years, until a few months ago.

    A few months ago I strengthened my grip and noticed that my GE in my right elbow started to feel less sore, so much so that I stopped wearing the elbow strap.

    However, last month I noticed some fatigue in my arms after playing. I noticed some (outer) forearm soreness in both arms, but ignored it. Long story short I now have LT in both arms.

    IMO it came from the combination ofthe grip change (using different forearm muscles) and over-use (too much golf).

    As my PT told me, this injury is one of the slowest to heal, I’ve decided against cortison shots. Basically nothing works from my experience except cortison and after becoming more educated on cortisone I would only consider it if I had static pain.

    It’s ironic that after 8 years the soreness in my left elbow progressed to full blown LT. From my experience the body will heal both tendonitis and tendonosis if it’s not torn that bad. But it takes so damn long and I don’t want to give up golf.

    I just purchased the Red and Green flex bars and am doing the eccentric exercises. The clinical trial results sounded promising. My un-educated guess is my left arm is tendonosis and the newly developed LT in my right elobow could be tendonitis.

    I don’t expect to be cured completely from my previous experience. I expect a long tough slog just to get the elbows back to being manageable.

    Again, for me everyday life is manageable and I could easily live with epicondylitis and would expect it to resolve over a long period of time. But I love golf and am going to try these eccentric exercises and hope for the best.

    I’ve set my expectations low (from experience). I can handle soreness playing golf, but I can’t play golf in pain. Manageability is the goal.

  • Bill 9 November 2011, 10:34 pm

    ASTYM is a form of therapy under the broad category called instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM)–can do this yourself cheaply via a tool called a gua sha. Great for most conditions including the stubborn medial epicondylosis. I personally like Graston IASTM and have emerged from my bilateral ME via Graston, the Reverse Tyler Twist (used every day…), and a clunky looking device called an Actipatch that controlled symptoms(got on Amazon.com). Anyways, it still took about 2 months, but at least am now painfree.

  • Larry 10 November 2011, 3:43 pm

    Bill

    How long did you have elbow problems before you started using the flex bars? And which bar did you use (red, green etc.). I have it in both elbows (lateral epicondylitis) and have been using the red flex bar for 10 days now, doing 3 sets of 15 in each elbow one after another.

    Is this how you did it or did you do one elbow and wait awhile to do the other?

    I’m think of moving on to the green bar.

    I’m also doing stretching and a myofascial massage with a tennis ball against a wall. That actually takes the stiffness out for awhile.

    As I mentioned my left elbow (lateral epicodylitis) has been sore for ~ 8 years, but only recently developed into pain when I swung a golf club. My guess is that elbow is tendonosis and the flex bars should work breaking up scar tissue and replacing it with good tissue so the tendon can re-generate.

    My right elbow is a very recent injury and my guess is it’s tendonitis. I only waited ~ 10 days to start using the flex bars. Not sure that’s enough time to allow, but it doesn’t really hurt too bad doing the exercises, so I’m continuing on.

    Elbows are more sore than before starting the use of the flex bars, but from what I’ve read that’s normal.

    For me it’s ironic that the same thing that caused the injury (over-use / over-loading of the forearm muscles and tendons) is used to rehabiliate the condition.

  • Bill 10 November 2011, 10:27 pm

    I had it at a low level for years on and off. When it settled in I finally was motivated to get on a structured program. I had read much about tendonitis vs. tendonosis and knew I was in the tendonosis camp where cortisone and ionto wouldnt have much of an effect. I then started with the most current protocols that I could find which included progressive eccentrics with flexbars, myofascial release(Graston: Faktr.com and gua sha tool: cart.longevitynetwork.com/?add_item=IBLDRA), and actipatch (discovered recently bielcorp.com is cheaper due to free shipping). Because it was on both sides, my fiance did the flexbar loading of each arm for 3×15 reps. It did not feel much better, in fact for the first few weeks worse, until about week 4. Just resign into it and dont expect anything for a month and then slow resolution over the next 2-3 months.

    Logic:
    Eccentrics with flexbar:
    Unfortunately, I have not found the studies to validate the reverse tyler twist…yet, but eccentric protocols seem to be the most effective treatment for tendonosis conditions in order to promote fibroblastic activity and to remodel collagen from the disorganized state that is characterized by this problem. Protocols are established for achilles tendonosis, Patellar tendonosis, and lateral epicondylosis.

    IASTM:
    The use of Gua sha type tools to further promote collagen remodeling and fibroblastic activity are supported by research. One can look at the research on sites such as Graston.com and astym.com.

    Actipatch:
    Don’t quite know how it works other than what they say on their website (bielcorp.com). All I know is that it significantly controls the symptoms while treatments of the problem takes place.

  • Albert Brand 14 November 2011, 2:07 pm

    All the posts are very informative.Helps to know that you are not alone in this!!!
    I have tried everything!!!It has driven me to the edge.I am considering surgery now after 2 years of no improvement.
    Thanks for the site!

  • Roid 26 November 2011, 7:38 pm

    4 months of Lateral Epicondylitis, 3 courses of anti-inflammatories and 2 jabs of cortisone later and the improvement is actually ZERO.
    I developed it in the gym, lifting heavy and I have given it rest, but not a complete stop of weight lifting but a mere lighter work out, to avoid stiffening as my sport GP recommended.
    Against all advice I started a steroid cycle (injectable testosterone, Primabol and oral anadrol) and after one week the pain didnt just ease off – it disappeared COMPLETELY. I am now in the 10th week of the 12 week cycle and I have put on muscle massively, my strength has gone through the roof, I look lean and am completely pain free, lifting heavier than ever before.
    How is that for the steroid sceptics!?!?!?

  • Larry 2 December 2011, 6:29 pm

    Roid

    Let us know when that third eye starts to appear in the middle of your forehead.

  • Larry 2 December 2011, 6:36 pm

    Well I’m one month in on the eccentric exercises with the flex bars. Just started doing the green bar exclusively (3 sets of 15 a day with each elbow). I think I’m a little better. Hopefully in a another month I’ll see even more improvement.

    What I’ve found with bilateral epicondylitis is there seems to be no problem doing them (each elbow) back to back.

  • Zahra Parker 7 December 2011, 1:18 pm

    I can definately relate to many of the comments. I suffered 2 years with epicondyltis trying all therapy, braces (that were also made). Unfortunately, the pain started to travel up into my shoulder. At this point I felt that it was time for sugery for the condition, which also included De Quervain syndrome OUCH more pain. The surgery only worked at 50%, still I wear wrist braces along with the elbow band. As of now I have developed epicondylitis in my dominant arm (right). This worries me, because I am constantly asking myy supervisor’s for additional breaks. Of course I am going tothe restroom running extremely hot warter over the hurtful areas and drying it under the automatic dryers. This only helps temporarily, due to my place of employment keeps the centers extremely cold. If your are wonder what my occupation is, I use a keyboard for 8 – 10 hrs. I do have current restrictions but it due to my carpel tunnels. What would be the best treatment for me outside of cortizone injections? HELP!

  • Paul Hayward 3 January 2012, 8:20 am

    Very interesting read, and I must say you dont talk bolox at all just pure facts as you see them.
    I have had Golfers Elbow for about 5 months now and it just does not seem to want to get any better. Its getting me down as its stopping me picking up my 2 year old son.
    I will however follow your exercises and I already wear a strap around my elbow.
    I must say, my physio also just pressed and proded my arm and his answer was all physio treated is about “trial and error” in other words lets see if this works and if not we will try something else. Thanks again and I will get back to you hopefully in a couple of months informing you that I am recovering from this aweful pain.
    Kind Regards
    Paul.

  • LYN 5 January 2012, 12:55 am

    Colin,

    Thanks for your blog. I hurt my elbow 9 months ago and finally went to the doctor for an injection and after 5 days was near 100% and played 5 straight days of golf on a buddies trip. Then I played a few weeks later and really hurt it. Another injection but this time it didn’t help at all. I started physical therapy a month later and after 16 visits over 2 months I saw about a 50% improvement but by the end of the second month I didn’t seel any additional improvement so I stopped going. I havent played golf since and was really discouraged but after reading your blog yesterday, I’m stretching and icing a few times a day and will ad the light weights. Interesting the yo yo exercise was one they were regularly using with me at the end of my treatment period. one last thing I just started taking 2 Aleve twice a day. By the way, years ago I had tennis elbow and took 2 years off before I finally could play again. This injury can be brutal for some of us.
    Wishing you a Happy and Healthy New Year,
    Lyn

  • Paul James 11 January 2012, 10:25 am

    Great blog, having read it I realsied I had the condition, I can only put this down to overdoing it with big compound lifts, specifically hang cleans. I have had the condition for approximately six months in both arms and like the previous post I am having terrible trouble even lifting my kids up. I have gone through the lift through it phase and realised only complete rest will help. down to HIIT on the treadmill now, very boring though. I have just bought the straps so I hope this helps. Down in the dumps at the minute, can’t even do arm curls because the pain is unbearable. Will update with a progress report soon. cheers

  • Todd 15 January 2012, 11:23 am

    Well as awesome as this thread is it has me pretty concerned as well. I have ME now, that’s pretty obvious, but I’m not exactly sure when I contracted it because there was no memorable incident. I’ve been hitting the gym hard for 9 – 10 weeks now, after a few years of on-again-mostly-off-again training, but this time was different. I’ve kept my nutrition on point and been training like a madman to try and get as close to a beach body as possible for an upcoming trip to Hawaii. I’m not sure when it happened but my best guess is that when I got to a point where I felt I could effectively start my back routine with chestups it kicked in. About the same time I started doing decline pushups and kicked up the curls weight and intensity. I’m afraid that I started locking at the elbows during these three moves, as well as really trying to curl at the wrists to help jump-start the motion.

    I’ve trained off and on for years and this is something new I’ve never dealt with, and now I’m kinda worried I may have just lost at least 6 months of activity. I’ve been extremely athletic and active my whole life. I was a pretty intense ball player in my younger years, perhaps I’ve got some scar tissue in my elbow that has decided to interfere.

    I’ve only noticed this for 2 weeks and after trying to train two days ago shut it down completely for now. I can grip things pain free, and pretty much get through any day to day things without any problem, but it is definitely there when I extend my arm palm down and press down (pronated) on a firm object such as a desk or table. Supinated is much better, just a mild annoyance but full lifting pressure is fine.

    I would like any feedback on what people suggest because I really found my groove and my motivation to get in shape is at an all time high. I’m closing in on 40 and just don’t know if I’ll get it back if I can’t keep going. Because this is so recent, possibly only coming on slowly over the last two weeks, can I adjust my routine and workouts in a way that will let me continue? Some suggestions given to me are to stay away from pronated grip moves, especially when the elbow is extended away from the body, and to cut back on the length of the move in order to reduce stress on the joint.

    I’m really disappointed, I was really making strides and had more energy and the most positive attitude in years. Part vent, part asking advice, thanks Colin et al.

  • Larry 16 January 2012, 6:52 pm

    Well, 2 1/2 months in doing the Tyler Twist (bi-lateral epicondylitis) and the left arm feels 100%. Had a Physical on Dec. 13th and had no intention of getting a cortisone shot in the right elbow, but did.

    Long story short I had a terrible case of cortisone flare. For a few days it was like my right arm was broken (couldn’t move it without a lot of pain). A week after the shot it felt fine.

    Still doing the rehab eccentric exercise (Tyler Twist) on the right elbow. I might have had a worse tear in the right elbow because I can still feel some loose movement of the tendon when I grasp the elbow and move it up and down. Not a normal feeling, but no pain.

    I’ve read where it can take over 100 days to repair the torn tendon with new collagen. This is where the eccentric exercise comes in (in theory anyway).

    It’s suppose to speed up the re-generation / re-modeling of the tendon and encourages collagen renewal.

    I’m a believer. I just did /do some stretching and a little myofacial type massage with a tennis ball leaning against a wall and the eccentric exercise with the rubber flex bar (which in my mind is the real healer).

  • Bart 18 January 2012, 11:54 pm

    I have had ME for 2 years now, 2 cortisone injections, 1st lasted 3mths 2nd approx 9mths at which i thought i was rid of it! Has slowly return to full on pain.
    I use a elbow stap, ultrasound, NSAIDS etc no joy.
    I would really like to know how Chris is doing after surgery now as this appears my only option left…are u there Chris

  • Todd 19 January 2012, 2:31 am

    Quick update here folks. I’ve made some progress both on my elbow feeling better and getting back into the gym. Progress on the elbow has been made by constant stretching of the forearm muscles, eccentric exercises, and alternating heat and ice a few times a day when I get that kind of time (which is not often nor every day I must admit). I have really enjoyed the stretching most following Colin’s picture posted up top. I have two bulging discs in my lower back I hurt doing squats about 6 years ago, and today I never feel them because I have worked harder on my core and ALWAYS STRETCH MY HAMSTRINGS!! The last part has been the real key for me as it takes significant pressure off my lower back. When my hammies are tight it drags my lower back into the fight and thus my pain increases sharply. The same applies to the elbow I believe; keep those muscles loose and save the tendon.

    The most important was how I was working out. First, never let your arm go straight, ever. I was an idiot going big and dropping to full extension. The second is never bend your wrist; keep it straight at all times in the neutral position when possible. The third, and this was really important, was to LOOSEN YOUR GRIP! I’ve now stopped grabbing everything like someone was trying to take it from me and I’ve not only had a much more relaxed elbow afterwards but my pump has been as good or better than ever. Forcing the muscles I’m targeting to do all the work without any help from wrists or forearms has been fantastic for my gains and helped my elbow tension as well.

  • Chris 25 February 2012, 9:55 pm

    Hey everyone – Hi Colin!
    Great blog and I am sure you did not expect this to go for so long.
    I have had ME for about 3 months last year. I just pretty much rested and it went away. Then a couple of months ago, I played soccer, and was in as a goalie for only a few minutes when defend a goal by boxing a hard shot away. The next day, the pain in my left elbow came back stronger than ever and had been there since. I am trying to rest and tried a ibuprofen therapy that really didn’t help at all. I just came across your blog and will try some of the exercises and ice/hot treatments to see if that helps.
    Also, I found this video that my – kind of – describe Colin’s exercise.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCNaqgO91Gg
    Anyways, I’ll report back …
    Good luck and greetings from warm and sunny California.
    Chris

  • benfta 10 April 2012, 2:15 am

    Wow, you really tried a lot of treatment methods, glad you got it figured out.

    “acupuncture works for lots of people”, yes, it does, did the wonder for me and my buddies after couple of tries.

    However, no offence, for a physio to do acupuncture on you, that’s additional 4-5 years of training, lacking right there.

  • Gus McPherson 12 April 2012, 10:20 pm

    Still looking for a cure after several years.
    First started through increased gym workouts and I think just too much strain on the elbow. Saw the doctor who gave me my first cortisone injection, which after two days really kicked in and I felt no further pain. Returned to the gym 2 weeks later being mindful of the elbow and stopped chin ups, concentrating on chest and arms. 6 months later, pain was back, saw doc again and had second injection- which didn’t work as well although rested elbow with no gym for a month.
    A year later (2011) had third injection which sorted pain and cut back on exercise, only running and light weights.
    April 2012 my elbow pain has come back with a vengeance despite little weights work, I think sometimes the way I sleep with my arm bent doesn’t help, but I’m at the point that shaking hands or lifting a paint pot is agony. Going back to doc’s asap to see what else can be offered.From my experience unless you give it complete rest for six months before hitting the weights again, the injections are a short term fix.
    Good posts though, some interesting views and ideas and I will try the exercises, cheers

  • Mark day 23 April 2012, 5:00 pm

    Thanks for the blog – very interesting. Have had GE for around 6 months. No improvement for 3-4 months, I was doing too much when I should have been resting. At month 5 and after reading a lot I decided to do absolutely nothing with the bad arm-not even lifting mugs of tea. Stopped going to the Gym completely, drive almost one handed, bought one of these band arm supports and it definitely helps a lot. The last couple of months (5-6) have definitely shown a good improvement. Am starting to do the ‘stretching’ exercises and this feels like its doing something right. For what its worth I wanted to mention that I found walking (for an hour or two) makes my elbow feel good. Don’t know why, maybe a blood-flow thing, maybe because my arms are down next to my sides and are relaxed, are loose and I guess stretched out.
    I’ve also found I can cycle very well instead of going to the Gym, but only by attaching aero bars to my road bike. When in use the aero bars seem to take almost all the pressure off the bad tendon. From my experience so far it seems to be all about rest – and yes, then the exercises etc. I genuinely wish everyone who has Golfers Elbow all the best and hope they get better soon.
    Mark

  • Jeff 14 May 2012, 5:29 pm

    3 years with my GE. Tried everything: Total rest for a whole year, NSAIDs, Ice, Bandit, Physio (4 months), Acupuncture, 5 cortisone injections, Supplements, FlexBar… No results. Pain Pain Pain.
    My doc refused the surgery and I think he was right. I will lose up to 30% of my arm strenght, and 90% chances I may develop neuropathy in the next 5 years (Cubital Tunnel Syndrome).
    Now I learned to live with pain, back to the gym and I do almost all the weight liftings I already do. Pain increases a little bit after the gym so I ice it for 20-30 minutes and I’m going fine this way for the last 8 months.
    I think my GE will be my friend for the rest of my life.

  • Elise-Maree Duncan 26 May 2012, 4:32 am

    Interesting reading all the blogs and so called cures etc. I first got GE in my right elbow 9 years ago, after an MRI scan and seeing the mess it was in I had surgery, recovery was very quick and I have been pain free and able to go back to the gym, lifting weights etc. Just recently it has occurred in my left elbow, started when carrying large bags reguarly l, paticularly taking work home, it has just got worse and worse. I have pain from shoulder to elbow and it is now interfering with both work and leisure time. Going to Dr this week to see what can be done and will definitely look at surgery again if I can be pain free and it works as successfully as last time. I refuse to have it be with me the rest of my life when it can be fixed. Good luck to everyone else who suffers.

  • J Peters 30 May 2012, 7:25 pm

    I’ve had bilateral GE for three months now. Two months of physio and almost complete rest produced no results whatsoever. Extremely painful and frustrating! I’ve just seen a specialist who prescribed nitroglycerin patches for each elbow. It’s supposed to increase blood flow and healing. Anybody have any experience with this?

  • Larry 13 June 2012, 4:15 pm

    Well. Right elbow (lateral) is back hurting and had to stop playing golf. Can’t even do the eccentric excercises (flex bars) without lots of pain. Not going to get another cortisone shot though. Had a good 4 months of golf before it returned. Back on the sidelines.

    People are amazed when I tell them how long it takes for this type injury to heal (months, years and maybe never). It just does not want to heal.

    Very depressing.

  • Larry 20 June 2012, 11:00 pm

    There’s a new procedure available now called FAST. It stands for Focused Aspiration of Scar Tissue. It was developed by two doctors at the Mayo Clinic. It’s a minimally invasive procedure using ultra-sonic frequency to emulsify the degenerated (scar) tissue that is known to be the source of pain from tendonosis.

    It takes less than 15 minutes and you leave with a bandaid on your arm. As of May 1000 people have had this procedure and the results are very good. It bascially accomplishes the same thing as traditional surgery only without much of the risk. And it’s a much shorter recovery time.

    The name of the company that owns this technology is Tenex health. You can go to their web-site and learn more. http://www.fastprocedure.com/

    I’m having it done next Tuesday. If you’re interested in this procedure and you don’t see a doctor in your area on the Tenex web-site, call Tenex. The website is not updated as often as it should be. No doctors were on the list on their web-site, but after talking to Tenex and doing some research on my own I found out there were 4 doctors in my area that did the FAST procedure.

    I’ll report back. This almost sounds too good to be true.

  • Colin McNulty 22 June 2012, 10:37 am

    Sounds interesting Larry, if scar tissue is the cause of the elbow pain that is.

  • Larry 27 June 2012, 6:05 pm

    I had the FAST procedure done yesterday. The procedure took less than 15 minutes from the time I entered the room.

    I also had some calcification (bone spurs) that he took out as well. He also peppered the area to increase blood flow for healing. Didn’t need any pain medication, but the elbow is sore (no static pain) and I have some limited movement. I will take it easy for a few days and I’m suppose to start stretching with eccentric excercises in two weeks.

    As far as degenerated tissue (scar) being the source of pain. If you were to have open surgery for epicondylitis what the surgeon would do is excise (cut and remove) the diseased (dead) tissue and any bone spurs.

    So this procedure is suppose to accomplish exactly what open surgery would do. I believe open surgery would be more efficient as far getting all the scar tissue and bone spurs, but would be much more invasive will all the risk that comes with open surgery. Along with a longer recovery time.

    So for me it was worth a try. My doctor did say he could go back in (in) 3 months if he didn’t get all of the scar tissue. However, it cost me a significant amount out of pocket, so my hope is he got enough to allow me to play golf again.

    Time will tell as I now let mother nature (hopefully) regenerate the tissue with healthy tissue now that the diseased tissue is gone.

  • Ray 28 June 2012, 3:50 am

    My response if for golfers as my injury is definitely golf related.

    I read halfway down the list of responses and began to get so depressed at the length of time required for healing that I decided to quit while I was ahead.

    I’m getting on in years but was a very good golfer when I was younger (I was scratch at 20 and almost turned pro).
    I practised a lot when younger and retained the habit all thru the years.

    Two months ago I was practising at a Driving Range when I felt the first pain in my right elbow.
    I continued to practise and then played the next day. Almost every shot I hit hurt a lot.
    Needless to say I had a really bad round and have not played since – I simply can’t swing a club yet.
    This is not the first time I’ve had it – this must be my 3rd or 4th time – not always the same elbow.

    I put the injury down to the type of Golf Range that is available nowadays to most amateur golfers – a rubber mat with some type of synthetic grass sitting on a concrete base.

    You’ll always hit the ball better at the range because the club bounces on the hard surface and will hit the ball harder than on a grass surface. This applies to fat or thin shots.

    You pay $10 to $15 for a bucket of balls and you get RSI of the : hand, wrist, elbow, and shoulder from the impact of the club on the unforgiving hard surface.
    They should pay you for the injuries they’re causing you.

    In my youth I practised on grass and never sustained RSI injuries. I used to hit at least two to three thousand balls a week.
    I did push out a hernia once, but that was because I hit about 1,000 balls in one day – yeah, I know – really stupid.

    Golfers need to practice – they simply must hit balls – but my advice is do it on grass. If your plane is steep, or even if it isn’t, then at least a divot will result – that’s the ground giving in to the superior force of a golf club.
    But I’ve not yet found a slab of concrete that will be subservient to a golf club held in the hands of a fairly fragile human.

    Find a range that offers grass practise facilities or even your local golf club that has a practise fairway.

  • Todd 3 July 2012, 4:13 am

    @ Larry – please keep us updated on your progress following surgery. Not much new has come across my plate in dealing with this so I’m very interested to know how it goes. I’ll be Stateside (from China) early next year on an extended vacation and we’re gearing up for some elective stuff to get done (lasik etc…) so if all goes well with you I’ll actively pursue this procedure as well.

    @ Ray – all very good points, will avoid iron practice at ranges with artificial turf from now on.

  • Tad 10 July 2012, 2:36 pm

    Thank you for this page. I hurt my elbow doing MMA and I have not been patient enough to rest it.
    Hopefully some of this will work.

  • Greg Hyne 2 August 2012, 4:00 pm

    If this is a genuine post (not a manufactured presell), I’m sure you’ll be happy for me to sure a free source of the excercises that you talked about.
    http://www.hughston.com/hha/a.seven.htm

  • Colin McNulty 3 August 2012, 9:27 am

    Hi Greg, yes this is a genuine post and I welcome any and all information that can help treat golfer’s elbow, exercise or otherwise, thanks for the link. The elbow exercises it shows are fairly typical of the exercises I got from my physio at the time, they didn’t help much, and are different from Todd’s, which did help.

  • Elise-Maree Duncan 4 August 2012, 1:49 am

    Just been back to doctor and had cortisone in my left elbow. Was constantly in pain, couldn’t do any weights at the gym, even simple things were painful and started keeping me awake at night. Only been 24 hrs since injection so still sore. Got some cream to rub on 3 times a day and physio to learn some exercises to do. If that doesn’t work after 3 months then it looks like surgery again. Is FAST treatment available in New Zealand??

  • Greg Spirou 4 August 2012, 9:45 am

    Great information people. It’s been a few months for me and missing golf big time. Have had the injection, doing the exercises, cold and hot packs, no luck. Because of desperation today i went out looking for a bee to sting me (Cant remember where i read this) anyway my arm hurts all over but praying that i will wake up tomorrow minus the pain.
    Wishful thinking?

  • Greg Spirou 7 August 2012, 10:25 am

    Three days on and my family and friends think i have gone nuts having a bee sting me. But i have good news on the second day i could feel a difference in the level of pain. I have more confidence in moving my arm and the pain on the scale of 10 is now a 4, before the sting it was more like a 7 to 8. My only concern is that apparently amongst other things bee venom contains cortisone and will need to wait and see if the pain returns once that has worn away. Oh! as for the bee sting, the thought hurts more then the sting itself.
    Good luck people
    Greg

  • Elise-Maree Duncan 8 August 2012, 8:37 am

    Well its been nearly a week since the cortisone and the pain is almost non existent now. Am staying away from weights at the gym and sticking to cycling and cardio stuff. Have decided not to have physio, never have been a fan and have other injuries made worse by having physio. Will be interested to see how long this lasts and will try and rest it as much as possible. Be in interested in how you go Greg.

  • Thera 15 August 2012, 5:58 pm

    To the Mr. McNulty: I believe #3 in the above post (below #1 Complete rest, and #2 Physiotherapy-Ultrasound) should read “INFERRENTIAL Current Electrical Stimulation” rather than “INTERFERON”, as interferon is used to help fight infections or tumors. Like your site.

  • Greg 17 August 2012, 2:15 am

    Hi all, i am sorry to report that the bee sting didn’t work. Apart from the pain, i now have to tolerate “i told you so” from family and friends. So i am back to waiting as time may be the cure.
    Thanks Colin for a great blog, i know i am not alone.
    Greg

  • Ray 17 August 2012, 3:14 am

    I’ve had my golfers elbow since early May – almost 4 months.
    I had a few physio treatments – the inferrential and ultrasound and massage.
    The physio said I’ll be off golf for at least 6 months – maybe a year.
    Bloody useless and a waste of money.
    I started out doing the exercises (stretching and a small weight) as recommended by my physio using a small weight and resting my forearm on my thigh.
    But I’ve found this is not enough so all I do now is use my other hand as resistance and use as much force as I can bear.
    I grip the thumb of my good hand in the palm of my bad hand and lower the wrist of my bad hand as fas as I can and the slowly raise the wrist again as far as I can.
    I do 30 reps each time. I then do it the other way – hold my bad hand thumb and exercise my good arm. This way I’m balancing the muscle development in both arms.
    I’m also exercising my bad arm at the same time when doing my good arm exercises.

    Over the last month I’ve definitely improved and of course doing it this way I can do a number of sets watching TV or at the computer when reading stuff or anywhere. I do it sitting or standing or any which way.
    I do it at least 6 to 10 times a day.
    Don’t be afraid of the pain this may cause – without it you’ll take much longer to improve.
    I’m surprised at the muscle definition I’m producing in both forearms, especially the small muscle on the inside of the elbow.
    However, don’t jump in and start the activity (in my case golf) too soon as this will set you back to square one.
    What worries me is that first attempt back at golf – will it set me back or is the work I’m doing setting a good foundation to avoid the injury the next time.
    Time will tell.

    Ray.

  • Steven White 20 August 2012, 4:02 am

    Platelet Rich Plasma ……Interesting info: I had TREMENDOUS success with cortisone injections. So much so, that I actually found myself pushing myself to the limits again while working out. Several months later I started getting a pain again. This time more nagging than painful. In an effort to be proactive with not having another flare-up I consulted my ortho. He suggested no more cortisone and instead a PRP injection (Platelet Rich Plasma). For those of you that are unaware, this is something common with athletes. A small portion of your blood is drawn, spun for several minutes (centrifuged), and then the platelets&plasma are injected back into the injury site. It is believed that this accelerates the healing process. Well I can tell you with 100% certainty that this PRP injection WAS THE WORSTE THING THAT I COULD HAVE HAD. My pain went from a 2 to a 10, with no relief. I am not discounting that this MAY aid in the relief of some individuals, but if you are looking for another opinion or success story…..THIS IS NOT ONE. Follow the other advice on this forum and steer clear of the PRP injection. I was not hoping for a magic bullet, but I feel very deceived by the alleged success of this procedure. So far it has been 3 weeks since the injection, and it continues to go downhill despite stopping ALL activity. I will keep you all posted on what happens.

    Great site Colin.
    Thanks, Steve

  • Colin McNulty 20 August 2012, 8:31 am

    It’s hard to keep up with all the comments and stories on here from other sufferers, but I do read every comment, even if I don’t have time to reply as I’d like. Bee Sting therapy was a particularly interesting one!

    Steve, I’m aware of PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma therapy is it’s promoted by one of my local shoulder surgeons, Professor Leonard Funk), and for a medium to long term fix, it sounds a good idea. But I’m struggling to work out what it could have caused your increase in pain, as at the end of the day, it’s just an injection of a subset of your own blood.

    I can only assume that the injection itself was botched, in the same way that cortisone injections are sometimes injecting into not quite the right place, and some people report similar increases in pain and bad reactions. And when you consider that cortisone effectively acts like a pain killer in this instance, as you found, that’s a surprising reality.

    I hope it it settles down for you Steve. For those who want more info, there’s a YouTube clip of PRP featuring Prof Funk:

    EDIT: One important point from that video is (assuming its still true) that this procedure is BANNED for competing athletes. I think it falls under that category of blood doping. So if you ever want to compete at a formal level, or even in the CrossFit Games, you need to check your organisation’s rules before doing this!

  • Theresa Orcutt 20 August 2012, 6:11 pm

    I have had GE for 2 years now and have tried Cortisone shots twice now, the first I was pain free for 4 months, the 2nd it only last a week or two, but then I did not rest my arm like I should of. I play a game called pickleball which I am fanatical about (cross between tennis, badminton & table tennis). I tried voltaren gel (prescription) for two weeks, 4x a day, but to no avail. I then tried accupuncture, but again to no avail. Then a friend who also has had this problem suggested Radial Shockwave Therapy, said he no longer has any pain, he also suggested using the Bandit arm band which he uses every time he plays. RST supposedly has a fairly good success rate, but after 3 treatments (which hurt like heck) I am still in pain, my Physio Therapist says it may take up to 4 weeks after treatment for pain to subside, I am in week 2 post treatment. I have just received my bandit and am wearing that religiously and also doing elbow exercises. Have you heard about RST or did I miss seeing it in your blog? Anyway, I will keep you updated on my progress. Thanks for the website.

  • Pratheepan Shan 21 August 2012, 5:22 am

    I had elbow pain for almost 6 months. after various attempts to cure (accupuncture, physio, stretching, weights, rest). I went and got Voltaren Emu Gel (a steroid gel) that people normally use for arthuratis. after a week of application (usually twice a day – a small blop lightly massaged in) worked a treat. Now the pain is gone and Its fantastic to play my normal games without any restrictions or grimmace.

    I had used this gel for some sholder pain with limited success about two years ago. you can get this or simillar without prescription from the chemist. 50g tube is only about $20. I would have only used less that 10% of its contents.

  • Ray 21 August 2012, 5:43 am

    I had my first hit today after almost 4 months.

    I was wearing an elbow band and although it was a little stiff and sore I managed to hit 100 balls.
    Now, an hour later the elbow is feeling good.

    I think my strategy of strenuous resistance exercise using the opposite hand, not simply a 1 kilo weight, (see my previous post on 17/8) has worked well – or it could be the length of time or the alignment of the planets or luck or …
    Certainly the physio’s were of no use whatsoever.

    So far so good.

    Ray.

  • Bart 24 August 2012, 1:03 am

    I found this online
    http://www.fastprocedure.com/patient-stories/
    looks interesting but only seems to be in the states and im in new zealand
    had GE over 2 years and 4 cortisones looking at surgery next

  • Donelle 28 August 2012, 10:47 am

    Well i have to say I never been so depressed after spending the last couple of hours reading this…I have just been diagnosed with GE..but i also have never played golf but am a pole dance instructor..so the Dr declared it as Pole Elbow. Its agony…although he said a few weeks off the pole and it will heal, if i continue to teach it could take a few months. Well after reading all this quite clearly that wont be the case. unless my condition isn’t as bad as everyones else’s here?…Just to let you know though Colin i also have a full thickness tear in my rotor cuff, retracted tendon and arthritis all in my right shoulder (same arm as the pole elbow) I have dealt with the rotor cuff tear etc for last 7 years and continued the whole time to teach and perform…sometimes with lots of tears after classes and in the most horrific agony…but the show must go on…all the specialists, therapists, doctors etc cannot believe what i do for a living and that i continue to do it… apparently they have never seen a shoulder injury so extensive in any one under 70 years old…I was booked for shoulder surgery to patch the tear last year but pulled out the day before as the possibility of a 3 – 18 month recovery would have meant my pole career over. So i have keep it healthy with some amazing little warm up exercises i found on youtube one day..as long as i attend the gym 3 times a week minimum and keep all surrounding muscles strong..my shoulder is dong great and the injury is barely noticeable and now to top it off i have the GE to deal with…i have no idea what approach im going to take…but the exercises look like the best bet..still thoroughly depressed..may give the acupuncture a go too. :(

  • Nek 5 September 2012, 9:28 am

    I have read a lot about GE, and like other unspecific injuries like shin splint etc. the cause of the pain may come form an other area. What do You think about the relation between GE and shoulder/infraspinanatus pain ? I have both GE and shoulder/neck pain. Do anybody else have the same pain patterns?

  • Vassy 18 September 2012, 8:36 am

    Hi ya col, I am very interested in buying the golfers elbow treatment book and videos featured on your site (Todd Scott ) I am suffering both tennis elbow and golfers elbow ! I was wondering if you could tell me how it works when you order the full set.is there a download involved for windows or is it possible to do it via an iPad ? Thanks Paul.

  • Todd Scott 18 September 2012, 8:08 pm

    Hey Vassy,

    Colin shot me an email about your question, and we figured it’d be best to respond here in case others had the same question.

    Everything is downloadable, so you’ll get instant access to the pdf’s and videos. Although the videos are .wmv files, they can also be opened and viewed on an iPad by downloading the PDF reader from iTunes & the VLC player (for the videos). Once you order, just open a ticket at http://toddscott.zendesk.com, and I’ll give you detailed instructions as to how to transfer everything over to view on Mac or iPad.

    Thanks!
    Todd Scott

  • Chris 10 October 2012, 1:59 pm

    This is a great article…I always enjoy the “real” cures…what PEOPLE have tried, what works in real life, etc :)

    My question comes on the “Complete Rest” side of things. There is no complete rest for me as I work on a larger hobby farm, where there are many heavy things to carry daily…it makes complete rest literally impossible.

    Interestingly enough, the easiest thing for me to do is carry 5 Gallon buckets of water, as i can have my wrists bent towards the outside instead of inside :)

    The forearm band is my savior!!! I keep it on 24/7 and I feel almost no pain while it’s on.

    ANYways, my question has become two…how to achieve rest on a farm, and why does the inside tip of my elbow scream at me whenever I touch it?

  • Lucius 24 October 2012, 3:34 am

    Had Golfers elbow for about 7 months now, have been reading through this blog and it seems with most people it improves over time. My problem is that it started very gradual, no idea what caused it actually, it just started feeling a bit achy, I wasn’t doing any excercise at the time due to another injury..
    Since that it’s been gradually getting worse, in the beginning light excercise would be painfull and I would be sore for a few days after. Now I need to wear a band to be able to perform daily tasks, like cooking or typing. Any form of excercise or stretching has become very painfull, especially in the long term. 2 months ago my sports physician put me on a stretching routine, went ok for a few days, then out of the blue the pain came on. I was in agony for 3 weeks, he had no explenation for it and said I should continue a little less enthousiastic, I never stretched more than maximum active reach! I wore a sling for those 3 weeks, it was the only position I could bare, I was unable to do anything without severe pain. After that it got a better and now I can perform daily tasks again, but nothing more.

    So how long do you guys rest? Anyone else experienced symptoms getting worse instead of better, even when resting? With absolute rest most of the pain does go away, but even something like 10 bicep curls without weight will agrevate and give me pain that can last for 3/4 days.. The longest I’ve rested for is 2 months straight.

    Doctors and physio’s say I should keep moving, but I’m at a loss. Rest: immidiate pain goes away, but anything I’ll do will agrevate. Excercise/stretch and the pain will quickly increase untill it becomes unbearable..

    Anyone any experience with surgery? I’m thinking it might be the only option left to me. Already given up on sports, but now I’m getting more and more limited in my everyday life as well..

  • Bart 6 November 2012, 9:12 am

    Trying Prolotherapy next week- next stop surgery

  • Greg Spirou 6 November 2012, 10:54 am

    It is almost impossible to rest your arms as one wrong move like picking up a glass of water can be painful. In my opinion TIME is the only cure, for some people a little more then others. In my case it took almost 7 months. All along i thought it will never go away. I still have traces of it but i can see the end of the tunnel now. Good luck

  • Daryl 15 November 2012, 3:47 pm

    Hi all,

    Here is my story. Last year I started an intense workout after years without even going to the gym. I’ve never had any injuries before but this time I needed to be in shape soon for an specific event so I started increasing weight fast. I started feeling some pain in my right elbow to the point that I had to stop.

    Went to the doctor and had a cortisone shot. After 2 weeks I was 100%, back to normal, and continued to workout as hard as before, really hard. No pain for the next 6 months.

    I played racquetball, did everything I wanted and had no pain, until one day that I played dominoes, moving the pieces around triggered the pain, I didn’t feel it right there but the next day.

    Waited for a couple of months, went back to the doctor and had a second cortisone shot. I was fine after for a a couple of months, played dominoes and that triggered the pain again.

    You are probably reading this and thinking why are you playing the stupid dominoes again? Well, it is a big thing where I live and wanted to give it another try since I was feeling better.

    I had the pain for another 6 months and went to the doctor one more time and had the third cortisone shot. I’m not doing anything with this arm anymore. I’m thinking about surgery but the doctor said that I need to go for an MRI first.

    I recommend the cortisone shot for first timers, but also try to follow the right procedure of resting, stretching, and evertyhing else needed to fix it, otherwise it will become chronic and a 2nd or 3rd steroid injections won’t help.

    I have friends that were able to solve the problem with one shot, but they did everything they were supposed to. Of course, we won’t see them in this forum.

    I’m trying the band-it now 24/7 and see if that helps. I’ll let you guys know.

    I also saw people using the flex bar, but you are not supposed to do anything until you are at least 90% free of pain, right?

    Good Luck to all!!

  • Chris 24 November 2012, 11:00 pm

    Hi all. Many comments here and I only read a few, but here is my story. Back in 2005 I was lifting up a couple of sheets of plywood and I heard a ripping sound in my arm. I dropped the plywood and knew something was very wrong. I went to the orthopedic and he suggested we try physical therapy. So I go home with a bottle of ibuprofin and start google searching my symptoms. Everything I read suggested distal bicep tendon rupture. Everything I read about this injury suggested that it get fixed ASAP (30 days max). The only way to effectively diagnose this is MRI.

    So I call the Ortho back and let him know what I found out, he still says no MRI is necessary and physical therapy is the way to go.

    After 3+ weeks of not getting anywhere with physical therapy, I call him back and demand the MRI. He reluctantly agrees. I go in for the scan, and go home. The next day he call me up and sheepishly says, “uhhh, we need you to come in right away.”

    So I go in, he says, yeah 90% rupture and I schedule the fix – basically two titanium molybolts to hold the tendon in the forearm.

    The surgeon took a sample of the tendon while he was working on in and lab test indicated that the injury was from overuse (I was working out a lot). I basically had golfers elbow for weeks / months before the injury.

    Now I have the same symptoms in my left arm – pain, tingling, etc. Started when I was carrying firewood, and then pulling up rafters while building a barn. Now it’s just chronic. Cannot curl at all, so I do hammer-style curls, light weight and higher reps. It gets a little better, but one good workout will send me back into relapse with pain lasting weeks / months.

    I am going to start consistently (nightly) doing the heated bag ->wrist curls and supination exercises with a 5lb dumbell (2 – 3 sets of each), following by stretching and then ice.

    I know all too well what ignoring this pain can lead to; several months in an arm brace followed by several more months with very little exercise

  • Justin 26 November 2012, 2:06 pm

    I’m 29 y/o male and started weight lifting almost three years ago. I was very athletic in high school and when I graduated, I just got lazy. When I started weight lifting again, I initially got a little pain in both of my elbows, but it wasn’t for very long. I iced them after every workout and after about a month, that was it, and that was two years ago. Everything was fine until about a month ago. I have a three day spread for weight lifting that I follow very strictly every week.

    Monday – Chest, triceps, abs.
    Wednesday – Back, biceps, Sprint running
    Friday – Legs and shoulders

    About a month ago, I had a week when my work schedule was terrible. I worked 13 hours on Monday and 15 hours on Tuesday. I have a desk job, so I’m not doing physical labor here THEN going to lift. Wednesday I left early, around 11, and went and put in a three hour killer workout. Chest, tri’s, back and biceps. I felt fine during the workout and that night, but when I woke up the next morning, the inside of my elbow felt like someone was stabbing me with a hot knife. I will also add that I woke up on my left side that morning. Ever since then, I’ve barely been able to workout. I can do chest exercises. I find it doesn’t hurt the inside of my elbow to do pushing lifts. I haven’t done anything too heavy though. Mainly high reps. I can’t do anything that involves pulling and grip. No dead lifts, pull-ups, rows or curls, or else it feels like my arm is ripping apart. I’ve been icing it after lifts and wearing an adjustable forearm strap, which feels like it helps. What’s really worrying me about it though, is sleeping on it. I have a tendency to sleep on my left side, and six out of seven days of the week, I wake up on my left side, and I feel like this is hindering the healing process. I will have days when the pain seems to be getting better, but on the other hand, there are days like today when I wake up on my left arm and it hurts to curl my coffee cup to my mouth. I tried sleeping in a full elbow brace, but I ended up waking up on my elbow bent in the brace the next morning, and the pain that morning and day was the worst I can remember. I’m a very deep sleeper, so the pain of sleeping on the elbow doesn’t wake me or force me to move in my sleep. Has anybody else had this problem? Or does anyone thing that’s even making it worse and it’s just all in my head? I’m trying so hard to deal with this, as I’m 6’5 and for a man with my body size, I need all the time in the gym I can get to fill myself out. My back has always been my strongest area and now I feel like I’m going to lose a lot of it because of this problem. I’ve also, pretty much, been living on Aleve this whole time, but I have to take a few days off here and there as it messes my stomach up after a few days straight of taking it. Does anyone take any joint/tendon supplements that work well? I feel like since I’m taller I will tend to have more joint and tendon problems with heavy lifting then a guy who, say, is 6 inches shorter than me.

  • c bergendahl 7 December 2012, 8:16 pm

    I have had two tennis elbows for respectively 3 years (right arm) and 1 year (left arm). Over time that time I experienced increased tension and soreness on the insides of my arms as well (golfer’s elbow)! Double whammy ! At times it was so bad that I could not remove my duvet in the morning. Slept uncomfortably because I could not find a good place for my arms :)
    I tried various treatments – ultrasound and massage, cortisone injections (4), acupuncture, chiropractic treatment, exercise with rubber bands. Nine months ago I tried Radial Shock Wave Therapy (RSWT) at my physio’s. Some chiropractic clinics offer this treatment as well. I had 5 treatments on my right arm and 3 treatments on my left with weekly/fortnightly intervals. It was rather painful, but thankfully each treatment was only a few minutes long. Apparently, with injuries more than 3 months old, calcification takes place and healing slows down in the tissues and tendons. The shock wave therapy breaks down the calcification and “injures/batters” the tissue, forcing the body to heal itself.
    This has been the only treatment for me which worked. I would say that I am 90-95% cured and have now started doing excercises for the muscles in my forearm with a relatively heavy dumbell (5 kg, 3 sets @ 15 reps, each arm). Finally, there is some progress which feels stable and good. Another slightly different type of treatment is Extracorporeal Shock Wave Treatment (ESWT), which I have been told is even more efficient as the waves are more targeted (narrow beam). I had no knowledge of this particular therapy, when I had my treatment, but I am seriously considering having a go at this if my progress comes to an end. Shock wave treatment can be used for most (old) injuries; achilles problems, heel spur, shoulders, knees etc.
    Good luck ! C Bergendahl

  • Lucius 15 December 2012, 10:37 am

    Amazing that shockwave worked so well for you, I would still recommend a very slow and carefull rehab program. I tried it as well and unfortunately it did absolutely nothing for me, tried prp as well, that actually made it worse. Classical physiotherapie is probably the reason i am where i am today. My golfers elbow started very mild, but by forcing it with streching excercises it got worse and worse. I need strong painkillers now and am no longer able to work, just getting through the day has become a challenge. Next month I finally have an appointment with a good specialist and I hope she’ll be willing to perform surgery.. It’s good to read stories about people that have actually recovered, because for me it has been one big downhill journey over the last 9 months and I’m loosing hope.. Has anyone ever tried taking HgH (human growth hormone)? A bodybuilder friend recommended it to me, but I’ve read conflicting theories about it. It should speed up recovery, but might induce type 3 collagen production and that could make things worse in the long run.

  • c bergendahl 18 December 2012, 12:27 am

    To Lucius,
    I am so sorry to hear that you haven’t had any progress with your elbows and that it seems that surgery is your only option.
    My physio, who has done shock wave for some years now, told me that out of 10 patients w chronic tennis elbows 8 will recover completely, 1 will improve and 1 will remain unchanged……
    I would like to add to my previous story that I started shock wave in February ’12 and had the last treatment in May ’12, as my physio did not want to treat both elbows simultaniously. In August ’12 I felt a definite improvement and 6 weeks ago I started excercising w my 5kg db, forearm excersises only. And now it feels much much better, even though I feel sore every other day. Strictly 48 hours between excersises, I never train two days in a row even though I feel I could do it.

  • Lucius 18 December 2012, 8:00 am

    My physio told me about 70% of the people benefitted from shockwave, but in reality there’s no independent research on just about any treatment, except for surgery and even that is very limited. From what I’ve hear/read and experienced, I’ve become very sceptical about all these treatment, like Colin said: People credit the last treatment for their recovery.. But it might just have been time, with all the knowledge we have, very little is known, about tendisosis. There’s no funding for reasearch, so a with so many people suffering from it a huge market for alternative therapies has opened up and they all promote they’re own very positive statistics.
    For myself the only thing that has worked, at least to alleviate the pain is absolute rest, eg wearing a sling 24/7, but this is just not possible to do very long, so by doing my daily activities, which can be very painfull at times, I keep agrivating the elbow, I do hope surgery can break the cycle, so I will be able to start rehab, because surgery isn’t a sure cure either and from what I’ve read, full recovery, if I am that lucky, will take about 6 months of very carefull rehab

  • jb 27 December 2012, 9:59 pm

    I’ve had my first ever experience with TE/GE this year and it’s been both physically and mentally painfull! I’ve been exercising religiously for over 8yrs. Dumbells 3x a week and cardio 2x a week, while resting on the weekends. Recently, I decided to included sit-down cable rows to my routine and pull ups. A week later I felt pain in my non-dominant, left upper forearm, side elbow area. I always thought “no pain, no gain”, so I kept doing rows and pull ups and adding more weight. After my workouts my forearm was in pain! I thought it was muscle pain so I scheduled a deep tissue forearm massage 2x a week. After the first week, I stopped the massage, it was too painfull. Thereafter, my left arm became useless, I could not turn a door knob, I could not wash the dishes, I could not unzip my pants or even lift a wine glass! My left forearm was in deep pain and I could not continue. I stopped exercising completely. After 8yrs, I quit the gym. Within a month, I fell into depression and instantly gained 10lbs. As a weighlifter, I religiously took fish oil pills, creatine, protein supplements, daily vitamins and I still managed to get TE/GE.

    My wife helped me lift my spirits and get out of this rutt. She started stretching my forearm with some of your stretching techiniques and others she read about. The stretching helped subside the pain a little. I then bought a forearm strap with a pressure control knob that could isolate the area in pain. This strap was wonderful but if made too tight, the circulation to my wrist became limited. I started to do twist bar stretching along with your table stretch, then following up with a therapeutic lotion called “Deep Blue Rub”, while wrapping my elbow to contain the heat. The “Deep Blue Rub” gave me pain relief for about an hour. The stretches, twisting and lotion rub dramatically reduced the pain! I am now able to wash the dishes and lift a wine glass!! But be careful and don’t try stretching or twisting the first couple of weeks as you will be in pain and I think you need rest first. I seem to feel that rest is needed first to let the inflamation cease. In my situation, my forearm was limp for over a month before even trying to stretch and twist. While limp and useless, my left forearm shrunk in size and the muscles became soft. In the future, I will listen to my body and avoid ANY exercises that cause pain and instead will try cardio again and jogging. Now my new thought is “PAIN=STOP IMMEDIATELY”.

    During the days, I always wear my strap but not to bed. Some mornings, I wake up with a little pain in my elbow but after I stretch it out, the pain resides, then the strap goes back on. I also found a nice elastic velcro strap that doesn’t cut the circulation to my fingers. As usual, I still take my daily vitamins, but increased my fish oil intake. For my joints, I included herbal Cissus and Glucosamine Chondroitin MSM supplements. Four months into this ordeal and now I only feel sharp elbow pains when I do odd activities such as fixing a car or sawing wood. I will never do rows or pull-ups again!

  • Eddie 31 December 2012, 1:50 am

    HI all. I have been dealing with Golfers elbow for the last year and half. I have tried cortisone shots. They didn’t work. I have tried ultra sound treatment no good. I have tried many massages. No good. I have tried stretching exercises and they help but only for a short time.
    I was telling a friend about my pain the other day. He has recommended a product called soothenol. I have ordered a bottle. He had really bad knee pain. This product he swears by. Can’t wait to try it. Will keep you posted. I have been thinking of cutting my arm off. Only kidding.

    Eddie

  • c bergendahl 2 January 2013, 12:01 pm

    To Jb
    I think your story is quite similar to mine when you describe your symptoms. It seems you are in the right track now. As I told above, my right elbow has been hurting for 3 years (tennis and golfers elbow) and my left for 1 year (tennis/golfers elbow). Tried all (physio/cortisone/acupuncture etc) but only found relief after having gone thru shock wave treatment in the spring of 2012. It made me almost pain free when being inactive(which in itself was a huge step forward), but pain would return as soon as I engaged in physical activity. In October 2012 I got a new chiropractor. She discovered that both elbows were slightly “locked”. Firstly, she would massage the very sore and extremely tight muscles of my arms. Then she would manipulate the elbows, freeing the “lock” in a snapping movement (as if u would break the elbow at the hinge) . Not pleasant! She told me that latest research into golf/tennis elbows showed promising results w quite heavy training as it stimulates connecting tissues. Forearm concentric/eccentric flexion w a dumbell as well as rotating movements of wrist on a table. Forearm resting on table, wrist/hand over the edge of table. Started with 4 kg db/3 sets/15 reps, strictly 48 hours in between. Now 3 months after I am able to do 7kg db/3 sets/6-8 reps. The aim is to go so heavy that ideally you are only able to do 6-7 reps in a set. My elbows are released of their “lock” once a week, the feeling straight after is amazing, tension simply vanishes and tissue/muscles in forearm feels so much softer and less inflamed now. I think the initial combination of 1) shock wave followed by 2) release of elbow “lock” on weekly basis 3) heavy db exercises is the key for me.
    When I started w the db exercises it hurt a bit when doing them and afterwards on the same day and quite a lot the day after. Today, I am completely pain free on the day of exercise and a slight pain the day after. I have re-joined a gym and am now training for the first time in years on a regular basis. I do core and legs. For the upper body (using my arms) I ONLY do pushing movements. No PULLING exercises (as it requires a stronger grip), – so no cable pulling, no rowing etc etc.
    I hardly dare say this, but I think my left elbow (the 1 year one) is cured, but, naturally still weak. The right elbow (the 3 year one) still a bit sore and inflamed, but has gotten so much better. Still pain free when inactive, but responding very well. I would say 90-95 % cured. Difficult and painful to “unlock”, but it gets gradually easier. I will keep you posted. Good luck
    many kind regards, Charlotte

  • Todd 5 January 2013, 3:01 am

    Charlotte, I’m very interested to know more about this “lock” of the elbow. Thank you for the post. I thought I was over my pain until my two kids had me manipulating stroller and it brought it back (with some tendinitis in my right wrist. I should have been an outfielder instead of a pitcher!). I’ll be trying the heavy weights.

  • Bart 8 January 2013, 9:18 am

    Third session of Prolo today -injections suck and improvement slow, but the inactivity pain during the day has ceased. still get pain when sleeping as i sleep with elbow bent.
    Hoping this session will equate to some ratable improvement

  • Thomas 17 January 2013, 3:14 am

    I’ve had ME in my right arm for 5 years, and ME in my left arm for 4 years. I’ve tried alot of different things to help cure this problem without success: voltaren, Ultrasound, shockwave, stretching, message, cortizone (1 in each arm), rest (6 months), exercise (3 times, but stopped when I got worse each time, maybe I should have ignored it?). 1 of these was eccentric exercise without stretching, maybe I was to unpatient, as I’m an unpatient guy.

    I got ME with too much computer use (8+ hours of intense gaming per day for many years).

    I’ve just ordered a red flexbar, and will try this. Other options I’ve not tried: exercise longer than 2 months, , surgery and fast tecnique which Larry just tried. Hopefully he will tell us more about this).

    TL:DR (summary): DID NOT WORK FOR ME: voltaren, Ultrasound, shockwave, stretching, message, cortizone (1 in each arm), rest (6 months), exercise. — Still have problems and pain in my arms, especially with heavy lifts and computer use!

  • Larry 2 February 2013, 1:58 pm

    It’s been 7 months since I has the FAST procedure. It did not work for me. That makes it 16 months for me and counting. They advertise a 90% success rate and after my procedure my doctor said he’s seeing ~ 80%. But he’d only done 6 before me. It may be too new a procedure and more experience may be needed.

    I did 5 months of eccentric exercise after the FAST procedure finally getting up to using a 12lb weight. Have also used the green flex bar. My elbow is very tolerable in everyday life, but I cannot play golf and that is my passion.

    Knowing what I know and having tendonosis in (now) three areas of my elbows going back 10 years, I would just live with it.

    The medical community still doesn’t have an answer for this problem and I was told to give it a few more months and then surgery would be the only alternative. So pretty soon I need to decide if I want to take a chance with surgery or give up golf.

    I’m reluctant to do the surgery because that was what the FAST procedure was suppose to accomplish. Debride (take out) the dead (diseased tissue) and take down the calcification (bone spurs).

    The only other thing remaining to do in addition to debridement of the bad scar tissue is cut and release the tendon and sew it back up which can result in a much weaker use of the arm.

    My experience with medial tendonosis is it can become manageable as it was for me for ~ 9 years before disappearing last year. I am hoping to get to that manageability with this case of lateral tendonosis.
    My left lateral tendonosis has pretty much remained manageable for ~ 10 years. Everyone is different and in my case I’ve never had any static pain with mine. Like I’ve said it’s very managable in everyday life. Just can’t play golf which sucks. Time will tell.

  • c bergendahl 2 February 2013, 2:53 pm

    Dear Larry – what is the FAST procedure ( is it shock wave?) – I do not know what the abbreviation stands for.

    And, to Todd, sorry it has taken me so long getting back to you about the “lock” in my elbows – been skiing (amazing, even though it meant a set back of my tennis/golfer’s elbows!!) and down with the flu afterwards!! Anyhow, the “lock” means that I couldn’t extend my elbows fully ( I thought I could, cause they looked and felt fully extended), so when the chiropractor releases them it probably only means that they can extend e few more milimeters, but the effect is amazing – releases pain and soreness and I can almost feel the blood flow more freely and I imagine is it part of reestablishing a more normal pattern of movement, which due to these injuries has been changed due to pain/inflammation.
    I maintain my exercise regime w the DB (still 6-7 kgs/ 3 sets) and it really does make a difference to me.

    On a lightly different note – when I went skiing early January, using the poles on the flat skiing areas wasn’t good at all for my elbows. In my group of skiers, there was a lovely Danish nurse who had brought along a very powerful laser tool which she has used with convincing results over the past 7 years. She treated my elbows 3 evenings in one week, and the pain simply vanished……but of course, skiing the following day would bring back the pain. It works as a painkiller as well as stimulates the cells’ own healing power. She also used the tool on my neck (whiplash) and managed to eradicate a very bad headache in about 10 minutes. Two days ago I got my own PowerLaserPro and the number of conditions it can be used for is amazing. Just to mention a few: Sprains, twisted joints, blisters, inflammation of the achilles, heel spur, carpal tunnel syndrome, lumbar pain, muscle knots, piriformis syndrome, tennis/golfer’s elbow, arthiritis, whiplash, acne, eksema, cold sores, wounds, scar tissue, tendinitis, paella tendinitis, herpes zoster, sinuitis…….! It goes without saying that I hardly feel I have bad elbows these past two days:). It remains to be seen whether its primarily a painkiller tool or if it really can heal as well. Check it out on http://www.powermedic.dk (there is a English page as well). I will be a happy test person over the next couple of months and will keep you posted. Via the Danish page, you will be able to read an English article from The Lancet about research into this kind of laser treatment.

    Many kind regards, Charlotte

  • Larry 2 February 2013, 7:12 pm

    Charlotte

    FAST stands for Focused Aspiration of Scar (or Soft) Tissue. It uses ultrasonic energy that emusifies the diseased (dead) tissue aned sucks it out with a saline solution. They use a probe to poke around and look at an ultrasound screen to see the bad tissue (dark in color). It’s operated with a foot pedal.

    They use a frequency that supposidly only will zap the bad tissue and not inujure healthy tissue. It was developed at the Mayo Clinic and is marketed by TENEX Health. Head of Orthopeadic Surgery at the Mayo clinc Dr. Bernard Morrey is the chief medical officer at Tenex.

    It’s marketed as being extremely safe, but my doctor thought it could still do harm just like open surgery could if you went too deep and injured a ligament. So he only was in there zapping tissue for 1 minute and 20 seconds.

    The TENEX Rep said I had a lot of scar tissue. So my guess is he left a lot in there despite telling me he got ~ 80 %. Anyway, it didn’t work for me. I have a friend of a friend who is an orthopeatic surgeon. He’s operated on golfers Peter Jacobson and Natalie Gulbis (backs). He said it’s too soon a technology and the bugs have to be worked out more (more experience).

  • Bruce 2 February 2013, 9:16 pm

    I had a pain in my elbow for several months. It was tight and sore, especially in the morning. I mentioned it to my father in law who is a retired doctor and he immediately diagnosed it as golfers elbow. He put my arm behind my back and pushed it with a loud click and my elbow felt fine. He repeated the treatment about 5 days afterwards and my elbow has been fine since. That was about 3 months ago and my elbow is still fine.

    I was amazed at how simple this was and how effectively it worked. If you see a Dr. about your golfers elbow ask them to try this.

  • c bergendahl 3 February 2013, 1:49 am

    Thank you very much for your explanation, Larry. The procedure sounds very interesting, however I am sad it didn’t work for you. Please keep me posted.
    Many kind regards, Charlotte

  • c bergendahl 3 February 2013, 3:08 pm

    Dear Bruce,

    I am very interested to hear exactly which motion your father-in-law did with your arm.

    Many kind regards, Charlotte

  • Marko 5 February 2013, 3:36 pm

    The medial epicondylitis (and that kind of troubles) occurs because 2 groups of muscle (flexors and pronators) works each in different direction but they are anchored at the same spot. In normal body standing position the palm is facing in the same directions as our face. If we lift weights in this position there are less chances to get epicondylitis and tendinitis. But if we turn aruond our palms, we activate the pronator muscles and if we lift weights in that position we can easily get injured. Especially we have to be careful if we activate m.biceps at the same time. Naturally this muscle cause the supination! Bottom the line, we got 2 muscle groups which are contracting at completly different direction (m.quadratus,m.pronator teres – pronation / m.biceps – supination, with full power and 2 different muscle groups attached to the same spot and also contracting in different direction (pronators and flexor of forearm). This movement is very common in CLIMBING where people hold grips in this position: https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-4JarsZqaFlc/TYqtac9qm0I/AAAAAAAAAa4/5RWs76uK21I/s1600/_DSC0038.jpeg

    If you are using arms this way, make sure to:
    1. Have a good warm up (active stretching)
    2. At the end of the training DO NOT use your last energy for HARD/AGRESSIVE moves, lifts. Becasue your muscles are already exhausted and the injury can occur much, much faster
    3. After training make passive stretching
    4. Rest

    Marko, medicine student

  • Thomas 7 February 2013, 5:21 am

    Currently trying the red flexbar (Cronic ME in both arms), I am on my 3rd day. Updates will follow.

    And thanks Larry; for update and information on fast teqnique.

    Regards, Thomas

  • Todd 9 February 2013, 4:22 am

    Charlotte, thanks for writing back.

    Bruce, I’m also very keen to know more about this movement your father-in-law performed on your arm.

    I like what Marko did with the link to a very clear graphic about what he was talking about. It would help immensely if everyone could post a link to more information or graphics.

  • Andrew 12 February 2013, 9:43 am

    ive been in pain for 12 months been bounced from doctor to doctor until finally i changed surgery and on my first appointment with my new doctor she told me i had golfers elbow in both elbows. i was having lots of strange symptoms to start with like constant contractions in my forarm which went on for a while until it just throbed constantly then i started getting pain in my trapezeus and up the side of my neck which i thought was a compressed nerve due to the numbing and tinggling sensation in my little finger and index finger but what has happened is ive been tensing my arms up that much that ive damaged the ulna nerve which apparently travels from your neck down to your arm finally im going for physio in 2 weeks and given a repeat prescription of 10 mg amytryptily for the pain.i cant wait to get back in the gym the lack of physical exercise is frustrating and unable to play my guitar is killing me hopefully this will help those people out there having symptoms like mine.all the best

  • Joolz 14 February 2013, 9:47 pm

    Great I formative web link! He’ll knows I need as much help as I can get have tennis in left elbow & golfers in right elbow,’…blooming nightmare for a personal trainer!!!!!!!! Grrr. Thanks will get Band It & do arm exercises.

  • Geoffery 16 February 2013, 4:31 am

    I recently was diagnosed with golfer’s elbow and to my surprise my Dr. prescribed for me a cockup wrist brace. Yes, a WRIST brace. I could push against my physicians hands in any direction with little to no pain when he applied pressure to my forearms, however, when he applied the same pressure further out on the palm of my hands and told me lift “up” sharp, instantaneous pain hit me like a ton of bricks. I only wear the brace while active and he prescribed an anti-inflamatory and suggested alternating ice and heat using 15-20 minute intervals. Within 2 days I noticed a 50% improvement and now at the end of a week and feel about 80%. I had previously tried the arm band (worthless, and my Dr. told me it has the potential to do more harm than good). But everyone is different, but try the test of pushing resistance with your forearm and again with your hand and see if there’s a dramatic difference. Maybe a wrist brace is what you need.

  • Lucius 17 February 2013, 3:53 pm

    Still nobody who’s had surgery? Has anybody been offered. I’ve been asking for about 3 months now and doctors don’t want to do it, they just want to wait and see.. Can’t exercise, can barely do my daily tasks, although it’s slightly better since I’ve stopped all but essential activities, including fysio, that really f##d me up. Have had golfers elbow for 11 months now, hamstring tendonitis for 6 months. Unable to work anymore as I can’t walk (stumble) for more than a 100m and I can’t do wheelchair because of the elbow. Getting extremely frustrated, I’ve tried everything. Any kind of stretch or exercise and I will be in agony for days, shockwave useless, but at least it didn’t make it worse. Prp injection, made it worse. Cortisone injection for the Hamstring, biggest mistake of my life. But still doctors tell me to wait and see and refuse to perform surgery as 90% of cases will go away within 1/1-1/2 years. I live in Holland and got the impression that surgery is more common in the states, thinking that I might eventually have to make a trip, although it will cost me shitloads of money and a hell of a lot of pain and efford to get there. Any advice on capable, willing surgeons, anywhere in the world (the closer to Holland the better) would be welcome..

  • prags 20 February 2013, 7:02 pm

    I have been suffering from tennis elbow since last eight months in my both arms. I can’t even lift a coffee cup. Within a min it starts hurting. I went to ortho, did MRI/EMG( doc says surgery is not needed), did physiotherapy, acupuncture (went only twice -too painful with no effect), chiropractic, took off from office to take rest ,did thera band exercises and many more at home (it only made my arms more painful). Not sure what else I can try. I read in above posts about shock therapy- sounds interesting. Also I found this product online – Tendlite.Has anyone used it? Please suggest what else I can do.I am avoiding doing anything other than my office work on keyboard(bought a super soft keyboard ) I am going into depression because of this.

    Thanks
    Prags

  • Bruce 20 February 2013, 10:01 pm

    Hi Todd and Charlotte,

    Let me get hold of him and give me a proper explanation so i can pass it on. I don’t see him often as we live far away from each other but i’ll give him a call.

    My elbow is still fine and the pain went pretty much straight after his treatment so i continue to vouch for it.

    I’ll be posting in the near future,

    Bruce

  • Todd 21 February 2013, 7:30 am

    Looking forward to it Bruce. Although I’ve had the ME in my right elbow since last Jan 2012 it hadn’t stopped me from playing golf (I swing right handed). In September I booked a 22 day vacation to Scottsdale that I’m on now. In January of 2013 it started up unexpectedly in my left elbow and am unable to swing a golf club. I love golf; most frustrating vacation ever. I’m on the edge of my proverbial seat waiting to know what he did for you.

  • Theresa 23 February 2013, 3:21 pm

    I wrote earlier and stated that I was to go in for radial shockwave therapy. I’ve had GE for 3 years resulting from playing a game called pickleball, I had cortizone, acupunture, and then heard about RST from a friend who said his GE was totally cured. I went for 4 treatments, this was 5 months ago and I have to admit that my GE has diminished almost 90% with a little stiffness now in the morning. I have been doing light weights (10 lbs) and not sure if that may be part of the reason it is getting better as well. If you are looking at getting radial shockwave therapy, make sure you check around as there is quite a price difference in what some physio therapists charge to do this procedure. I paid 180.00 for first three sessions and 65.00 dollars for the 4th. Hope this procedure works for you too!

  • Lucius 26 February 2013, 7:14 pm

    Hey Prags, have you tried rest? I’ve been suffering for 11 months now and I consulted 3 physios, 2 sports medicine doctors and 3 orthopedicians. All but one told me 1 thing. Keep stretching! Other bullshit! For me it was always painfull and I believe it really f###d me up. Might be to late now, as for me the injury seems to be to close to the nerve, there really isn’t much they can do. But to other I’d like to say REST (avoid all painful activities as much as possible) untill the pain goes and then start doing eccentric exercises, build slowly and make sure there is no (tendon) pain after, especially not the next day. If everything goes well you can start doing some gentle stretching, to loosen things up, but don’t over do it. I’ve had tennis elbow before, never consulted a doctor, never stretched and it was gone in 4 months, just because I rested till the pain was gone. Got golfers elbow now, saw a legion of “specialist” and now 11 months later my problem is much worse then when it started…

  • Prags 28 February 2013, 12:48 am

    @Lucius , I took 10 days rest (took off from work) and then at home I am almost doing nothing. My husband is doing everything. It is only typing which I am doing at work every day on super soft keyboard.Thinking to try tendlite now…

  • Colin McNulty 28 February 2013, 7:29 am

    Prags, I’d be interested in your experience with the Tendlite, but before you buy it, read the 2nd half of my post from a few years ago when I first spotted it, and what looked like some very dodgy reviews of it:

    http://www.colinmcnulty.com/blog/2011/09/24/corticosteroid-injection-side-effects-for-tennis-golfers-elbow/

  • Prags 28 February 2013, 5:01 pm

    Thanks Colin. Agree with your post , also I posted the question on Amzon if it worked for Tennis.I got these replies

    NO. PIECE OF JUNK. SAVE YOUR MONEY. Try Magnesium Oil instead.
    Tina answered on February 27, 2013

    It doesn’t work at all – for any area of the body. If you want a laser treatment that gets deep into the tissue, see a doctor who specializes in this type of treatment. I did and it helped me. These over the counter products are a rip-off.
    Tikoula answered on February 28, 2013

    Worked for arithtis
    debbie and ken answered on February 27, 2013

    Never heard about Magnesium oil for tennis elbow . Any views ?

  • Mark 6 March 2013, 5:07 pm

    Hi Colin,

    You must have had a pretty severe case of epicondylitis if it took that long for the pain to decrease and for you to get back to lifting weights. You also seem to have tried every conservative, non-surgical treatment available, haha. Kudos on your patience and determination. My injury is much less severe and I can’t imagine how frustrating it must have been for you.

    Here’s my situation. Fortunately for me, it is a lot more tame than most commenters’ stories and yours, of course. On the first week of February, during a routine work-out, I was doing some bicep curls. The maximum weight I can curl is 20.5 kg (45 lbs.) and ever since I ordered the dumbbells, I never forgot that I was lifting some serious weight. Accordingly, I always used caution and patience instead of trying to be a badass. In a single moment of hurried inattention, I contracted my arm too quickly and the next day I woke up with a mild stinging in my inner arm near the elbow. I didn’t think much of it at the time. Little did I suspect that, in a month or so, I would know as much about this region as a licensed physician.

    Because the pain was greater than what I encountered during run-of-the-mill muscle soreness, I immediately stopped doing bicep curls. I was on a ten-day vacation and didn’t have access to a gym, which, at the time, I was annoyed about but which probably saved me from much more pain. The pain slowly receded as a result because I rested the muscle and focused on stretching and running. Then I returned home.

    By this time, the pain in my wrist had subsided despite the fact that I had done pull-ups, push-ups, and upright rows with my suitcase while on the ten-day vacation. But the familiar sight of my gym and the other patrons who relied on its multitude of machines and weights made me go a little crazy. I lifted like I have never lifted before and even broke several of my own records. Before my vacation, the heaviest weight I could lift doing an upright row was 40 kg (88.8 lbs.). When I came back, I was able to do eight reps with a 43 kg (94.6 lbs.) dumbbell. Before my vacation, the heaviest weight I could lift doing a latissimus dorsi pull-down was 82 kg (180.4 lbs.). When I came back, I was able to pull down 96 kg (211.2 lbs.).

    I did two really strenuous workouts before I noticed that the same spot near my elbow had started to sting again. I had no idea that I had foolishly squandered the one and only chance my body had given me to make a quick and easy recovery from a mildly inflamed medial epicondyle. Naturally, the pain got worse. One day, about twenty days after I first injured the tendon, I was holding a baseball bat and found that I couldn’t even grip it properly. I was alarmed and it finally sunk in that I was dealing with something more serious than simple soreness or pulled flexor muscles. In my 26 years, the last eight of them spent weight-training, I had never been injured. One moment of inattention broke my perfect record. I was crushed.

    When faced with a crisis, I battle panic with knowledge. I quickly learned all I could about the anatomy of the arm. In a few days, I knew the names of the muscles activated by bicep curls and the tendons that aid them. I also found out exactly what I was suffering from. When I first diagnosed myself, I just called my condition tendinitis because I had ruled out muscle or bone involvement. I have since temporarily ceased any training that would involve the medial epicondyle and have begun therapy. Only today did I actually find out the tendon’s name.

    Because of the specific nature of the injury, my routine is similar to yours. But because I now realize that my injury is relatively mild, I haven’t even given a thought to anything other than conservative, non-surgical therapy. I have been religiously doing all the stretching exercises you described as well as the light dumbbell exercises. I’ve slowly been able to increase my arm’s range of motion over the last ten days of therapy. The relative speed with which I’m healing has come as a great relief to me. However, I do one thing that’s not on your list. I have an electronic massaging device that is cylindrical in shape with rubber protrusions on its body. It’s intended for the feet but a few days ago I used it on my elbow and it nearly eliminated the pain! Like you, I was beginning to lose faith in the potency of massage as a therapeutic measure. Of course, until this point, I was only using my hand to massage the sore spot and it had only helped marginally.

    I’m a student of immunology and I hope I will be able to dispel some of your skepticism about the value of massaging an injured tendon, at least with an electronic device. I promise not to get too technical. On a molecular level, by greatly increasing blood flow to injured tissue, the intense vibration of the machine was achieving two important results: (1) loosening any accumulation of debris, which will mostly include dead cells that otherwise have to be cleaned up by specialized cells called macrophages; and (2) increasing the supply of nutrients to the injured tissue. This facilitates the goals achieved by an important process called inflammation. For many people, inflammation is a bad thing. It brings to mind images of comically swollen muscles and tendons on fire. But inflammation is a vital defensive healing process mediated by a number of blood cells that release histamine. Histamine causes blood vessels to dilate, which causes more blood cells to pour into the injured tissue to facilitate tissue nutrition and waste disposal. So if you massage the area, you’re most likely speeding along the process that the immune system has initiated, thus quickening healing. However, I would limit the legitimacy of this explanation to the intense, quick rhythmic massage that only a machine can provide. That alone reduced the swelling and pain in just a few days, something that nearly a week of hand massages couldn’t achieve.

    Thank you again for such a diligent post. It’s obvious that you put a lot of effort into trying to help out other sufferers of this condition. I’m only sorry that you and others on here had to suffer through such severe forms of medial epicondylitis for me to discover your blog. However, I do take some encouragement from it because it made me realize how lucky I am that my tendon is not as badly injured as yours was. And I take comfort from the fact that others are going through the same problem and want to know the best way to work through it. You totally nailed that part. All I had to offer was my little science lecture about massage therapy, but I hope that will supplement your great advice.

    Best regards,

    Mark

    P.S. For more technically inclined readers, this is an exhaustive article from professional sports clinicians: http://www.med.nyu.edu/pmr/residency/resources/Clinics_sports%20med/clinics%20NA%20sports_medial%20epicondylitis.pdf

  • Renae 3 April 2013, 8:49 pm

    Your exercIses has helped my elbows by 50%. ,I’m 3 months In. I suffer from fIbermalIgIa too, for years now. I’ve trIed so many ways to rId my lIfe of It, to no avaIl. Can you please, send my way, anythIng that may help? SIncerely, Renae

  • Lisa Miller 11 April 2013, 9:40 pm

    I have been suffering from medial epicondylitis for approximately one year. My injury occurred from over-reaching with my right arm to use the computer mouse at my desk. I noticed the pain last spring when one evening I reached down to pick up my 11-pound dog and noticed a great deal of pain on the inside of my elbow. It even hurt to lift a gallon of milk.

    To help my right elbow rest, I began using the computer mouse with my left arm. This was difficult at first, but now I can officially say that I am ambidextrous :) I even ordered a vertical mouse for use when my elbow was feeling better.

    Just last week I decided that because my pain has been very minimal from the non-use of my right arm for mousing, I decided it was time to use the vertical mouse with my right arm. Wow, what a mistake that was; I now have nearly the same pain I had before!

    I’ve tried the cortizone shots, physical therapy, even ultrasound. I’d like to have more information about the electronic massaging device you spoke about (cylindrical in shape with rubber protrusions on its body) and also about shockwave therapy. I just need something to help calm this pain down so that I can begin the stretching and exercises, as that seems to be the key to keep this from re-curring.

  • Nick 17 April 2013, 3:49 pm

    I’ve had ME in both elbows for around 2-3 years now with LE forming in my right over the last 12 months. Ive recently had a friend treat her LE with ABI and now her other elbow with prolotherapy. She has found the ABI to be fantastic and the early signs of the prolotherapy to be extremely positive. I’ve made an appointment to see the same doctor to look at prolotherapy to assist with both elbows on the 27th of May. I’ll post my findings after the therapy.

  • hans hemmingsson 25 April 2013, 11:00 am

    Sorry, but what is “ABI” and “prolotherapy”??

    /Hasse

  • Nick 29 April 2013, 1:59 pm

    Google is your friend, Hasse.

    ABI is Autologous Blood injection (ie being injected at the site of pain with your own blood). Prolotherapy is where the site of pain is injected with varying concentrations of glucose which cause scarring and thickening, hence strengthening, of the tendons.

  • Lucius 20 May 2013, 4:24 pm

    Hey, anybody here, knows if there’s a nerve condition that can mimmick golfers elbow, I’ve read a bit about it, but haven’t been able to find concrete articles about it. I’ve had ME or at least elbow pain for 14 months now, I’ve rested for 5 months straight up till yesterday, I have done nothing with my left hand, except unavoidable choires, which wasn’t much, as I got pretty good at doing most things one handed and I haven’t been able to work because of knee problems and a few herniated discs in my back, so I had the opportunity. About 2 months ago, I started to notice some improvement or at least change. The pain has moved and the shooting pain with activity is almost gone. Now there is just a burning sensation, it feels like having severe sunburn deep inside the elbow, close to the bone, that comes on every now and then, mostly after activity, but it can also just act up out of nowhere for an hour of 2 and then diappear again. Over the last month the burning sensation started to become less frequent and I slowly started using my arm again, which resulted in a light increase.

    Now here’s the strange part, I’ve done the whole doctor routine again. EDlbow specialist: Probably ME, but atypical and to close to the nerve to try anything with ABI, could try cortisone injection under xray guidance, so went to a orthopedic doctor: he did all the tests again and told me I did not have ME, so no injection. Then got an echo to confirm, no sign of ME.. Visited a pain specialist, for my lower back and knee he said it was probably coming from my neck and connected to my lower back (this was 3 months ago) some improvement since, so who knows?

    Yesterday I went climbing. Strange choice, I know, but I felt it was my best shot. I can grip and hang, pulling from the biceps can be tender, but I’m an experienced rock climber, so I know what I’m doing. I can’t stretch, putting my palm flat on the ground is excruciatingly painful. Bracing on my arms is mostly painful, I have a bunch of excercises for my lower back, where I have to brace on my hands and I can only do that on my knuckles with straight wrists and thumbs up, but it still hurts. Riding a bike is tricky as well.. All not very typical of golfers elbow.

    Climbing went ok, I used a stretchy, adjustable, full elbow brace for added stability, not much pain during climbing, a bout of burning sensation, but nothing that couldn’t happen whilst resting. After it still felt fine, so I was very happy. This morning, I woke up, no pain. Then I started moving a bit and the pain came on again. Worse than before, but still managable, but still almost a 20 hour delay in the onset, seems really weird to me. I’m hoping for the best and if my pain drops back to normal levels in the next few days, will try some light climbing again next week.

    One last thing is that my elbow pain doesn’t react to painkillers. I’m currently on Naproxen morfine for my back and it has no influence whatsoever on my elbow.. I’ve asked 2 neurologists about this and they had no idea what it could be, as far as they were concerned, as long as there is no loss of motorfunction/strength and no shooting pains/tingling all the way up to the fingers, the nerves can’t be responsable for my pain. I’ve read otherwise and I’ve met a few physiotherapist who think otherwise, but their treatment has not helped, it actually made it (much) worse and i have not yet found a doctor, who’s been willing/able to make sense of it. Some say it’s very atypical ME, some say it’s (just) unexplainable pain (they see it all the time..) others are hinting towards nerve involvement, but these are not neurologists and can’t do anything about it.

    Anybody out there to whom my story sounds familiar? Any advice on doctors? I’ve been to a lot now and none could make any real sense out of it and those that claimed they could, were unsuccesfull in treating it. Tried the injections, shockwave and physio/stretching routines and that only made it worse.. Can’t tolerate something like the bandit anymore either, to much presure, same as resting my arm on a chair, do that for more than a minute and my forearm, close to my elbow feels like it’s on fire..

  • neil marsh 4 June 2013, 2:41 am

    A great deal of your blog/info makes sense…thanks. My elbow creaked for months..but some suspended press up 20 Reps x 3/4 Sets totally scrwrd it. Had a steroid injection last Friday…huge improvement but still not 100%. Im going to do your rehab exercises etc. thanks for being so honest and open!

  • Alex 8 June 2013, 4:18 pm

    I’ve had it for 3 yrs in both elbows. I quit excercise for 8 weeks before per doctor’s orders, had shots, and tried joint pills, all to no avail. I got it from weight lifting. The only cure for me is probably a long break, & no more heavy weight.

  • Lucius 13 June 2013, 10:13 pm

    Looks like I’ve finally found what I’ve got: Periostitis, not Tendonitis (anymore). Did a test with a slow working local anesthetic and poof went the pain for 12 hours.. Starting treatment soon, happy to finaly have a diagnosis after a year and 3 months! Key words: negative resistance test, normal grip, delayed onset of deep burning type pain, quickly worsens with stretching. As stretching gives the most pull and thus agitation of the periost in my case anyways..

  • Ram 19 June 2013, 6:56 am

    Hi Colin,

    I had golfer’s elbow before 9 months due to heavy workout in my gym, then left gum & some rest.. wen ever i do pull ups it hurts wen i was in gym but after 9 months, no pain during pull ups.. during my treatment period, i tried icing, heating and physiotheraphy of my elbow.. Just startd gym now by using a forearm band, just as a protection.. today i tried flat bench press with no weight, just the rod.. but i feel like twingling or my golfer elbow nuckles break in both the arms (but golfer ‘s elbow was in ri8 hand onli) & also my ri8 hand shakes like hell..

    is this due to weakness or this twingling will worsen the case??? pls help me out…should i stop the exercise or continue? pls colin, am waiting for ur comment… thanks in advance..

  • Lucius 28 June 2013, 4:52 pm

    @Ram: Explain a bit more what you mean by twingling.. Is there a tingling sensation that runs down into your fingers? Where does it seem to start and to where does it radiate. Do you feel like you have a (abnormal) loss of strength in your hands? Loss of feeling? Need more info, but the “twingling” would be rather typical for neurological involvement, which is not uncommon with people who have had ME for a long time.. If so go see a neurologist, could be a number of causes, all treatable, but ignoring it, or treating it as a golfers elbow, could make it worse and if there is neurological loss of muscle, you will not regain it, so it’s always better to diagnose these things as early as possible..

  • Nekcar 5 July 2013, 8:39 pm

    The first thing i would try before starting with cortisone etc is taking out trigger points om the back. Start with infraspinatus, Teres major and trapezius. This has really worked for me.

  • Nick 8 July 2013, 3:11 am

    After 3 treatments of prolotherapy on my GE in my left and even worse tennis elbow in my right, the results are gradual, but I have about an 80% improvement. I suspect another couple more treatments and I should be right. But right now, I can lift heavy in the gym and not be in pain 2 hours after. A little stiff in the morning after it’s been in the same position for hours, but so much easier to live with. I seriously think prolotherapy is a very viable treatment everyone should try.

  • Linda 26 July 2013, 2:51 am

    I am a massage therapist and I wanted to address one comment that you made in the article to possibly clarify for you. You said:

    ——-Apparently the blood supply to tendons is generally poor and so helping to get new blood in, aids the healing process… To be honest, that sounds like bolox to me, I’m not convinced that blood effectively sits stagnating in any blood vessel, and requires manipulation to replace it, would love for someone to tell me otherwise?——-

    It’s not that blood “sits stagnating” at all—you’re right, that doesn’t happen. If it does, you have a blood clot, which is an extremely dangerous situation. The whole blood flow issue is this: connective tissue—tendons and ligaments—does not have its own blood supply. Muscle and bone are both full of blood vessels, which provide oxygen and nutrients to them. Connective tissue, on the other hand, does not have blood vessels of its own, and so does not receive oxygen or nutrients directly. Instead, it depends on the blood supply of the surrounding tissue (muscle or bone) to supply its needs. This it why it can take a sprain—an injury to a ligament— longer to truly heal than a broken bone. So the reason it is important to improve blood flow to the injured area in the case of tennis/golfers elbow (or any other injury to a tendon or ligament) is to give the injured tissue the oxygen, nutrients, and energy it needs to heal, which it can only get when the surrounding tissues are well-supplied with blood.

  • Nick 1 August 2013, 9:47 am

    Furthermore, I suggest also supplementing with magnesium, zinc and most importantly, manganese. These are EXTREMELY important trace minerals for healthy, strong ligaments/tendons. Just recently developed TE in my LEFT elbow. More prolotherapy! But it’s nice to know there is a treatment that works wonders ad should be resolved in a few weeks. Forget weeks and weeks of exercises and rest. Get to a prolotherapist and get your life back!!

  • Neil Marsh 3 August 2013, 11:21 pm

    Well, its been a few months now…and after a steroid injection all seemed to be going ok. But…I curtailed many activities that I thought would aggravate the injury, and out of nowhere, the Golfers Elbow started hurting as Tennis Elbow, LOL! Very, very weird…
    It’s settled a bit, and I am able to now do pressups ( Elbows tight to my side ) with little pain.
    Chin up are still avoided, as are strict bicep curls, but a 50lb sandbag is fairly ok to handle.
    So, the enforced rest, basic pre/post-exercise stretches slow build up and occasional elbow support has all helped out. The only thing that has set it off are Tae Kwon Do punches, but not doing full extension/lock-out solved that. I’m hopeful that a 90% recovery is underway with more to come, and not the extremely long-term problems I was expecting. Thanks!

  • Prags 12 August 2013, 9:42 pm

    It has been more than an year now. I am pregnant and my biggest worry that I won’t be able to hold my baby. I read about prolotherapy and other cosmetic treatments but none of them are advisable during pregnancy :(. I also went to Soft tissue specialist Ming chew in New York, could go for only two therapies as it was not very comfortable during early pregnancy, did not see any difference.Want to do some exercises but my arms are always sore and guess exercises are only recommended when inflammation is gone. I keep using heat pads everyday in the night as they give relief for some time. There seems to be no end to this sad story :(

  • Nick 18 September 2013, 2:42 pm

    Prags – How is prolotherapy in any way harmful to a pregnancy??? That is absurd!!

    http://www.caringmedical.com/prolotherapyblog/todays-vlog-can-you-receive-prolotherapy-while-pregnant/

  • Chris 27 September 2013, 11:11 pm

    I’ve had golfers elbow and tennis elbow in both my arms for 18 months now. It’s painful and I think the only cure has to be rest and strapping it using sports tape. Also padding to limit elbow movement. This was caused when I began a new job involving fiddly work (chiropodist). I also spoke to a lady doing the same job as me and she has the same but only tennis elbow in one of her arms. It’s getting ridiculous and I’m wondring if this will ever go. It’s very difficult to rest as I often have to work at my job some days during the week.

  • Mike 14 October 2013, 5:01 pm

    has anyone tried PRP injections? im going in on Wed. just curious if anyone has tried these? thx.

  • M.spall 20 October 2013, 11:10 pm

    Been suffering with GE for the last 12 weeks. been getting usual symptoms,burn tendens, sharp pain at tip of elbow, weak/numb forearm with ocasional tingling in me little fingers. After 8 weeks of naproxen (anti-inflam tablet) and total rest still no Joy. Doc now refered me to PT sessions start them next week. Fingers crossed i get sorted soon because not being able to go gym is depressing me big time! :(

  • V. Weber 27 October 2013, 5:40 am

    Has anyone tried Graston therapy for golfers elbow? It was recommended for our daughther but would like to hear from someone who has been through it. Not sure if it will prolong the healing process and if it is painful. Thank you.

  • Chris Spratt 3 December 2013, 9:48 am

    Hey, I tried your stretching excercise. Wow! Instant improvement (tho’ the stretching was painful!) I’ve had golfer’s elbow for many months – 63 year old who has abused his body building houses and playing sports for too long lol! Thanks for the tips!!

  • Steve 11 January 2014, 4:20 am

    I tried the PRP injections as a mri showed my tendons were torn in both elbows, probably caused by rock climbing and moutaineering. Nothing else worked, but the injections were very successful. My right elbow is probly 95+ percent cured and my left elbow 80 to 90 percent.

  • mike 29 January 2014, 4:37 pm

    steve good to hear your prp injection was successful. im now 5 months out from the injury i received the prp injection approx 2 months ago. and my elbow i think it nearly 100 percent. wont know for sure until i test it out and actual play tennis. im thinking of waiting another month just to be sure . the decision is made easier by the bad weather we are having. nervous but somewhat optimistic.

  • mike 29 January 2014, 4:39 pm

    sorry i meant to say i had the prp injection 3 months ago.

  • Bobby Lee Swagger 21 March 2014, 7:41 pm

    Clearly by your in depth analysis of golfers elbow and means of treating, I can tell you’re just the expert!

    First off, its Physical Therapy not Physiotherapy. Also while we are on the corrective path, its Interferential (or IFC for short) not interferon. Interferon is a protein made and released to respond to pathogens -whoever your “physiotherapist” was is an idiot if thats what they called it. Now to correct your naive thoughts of how these treatments actually work. Therapeutic Ultrasound is easily explain as a massage on the cellular level. When getting Ultrasound, you won’t feel much besides the gel used for conductivity and a soothing warming sensation. That warming sensation that your so descriptively explained in your blog is actually your bodies response to send more blood along with chemical mediators to facilitate the healing process and essentially move it along fast (its not just due to the rubbing of the probe).

    Interferential electrical stimulation is used to decrease pain however its a temporary fix. It works on a process called the Gate Control Theory, which you can look up. Easily explained- if you have ever hit your elbow and it hurts, you rub it–when you rub it you have no pain or a decrease in pain- thats because the receptors being sent from your brain saying “Ouch” aren’t being delivered.

    Your “poking and prodding” that you explained is also know as a therapeutic massage. Just like any massage what this is bring blood to the area to create a soothing and relaxing sensation. However, this type of massage is a bit more aggressive. Following any injury, swelling builds and over time scar tissue will begin to form. Therefore by the looks of what you wrote, this issue was going on for quite some time before seeking appropriate care so for there to be scar tissue adhesions developing that is normal. Reason for being aggressive with this treatment is solely to break up those adhesions and restore normal function to those tendons. To straighten out you “BOLOX” mindset, tendons do not have a very large blood supply but your idea of blood being stagnant isn’t correct either. it isn’t about stagnant blood its about activation the lymphatic system a bit more drawing more blood to the injury site to facilitate overall healing.

    when you write these blogs, be sure to know your facts because you’re doing all these people who listen to your nonsense an injustice. oh and proof read as well, way to many grammatical errors!

    Cheers!

  • Ken 22 May 2014, 12:09 pm

    Stagger Lee = internet troll of the worst sort.

    Also a pretentious t**t who ignores the fact that this blog has helped a lot of people.

  • Pragsaks 29 June 2014, 9:32 pm

    Does any one know good prolotherapy place in
    NEw York or Connecticut area ?
    Thanks

  • David I 2 July 2014, 9:30 pm

    Bobby Lee Swagger, you are, without doubt, the kind of self righteous, friendless, arrogant pr*ck no-one wants to know – or listen to, for that matter! The vast majority of what Colin shared is spot on and let’s not forget, is HIS experience, which he has been thoughtful enough to share. Thank you Colin, from a fellow sufferer. He does NOT claim to be an expert and clearly states that he explored many avenues towards a cure for himself. It is sometimes difficult to know if one is receiving accurate advice when one seeks help and that could well account for incorrect references being passed on. So he said ‘interferon’ rather than ‘interferential’, you pedantic tw*t! And whilst on the subject of pedantry, you gave out so much crap about proof reading…..take a good look at your own effort ( you had way too many grammatical errors sunshine…..note ‘too’ and NOT ‘to’ in your rant, ‘in-depth’ NOT ‘in depth’, ‘known as’ NOT ‘know as’). Get over yourself and get a life. You clearly need to get out more! This is my rant over. I abhor bullies, always have done – consider yourself chastised for being such!

  • Sally 10 July 2014, 8:42 pm

    About a month ago while on prednisone I was trying to unscrew a lid off a jar, and well, you know how prednisone makes you feel – wired – so the lid would not come off but I continued to try even after feeling pain in my inner elbow. I never did get it off after trying so long that the pain became unbearable, so now I now realize that I must have ME and of course I am right handed and this is my right elbow. The pain is on the inside and is almost a burning or stinging feeling and the skin is also sensitive to the touch. I am trying not to use that arm so much and have it wrapped to help remind me and it just feels better to have some compression. After reading all of these posts it seems that rest and exercise and time are the only things that are going to make a real difference. Has anyone else gotten ME from one single action such as mine?

  • Sally 10 July 2014, 10:16 pm

    Please note that on my post above that I was on prednisone due to having pneumonia, not from any physical ailment.

  • Jeff 23 September 2014, 3:40 pm

    Chris Spratt – what stretching exercise did you use?

    I have been doing dry needling for the past month. It has helped but has not rid me of the pain.

    I would be interested to hear if others have had success with dry needling.

    I have been suffering with golfers elbow for over 6 months.

  • JAYNE NEWTON 6 December 2014, 6:54 pm

    HI. I HAVE JUST BEEN DIAGNOSED WITH GOLFERS ELBOW. GP PRESCRIBED FENBID GEL AND A ELBOW STRAP. NO BENEFIT AS YET BUT ITS EARLY DAYS.WHEN THE PAIN I
    HAS EASED I WILL TRY YOUR EXERCISES AND HOPEFULLY THEY WILL HELP. IS IT NORMAL THAT THE PAIN IS WORST AT NIGHT WHEN YOU ARE TRYING TO SLEEP?

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