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My Tennis Elbow Recovery: A Guide To Help Others

Discussion in 'Injuries' started by RohanMaps, Dec 14, 2018.

  1. RohanMaps

    RohanMaps New Member

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    Hi all, I have tennis elbow and was recently given the chance to receive PRP treatment on the NHS from a specialist which is extremely rare and has taken me nearly a year to obtain. I was wondering if anyone would be interested in hearing about my journey so far in attempting to get rid of my injury as I have done a lot of reading and come from a family with a medical background. I strongly believe that this could be a great opportunity to share my journey with all my fellow tennis elbow sufferers (and those suffering from other injuries) in order to help them recover. Tennis elbow is not uncommon in badminton and is often due to a variety of factors like technique, posture, weak forearms etc. but despite this there is no hard and fast cure for it.

    If you would be interested in hearing about my journey please just let me know in this thread as I would love to help those who have suffered from same issues as me. Please note that I am not a medical professional, I have just done reading and received numerous treatments for different things along with discussing injuries with the doctors from my family and other professionals. However, I will go into the science behind tennis elbow/lateral epidcondylitis and the treatments for it so you can gain an understanding of what is going on under your skin, and therefore understand why you are feeling pain and why certain treatments are/aren't working.

    I hope this can be helpful to some of you suffering from tennis elbow and other similar injuries
     
    garchu likes this.
  2. garchu

    garchu New Member

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    Hello RohanMaps,
    I am interested. Please share your knowledge.

    Many Thanks.
     
  3. RohanMaps

    RohanMaps New Member

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    Awesome to hear your response, are you suffering from the same injury or something similar?

    Hope I am able to help!
     
  4. Jay Ng

    Jay Ng Regular Member

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    I would definitely be interested in hearing not just about the treatment and recovery but also preventative measures.

    I used to have tennis elbow on my left arm due to work, definitely nothing to do with badminton as I wasn’t playing back then and I’m right handed. I can’t be sure exactly what cured it but a few things happened all around the same time.

    I went away on holiday for 3 weeks so I presume having rest helped in recovery, I also had a Thai massage therapist work on the elbow using a traditional massage as well as “scraping” the forearm using oil and a flat edged implement. My work schedule also changed from 6 days a week down to 5 days.

    I’ve started playing badminton again for about 18mths now and the first year was fine. Business increased during the Summer and that’s when my right arm started having problems. I’ve been playing the last 6mths with tennis elbow and the intensity of pain varies depending on how busy work is. I’ve got one week left of the business as I’ve sold it so only time will tell whether the right arm recovers or not.

    I’d be very interested on any information you have as I’m hoping to play more badminton in the future
     
  5. RohanMaps

    RohanMaps New Member

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    That's great! Interesting to hear about the treatment you've had, massage is often a good way of solving this problem although it's hard to be consistent with it and rehab is super important. Sounds like typing is really the main cause of it, desk and keyboard set up are very important along with warming up your arms and stretching off after you finish work.

    I'll hopefully be doing a full intro post this week so I hope that helps, good luck with your recovery!
     
  6. garchu

    garchu New Member

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    yes, few years ago since I was using a head-heavy racket. nowadays, i am using a balance or slightly head-heavy racket. so, my tennis elbow injury is not too bad - only when i smashed too much.
     
  7. RohanMaps

    RohanMaps New Member

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    Introduction


    Tennis elbow is a frustrating, niggling injury, that just doesn't go away; at least for many of us. My name is Rohan, and I got tennis elbow at the fresh young age of 18, when I came back into badminton after playing on and off for 2 years (been playing consistently since I was 6 years old). It was fresher's week, and I was craving some competitive badminton having seen the date of my university badminton trials. Last minute decided to go to a session on Tuesday night, during this session, it happened. During a rally, I hit a dodgy smash and my elbow felt weak, then I attempted a lift (stupid me, lifting in doubles) and my arm was so weak I dropped my racket and fell to the ground. The outside of my elbow was searing with pain, I could barely move my hand, and had to go home early, and on the way, I stopped at a pub to get some ice, and failed. This was the start of an injury that is still plaguing me to this day, as I write this article, I feel the odd sensation in my wrist extensors and the pain in my forearm muscles. Tennis elbow is difficult to get rid of, but my passion for badminton is important. LOL NERD


    What is Tennis Elbow

    Tennis elbow, otherwise known as Lateral Epicondylitis is an inflammation of the extensor muscles attached to the lateral epicondyle, most of the time it is the Extensor Carpi Radialis Brevis/Short Radial Extensor Tendon of the Carpus (SREC), which is directly beneath the Extensor Carpi Radialis Longus/Long Radial Extensor of the Carpus (LREC), which is inflamed. [​IMG] However, whilst sounding simple, the treatment of Tennis Elbow is complex, unclear, and has no established cure.

    In the past, studies have shown that small lesions of micro tears form on the SREC, the collagen in the tissue is damaged and granulation tissue is formed; but for some reason this granulation tissue breaks easily and only partially heals the micro tears. To put this simply, the muscle becomes damaged and doesn’t fully repair due to the granulation tissue being weak: this is known as Angiofibroblastic Hyperplasia in medical terms.

    Following this the tendon begins to degenerate (Angiofibroblastic Degeneration). The Extensor Carpi Radialis Brevis (ECRB) is the tendon most commonly affected by tennis elbow; in this second stage the fibres within the tendon become weaker and the tendon therefore weakens as a whole. After this, the next stage is the tearing of the ECRB, which is finally followed by fibrosis and calcification of the tendons.


    It takes a while to get to these final stages where the damage becomes harder and harder to repair, and eventually irreversible in the end when fibrosis and calcification occurs. However, it is important to catch tennis elbow early and treat it correctly, so you can continue with your life as normal and not sustain irreversible damage.



    The Causes of Tennis Elbow


    So, you've got tennis elbow and don't know why, it could be due to a variety of reasons; but the most important thing is that you rest that arm for now. Here are the reasons why you could have tennis elbow:

    1. Incorrect Technique

    2. Height/posture

    3. Neck/Shoulder Problems

    4. Overworking/Weakness of the forearm

    5. Other.


    There are numerous treatments you could be prescribed, but many people are confused as to what actually works despite there being extensive research and data on treatments. Here is a short list of the treatments that commonly prescribed:

    1. Eccentric Exercises - Prescribed by the physio in order to strengthen the forearm; combined with rest it is intended to be a rehabilitation process of sorts.

    2. Cortisone (Cortisoteroid) injection - Cortisone injections are done directly into the centre of the tendon pain; the steroid is used to reduce the inflammation and pain. It is important to rest for the prescribed period, so the injection site can repair itself and the steroid can kick in.

    3. Shockwave Therapy – A handpiece is used to create high frequency mechanical waves which are targeted at the injured area (forearm). These waves leave cavitation bubbles behind them which are simply small cavities created due to energy flowing through the area and empty space being created as a result. The cavitation bubbles will burst at the right time (controlled by the handpiece) and this will cause irritation within the tissue resulting in the tissue attempting to repair itself. The irritation breaks up the improperly formed granulation tissue and can also dislodge deposits of calcium from within the tissue.

    4. Platelet Rich Plasma Injections - Blood is taken from your uninjured arm, it is spun to allow the platelets to be extracted and then plasma is added to it. This is then injected into your injured arm (the site is determined via ultrasound) and this results in your arm having extra platelets (these heal injuries) so your condition should gradually improve. This also involves a period of rest which is 4 weeks on the first injection and 8-10 days on following injections.

    5. Surgery - This is always the very last resort, the ECRB is sliced off the bone and carefully reattached. Your arm will have to be in a sling for some time and you will not be able to engage your arm in vigorous physical activity for 6 months.


    Over the next few weeks I plan to write articles on here going over these treatments; looking at the ins and outs so I can attempt to help you figure what the most effective treatment for you might be.
     
  8. RohanMaps

    RohanMaps New Member

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