View Full Version : 'Tennis" elbow

May 15th, 2004, 07:27 PM
So, like I have posted elsewhere, I've been back in the pool for three months now after 30 years away, and I'm suffering on and off from 'tennis' elbow. Is this just because I'm old now, or is it that I'm overtraining, or is it maybe related to a stroke problem that I should get a coach to look at? Appreciate the comments...

May 16th, 2004, 03:40 PM
Try searching under "elbow pain" or "epicondylitis" both here and on the web. There is good information on possible causes and remedies.

Good luck!

May 16th, 2004, 06:07 PM
Thank you! Will do.

May 16th, 2004, 08:21 PM
Quick question: is the pain on the inside or outside of the elbow if you were standing with your palms forward?

Usually overtraining in swimming will cause pain on the inner part of the elbow. Tennis elbow is pain on the outside of the elbow, and usually from a different source.

May 16th, 2004, 09:08 PM
If I stand with my arms forward, palms facing down, the pain is on the upper/outer part of my right elbow - about two inches above and slightly in front of the point of my elbow (when my arm is bent).

May 16th, 2004, 09:43 PM
Hmmm...you do describe where tennis elbow hurts (medical term lateral epicondylitis), which makes me wonder if there isn't something else that has made it act up.

Swimming can indeed do it, but usually its medial epidondylitis (aka golfers elbow). Any ideas?

Ice is your friend; I would recommend using that after each workout. Avoid saunas/hot tubs -- never understood the reationale to getting even MORE overheated after a workout. There are stretches that are easier to show you than explain, and they do sell a strap that goes across your forearm in most drugstores that sometimes help. If these things + relative rest don't work, sometimes a cortisone shot can help, but they can lead to other problems.

May 16th, 2004, 10:01 PM
It's funny you mention the hot tob. I have a habit of going straight from the pool to the hot tub. Now that you mention it - it should be a no brainer, i.e. overheating and the inflammation that can go with it. I think I'd better change that habit!

I've gotten a couple of email responses suggesting some good stretches. These also repeated your suggestion about icing.

This is a great community and a great set of forum exchanges - has the same encouraging feel that being at a meet has. Thanks for your help.

May 17th, 2004, 08:23 AM
In college I had something similar while training over Christmas break. I quit using paddles for a few days and it got better (of course you heal faster when you're young). I agree with ice and rest, and would also recommend antiinflammatory agents (Naprosyn, Motrin, etc.). If a particular stroke or movement aggravates it, try something different for awhile.

May 17th, 2004, 08:22 PM
I had the problem you describe when I first started swimming last year (I just learned to swim proper strokes last July). I went to a PT and he had me do some stretches that you've probably already heard about and also sit my arm level on a table with my wrist/hand hanging off palm down. Put a 3 lb weight in hand and lift it SLOWLY up by flexing the wrist and down, your arm shouldn't move. He would have me do this as many times as I could pause, then do another set. The key is to do it slowly and isolate your arm so it is not bobbing up and down. That and the stretching seemed to do the trick but I still do both or it will flare back up. Oh and for me it's only on my right (dominant) side. I don't think it's JUST from swimming, I think weight lifting and other activities aggrivate it, but the swimming really made it flare.

May 17th, 2004, 10:05 PM
That stretch/exercise sounds similar to others I have been emailed about. I am going to have a coach evaluate my stroke mechanics (and take some video in the process) as part of my therapy in this regard. I'm also instituting some of the stretches and other advice I've gotten as well. Your situation was like mine - right side only. Thanks for the post.

June 29th, 2004, 01:21 AM
I went thru a nasty case of tendonitis last fall/this spring brought on by doing 800 yards of pulling. This was a set directed by a deranged coach (now former coach) used to coaching kids and not inherently non-athletic overweight 48 year olds. Kept swimming for a while hoping it would go away but in February I finally went to the doctor who prescribed PT and no swimming for a month. It got better but immediately flared up again once I started swimming.

About a year earlier I had started taking lovastatin for high cholesterol. Over the past few months it has seemed that my body just wasn't liking exercise as well as it used to. The acheiness was vague, diffuse and intermittent. Rather hard to put a finger on. In November, about the time I first injured my arm, I called the doctor and asked if there could be a connection. The medical assistant or whoever told me if the lovastatin was the problem I would feel flu like acheiness. This didn't seem to fit. Finally a couple of months ago while on a visit for another matter I asked the doctor if the lovastatin could be causing this. She admitted it was possible my mild muscle aches could be due to the low dose of lovastatin I was taking. I stopped taking the lovastatin and switched to niacin. Withing 2-3 weeks I started feeling much better overall AND my tendonitis has largely gone away. If I have a hard workout it might get slightly sore but it recovers by the next day. The lovastatin HAD to be aggravating my tedonitis.

I mention this in case you are on one of the statin drugs. If you are you might ask you doctor about stopping it for a bit and seeing if it helps your tendonitis.

Jan Jeddeloh