Tennis Elbow

Posted In: Amateur Harpists

  • Participant
    Pat Eisenberger on #161973

    Has anyone experienced tennis elbow? Mine didn’t come come harp playing because it manifested during November, when I wasn’t playing much at all.

    Anyway, I now want to get into some serious practicing, and my elbow becomes very painful when I play the upper octives. I’ve been

    Participant
    carl-swanson on #161974

    Have you talked to your doctor about this? It may be helpful to see a physical therapist who could give you some exercises. In any case, it’s probably going to take time to get over it. I somehow got a case of “golfers elbow”(I don’t play golf) this past summer. That’s pain on the inside of the elbow, where I think yours is on the outside of the elbow. My doctor prescribed a very strong anti-inflammatory and told me to use ice on it several times a day. I didn’t do the ice(lazy) but the anti-inflammatory worked great. When the prescription ran out the pain came back somewhat. I haven’t done anything more. I’ve just been waiting it out and it is almost completely gone now. But you should start with a talk to your doctor.

    Participant
    barbara-low on #161975

    I’ve used ice when I’ve overused my muscles. It’ll help take the swelling down. Ask your doctor about the use of ice and heat. Don’t practice after using the ice though. You want your muscles and tendons to be warmed up before playing.

    There’s lots of information on the web about tennis elbow – it’s causes and suggestions for treatment. It seems that both tennis and golfers elbows start with possible overuse or trauma to the fingers and wrist.

    Hope things get better quickly.

    Participant
    jean-mac on #161976

    Ice, heat and PT are all great suggestions and the antiinflammatory.

    Participant
    carl-swanson on #161977

    Jean- Interesting comments. My doctor, when I first talked to her about my “golfers elbow” said to try the anti-inflammatory, which worked for most patients. But if it didn’t, then there was the injection you mentioned.

    I had some success with the anti-inflammatory, but have just kind of waited it out since, trying to avoid the movements that cause pain. The pain is almost completely gone now with not further treatments. I’m back to lifting weights and that doesn’t cause any pain either. It’s taken 3 or 4 months from the start of this to get to this point.

    Participant
    Pat Eisenberger on #161978

    I appreciate all the suggestions. Right now I’m still on the anti-inflamatory (Motrin-3) and it seems to be improving unless I overuse the arm by lifting something heavy. I don’t usually play pieces where I need to play in the highest octaves because with my L&H Style 85 the strings are spaced different from the lower octaves and I usually get several wrong notes. But, of course, I’m working on some new music that goes there – and that’s when my elbow hurts. I’ve been using heat before practicing, though, and that seems to help.

    Participant
    unknown-user on #161979

    My husband had one single very severe case several years ago, and took Vioxx for a few days, and it went away, never to return thank goodness.

    If your ears start to ring (tinnitus) while you’re taking the big dose of Motrin, be sure to let your doctor know.

    Participant
    Elizabeth Volpé Bligh on #161980

    If you have to learn pieces with a lot of playing up in the top register, you can still practice those sections in a lower register and then put them back up there when you have gotten the finger patterns sorted out. This will avoid putting strain on your elbow. You can also do mental practice, without playing at all. You would be surprised at how much you can learn by visualizing yourself playing. I have found that ice works very well for bringing down inflammation, but you have to ice the area on a regular basis. Heat brings blood to the injured area, so therefore promotes healing, but it also promotes swelling, so you have to ice it to bring it back down. I agree that it is very worthwhile to read up on tennis elbow on the internet; you will recover so much more quickly if you know what you’re dealing with. Best of luck!

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