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Old 01-30-2005, 07:01 PM   #1
Ryan Bigelow
Dojo: Kenyoin
Location: Japan
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 21
Help with an injured elbow

My right elbow has been bothering me for some time. More specifically the tendon on the inside of my elbow. I can no longer straighten my arm completely and attempts to do so (nikyou pin, etc) are painful. In all honesty, the chronic pain and the absolute inability of my Japanese doctors to help in any way (or even bother to try) are frustrating. From everything I can gather my condition is similar to that of medial epicondylitis, at least in terms of the location of the pain, though
I don't have shooting pain down my forearm. I took a month off over New Years, but I'm loathe to take off more time than that. Does anyone have any recommendations? Similar experiences?
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Old 01-31-2005, 11:10 PM   #2
Ryan Bigelow
Dojo: Kenyoin
Location: Japan
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 21
Re: Help with an injured elbow

Any help would be truly appreciated. I love aikido and dont want to have to stop practicing if at all possible. Thanks again.
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Old 02-01-2005, 12:20 AM   #3
Dan Gould
Dojo: Cilfynydd, Pontypridd
Location: Abercynon, Wales
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 49
United Kingdom
Re: Help with an injured elbow

Heh, I've currently got an injured knee, but it's due to overworking it, rather than any condition. I don't know what that condition is that you mentioned, so I'm afraid I can't really suggest much :-s Sorry. I use an elasticated bandage thing on my knee and take ibuprofen to help the swelling.. don't know if that's of any use to you.
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Old 02-01-2005, 01:26 AM   #4
Sue Hammerich
Dojo: Full Circle Aikido
Location: Central Coast, CA
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 54
Re: Help with an injured elbow

Well, I AM NOT AN MD and I am only making some suggestions, but ...Yeah, it does sound like a medial epcondylitis AKA "golfers elbow". But, it could also be a cubital tunnel syndome, or compression of the ulnar nerve between two parts of the muscle that flexes your wrist (bends in in the palmar direction) and/or moves it toward your pinky. In any case, you want to avoid bending your elbow past say, 40 degrees, and especially avoid leaning on your elbow, You might benefit from sleeping while wearing some kind of splint on your forearm/arm that prevents you from bending it in your sleep. Massage the area clockwise, counterclockwise across the fibers, and up and down on the fibers, use ice as needed, and frankly, I kinda like a moxibustion. Rest is important, avoid tight grasp, don't sleep on it, posture is important, there may be some soft tissue adhesions sort of like gristle in the area so some sort of myofascial release or active release technique may help...those kinds of things might help. But again, I am NOT a doctor

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Old 02-01-2005, 08:35 AM   #5
Dojo: Aikido of Midland
Location: Midland Texas
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 1,652
Re: Help with an injured elbow


If it is truly on the medial side of the elbow and there is no pain or numbness down the arm you likely have "golfer's elbow". This is generally caused by stressing the elbow as you hit a golf ball, especially if you tend to hit a lot of divets. It is caused by forceful wrist flexion and pronation-the nikyo pin would be an example. Continued stressing can cause the tendon to pull from the bone and cause hemorrhage of the bone covering (subperiosteal hemorrhage), inflammation of the periosteum (periostitis) and tearing of the medial collateral ligament.

Testing: pain with squeezing a ball or when flexing or pronating the wrist against resistance is indicative of medial epicondylitis.

1. Ice, analgesic creams, and anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs).
2. Strengthening the extensor muscles.
3. Strapping (tennis elbow strap) while healing may take stress off the elbow.
4. Avoid wrist flexion with pronation activities (nikyo in particular)
5. Rest

Other options: Graston technique treatment protocols (www.grastontechnique.com) to reduce adhesions and stimulate healing; Active Release Technique; kinesiotaping, other myofascial release.

Cubital tunnel syndrome is characterized by numbness and tingling (paresthesia) of the little and ring finger. Weakness may occur in later stages. Night spinting with partial extension and B6 (50 mg bid) is usually recommended treatment for Cubital tunnel syndrome.

If this does not improve, you need to seek health professional help since surgical intervention may be necessary with golfer's elbow.
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Old 02-01-2005, 12:43 PM   #6
Avery Jenkins
Avery Jenkins's Avatar
Dojo: Litchfield Hills Aikikai
Location: Litchfield, CT
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 158
Re: Help with an injured elbow

Yikes, man, you are in Japan. Go get some acupuncture!

Actually, I've got two patients right now that I'm treating with acupuncture, one with medial epicondylitis and one with lateral epicondylitis. Both were refractory to the usual ultrasound/ice/therapeutic exercise approach.

I'm also using a TCM technique called gua sha (I'm sure there's a Japanese version). It's the same as Graston technique, only about 2,000 years older.

Both are responding well to this approach, as other patients have in the past.

I would exhaust the manual/alternative therapies before giving serious consideration to surgical intervention.

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Old 02-01-2005, 05:59 PM   #7
Ryan Bigelow
Dojo: Kenyoin
Location: Japan
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 21
Many thanks.

Everyone, thank you very much. I appreciate you taking the time to respond. I'll definitely take all of your advice into consideration. May all of your aikido be happy and painfree!
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