Question: I have developed a RSI to the elbow originally ignited by an injury to the anconeous, a tiny muscle in the elbow. That was three years ago. After physio, cortisone, two surgeries (tennis elbow first and carpal tunnel syndrome later), TENS and the like I’m left with the original pain and some additional consequences of the above practices. Pain increases with the use of the mouse by clicking with the index finger and by writing with a pen. Most movements which involve either the use of the anconeous or the use of the triceps cause serious pain.
I’m looking for information on injuries of the anconeous and related treatments. A web search did not give any fruit and surgeons say it’s very rare and don’t know how to treat it.
Answer: Did the doctors explain how they know that it’s specifically the anconeous that’s injured in your case? The symptoms you describe, as well as the treatment, sound very much like what in many cases is simply diagnosed as tendinitis — also known as tennis elbow, which I gather has also been part of your diagnosis at some time. And if you look at a muscle map it seems quite likely that tendinitis usually does involve the anconeous along with other muscles.
So perhaps some of the approaches that people have found helpful for tendinitis would also help for you, even though they’re not aimed specifically at the anconeous.
- Physiotherapy with a physiotherapist trained in trigger point release
- Alexander technique
- Plenty of walking, either swinging the arms to free muscles or, if that’s painful, resting the hands in the pockets, but in either case being as loose as possible
- Attention to your workstation setup, in particular making sure your screen is not off to one side (the tendinitis tends to develop in the opposite elbow to the side your screen is on)
- Investigating alternative pointing devices — a trackball or touchpad may be less painful than a mouse
- Using voice recognition so you don’t have to use the mouse at all
- Regular breaks in which you move around and exercise your arms