Tennis Elbow

Question: I injure my shoulder through through hand-quilting. Result’s the same, though! I’ve had cortisone injections, but the effects soon wore off. Now I’m waiting to see an orthopaedic surgeon – presumably for surgery? I’d like to hear other people’s experience with this problem and to know if surgery is the last resort. Also, can anyone explain what, exactly, has happened to the elbow joint to produce the pain? If surgery is required, what does the operation achieve? Of course, this is all typed with my left hand. I’ve got quite quick at it!

Answer 1: I got tennis elbow through grading tobacco 24 years ago, after the cortisone injection I was fine, until 5 years ago, when I was shoveling coal, and the pain returned. More cortisone and three months of physio made me to hold a cup of tea again. I started to work again, I am a graphic designer, and within 12 months I got symptoms of carpel tunnel syndrome. I am no longer working, however, in the time since, I’ve not been still. I have done classes in Body Awareness, including breathing and relaxation classes. I am now doing a remedial Iyengar Yoga class that makes a difference. I am also studying business admin and computing.

I have not had surgery, even though the doctor wants me to, I believe the surgery does not really deal with the cause. Yes, I believe it is the last resort! Have you looked at your posture while you are quilting? Please, become aware of your body and correct the things you’re doing wrong. This is hard, yet, it is also very important. After an op, the symptoms will eventually return if these things aren’t corrected.

Have you looked in your local library for books on exercises for RSI? I am sure that, if you haven’t, you will find some exercises to suit. I still type with all my fingers even though the CTS are in both hands. Yes, sometimes I hurt, and then I know I’ve overdone it for the day. And I will not give up working on computers, I think I’m addicted. Relax and enjoy life, have fun, and do whatever it takes to keep healthy. I even started taking Aropax, a low dose anti-depressant, three years ago, and felt sane for the first time in years. I’m not one for taking drugs into the system, yet this one worked for me.

Answer 2: Watch that left hand! Without realising it I started protecting my right hand when I injured myself in 1992. Within weeks I had RSI on both sides.

Answer 3: Me too. The right one is still the worse one, but the left is not good. And I have a something-pain in the left upper arm and shoulder, I think from moving my shoulder bag there.

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