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Topic: tennis elbow treatment & LE

Forum: Lymphedema — Risks, tips for prevention, and info about products that can address the symptoms of lymphedema.

Posted on: Jan 16, 2007 08:44AM

stronglady wrote:

Hi, folks. Looks like I have tennis elbow in my LE arm. I assume elbow supports & braces are too constrictive & therefore out of the question. I'm icing and taking ibuprofen (but my stomach won't let me take very much). Anyone know about PT (e.g., exercises, ultrasound)?
Stay strong!
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Posts 1 - 9 (9 total)

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Jan 17, 2007 07:04AM Binney4 wrote:

Hi, SL,

I just spoke to Darleen, our unfortunate resident LE-and-Tennis-Elbow expert. She can't type an answer to your questions because yesterday she took a tumble in her driveway and landed on The Very Arm. She's on her way for X-rays today and wondering what one does about a cast if one breaks the LE arm. Hmm. Alarming question. Let's pray she doesn't have to find out.

Okay, she said to tell you she went to a very experienced hand therapist about the tennis elbow, and she did some special massage, some exercises, and used a TENS unit, all of which helped. (Didn't use ultrasound because it was controversial.) Also her doc did do an injection but prescribed prophylactic antibiotics for before and after to head off infection. She did use a brace, but it was specially sized to fit OVER her wrapped arm and extended only to the middle of her forearm, the idea being to immobilize the wrist. This, too, worked out real well. Also kept in close contact with her LE therapist, who consulted with another one who has lots of experience. I seem to remember there was some sort of elbow padding under the wraps -- I'll ask about that if you're interested. She was planning on a second injection when she fell, but now all further plans are on hold until she finds out what sort of damage she did yesterday.

I'll be keeping in touch with her, Stronglady, so if you have specific questions please either post them here or PM me and I'll ask her and get back to you.

BUMMER, both of you!!!!! Be well, for goodness sake!
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Jan 18, 2007 03:59AM stronglady wrote:

Thanks so much, Binney! I was beginning to get really down about possible treatment options. This helps a lot.

Best wishes to Darleen as well -- God, this LE stuff stinks! And it just makes other complicated things more complicated.

Stay strong!
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Jan 18, 2007 08:13AM Binney4 wrote:

Leslie, do keep us informed on your progress. We'll be happy to cheer you on!

And here's a Darleen update. Well, as much of an update as she has anyway. They took X-rays. Her ankle is not broken, but she has to keep it wrapped . Her knees are not broken either, but badly bruised and she has to keep them iced. As for her elbow: there's so much fluid around it that they can't tell if the elbow is broken or not, but possibly so. They gave her a sling and told her they'd try the X-ray again in a week. She asked me to pass along this message to all of you: DON'T DO THIS!!!

Leslie and Darleen, onward anyway!
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Jan 21, 2007 03:39AM acgw wrote:


I'm an orthopedic PT and have done the short course on LE management. One technique that I find very effective in treating tennis elbow ( and one that should not have a negative impact on the LE) is called a Mulligan SNAG. It changes the pull of the muscles and can be very effective in treating the tennis elbow. Ideally treatment would also consist of iontophoresis or ultrasound as well as massage but with LE they are not going to be as effective and may exacerbate the LE.

Find a manual PT who is familiar with LE (or have them speak to your LE therapist before treatment). If you want more info on the SNAG, PM me and I'll go into excruciating detail.

Good luck.

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Jan 21, 2007 10:40AM stronglady wrote:

Thanks, Casey - I have an appt with my LE therapist (who used to be a sports medicine person) tomorrow, and another w/ my orthopedist on Tuesday. I assume I'm heading for elbow PT. I'll share your info.

Stay strong!
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Feb 7, 2007 09:01AM stronglady wrote:

Thought I'd give you folks an update. I'm currently in 'regular' PT for tennis elbow, with a therapist who is also experienced in lymphedema treatment. She's concerned I've got a vicious circle going: the swelling inflames the tendons, and the inflamed tendons lead to swelling. I'm doing exercises, getting ultrasound & e-stim. I know these last two are a bit controversial, but since I've never had cancer anywhere near my elbow, we thought it was worth a shot, given the LE circumstances.

We've also increased my bandage time until the elbow swelling comes down (AAAARRRGH). I feel like I'm never going to make it to wearing a sleeve (actually, my gauntlet is still being custom-made, so I couldn't wear the sleeve anyway). I've been bandaged since the end of November, with elbow swelling leading to 'failure' every time we've tried to decrease the bandage time. So I hope this elbow PT stuff works because this is GETTING OLD. My elbow is actually feeling better, though.

PS. Anyone know how Darleen is doing? I tried to pm her, but I think I messed up.
Stay strong!
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Feb 7, 2007 09:37AM Binney4 wrote:

Hi, ST, and thanks for the update. Hang in there -- the day really is coming when you'll be down to nothing more than a sleeve and glove. And after all this you'll actually be grateful for them! The fact your elbow's feeling a bit better is an excellent sign -- good for you!

Darleen is unfortunately back in the hospital, and this time with a diagnosis of congestive heart failure (damage from the adriamycin -- sigh!) It's so hard balancing the conflicting needs of all her conditions. She's on a diuretic and a limited fluid intake (aaugh!), but of course improving the overall circulation will have good effects for lymph circulation as well. This, though, has been a blow. I know she'd love to find PM's of encouragement when she gets home again. She's a strong lady and has great support at home, but this is all a bit much. Her arm is some better with the fluid reduction and she's still allowed to wrap some, but of course from here on out any LE therapy and self-massage will only be possible with very careful cardiology oversight. Prayers and hearty good wishes welcome!

Keep us posted, SL,
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Mar 10, 2007 05:27AM Binney4 wrote:

to the top for Anna and the rest of you elbow-sufferers!

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Jun 13, 2007 03:42PM Binney4 wrote:

Yikes! More elbow sufferers! To the top for Julie this time.