They call it tennis elbow, but I don’t play tennis.
I had my first session of physical therapy today, a little over a week after having a shot of cortisone in the joint. I had reached the point of feeling major pain simply holding a pot of coffee out to pour a cup.
It all got mixed up with a bout of Lyme Disease, so I couldn’t tell what was bothering me for about a month, until the Lyme was on the decline. At that point, only the elbow was still hurting, so I knew something was wrong.
Turns out that the position I hold my fingers above the keyboard actually adds to the inflammation, so I’ll be doing some stretching exercises every couple of hours, and spending less time with my fingers poised above the keyboard (the worst position to be in, apparently).
Now you know.
By the way, the exercise, for anyone that spends 10+ hours at a time on the keyboard like I do, is to bend your hand (fingers straight) toward you with the elbow bent. Then use the other hand to bend the fingers down into a fist, while maintaining the wrist at its fully bent angle.
If your finger extensors are too tight (like mine), you’ll feel some discomfort. Don’t push through it like a dope, because that can cause micro-tears in the ligaments. Then gradually straighten your arm while using the other hand to hold the fingers curled into a fist and the wrist bent as much as you can. It should hurt a little, but not a lot.
Repeat ten reps every two hours, and use ice and ibuprofen if it really hurts, and heat to loosen it up in the morning. For whatever reason, all the strain seems to end up in the outside tendon connection on the elbow.
At least I didn’t trash my knees, which is the other thing that seems to happen to my friends who still play tennis after qualifying for AARP.