Tennis elbow advice

todd -

any advice for a very active jewelry maker in the field for over 20
years that is experiencing some tennis elbow problems 

well, i developed tennis elbow in a strange venue - the tennis court

  • rather than at the bench. the orthopedic specialist, showing his
    appreciation for my billing having put at least one of his children
    through college (ivy league, of course) recommended one of those
    adjustable bands that goes on the elbow (with me so far?) it keeps
    the elbow from turning incorrectly and twisting the tendons the
    wrong way - which is what the tendonitis/tennis elbow pain is telling
    you. until you find which is the wrong way, any exercise could
    exacerbate the situation for a joint that is complaining about too
    much use. you have to determine where the little thingie on the band
    goes on your elbow since every elbow is a custom job. but! before the
    band goes on you have to let the elbow rest until it doesn’t twinge
    when it’s turned or you’ll be squeezing the sore tendons and muscles
    together and creating more pain! another suggestion is a thick wrist
    rest gel-type pad at the front of your work surface which will let
    you rest your arms and take strain off of elbows. you could try the
    rest and the band from the drugstore as a solution before you decide
    to pay college tuition for some doctor’s kid.

good luck -

Todd, I suddenly developed “jewelers elbow” a couple of years ago.
As I recall, I used one of those wrap things with Velcro on it to
wrap my forearm (? – wherever it made the pain less). Then I asked a
physical therapist for advice, and he suggested holding something
like a 3-lb. weight (using both hands, a weight in each hand)
straight out in front of me and gently rotating it (clockwise and
counter-clockwise) several times. Repeat this 2-3 times a day. Even
though I wasn’t very faithful with the process, the "jewelers elbow"
went away and has not come back.

I can’t guarantee any part of the above description, but I hope
something works for you.

Judy Bjorkman

I don’t have advice specifically about T.E., or any other specific
injury, at least not today. What I want to share is my general
experience dealing with repetitive stress related issues over the
years,and what has helped. Those things are, in random order:
exercise, nutrition, stretching, massage, electrical stimulation
therapy, heat/ice treatment, and pacing. Actually, those may be in
order of importance, except for pacing, which is right up there ;
learning how much is enough and how much is too much.

I have sawed many thousands of blanking dies in steel, by hand (ok,
with the aid of leg-assisted and motor-assisted saws for about 12
years ) and have had to figure out how to to maintain my body parts
for doing that job. Fortunately, I can split the sawing days up
between that and other jobs, and split the week up with sawing days,
layout days, heat treating days, etc., so that that form of pacing is

Really, the most important thing has been to maintain and/or build
overall strength and stamina through (admittedly half-arsed)
weightlifting, aka resistance training. But there is a fine line
involved here, most definitely, because too much can lead to more
problems and rest and recuperation time is vital. It just takes some
time to figure out what your body can and cannot do, and what sorts
of exercises, stretches and therapies work best for you. My approach
is along the lines of : if I can attain a level of strength and
fitness such that my work activities are not the most stressful thing
I do, then I’ll be able to continue the work on a long term basis. But
if the work activity is the only, and the most, strenuous thing I do,
then chances are much greater that it will cause problems. Now, that
theory may not be completely realistic or practical but it is how I
like to look at things and keep motivated. I’ve also learned the hard
way that the alternative, weakness and work-induced deterioration,
are distinctly bad options.

Considering the physical problems this work was causing me say, 15
years ago, I’m pretty surprised I’m still going strong after 20
years, and getting very very close to The Big Five-Oh. Heck, I even
took up guitar playing again in '97, and it was one more potentially
destructive activity, but I’ve worked it into the routine. Learning
to listen to your body is essential, and getting good input from
various qualified sources, plus using your own common sense and
intuition, and never letting anything keep getting worse before doing
something about it…

Oh, I could go on but there’s no time to go into all the details ;
just some basic stuff I’ve had to incorporate into my working life,
in order to keep going.

Dar Shelton

Hi Todd and Orchidians,

I had trouble with my elbow for years had to quit playing air hockey
it was so bad).Eventually, with a lot of rest and staying away from
pavee setting,it went away. Well, I started playing again and it
came back very quickly.

So anyway, keeping a long story short, I mentioned it to my
chiropractor and he did a simple adjustment of my forearm and told
me to how tape my wrist and it went away. The bones of my forearm
were misaligned. I’d imagine it might take a bit longer if you’ve
done a lot of hammer work but talk to a chiropractor who has sports


Go to a massage therapist for yoy elbow problem. You will be
surprised how much it helps your entire body.