MT's Elbow pain

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MT's Elbow pain

Postby HappyMedium on Mon Apr 05, 2010 4:08 pm

I've had pain around my right elbow for some months now. Bomes and goes. Icing and/or wrapping it in the evening helps minimally.
It's the right elbow, medial, both inferior, superior and directly over the medial epicondial (i think).
I believe it originally happened when putting an elbow in someone's glutes.
Then I thought I was aggravating it by leading off with my fingertips instead of my palms.
During my massage sessions, it's only bothersome during long strokes down the back. (and more glute-work)
It doesn't always hurt, but I'll lift something, not thinking and wow, it's THERE!
As an example, if I scoop up my fat cat under my right arm, the pain is bad then.
My next step is to get an aerobic step to help me get up over the thicker folks when I'm working on their backs.
So, what should I be doing?
(besides putting my cat on a diet) :smt017
Jen
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Re: MT's Elbow pain

Postby jdcan on Mon Apr 05, 2010 6:20 pm

In addition to not doing things that aggravate it, get good, specific work done on your flexors. www.deeptissue.com has a couple of videos specific to your issue. The Trigger Point Workbook by Clair Davies has good information as well.
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Re: MT's Elbow pain

Postby JasonE on Mon Apr 05, 2010 9:16 pm

You should also work on stretching the biceps brachii, brachialis, triceps brachii, and forearm flexors, extensors, pronators and supinators. Stretch both sides daily and thoroughly.

Also, have someone check out your body mechanics. My bet is that you have not been stacking your joints properly during long strokes, but most likely there are other areas that could be improved as well. Darien Pritchard's book Dynamic Bodyuse is an excellent resource for more info.

Once the pain subsides, you need to continue stretching and improving your body mechanics, and add some strength training to your self-care regimen. If you were already doing some, get professional help retooling your approach, as it clearly wasn't sufficient to prevent this problem. Prehab is always better than rehab.

Good luck and best wishes for a quick recovery!
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Re: MT's Elbow pain

Postby pueppi on Tue Apr 06, 2010 8:25 am

If you have somehow attained the significantly irritating and somewhat painful "olecranon bursitis", this link may be of general help: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00028

My father had it some years ago, and it took about 8 weeks to resolve... a lot of rest, ice and ibuprofin in his case. He's in construction, so, that wasn't so simple.

I'd also look at how you are working on clients. You may want to consider (if you aren't already doing it), not pressing with the tip of the elbow. I have seen oftentimes that many MT's are using the actual "pointy section" (I label it this, because although it is the olecranon, the olecranon covers a large amount of boney space and I'd like for you to be aware that I am talking about a specific area within that boney space) as their fulcrum or as their area to create an added depth of pressure. There is that finesse to elbow work which includes being aware of working with that tiny area just before and behind the point of the elbow.

Hope that makes sense.

I am sure you are already aware of it, but I am adding it "in case" or for someone else who may have the same problem and not know. :)
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Re: MT's Elbow pain

Postby HappyMedium on Tue Apr 06, 2010 9:03 am

Thoroughly stretching, I have been doing some yoga but neglecting specific forearm work lately. The strength training; I've been fairly faithful going to the gym since December, losing some weight and making good strides in strength, but there's where I'm just gritting my teeth and making myself do lat pull-downs, again aggravating my arm.
Thanks for the pointers.
My school has offered for any graduate to come back if we were having problems with body mechanics, and I need to get a trainer at the gym for a few sessions.

Pueppi: That is something I am aware of, and it's good to have reminders. I use the what is more or less the "flat spot" behind the pointy tip. It's possible that in my young MT zeal to help clients, I've used my other hand to on top for more torch and leaned into it too much. Thanks for the link. More ice and ibuprofen will help too. I can't stop massaging, but it looks like a few changes are in order.
Jen
"I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day." E.B. White
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Re: MT's Elbow pain

Postby JasonE on Tue Apr 06, 2010 7:03 pm

HappyMedium wrote:Thoroughly stretching, I have been doing some yoga but neglecting specific forearm work lately. The strength training; I've been fairly faithful going to the gym since December, losing some weight and making good strides in strength, but there's where I'm just gritting my teeth and making myself do lat pull-downs, again aggravating my arm.
Thanks for the pointers.
My school has offered for any graduate to come back if we were having problems with body mechanics, and I need to get a trainer at the gym for a few sessions.

Pueppi: That is something I am aware of, and it's good to have reminders. I use the what is more or less the "flat spot" behind the pointy tip. It's possible that in my young MT zeal to help clients, I've used my other hand to on top for more torch and leaned into it too much. Thanks for the link. More ice and ibuprofen will help too. I can't stop massaging, but it looks like a few changes are in order.


Lat pulldowns may aggravate it, but that will largely depend on your technique and level of resistance. A change of grip, weight, and/or body position may alleviate any irritation caused by this exercise. For overall conditioning, I recommend replacing it with assisted pullups/chinups when your elbow improves. Keep the sets short with sufficient rest between them. A *good* trainer should be able to give you many alternatives for developing strength in desired areas, working around/with sore spots as needed.

If the trainer is familiar with AIS, PNF, or CRAC stretching, they may be able to help you with your stretching technique. Static stretching is a method I avoid using with sore spots related to overuse or strain/sprain issues, as it may aggravate the condition. The other methods mentioned are, in my experience, more likely to produce the desired results, and in less time. Getting body mechanics guidance from your school is a great idea! I wish more schools offered that option.
Jason Erickson, NCTMB, ACE-CPT, AIS-TA
Massage Therapist, Personal Trainer
http://www.CSTMinnesota.com

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