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Tennis Elbow anyone?

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#1 kramer57


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Posted 23 April 2011 - 07:57 AM

Hi Guys and gals,

Two years ago, I fell, dislocated and immediately relocated my left shoulder, and during that experience a tendon was torn.

In the past couple months, now my right shoulder is having the exact same pain as the left shoulder with the torn tendon, except this time I didn't fall or injure it, and the pain has been coming and going.

Now, for about a week, the right shoulder is having the pain constantly, along with new pain in the right elbow, which, because I used to be a nurse, I believe is "tennis elbow"; I looked it up on the NIH (National Institute of Health) site & the symptoms fit exactly. But I just have to see the doctor to confirm it. Turns out Tennis Elbow is caused by small tears in a tendon.

So I've been resting it, icing it, and waiting to get in to the doctor next week. I know a big contributer is my lack of exercise - I'm waiting on preauthorization for PT for my back; now looks like I need arm PT as well! In the meantime, I'm curious: is there a link between Sclero and tendon damage?

I looked at elbow braces - "for weak elbows" - does anyone know is there a special "tennis elbow brace" or do you just get the one for weak elbow?

And last but not least, :temper-tantrum: Wah, this really hurts and I can't do anything!!! I shouldn't even be typing this because - big news to me, tennis elbow is also known as.... COMPUTER ELBOW!!

Ok, I vented, now I feel better.

#2 kris52770


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Posted 23 April 2011 - 08:17 AM


Sorry that you are dealing with this. I can tell you that I have been doing PT for several weeks now for the same thing on the left side. Shoulder and the elbow and back with no injury to speak of. I have a lot of skin involvement with tissue inflammation and muscle weakness. My elbow hurts to even rest it on the table. PT helps some but I have to believe somehow this is related. Have 3 herniated discs which was very surprising to me. My pain feels more muscle tendon related. Hope that PT brings some relief.

All the best.


#3 Jeannie McClelland

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Posted 23 April 2011 - 10:26 AM

Here's an article that mentions tendon involvement:

Musculoskeletal involvement in systemic sclerosis. The most common clinical feature of musculoskeletal involvement is arthralgia; less frequent features are arthritis, flexion contractures, stiffness (affecting predominantly fingers, wrists and ankles), proximal muscle weakness (mainly of the shoulder and hip) and tendon sheath involvement. SB Randone. (PubMed) Best Pract Res Clin Rheumatol. 2008 Apr;22(2):339-50.

From personal experience I would say at the very least tendon inflammation isn't uncommon.

Computer elbow, eh? Good name for it!

Jeannie McClelland
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#4 JustME


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Posted 23 April 2011 - 11:07 PM

Yes, tendonitis is related to Scleroderma. I have had it for about 10 years. The best thing you can do is get PT, ice it and DON'T immobilize it with a sling. The best medicine in my case has been Diclofenac and a diclofenac gel; also a steroid shot.

Scleroderma sufferers get a type of tendonitis that is not usually seen in the general population called Tendon Rub. The term tendon rub describes a sound like two pieces of leather rubbing together. This happens when a tendon moves in an inflamed, rough tendon sheath. It happens most often at the elbows, the knees and the ankles. This condition is annoying, and sometimes crippling.

But we also are more likely to get regular tendonitis as well.

#5 kramer57


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Posted 24 April 2011 - 07:11 AM


Thanks so much everyone!!! I'm stil icing the elbow, and it's less painful - I can touch the elbow without pain, and I can make a fist now! I decided against a brace after reading the posts, so I'm keeping it in neutral position, neither straight nor bent, & once in a while I move it more to keep from getting stiff.
Hubby is being great - he was gone yesterday but this morning he's doing all the coffee-fetching & making so I don't have that stress on my arm.
I'm doing the computer different - sliding the keyboard onto my lap instead of lifting it, keeping mouse on my lap to avoid arm-straightening & bending. Avoiding typing, except here. I don't know what part of computer usage hurts the tendons, but that article I read said "tennis elbow can be caused by sports or computer usage." Well, I've never played sports.....
I will call Dr. first thing in morning & get appointment - need to make sure my PT Pre-Authorization is in the works & add the shoulders & arms to it.
My order for back PT says, "McKenzie Method for Mechanical Pain" . Those of you in PT, are you getting a specific type of PT for the tendonitis?
Again, thanks to all of you!

:thank-you: :you-rock:

#6 docmartenmom


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Posted 28 April 2011 - 08:18 AM

Glad to hear the ice is helping Karen - feel better! I just went to my doctor this morning for my weekly B12 shot and was diagnosed with tendonitis in my left elbow. I am right handed, so luckily I use that arm less, but I cannot sleep at night unless my arm is not resting on anything. I've had it for about two weeks and finally mentioned it to my doctor. The skin on that elbow is darker and rougher than the skin on my right elbow. I haven't had outward signs of sclero yet, and am wondering if it is the beginning?? I will check with my rheumatologist doctor in NYC when I see her next. My primary dr recommends I go to the hospital for a shot of cortisone but I declined. I am sick of shots.


#7 JustME


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Posted 07 May 2011 - 10:57 PM

My Scleroderma doctor said people with Scleroderma shouldn't get cortisone shots. He says it can increase the speed at which the Scleroderma advances. He gave me Diclofenac Sodium gel to rub on my arm 4 times a day and after about 1 1/2 weeks the pain went away. When I stopped the cream it would come back so he put me on 75 mg of the pill form of Diclofenac and I take it everyday and it has saved me. But if you have liver problems you want to use the cream because it doesn't affect your liver; the company is required to list liver problems on the package because the FDA requires it. I can't miss a pill or I can feel it coming back. I had physical therapy for about a year and it didn't heal it. My doctor said it may not heal because of the Scleroderma my tendons will be affected.

#8 miocean


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Posted 08 May 2011 - 06:12 AM

Thank you for the information on scleroderma and cortisone. I declined a shot, not because of the scleroderma, but because of the new kidney, even though my doctors said it wouldn't affect it. I am not in that much pain and don't need to add any more medications to my ever-growing list.

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#9 jillatk


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Posted 08 May 2011 - 08:37 AM

My doctor is treating me for bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome, which he says is quite common for Sclerodermans. In addition, so is tarpal tunnel syndrome, which is basically the same problem in your ankles, and which I was treated for before I was diagnosed with Sclero. In the past I did the cortisone injections in my foot and did not find it helpful. Currently my doctor has me taking B6 as it is supposed to help with keeping the tendon more flexible. I also sleep with night splints on my wrists. That seems to have helped with the problem of my hands falling asleep on me.


#10 Joelf


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Posted 08 May 2011 - 11:25 AM

Hi Jill,

That's interesting; I've never heard of Tarpal Tunnel Syndrome before! :emoticon-dont-know:

Like you I had bi-lateral Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and had the decompression operation on both wrists. I had a cortisone injection before the operations and also wore wrist splints at night, but frankly they made very little difference. I must say that lately my wrists have become quite painful again; however, my lungs are so very much improved I hardly like to gripe about my hands (I'm counting my blessings!! ;))
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#11 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 09 May 2011 - 11:16 AM

Well, then, have you heard of Harpo Tunnel Syndrome?

It's when the funny bone in your elbow gets compressed.


Okay, I'm bad, bad, bad. We have a whole section about Skeletal Involvement on the main sclero.org site. It includes tendon involvement. The thing is, any of us can also develop normal tendon problems from injury or overuse so we can't lay everything at the feet of scleroderma. For example, I had supraspinitus tendonitis with bone spurs that was likely caused by scleroderma, for decades. Then I injured my shoulder while trying to lift weights. People over 60 just in general should never lift weights, more than a bicep curl, because tendons get injured and torn more easily after 60.

So I could probably rightfully blame scleroderma for the initial impairment, but I myself was at fault for the injury that tore the tendon, later on. Thankfully during surgery they polished and shaved off the arthritis and the bone spur, so now my shoulder is good as new.

Same as with carpal tunnel. The scleroderma might cause it, in many of our cases, but our hobbies or occupations might worsen it.
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#12 debonair susie

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Posted 09 May 2011 - 04:36 PM

I SO love your sense of humor, Shelley :bravo:

Yes, that is so...my carpal tunnel came on so quickly, the doctor didn't believe that I even had it. when I told him it had only been a month since the symptoms first began, he looked at me as though I had just fallen off a turnip truck! But, he felt he would "appease" me by doing the electromyography anyway! Despite the pain for the test, due to all nerve-endings at the surface, I felt great satisfaction in watching his jaw drop to the floor when the graph showed most advanced CT :happy-dance: . (To be fair, his feeling was likely that "women" shouldn't be as strong as I proved to be at the time of the physical resistance tests he gave me)....

Yet, it is so...that Scleroderma does cause/induce Carpal Tunnel!
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