watervole: (Default)
I may not be posting much for a while.  The elbow pain is bad again.  I pretty much know what's triggering it.  Driving, concertina playing and stress.  Driving while stressed is probably the worse.  I don't have to do it often now Henry's learning to drive, but I need to occasionally.

The unemployment thing is the biggest stressor by far.  We're into the third month now and from past experience, I know it can get a lot worse than this.  I can feel my stomach muscles starting to tense up - I hope the IBS isn't going to make a return.  I remember that from the last long stretch of unemployment.

Anyway, typing isn't as easy as I'd like.  I'll be doing all the  stretches and exercises - they stop the pain from progressing past a certain point and they stop all the other muscles going as well, but they don't totally cure it. 

The good news is that Richard's being very active on the job-hunting front.  He's following multiple lines of attack on the job-hunting front, and doing a astrophysics Phd in between the job research to keep his morale up.

Here's Richard's Linked In profile.  
"A highly experienced and creative system, network and software engineering specialist. Key ability lies in problem solving in the most demanding technological environments within critical time and budget constraints. Profound analytical and trouble-shooting capabilities are combined with knowledge of a wide range of techniques to solve apparently intractable technical problems. Solutions are communicated imaginatively with clarity and precision. Seeking a senior technical role in a high technology environment where the application of smart and innovative technical solutions can make a substantial difference to the bottom line. "

watervole: (Poi)
Went for a lovely walk along the river close to Wimborne.  Starting by Eye Bridge is a lovely walk along the bank.  This is what I pay my National Trust membership for every year.  I rarely visit the houses, I could do the walk for free, but I'm happy knowing that some of my membership is helping the National Trust maintain these lovely areas of countryside for everyone to enjoy.

Saw the usual little egret.  Ten years ago they were rare, twenty years ago they were almost unknown.  Thirty years ago they probably didn't even consider England worth visiting.  Now, there's breeding pairs of these lovely little white herons all over the south of England.  That's global warming for you.

I'm trying to do a few minutes poi every day as a way of stretching out all the odd muscles left weak by the tennis elbow.  Finding the right balance is tricky as over-doing it is a real danger.  Right now, the joints ache, but there are no 'ouches' so I think I've got it about right.  My mobility is definitely improving, as I can do figures that were giving me trouble a week ago.  I can do hip reels both clockwise and anti-clockwise now.

The next problem is the concertina.  I desperately want to be able to play it properly for Wimborne Folk Festival in a few weeks' time, but pulling back with the left hand gets painful after only a few passes through a tune.  I'm hoping that playing a little every day may help with this, but again the risk is doing too much.  Fingers crossed.
watervole: (Default)
The elbow is still sore (2 1/2 months now), but I know I'm gaining a bit.  I can tie shoelaces, do up a zip, pull up the quilt on the bed and other things that have been impossible at various other times.  I'm able to do some concertina playing.  I can even do poi for a couple of minutes as long as I'm careful about which moves I try and don't do them too fast.

And then I'll reach out to put a small object two feet ENE of my body and yelp.  Or try to do a dance with a hoop and have to abandon the hoop as soon as it has to be tilted to the left and back again.
watervole: (Toothache)
I think I'm starting to defeat the tennis elbow, so I'm going to record here what's working, so that I'll be able to look back to it in the future if I get a recurrence.  We're not totally there yet, but there's a significant reduction in pain levels since two weeks ago.  I'm now starting to try and rebuild the muscles that have vanished in the two months I've been unable to use my arm.  The trick is to do that without setting off a fresh bout of tennis elbow...

1.  Do stretches.  In particular the one given me by the physio which basically involves crossing wrists, bending my hands forward, interlacing fingers  and then twisting the hand  of the sore arm round in an outside direction as far as it will go.  Hold for 30 seconds.  Do three sets three times a day.

2.  Do no lifting or twisting motions with bad arm.  Also avoid actions that need you to hold onto something with a strong grip.  Especially avoid opening jam jars, turning door knobs, knitting, washing dishes, concertina playing, weeding and sewing. Minimise computer use.

3.  Find the sore tendons joining the elbow.  Massage them several times a day.  Find the muscles attached to them and massage those too.  They will be sore before you massage them and easy to find with probing fingers.  Follow the sore muscles all the way to wrist/shoulder and massage every bit that is sore.

4.  Do all arm exercises that do not trigger elbow pain (so as not to let the rest of the muscles atrophy)

5.  Once elbow pain subsides, start (with no/minimal weight) doing the arm exercises that trigger the elbow pain.  Especially the one using the wrists to raise and lower weights with the palms down and the elbows at right angles.  Very gradually increase weight over time. Do three sets three times a day. If muscles ache continue.  If elbow pain recurs, immediately reduce weight to a level that does not hurt.  Carry on doing this for three weeks after elbow pain is gone.  Go swimming, but stop if elbow pain (as opposed to muscle ache) starts.
watervole: (Default)
Still having problems with the tennis elbow, but the physio gave me some stretches to do that seem to be helping, so fingers crossed.

I really really need my concertina-playing abilities back again.
watervole: (Toothache)
I'm rapidly coming to the conclusion that either the doctor mis-diagnosed what was wrong with my elbow, or that millions of people are suffering when there is treatment that will help.

On reading the NHS site, I noticed that physiotherapy was one of the possible treatments.

So, I decided to run through all the exercises I do for my neck, shoulder and arms - which I realised I'd neglected for quite some time.

One of the exercises in my set is to dip  a handweight down behind the back of the neck.  Two sets of ten for each hand.  I think it targets the triceps.  Almost as soon as I'd finished, I noticed a distinct reduction in my pain levels.

I'm also working on massaging all muscles that lead to the elbow.  Following them with my fingers, it isn't hard to find the ones that are sore and give them a good rub.  This relaxes the muscles and stops them pulling so hard on the tendons - that's what actually causes the pain at the elbow, it's the tendons hurting.

After two days, pain levels are down by 50% and I'm using my arm a lot more instead of trying to let it hang by my side to avoid using it.

Playing the concertina is still painful, though not impossible.

I'm hoping that a full week of exercise and massage will cure the problem totally.  I'll keep you posted...

watervole: (Default)
I've got tennis elbow in my left elbow and it's quite painful.

I suspect the cause is a combination of knitting, weeding, typing and concertina playing, with knitting probably as the main culprit.  Knitting was a new activity for me - I've done a fair bit of knitting recently and carried on even though I was hurting because I was really enjoying it.

I think I probably need to rest the elbow, but also make sure I do some gentle exercise to retain the strength in the muscles.

A quick Google suggests that it could easily lasts for several months and that anti-inflammatory may reduce the pain, but do not help healing.

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Judith Proctor

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