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The uppy elbow thread

 
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stargoat



Joined: 21 Mar 2009
Posts: 10
Location: Oregon, United States

PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2017 10:57 pm    Post subject: The uppy elbow thread Reply with quote

As promised, here's an update. A few months ago, I developed (self diagnosed) right medial epicondylitis, a.k.a. "golfer's elbow", a.k.a. "uppy elbow." Smile

I am not sure if shovelglove was the/a causative factor. After some on-line "research" and personal experimentation, there were my findings and course of action:


  • Shovelglove seemed to be an exacerbating factor. In particular, the "toss" portion of the canonical "shovel/toss" motion seemed to cause irritation. This was lessened by changing the "toss" motion to go across the front of the body, rather than behind the back.
  • I took a brief break from Shovelglove and focused on other exercise modalities.
  • I also worked on self-massage of the anterior forearms, especially near the flexor tendon insertion just distal to the medial epicondyle of the humerus, and at the insertion of the pronator quadratus muscle at the distal anterior radius.
  • When I added SG back into my excerise routine, I did it just once or twice per week (on non-consecutive days) with a light shovelglove. I focused on low reps with a wide variety of exercises.
  • I have now progressed back to my heavy (20#) SG. I am sticking to 1 session of shovelglove per week, continuing to focus on low reps and a wide variety of exercises.
  • This is in the context of an overall fitness regimen that consists of two "high" intensity days, two "medium" intensity days (of which SG is one), and the remaining three days per week with light activity only.
  • The main downside of this rotation is that the complexity and variety undermine the habit building aspects of the standard n-day, s-day shovelglove protocol.
  • Overall, I am happy to report that I believe my "uppy elbow" to be resolved (fingers crossed).
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reinhard
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Joined: 12 Apr 2005
Posts: 5755
Location: Cambridge, MA

PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2017 1:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for this update, startgoat.

I got my uppy elbow under control in a slightly different way, but the fact that at least two of us have experienced this here means it probably isn't just a fluke: this is definitely something to watch out for in shovelglove.

What strikes me as odd is I didn't notice a whiff of this till I hit 40, after doing shovelglove for over 10 years.

I'll post my current uppy elblow mitigations to this thread as well -- have to run now but hopefully later today.

Please hold me to it and drive me crazy if I don't!

Reinhard
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reinhard
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Joined: 12 Apr 2005
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Location: Cambridge, MA

PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, sorry for the delayed, promised follow up!

What I do for my "uppy elbow" (which I'm still convinced was caused by excessive compliance with my toddlers incessant, whining requests to be picked up) is this:

1. mostly stick with shorter rep count routines. Either 14 or 7.

2. "warm up" for each workout by massaging the affected arm with a theraband flex bar. My son calls this a "rubber truncheon" and will sometimes hide it. This is how I know it actually does something, the pain I feel when I haven't used it for several days because it's lying underneath a pile of stuffed animals.

3. avoid chin ups (pull ups are fine)

This has mostly fixed the problem. I'm not in active discomfort. But I still often ever so slightly notice it.

So I may do what you do and avoid the "shovel/toss" move for a while and see if that helps bring me to complete freedom from discomfort. Thanks for the tip!

Reinhard
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reinhard
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, and here's the original uppy elbow thread, just to get it all conveniently linked together:

https://everydaysystems.com/bb/viewtopic.php?t=11016
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stargoat



Joined: 21 Mar 2009
Posts: 10
Location: Oregon, United States

PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2017 1:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How do you use the theraband flexbar for massage? By rolling the forearm across it on a tabletop? I had only come across on-line demonstrations for therapeutic use of the "rubber tuncheon" in bending and/or twisting exercises, and not using it as a massage tool per se.

Which reminds me: Many sources I came across recommended isolation exercises (especially with the flex bar) for eccentric flexion of the wrist and/or elbow. This suggested to me one other potential line of therapy, which I never really ended up pursuing, but which logically may be helpful: Eccentric chin-ups. With a step stool, use your legs to place yourself in the top position of a chin-up (chin above bar), then step off the step stool, hang for a moment, and slowly lower yourself down with your arms to full extension. Place feet on the floor, let go of bar, step back up, and repeat... for up to 3 sets of up to 15 reps. May be worth a try.

Regarding the shovel/toss movement: I couldn't bring myself to divorce shovelglove from its eponymous exercise and stop doing it altogether. I found that simply changing the direction of the "toss" portion of the movement (along with the other measures I described) was sufficient to provide relief.
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reinhard
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Joined: 12 Apr 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 4:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use the "rubber truncheon" in 3 ways:

1. I do this hard to describe twist exercise that supposedly strengthens some compensatory muscles (14 reps).

Lots of videos on youtube how to do this, here's one I consulted:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9P-QOaCoDWY

At first it felt hard to get this movement right, but now I don't even think about it.

2. I kind of lightly tap the affected area 14 times to soften things up.

3. I roll the area to smooth out scar tissue, which I understand is one of the issues (14 times).

4. (this I do without the truncheon) I massage the affected area pretty vigorious with my thumb (14 second count)

I do that whole business 3 times. Takes just a couple of minutes, pre-shovelglove.

Like I said, something in there must be doing something good, because if I stop for a week things start to hurt again.

Eccentric chin ups sounds very reasonable, and since I have a bar at home, not hard to try out. Thanks for the tip!

Huh, I'll try that with the toss... you're right, what's shoveglove without shovel?

Would like to get from "managing" this discomfort to having put it totally behind me!

Let's keep each other posted here.
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stargoat



Joined: 21 Mar 2009
Posts: 10
Location: Oregon, United States

PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 3:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds good!

I shugged M, W, F last week and seem to be fine.
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reinhard
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2017 2:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice.

I've been laying off "shovel" and "armwrestle" entirely this week, but haven't noticed a difference. I may lay off them for the rest of the month, just to see.

I haven't tried the eccentric chin ups yet... might make that next months experiment, depending on how this month's goes.

Nice to have a partner in this!

Reinhard
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reinhard
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been doing the "eccentric chin ups" every day in March, just a few (3 actually) but I think it's actually helping. So hard to tell with these things. The truth is what I feel now isn't so much of a pain or actual discomfort as an unpleasant "awareness" of the spot, a kind of sensitivity which I remember from when I had an IT band issue, that isn't all that serious or debilitating, but can take a long time to go away. The IT band thing did, though, eventually, so I'm optimistic that with my current set of practices, this well too. Thanks for the tip!
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stargoat



Joined: 21 Mar 2009
Posts: 10
Location: Oregon, United States

PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great, I'm glad the "eccentric chin-ups" seem to be helping! I have also experienced a phase of "unpleasant awareness" of the affected area, as you describe.

Currently I've had no uppy elbow symptoms at all for probably a few weeks. I'm still on an exercise regimen with SG as a relatively minor component, however (generally once per week).
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reinhard
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Location: Cambridge, MA

PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 1:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Uppy elbow is pretty much gone. Think I owe it to these eccentric chin-ups (still just 3 a day, barely anything).

Thanks again!

I've started up with "shovel" and "armwrestle" again and so far no issues.

I may try quitting the rubber truncheon next month to see if I can reclaim those few minutes every morning...
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stargoat



Joined: 21 Mar 2009
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Location: Oregon, United States

PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glad to hear you're continuing to make improvements and that the eccentric chin-ups seem to be contributing! Interesting that even such a small volume seems to be making a difference!

I continue to be symptom-free with my own uppy elbow, although I am still doing a mix of physical activities each week and not just shovelglove.
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