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Tennis Elbow Classroom

Author: Allen Willette, Neuromuscular Therapist

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A real Golfer's and Tennis Elbow resource, from a real Therapist to help you sort through the myths and misconceptions around this frustrating, painful tendon injury. Brought to you by Allen Willette, AKA 'Tennis Elbow Tutor' - Creator of the original self-help video program: Tennis Elbow Classroom - and professional Neuromuscular Therapist in Marin County, California, specializing in Tennis and Golfer's Elbow treatment. Break your vicious cycle!
35 Episodes
Should you get an MRI if you’ve been suffering from Tennis Elbow or Golfer’s Elbow for some time? – Do you need an MRI for diagnosis? When is the right time to ask for one, and once you've had it what do the results actually mean? (And are there any decent alternatives?)
Why is it that casting, reeling and other fishing motions can sometimes end up causing a lot of inner or outer elbow pain – and sometimes even debilitating tendon injuries? In this episode Allen Willette, of Tennis Elbow Classroom, explains the underlying causes as well as how to treat these frustrating fishing-related elbow injuries. Including how to avoid the common mistakes that can impede your recovery and prolong your misery. "The pain sometimes begins with a whisper, like the gentle 'swish' of fly line through the misty, morning air…" "You start to notice a minor ache or little pinch at your elbow as you cast or reel, especially when you've hooked a feisty bass or rainbow…" "And your arm may feel heavy and tired at night after a long day on the water, perhaps with a dull, burning throb at your inner or outer elbow." "Is it anything to worry about? – Or just a minor nuisance? – Another sign you're getting older, perhaps?" "Or is this something more?"
One of the worst things about Tennis Elbow and Golfer’s Elbow is that it can sometimes hurt so much at night that it keeps you from sleeping. If you're among the UNfortunates who struggle with this dilemma, you end up facing the “double jeopardy curse”... Of not only suffering with the searing pain of Tennis or Golfer's Elbow during the day while trying to work or enjoy a game of tennis or golf… But also having your desperately-needed sleep and recovery time constantly sabotaged by the incessant pain at night. But even if your sleep isn't disrupted by pain, you may still be wondering why your elbow hurts so much first thing in the morning. In this episode, Allen Willette covers these questions, as well as: What's the best position to sleep in when you have Golfer's or Tennis Elbow? Are there topical preparations or other treatments that can help relieve your pain and help you sleep through the night? And should you wear a brace in bed at night around your wrist or elbow – or is it better not to?
For all you injured and hurting musicians – Especially pianists / keyboard players. In this episode I interview my first guest, Pianist Andrew Furmanczyk, a piano and music educator, who's been teaching piano 15+ years both online and off. He's also been on an incredible 14-year journey battling a Golfer's Elbow injury related to playing the piano. Andrew joins me to share his story, ponder the dilemma of injured piano players, in general, and to offer some suggestions to any musicians who are injured, in pain or who are looking for injury prevention tips.
As a piano or keyboard player is there anything worse than being injured and in pain - Especially if you're a professional musician? Painful injuries, like Tendinitis, DeQuervain's Tenosynovitis, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome - Even Golfer's and Tennis Elbow are the curse of so many pianists (and other musicians.) So, whether you're just starting to notice symptoms, like stiffness, tension and pain - (that may still resolve with rest) OR you already have a full-blown injury that doesn't seem to respond to anything, at this point… This episode is dedicated to helping you better understand these incredibly frustrating injuries – and find the right treatment path. We're going to cover: The truth about "Tendonitis" and inflammation; The myth of Total Rest” The missing link in piano RSI treatment; And the standard treatment approach - compared to what I believe is a much better strategy
Should you wear a brace to treat your Tennis Elbow? Although it may be recommended by your Doctor, there are several key reasons why a support, brace or splint may NOT be a sensible treatment for Tennis Elbow after all. (Unless pain relief in the short term is a higher priority for you than healing and recovery in the long term.) Yes, like so much of the "common wisdom" around Tennis and Golfer's Elbow - it's counter-intuitive!
Should you use ice therapy to treat your Tennis Elbow or Golfer's Elbow like your Doctor, Trainer, Physical, Therapist (and your friends) tell you to? Actually, no! – "But what about the inflammation?… All the medical websites and authorities say I should ice my elbow to reduce inflammation, because it's Tendonitis! Could they all be wrong?" Hint: Inflammation isn't the problem. It's not actually your enemy and probably not even the cause of your pain.
Allen Willette discusses Biker's Elbow pain in this episode of the Tennis Elbow Classroom podcast. Whether you're a road cyclist, mountain biker, or motocross rider, this covers how biking can cause elbow and forearm pain – and injuries like Tennis and Golfer's Elbow. Including the perils and pitfalls in dealing with these injuries – As in the wrong way to treat them – (Which almost everyone unfortunately does, at first!)... And what you'll hopefully begin to see is a better, more sensible approach. So, whether you've just starting to notice the tell-tale tension, stiffness, aching and soreness in your inner or outer elbows – or forearms… OR you've been suffering from significant, persistent burning pain for months – (perhaps already with a diagnosis of Tennis or Golfer's Elbow in hand) This episode is for you. For the full article visit:
Whether you developed your injury swimming and have what's often called Swimmer's Elbow OR you developed your Tennis Elbow or Golfer's Elbow injury some other way – but also love to swim… There are probably two or three big questions on your mind: 1. Is swimming good or bad for Tennis Elbow? (or Golfer's Elbow?) – Does it cause or aggravate it? 2. Could swimming possibly be a helpful rehab exercise for it at some point? – (Especially if swimming wasn't what caused the injury in the first place) 3. OR should you definitely stop swimming until your injury heals? – (Especially if swimming IS what caused the injury in the first place)
This episode discusses the pros and cons of Platelet-Rich Plasma Injection Therapy for the treatment of Golfer's Elbow and Tennis Elbow. Including whether there's any evidence PRP is an effective treatment, (based on medical studies)... Whether it's worth the price – and the pain! (Often during and usually afterward the procedure)... And whether there are any alternative approaches to achieving the same goals. What is Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy? PRP (and its less-sophisticated relative, Autologous Blood Injection) are in-office, minimally-invasive “non-surgical” procedures that begin by having a small amount of your blood drawn. In the PRP procedure your blood is spun in a centrifuge to concentrate the platelets, by separating them from your red blood cells and your plasma, which is mostly water and Electrolytes. Then your platelets (along with some of your plasma) is injected into the injured area that's not healing (usually a tendon or ligament.) Platelets are cells in your blood that are mostly responsible for blood clotting, and they also secrete growth factors that are involved in tissue healing. (The procedure with ABI is the same, except they skip the spinning and separating step, and simply inject you with the whole blood.) For a deeper look at PRP and ABI, including medical study cites, links to mainstream news articles and more, read my post here:
Are you in pain because of your desktop or laptop computer? If your neck, shoulder, wrist or elbow is killing you, don't just pop another handful of pills!... Here are three key tips on what to do about it – Especially if you have Computer Wrist or Mouse Elbow! This covers the three biggest ergonomic factors, as I see them; the Big 3 adjustments that have benefited me tremendously over the years with all the time I've spent on my computer, which is pretty substantial. I'll leave the 7 other suggestions for you to read in my article, '10 Tips To Healing Mouse Elbow' – If you want more suggestions and details, beyond the ergonomic. I'm focusing on the 3 key ergonomic suggestions because these are adjustments that you only need to make once that can deliver substantial improvements for years to come.
What's the first thing they tell you to do when you have Tennis Elbow? "Reduce" the inflammation, right? Wrong! Here's why you can forget all about fighting inflammation! - Why it's the biggest myth about Tennis Elbow and you don't have to worry about it. Why you don’t have to put up with the stomach-churning pills, the constant icing and the damaging Cortisone shots… Why the inflammation-fighting, reducing / "managing" approach to treating Tennis Elbow (also known as 'Lateral Epicondylitis' or 'Elbow Tendonitis') is a complete dead end and may do you more harm than good. (Despite everything you may have read or been told AND in spite of the fact that your Tennis Elbow may FEEL like it’s inflamed!)
Can you get Tennis or Golfer’s Elbow from playing your guitar? (Or any other stringed instrument?) Hi, this is Allen Willette with the Tennis Elbow Classroom podcast, and the answer, unfortunately, is YES! And whether you call it Guitar Elbow, Guitar Tendonitis – OR Guitar Tennis Elbow, I want to help you get off on the right track, understanding and treating your guitar-related pain – or outright injury – the right way. So, whether it's affecting your strumming or your fretting hand – and whether it's your inner or outer elbow that's hurting – OR perhaps your wrist tendons, stay tuned... And I'll help you avoid the worst myths, misconceptions and pitfalls that plague musicians with these annoying and potentially disabling injuries. Let's start with the most common arm injuries seen in guitar and other stringed-instrument players: Tennis and Golfer's Elbow...
If you play Pickleball and are starting to experience pain in your elbow area, look out! You may be coming down with a case of “Pickleball Elbow!” Hi, this is Allen Willette with the Tennis Elbow Classroom podcast, and I want to help you get off on the right track, understanding and treating your Pickleball injury whether it's your inner or outer elbow – whether it's Golfer's or Tennis Elbow (more on which is which in a second) Because, if you have a tendon injury in your elbow area, it's most likely going to end up being classified as either Tennis or Golfer's Elbow. And I'd like to help you avoid the myths, and misconceptions and all the mistakes based on them – mistakes which derail a lot of sufferers and cause them a great deal of unnecessary suffering. It's no joke... One of my student/members who plays Pickleball in Arizona (where the sport is apparently VERY popular) recently told me that half the people he plays with are experiencing elbow pain! Well, maybe not HALF – but a large percentage of Pickleball players are either among the walking wounded, all wrapped up in braces or bands – or they're dropping out of matches like flies. Why so many getting injured?...
What do you do when your Golfer's or Tennis Elbow is screaming bloody murder and you desperately need some relief? Do you buy some over-the-counter cream, spray or lotion – or perhaps get a prescription for some more powerful anti-inflammatory gel medication? You may get some temporary relief from your symptoms with little or no downside – (certainly less risk of side effects than with oral medications) But, here's why, although you can reasonably expect a cream or salve to help protect your skin as it heals from a cut or abrasion... You can't realistically expect something you put on your skin to help your Tennis or Golfer’s Elbow injury heal faster… In this Tennis Elbow Classroom podcast episode, Allen Willette breaks these topical remedies down into three sub classes: First covering the Non-drug herbal creams and lotions... Then the over-the-counter liniment-type drugs – found in any drug store or supermarket without a prescription And finally, the prescription-only steroid and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory creams and gels.
Should you consider a treatment called Dry Needling – If you have a stubborn case of Tennis or Golfer's Elbow? Allen Willette tackles this topic in this episode of the Tennis Elbow Classroom podcast. So, what the heck IS Dry Needling? It doesn't sound like something you'd want to rush right out and sign up for, under normal circumstances! – Does it? Of course, when you have a really tough case of Tennis or Golfer's Elbow (and MANY cases do end up being very difficult – almost by definition) you can easily get to the point where you're desperate enough to try some pretty extreme treatments… So, let's take a look at this one and see if it might be worthwhile. Unfortunately the term Dry Needling refers to TWO very different techniques used to treat Golfer's and Tennis Elbow. One version uses Acupuncture Needles to treat highly-irritable, pain-causing spots in muscles, known as a 'Trigger Points.' And the other uses Hypodermic Needles to treat dysfunctional tendons.
In the treatment of Tennis Elbow, the Cortisone shot is the go-to quick fix, often instantly erasing pain, almost like magic. Research reveals, however, that the powerful but often fleeting benefits of Cortisone can come at a very high price in the form of long-term and sometimes very serious consequences to your tendons. Do Corticosteroid injections offer any tangible, lasting benefits to the healing process of your Tennis Elbow, then? – Or is the promise of Cortisone's instant relief little more than a deceptive mirage lulling you into a false sense of well being – until the illusion dissolves with your next relapse? Here's why getting the shot – especially multiple shots, may the worst mistake you could make:
Is Acupuncture an effective treatment when it comes to encouraging the healing process of Tennis Elbow – Or is it simply a good, safe, non-toxic way to temporarily relieve some of the pain and other symptoms? Allen Willette tackles this somewhat difficult question in this episode of the Tennis Elbow Classroom podcast. There does seem to be evidence that Acupuncture can reduce the pain of Tennis and Golfer's Elbow. Acupuncture seems to generally be able to alleviate many kinds of pain. And, in that sense, it's certainly a much safer, healthier choice than anti-inflammatory pills and Cortisone shots... But the larger question is: Can Acupuncture actually help a Tennis Elbow injury heal? Read the full article here:
Who are the true experts and authorities when it comes to treating Golfer's and Tennis Elbow? Would they be general practitioner Doctors? Orthopedic Surgeons? Physical Therapists, perhaps? (Or could they be the practitioners who exclusively work on muscles and tendons by hand?) This is Allen Willette with another episode of the Tennis Elbow Classroom podcast. And, upon first impression, I realize this might seem like a naked attempt at loudly proclaiming my own expertise in treating Tennis Elbow. That's understandable – And I leave it entirely up to you to decide if that's the case. Either way, I think it's an important question to ask: Who ARE the real experts in the treatment of these stubborn, difficult-to-heal injuries?
Are there any supplements, vitamins or herbal remedies for Tennis Elbow or Golfer's Elbow that will help relieve your pain and support your healing process or are they a complete waste of time and money? It's a question I'm often asked by my members in the forum, and in my practice treating Tennis Elbow sufferers personally. Many people certainly want to avoid toxic anti-inflammatory pills, and they're looking for natural alternatives for both pain relief AND to support their healing process. And there's no shortage of claims on the Internet (some bordering on the miraculous) about all kinds of vitamins, supplements or herbal concoctions – including: Basic Vitamins, like A, B, C and D - “Anti-Inflammatory” Herbs - MSM and Glucosamine - Fish Oil and Vegetable Omega-3 Oils - And Collagen Supplements. Sadly, the short answer is that most of these things, beyond basic vitamins, are pointless and a waste of money, for various reasons we explore in this episode... (At least when it comes to healing tendon injuries like Tennis Elbow and Golfer's Elbow. Not necessarily for other problems.)
Comments (1)

Jonathan Roseland

The best podcast on the internet about fixing elbow injury. Thanks Allen!

Dec 11th
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