The healing of my elbow

Since around April 2020, I have been dealing with a bum elbow. Pain mostly. When I first started having problems, there was a concern that it was nerve related, then after switching doctors, I finally got the diagnosis of medial epicondylitis. In laymen’s terms, golfers elbow. Which is interesting, seeing as though I’ve never played golf, but I digress. It’s caused by repetitive motion of the wrist and hand flexor. I’ve never figured out what specifically caused it. Perhaps this one time when I was playing tug with our large lab. Maybe with all the knitting I was doing at the time. No clue.

The problem is that almost two year later, I’m still having problems. It’s worse now than ever before. I have pain, loss of strength, and even a loss of the range of motion. I blame it on working with adults in inpatient for awhile…lots of heavy gripping and lifting. Most recently, when I change jobs, I did lift training and managed to reinjure what was getting better. To make matters worse, my body is trying to compensate for the lack of oomph my right arm is giving, causing me to have some strange symptoms pop up in my wrist, shoulder, and back. All on the right side.

I haven’t been able to successfully weight train my upper body in almost 2 years. Yoga is sometimes painful, especially downward dog, as it puts pressure on my arm. I still push through it but it’s hard.

I have been through physical therapy, cortisone shots, and a number of different support braces. And I’m left feeling lost. So research I did. I studied the upper extremity quite a bit and have been lucky to access a lot of information through journals. I ran into a new idea.

Prolotherapy.

It’s not a new idea per say. But insurance companies consider it investigational. There isn’t a ton of evidence based research done. Enough to know it works, but insurance companies want certain types of results and those results take time to happen. At any rate.

What is it, you say? Prolotherapy is also known as nonsurgical ligament reconstruction, and is a treatment for chronic pain. Prolotherapy uses a dextrose (sugar water) solution, which is injected into the ligament or tendon where it attaches to the bone. This causes a localized inflammation in these weak areas which then increases the blood supply and flow of nutrients and stimulates the tissue to repair itself.

It’s fairly common among athletes. Many have dealt with injuries that one would think is the end of the careers, but Prolotherapy has given them hope.

And I’m in need of help. Help that does NOT involve surgery. People think that surgery is the end all be all to everything but it isn’t always appropriate and recovery from that? Could take years. There is no guarantee that it would work and the financial loss to me for having to have surgery would be greater than this procedure that I have to pay for out f pocket.

I go tomorrow for my first injection. Maybe my only injection! All unknown is that I’m nervous and excited all at the same time. I won’t be able to exercise my arm until all injections ate done and I’m no longer experiencing pain. So. No yoga. šŸ™ I just read that yesterday. It would stretch the arm in ways that it shouldn’t be yet. Or I just have to avoid plank and downdog. Maybe a prenatal class, since they generally say to avoid inverted posts?

I decided to include this on the blog because it’s going to be important for my fitness goals…it’s certainly going to impact them in crazy ways. I hope I can be patient enough to let this work.

I’m so desperate.