Tennis elbow or arthritis

Amble
Amble Member Posts: 32
edited 27. Dec 2016, 17:40 in Living with Arthritis archive
I thought I say a heading about this but cannot find it.
Any comments about how one knows the difference other than acute pain down through the hand ( and the other hand) as well as the painful arm from elbow down.
Thanks for any comments and Happy Christmas everyone.

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Comments

  • ouchpotato
    ouchpotato Member Posts: 453
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Amble

    Yes, I had a thread about it recently. I was dx with tennis elbow but I am not entirely sure it's right. I have it bilaterally, and the epicentre of the pain is on the outside of the elbow, but it spreads up to my shoulder when it's bad, and right down my forearm into my wrist and hand. It also feels like I have had the most intense workout, as the muscles at the top of my forearm are horrendously painful. In my hand it affects the thumb and first 2 fingers. I can't straighten either of them completely.
    On top of that, the skin around my elbow is hyper sensitive - it feels like sunburn.
    I went shopping yesterday and sitting on the bus coming home I had to hide my face because the pain was making me cry.
    I am in the process of changing GPs, so I am hoping I can get a complete new work up - new bloods, MRIs etc. I have had this in my elbows for more than 3 years now, and everything I have read says that tennis elbow is self limiting, but may take up to a year.
    I know I haven't given you any answers here, but sometimes it helps to know someone understands.
  • ouchpotato
    ouchpotato Member Posts: 453
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I should add a bit about the actual symptoms - I can't clench my fist, pick up a cup (even empty), saucepan, open jars, doorknobs, screwtops etc. In fact, I can't even pull the duvet up in the night as that results in searing pain.
  • Amble
    Amble Member Posts: 32
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanksfor the quick reply.
    I'm so sorry you are in so much pain.
    A while ago when I saw one of the GP's in our practice she said it could be either tennis elbow, or golf elbow. Apparently you can have a steroid injection to help.
    However, since then my own GP has said it is osteo arthritis ( onset with age! I'm a Golden Oldie!)

    Do try to have yours looked into as it is sad that you are in so much pain.

    A while ago I saw this film on the BBC. It's delightful it really is and reminds one that age is after all only a word.
    http://truevisiontv.com/shop/product/details/201/golden-oldies
    "For age is opportunity no less
    Than youth itself, though in another dress,
    And as the evening twilight fades away
    The sky is filled with stars, invisible by day."
    Extract from Morituri Salutamis by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  • ouchpotato
    ouchpotato Member Posts: 453
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I have also been diagnosed with golfers elbow at one point, as the pain was on the other side of my elbow - that was at the same time as the tennis elbow in both arms. It just feels to me as if both my elbows are deteriorating, and I'm leaning towards arthritis, particularly as I don't do any of the things considered high risk - I play neither tennis nor golf (arthritis in the spine wouldn't allow it), I don't have a manual job which would involve repetitive movements, I don't even iron (another risk factor).
    I had a steroid injection into my right elbow which left me pain free for a year, it was fab. Then I had one in my left elbow which lasted a few weeks, and then one in my right again which really did nothing, so I have run out of options really. I have tried ice, heat, straps, braces...nothing works. There is a surgery option but I believe it is quite rare to have it done. At the moment I just want to rip my arms off!
    I will have a look at your link a bit later.
    x
  • Amble
    Amble Member Posts: 32
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hold off from the surgery if you can.
    Any of my friends who've had surgery have regretted it.
    I used to do yoga but had to pack it in as it was becoming torture.
    Tai Chi is much more gentle and really worth a try.
    You can find beginners exercises on You Tube.
    I was given early retirement because of spinal problems.
    They are gradually getting worse now but I try to fight back!
  • tkachev
    tkachev Member Posts: 8,332
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I had tennis elbow for 8 years, starting in my left elbow and then to the right, and it just got worse and worse. Then the pain spread 8 years later and I was diagnosed with RA. Looking back I am sure they were related but of course that doesn't mean everybody with tennis elbow will develop RA.

    When I was on humira for the RA my elbows improved remarkably but I'm off humira now and the pain has returned in the left elbow, with pain down the forearm to the wrist.

    I was given a cortisone injection but that didn't help at all.

    Elizabeth x
  • ouchpotato
    ouchpotato Member Posts: 453
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    That's interesting Tkachev - I am pretty sure this is more than tennis elbow. I am up several times a night rubbing emulgel in as the pain wakes me so much. The stiffness is awful, and even when resting I feel like I have a dead arm - that really heavy, dull ache. The pain spreads right down into my wrist, and hand, and also up to my shoulder. The cold really affects it too - I picked up a cold can of coke earlier and within a minute or so my arms were throbbing.

    Amble - why did your friends regret the surgery?
  • Amble
    Amble Member Posts: 32
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Basically I think because they found it had not helped or alleviated the problem.
    Having said that, my husband of 9 months short of 80 is to have a replacement right knee in the Spring as he has no cartilage left in it.
    The left one was done ( unsuccessfully because they did it incorrectly( then done again successfully by a different and excellent Consultant/Surgeon.
    At present walking is difficult, slow and painful for him. We are hoping for good results after the next surgery.
    Some parts of growing old are not much fun but other parts are fun. There's no point just giving in!
  • ouchpotato
    ouchpotato Member Posts: 453
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Ah, I see. The surgery I was talking about was specifically for tennis elbow, which involves scraping away the damaged tendons and or removing it altogether and re-attaching it to another tendon, but I am becoming less and less accepting of the diagnosis - I am pretty sure it is arthritis related.
    I absolutely agree, no point giving in at all! I'm 48 and want to lead as pain free a life as possible for the next x amount of years!

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