Tennis elbows and diabetes

Hello fellow peeps,

I have developed tennis elbow in BOTH elbows. The left one has been hurting for 5 months and I recently damaged the right one doing normal activities. The elbows are extremely painful as well as forearms and hands. I am wearing arm braces but not recovering. I've had one acupuncture session but can't afford much more.

WTH is going on here? I've had a myriad of tests for inflammation, RA, Sjogrens syndrome, etc but all negative. Is it diabetes? If so what can I do besides controlling BS?

Please help me -- I'm an avid softball player but now cutting vegetables brings intense pain.

Thanks for your advice,

Cynthia D.

Forgot to say can’t take ibupofen or any NSAIDS because years of use have produced ulcer.

Ouch, sorry to hear that. =/

I developed tennis elbow in my late teens by, well, playing tennis, and bowling, and raquetball. It has definitely limited my range of motion by a few centimeters, flares up occasionally when I’m lifting weights, and has never completely healed.

I can’t say that diabetes has made it worse though. I haven’t developed it in my left arm.

Sorry I can’t offer much more than that. =/

I developed pretty bad tennis elbow in my right arm due to repeated microtrauma from my job which is very physical…lots of heavy lifting and quickly. I actually went to physical therapy for almost 3 months before I finally got a cortisone shot in my elbow, which helped for a few months but nothing heals like time and strenghtening exercises, but the trouble is you can’t do the strengthening exercises until the symptoms are gone. You can do all the stretches though.

If you google stretches, and exercises, for tennis elbow you’ll find a ton of info. One thing that relieved my pain the most was contrast baths. Get 2 tubs/pails/dish buckets -whatever your arm can comfortably stretch out in and be fully submerged under water. Fill one with very hot tap water and the other with cold + a few ice cubes. You put your arm in one for a couple minutes then the other. Back and forth for about 10-15 mintues. It helps increase the blood flow to the area and help inflammation. I found great relief with it. (temps should be the greatest extreme that you can handle)

Unfortunately it has never gone away but has gotten much better. OH-my physical therapist used to say maybe I was taking a long time to heal because of diabetes, maybe it’s true, maybe not- everyone says that it seems.

Good luck and hope you start healing soon. I know it’s hard not being able to do the simplest things without pain.

I was told that tennis elbows are degenerative in process as a result of constant and repetitive use. The process occurs when tiny tears are incompletely healed within the tendons…maybe as a result of your softball activities… Have you been playing for a long time? Are you pitching the ball? (I play badminton and tennis actively before)
I think there are exercises that are recommended…so as cortisone shots, flexbar treatment, blood injection/PRP… When none helps, I think surgery is already recommended.

Hi, thanks for your response. I haven’t played softball for 9 months previously due to fractured ankle but I noticed left elbox pain after I picked up a drum case once so not repetitive motion. I’m suspecting micro tears in the tendons but it’s impossible to rest both arms. I just wonder if diabetes compromises tendon integrity or is it the myriad of other health conditions/drugs over the years.

Thank you for the suggestons. I’ll try the stretches and the contrast baths sound very promising! I’m sorry you’re still having pain. I don’t think anyone knows for certain whether diabetes affects tendons. We know it affects the vascular system causing artherosclerois and peripheral neuropathy. It seems entirely possible that it would injure other components being a systemic disease. Not productive to spend too much time on the cause I guess. Need to get stretching :slight_smile:

It’s promising that you can still lift weights. I hope to get back there again.

Contrast baths, or cold pack/heat pack, treatments are awesome. If you have time to do them before and after workouts, they really help the warm-up and warm-down.

I've had tennis elbow on and off for 30 years, way before I was dx'd with diabetes. I wear a brace right before my elbow that applies pressure from both sides when I play tennis. I also wear a wrist brace to keep wrist stable on my follow throughs. That has seemed to help. I know how painful it can be. I remember having to lift my arm out of bed some mornings. Many of my tennis friends get cortisone shots for it, which is only a temporary solution. Hope you feel better.

Another possibility is trigger points, and self-treament is effective for tennis elbow (http://triggerpointbook.com/). I am using the trigger point therapy workbook (Clair Davies) right now to deal with wrist problems due to mousing, and also seeing a massage therapist who specializes in trigger point therapy.

Well, then I guess I will put in a plug for "Active Release." This is a chiropractic technique that I looked at for my shoulders and it was reported that Tennis Elbow also responded well.

Thanks for the info about trigger points. Melitta. I'm going to order the book.

Cynthia, sorry not a reply about tennis elbow, but my endo said that diabetes (or more accurately high BG) effects tendons.I thought I had sciatica from the symptoms. He believed it's diabetic damage to tendons.

Read about diabetes and connective tissue disorders. Some diabetics tend to have nerve compressions...you may have that.

If trigger point ultimately does not fix my shoulder, next on the agenda is "active release technique" which a number of people recommended to me. I thought I would toss out trigger point therapy, however, because the Clair Davies book is relatively inexpensive ($14 on amazon.com) and he promotes self-treatment (and Cynthia was concerned about cost).

I have had tennis elbow for two years and I do think that it has something to do with diabetes. Sometimes it bothers me alot at night and other times it doen’t. I have a motorcycle and I olny rode it once for a half hour last year, it bothers my elbow so much when I ride I’m going to sell it this year.I am going to try some of things that these people have suggested. I hope things get better for you.