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Old 08-18-2010, 08:04 PM   #11
Steve Shafley
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I occasionally have issues with tennis elbow. An improvised graston/sastm type massage of the triceps and forearm with a pumpkin scraper and baby oil helps me. I'm going to warn you, the first few times you do this you bring up some kind of nasty bruises.

Google gua sha, graston, and sastm for more info. Gua sha is basically a folk chinese medicine technique.
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Old 08-19-2010, 03:30 PM   #12
Patrick Donnelly
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Shaf, that's an interesting alternative to the typical trigger point stuff. How hard are you supposed to push during the strokes and about how long do you normally go at it? Also, is there any particular reason you choose that method over just digging in with a golf ball?
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Old 08-19-2010, 06:12 PM   #13
Garrett Smith
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Gua sha is nothing like a golf ball.

You can do a version of it with those ceramic spoons and some oil/lotion.
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Old 08-19-2010, 08:01 PM   #14
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pd, my t elbow has been going on for about 5 months. I've recently has super good luck with ART. if you can, try it out. I'm very pleased so far, still slow going but much better. liked it so much i set her to work on my perma-jacked shoulder.
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Old 08-19-2010, 08:30 PM   #15
Garrett Smith
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I hope eventually I can find a good ART person in my area. So far I haven't heard much good about the one guy I know who does it here.
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Old 08-20-2010, 05:27 AM   #16
Steve Shafley
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I go until I feel the knots let up (the pumpkin scraper actually provides a bit of sound that will go away when the tissue smooths) or until the blood comes to the surface, and it gets too painful.

I start light, and then get harder as I get a feel for how the tissue feels through the implement.

I do this in a few places, you may look like you've gotten beaten.

Lower quads: Usually doesn't bruise (when I say this, it's a visual bruise, you can usually feel the treated spots are a bit tender for a few days)
Traps: I have knots in my traps that have been there for years. Every time I do this kind of work on them, I have these huge bruises and the area swells up for a few hours. Those knots are going away.
Shoulders: Usually bruise
Pecs: Usually don't bruise
Biceps: Usually bruise
Triceps: Usually don't bruise visibly.

I would go easy until you get a feel for it. But, it's essentially free. Like Garrett said, the Chinese use smooth coins or those ceramic soup spoons. I've used smooth metal edges on spoons but settled on the pumpkin scraper as an implement that has a few different edge options.

This is all very much self-experimental. I read that Graston experimented on himself after a botched knee surgery (he was a surfer) when he developed his techniques, so....what the hell.
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Old 08-20-2010, 05:31 AM   #17
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On ART:

3 guys I know have torn their biceps tendons after being treated via ART for sore elbows and sore shoulders.

They speculate that the pain was diminished significantly but there was no real healing, and they hit things too hard too quickly and messed things up.
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Old 08-20-2010, 06:31 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Shafley View Post
On ART:

3 guys I know have torn their biceps tendons after being treated via ART for sore elbows and sore shoulders.

They speculate that the pain was diminished significantly but there was no real healing, and they hit things too hard too quickly and messed things up.
I hear the same thing often happens with cortisone shots to the shoulder for bicipital tendonitis...one month after the shot--SNAP!

In all actuality, the ortho who told my acquaintance this (the person did not tell me about this issue before it all went down) says that now they are doing PRE-EMPTIVE surgery, cutting the bicipital tendon to "relieve" the tendonitis.

Why would this be allowed to happen? My only guess is that people won't lay off long/well enough and that the conventional therapies for tendonitis just don't work that well.
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Old 08-20-2010, 08:53 AM   #19
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Well, here's what happens.

When you overwork or trauma injure something usually there's inflammation. But in the case of chronic tendonitis after a certain period there's no inflammation anymore and it becomes a chronic degenerative disease (hence tendinosis).

When this occurs, since some inflammation is necessary for healing process even when you decrease pain to the area it's still not healing.

That's what eccetrics or nitric oxide or prolotherapy, etc. are for. YOu get inflammation back into the area for the cases where there's chronic degenerative to stimulate healing process.

ART and other manual techniques obviously help decrease the pain because of overuse. Some of the overuse usualyl comes from gummed up and tight tissues in the elbow area constantly pulling/contracting on the tendon not allow it to heal properly.

So when you release that tension it feels better. But if the case is chronic it's not necessarily going to be healed. Hence, why you need eccentric exercises and stuff.

Cortisone does the same thing -- blocks the pain (or rather relieves it). Studies have shown it doesn't increase healing and that over 9-12 month periods result in no greater healing than placebos.
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Last edited by Steven Low : 08-20-2010 at 08:55 AM.
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Old 08-20-2010, 09:25 AM   #20
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good information on the ART stuff but I don't think it should be a surprise that if you get a tendon injury and don't do the rehab...you could get a worse injury. it's not fair to indict ART, Cortisone or even NSAIDS for that. just a caution to get a running start when you return to your training.

and for gamy elbows..in addition to the eccentrics, doing your high reps curls and any extension work you can tolerate seems to be really important, before doing chins etc. i've seen several people come back from catastrophic elbow forearm injuries by including hundreds of band curls and press downs each day.
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