|Illustration from WebMD.com|
If you're not familiar (as I wasn't), it's the same injury they describe as tennis elbow, and no matter what you call it, knitting aggravates it. Caused by inflammation of a tendon connected to forearm muscles, it's a sharp and hobbling pain in the outside of the elbow, in my case on the left side. I injured my arm moving a mattress a month ago, and reduced my overall activity level significantly in hopes of a speedy recovery. Not so much.
It's a month later, and my elbow is worse. I'm impressed at how painful this is! I was in the grocer yesterday, and reached out for a 14.5 oz can of tomatoes at elbow level with my left arm. In the two feet of space between the shelf and my cart, I dropped it! My grip loosened in response to the pain shooting through my arm, and I realized I have more of a problem than I had realized.
As a former personal trainer and licensed massage therapist, I've done a fair amount of studying this phenomenon, and therefore lived blissfully in denial. To accept that tennis/knitter's elbow is the problem would be to accept that ice, a sling, and (gasp!) no knitting were part of my future. Obviously denial was preferable. Not anymore. I can't cook, open a jar, or do most other things that require two hands. (You should see me try to drive!)
Have you had or do you have Knitter's Elbow? If it's keeping you from sleeping, or visibly swollen, red or bruised, see a doctor. None of the above? In my athletic experience, with total rest and ice therapy, it can be over within about two weeks when you're lucky, a month to six weeks when you're not. And if you're not noticing improvement at all after the first two weeks, you need to see your doctor. There are surgical interventions for this pain when it's not just an inflammation but a tear (or worse) to your tendon.
It's hard to imagine what I'm going to do with no knitting for the next two weeks or more. The Kindle will get a workout, and I suppose I can go for walks, but that will hardly fill my time. Maybe it's time to gain a full appreciation of the filmography of Woody Allen. Or learn French. I'll let you know what's going on. Anybody out there in the same boat? I'm open to suggestions, and to your stories of recovery.