elbow tendonitis

I’ve been paddling for several years, and have just developed some slight burning sensation in my left elbow. My physical therapist said it was tendonitis. Apart from staying off the water a bit, she suggested that I make sure to have good friction between my hand and the paddle shaft so that I would not have to grip the paddle so hard. And indeed, on a short trip last week in quite cold weather, I used wool globes under poggies and, given the lack of friction with wool gloves, felt the discomfort more than usual. She also suggested increasing the diameter of the shaft - again, so there was less need to grip the paddle hard. Note that the discomfort happens when I’m pulling the blade back through the water, not when I’m pushing it forward. One other thing, of course, is to make sure that I’m using my torso rotation as much as possible to take pressure off the arm itself. Apart from those ideas, any others? Note also that for medical reasons, I can’t take ibuprofen.

Thanks for any advice.

help for elbow
My wife has the same problem and a very good therapest in whitehorse told here to wear a narrowband around here forearm and rest, which really helped alot. She said that the band keeps the tendon pulled tight against the bone and keeps it from pulling in just one place. My wife is now pain free and we look forward to many paddling days ahead.

2nd on the elbow band. I keep a
couple around and use it at the first twinge. It prevents the problem. They are caleed tennis elbow bands and you can get them in any sporting goods store.

Serious business
I’ve been suffering with this since last Spring. I’ve had two shots of steroids in the elbow, and Doc says three stikes and its surgery for you. Wear the elbow band anytime that you think you might lift or push something and feel a twinge. For me that is all waking hours. Do not let this get chronic. Early action is essential. Do not paddle through the pain. Do not take this lightly. Take Advil if the discomfort is pretty continual. Take it from me.

the ol’ school- PUSH/PULL routine is hard on the arms/ elbows.

wind up




slippery gloves suck.

arm bands hold the tendon down and can really help. I find them restrictive and hard to wear on a regular basis.

big grip or maybe Greenland paddle might help.

good luck

steve (sore R elbow for oh…20 years)

More on the elbow band thread. I suffered with this same syptom for well over a year until my physician recommended a particular band called “Band-It”. I bought one and voila! In two or three days the pain was gone. Alledgedly nothing else works as well since the components of the band actually massage things everytime you move. The cost is a bit high for such a simple thing $20-30, but well worth it in the long run. Most tennis shops will carry one, or find it online.

Here is the link. I personally guarantee that this works!


Strengthen the muscles around the joint so that more of the stress is taken by the muscle system rather than the tendons.

elbow pain
Hey Rick how old are you? At 49 I developed some serious pain that would not leave no matter what I ingested, iced, heat, massage, bands you name it. Got so bad I had the cortizone shot and that helped for six weeks. But in the end, the tendon was so frayed where it attatched to the elbow that surgury was the only option. Man I didn’t want to do it and put it off for six months but then I could not even open a door without pain! Four months after the surgury I was paddling with no pain at all! All the advice you’ve been given is great-bands-loose grip-heat but if things have gone too far and the tendon is frayed don’t waste time with laying off and icing and all that. I’ve now talked to a lot of “old guys” (40-50 years old) that have simply worn out the tendon via paddling and all the other fun stuff we do. And like me they have had great results from the surgury.

are you sure
Without proper diagnisis it may not be the problem. But a catch-22 is that you cant really determine this for sure.

I suffer from the SAME thing but my chiropractor seems to think its nerve damage either in my elbow or back. Nerves take longer than bones to heal properly. I got mine during a 6-month solo paddle trip this summer. It is getting better.

ok, i just ordered one …
and since you’ve personally guaranteed it, if it doesn’t work you’re gonna send me a check for 18.95 right? :wink:

I Have Lots Of Knee Experience
No elbow problems. The older I get the more I have to do a long, easy warm up before I push hard. No warm up = pain every time.

My experience…
1. Don’t grip the paddle so tightly !!!

(This is the most important.)

2. Rest… (take a break from paddling)

3. Use a tennis elbow compression band that you can buy at a pharmacy.

4. Use a larger diameter paddle shaft and gloves, buy an Onno Paddle.

5. Stretching exercises, that involve pulling back on the hand actually seem to work.

6. Use weights carefully and slowly to develop other muscles

… ask your therapist for the stretching and strength excercises

good luck
After going the wrist band route, and otc medication recommended by my doctor–Alleve, no thanks–I found that nothing relieved the pain for me. So I ignored it as best I could, and the pain has lessened somewhat over time.

3rd on the elbow band…
…this damn elbow band of ours is getting crowded.

Who’s turn is it tomorrow?

Honorable guarantee
Err…well I didn’t say money back guarantee! :slight_smile: Actually, I was so impressed by how well this worked, considering the length of time I had been suffering and since nothing else did work (including anti-inflamatories and morphine derived painkillers), that I recommend this to anyone with this problem. I have no affiliation with the manufacturer and stand to gain nothing from this recommendation other than the joy of having helped others out.

Please let us know how it works out for you.


wrist strengthening
Do exercises to strengthen the wrist. Wrist flexion, extension, etc. Issues with the wrist are the common cause of elbow tendonitis. Wearing something like a bowling glove that limits wrist motion helps many people in lifting.

Using the elbow band

– Last Updated: Dec-23-04 3:07 PM EST –

Is everybody clear on how to use the elbow band. I wonder if those reporting that it doesn't help are not using it properly (or maybe don't have classic elbow tendonitis, that is, tennis elbow).

You put the band just below the elbow, with the pad (if the band has one) over the biggest bulge, which is on the outside of the elbow joint, just below the elbow.

You can tell you have the point by (a) bend the elbow about 80-90 degrees; (b) press down on the point with a couple of fingers on the other hand; (c) straighten your arm. As you straighten the arm, your fingers should feel a tension and bulging as the muscle contracts. The point where that bulging is the biggest is where you want the band and pad to press.

In fact, compressing that muscle you felt contract is the idea. By compressing it you reduce the bow in the tendon-muscle-tendon band in the arm and relieve pressure where the elbow tendon flops over the elbow bone.

Without the band, you should feel pain in the elbow knob when you straighten the arm; with the band, that pain should be gone or reduced. That's another way to tell you've got it, and also to confirm the diagnosis of tennis elbow.

Unless, of course, it works in which …
…you owe Vince 15% finder’s fee.

I too suffer from this… I developed the burn in both elbows within two weeks of the start of my paddle down the Missouri then the Lower Mississippi. Never stopped hurting for over 5 1/2 months!! Home and after almost two months of rest, i would say im back to about 85%-90%.

I also heard about the bands for tennis elbow but never did pick any up