Go For : Cold press, exercises, and an arm brace for a tennis elbow.
Continued from Generous RIPAS and My Arm Saga
So far, I had already seen two general practitioners in Brunei’s RIPAS hospital for my as-yet-undiagnosed arm pain. The first doctor gave me an NSAID, diclofenac sodium which proved to be ineffective. Noting this, the second GP gave me paracetamol and a cream that eases ache (accompanied with a slight burning sensation.) A steady diet of painkillers can’t be healthy, so generally, I avoided taking these meds.
My arm had already kept me away from yoga and any other workout classes. A brisk walk was all I could do. At home, I could not pull out a drawer without pain or lift an ordinary pot of soup. Turning my arm to fix my bra hook gave me nightmares.
And without yoga, my neck pain came back. Unable to remain without a diagnosis and advice for three weeks, I finally headed for a private hospital, JPMC in Brunei. Getting an appointment was quick. The orthopedic surgeon, after some symptomatic questions, diagnosed “it” as tennis elbow. (Funny, since I have never played tennis in my life.) She prescribed exercises, a cold press, and suggested I use an arm brace. She also discussed health supplements I could take and prescribed some B-Complex.
Once I got rid of the elbow pain, she would focus on strengthening my shoulder: A weak shoulder in an arm puts stress on the elbow. Regarding my upcoming travel plans, she advised on the type of luggage I should carry and the medicine I could take.
I also started putting on a cold pack on the area thrice a day, plus some exercises. I stopped lifting heavy things in the kitchen. I began running on a treadmill with the arm brace. I knew what I can do and where I need help while doing any chores around the house.
The pain was getting manageable; however a recovery was not in sight. Soon it was time for the specialist appointment at the RIPAS hospital.
The ortho hand specialist there checked on the movement of my arm and diagnosed it as a tennis elbow. He ordered an X-Ray, forwarded my case to a physiotherapist and prescribed diclofenac sodium, which, if you recall, was already noted as ineffective by the earlier GP. He did not mention why still he chose that as a prescription. He scheduled a second appointment with him after three months and advised to continue using the arm brace.
The X-Ray was quick and I had another wait of 10 days before I would see a physiotherapist.
I looked forward to the appointment with physiotherapist.
The physio has already gone through my arm problems and after checking if I’m comfortable with needles, inserted a needle in one of the points where it hurt the most. This method is called “dry needling,” and it releases taut bands of muscle.
I’ve had a second round of needling and one round of ultrasound. I am continuing with the exercises and cold press and arm brace but going without any painkillers. When it hurts I go for another round of cold press. No chemicals for me! Looks like the arm brace will be my companion forever during physical activities, along with my faithful sidekick, the cold press. Here’s to a new era of living with some ornaments and precautions!