Round 7: P90X / X2 Hybrid, Days 57 – 61: Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis)

mcdc7_tennis_elbowYesterday was another milestone, in two senses: 1) it was day 60, so it marks 2/3 completion of this round, and 2) I lost my first singles match of the Spring season.

The match went 3 sets. But my tennis elbow was persistent throughout. This condition came up last fall and has persisted despite minor efforts to alleviate, including 3 weeks off between rounds at the beginning of the year. Now, in the first quarter of 2013, the condition has gradually worsened to the point were it’s a constant ache and I’ve resigned myself to making a doctor’s appointment.

This is discouraging, to say the least. I am three-quarters done with what has been a very good singles tennis effort this Spring. Everything I’ve read on the subject says the ultimate cure lies in basically avoiding activity that causes the pain for up to a year. Since the activities that cause the pain are tennis and P90X/X2, this has the potential to seriously cramp my style (to the extent that I have any “style”). Already in this round I have radically reduced weights on hammer curls, twist grip kickbacks and lateral arm raises. I’ve replaced wide grip pull ups with chin ups and towel pull ups with regular pull ups. But this, combined with ice and Advil, has proven insufficient to remedy.

I hope whatever path the doctor puts me on will allow for arm related activity, even if I’m back into using bands. But the pain has finally crossed the threshold that I know something has to change or it will only get worse.

That said, I will still continue with this regimen and play tennis until my appointment next week. However, I will be much more liberal reducing or eliminating moves that cause any pain to the area. Of note: foam rolling the affected area does eliminate the pain for a period of time.

For the record, I don’t blame P90X2 or P90X for causing this condition. I believe the onset was poor technique on the court: too loose a wrist on the backhand and insufficient follow-through on the forehand.  But once the pain started, anything that stressed the area, including some of the moves in my routines, just exacerbated the problem.

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