I broke down and went to visit my doctor to whine about my tennis elbow.
“What did you do to it?” the doctor asked. As if to imply it was somehow my fault, not some externality, that brought me to this point. “Well, I’ve been doing P90X for about 2 years now (Dr. rolls eyes) and playing a lot of tennis,” I reply. “That P90X is pretty intense stuff, what makes you think the tennis caused it?” the doctor queried. I agreed that the P90X, specifically, wide grip pull ups, corkscrew and hammer curls and so forth were, in fact, not helping the situation. And that I had already eliminated or modified these as needed to avoid pain. But as to cause, I explained that I’ve been doing this for two years now and it seems to me that the condition was brought on by my stronger arm working through my sub-optimal stroke technique. He nodded that this seemed plausible. “How young are you?” he asked. I guess that’s how you phrase that question to old people. “Fifty,” I replied. Usually, this is where doctors get into the cost benefit of treatment. I find that the older I get, the more inclined the doctor is to say, “yeah, that’s what happens.” But if a twenty year old had the same condition, they’d be injecting stem cells, or growing a new arm in a petri dish.
Anyway, he told me my arm was strong and that I had a very mild, treatable tennis elbow condition. I’m sure he just wanted to get this P90X wack-job the hell outta there as quickly as possible, so he could return to the practice of real medicine.
He gave me these wrist and elbow wraps and topical anti-inflammatory gel and sent me on my way. The pain isn’t preventing me from living, I just want to avoid developing a chronic condition. The doctor seemed pretty confident that this can be accomplished. This is good.
I’m into week 10 now and feeling good that I am still getting decent workouts, despite having to modify moves in deference to my right arm/elbow.