About Me

I hold multiple NRA Instructor credentials, as well as SabreRed Pepper Spray. I have my own training company in Northern Virginia, www.FemaleandArmed.com and am focusing primarily on teaching women, especially those who are new to shooting.

I am also the author of 4 books, available on Amazon, and at many major outlets. I am a contributing writer for Combat Handgun Magazine and Women and Guns Magazine.

Thank you for following along with me as this journey continues.

Safe Shooting!


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Thoughts, comments and insights for women who shoot and the men who love us!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Shooter’s Elbow


Ever hear of it? It is kind of like Tennis Elbow for people who shoot. It is Tendonitis in the upper forearm / elbow. And, it HURTS!! Left untreated, like anything else, it can cause serious injury, so if you find yourself with significant pain that lasts for weeks, visit your Doctor.

Like most cases of tendonitis, the first suggestion was rest and figure out what was causing it. I had already adjusted my keyboard, changed the position of my steering wheel…the only thing I hadn’t done was stop shooting. In fact, some of us are just prone to repetitive motion injuries, and I seem to fall into that group, having had carpal tunnel in both hands.  So…off to my friendly Orthopedic Surgeon. (He and I are on a first name basis.) He confirmed my suspicions, discussed my options, and had the “If it were me…” talk.  I weighed my options and got cortisone injections in both elbows. If you’ve never had the pleasure…well, in a word, OW!!!  I also agreed to stop shooting for a month to see how I did. That was probably harder than the injections. Shooting is my release, it is my chance to shrug off the idiocy of my world and just relax. Ok, I lasted two weeks, but then only 100 rounds, that in about 15-20 minutes.

But, my month is up! I went to the range Saturday and let lead fly for about 30 minutes. I didn’t want to push it too much. It felt WONDERFUL! I learned a few things. First, don’t ignore the pain for three months before going to the Dr. Second, be more aware of taking breaks from those marathon typing sessions, and third…I really do enjoy shooting.  I’m easing back into shooting, I’m a little sore today, but nothing unreasonable.

Do yourself a favor, if you are prone to this type of injury, be mindful of the signs, make adjustments, take breaks, see youe Doctor if it gets worse. Listen to your body, and be well.

7 comments:

  1. Good point Lynne, and it's just like tennis elbow, it's the repeated 'stress' of absorbing recoil. I'd be careful of the cortisone thought, it can 'mask' a more serious injury.

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    1. Thanks. I have a lot of faith in my Doc, we've been together a long time, but I'm also easing back into shooting. I made a lot of other changes, too. Good comment, cortisone can be tricky.

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  2. I've had carpal tunnel and lateral epicondylitis in both arms. It's not fun at all. The one thing that helps when I have a flare up is a brace called the epi-lock. It's like a tennis elbow strap, but it supports the muscle belly in addition to relieving the pressure at the tendon attachment.

    I managed to avoid the cortisone injections, but just barely. I'm a wimp about people putting sharp, pointy objects into my body.

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    1. LOL, me too! But, I did the shots, and the straps, and the rest...

      Glad you are doing well

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  3. Oh, great advice! The body talks to us and pain is a good guide. Every physical activity needs recovery time. Thanks for putting this out there.

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  4. Don't cover up pain with medication, do something about it.

    When I first started shooting and was hitting the range for 2-3 hours every week, I also added a bi monthly deep tissue massage. That helped immensely. I still get at least one a month, concentrating on the upper shoulders and arms. It is an expense for me that is worth it, for the range of motion and pain relief I get.

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    1. agree 100% about not masking symptoms. Ahhh, a massage sounds wonderful! Fitting it into the schedule, not so easy, but it is a great idea!

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