Years ago when I was a climber, I ended up getting tendinitis in my elbows. It went away quickly with rehab, but showed up again later during a 560-mile kayaking trip. After the trip, the tendinitis went away with minor rehab, but I started noticing it again now and then. Then a couple of years ago on a 350-mile kayaking trip I had a major flare-up as a result of adjusting my paddling style to account for another injury. This time, the tendinitis didn’t go away easily. I took a full year of rehab exercises before I had any temporary relief from the pain. It took one more year of exercise until I was able to complete a 800-mile kayaking trip pain free — something that I never thought I’d experience again. One exercising tool that I used to get over the injury was the Dynaflex Gyro Exerciser.
About the Dynaflex Gyro Exerciser
The Dynaflex Gyro Exerciser comes in a lot of flavors, such as plain ole’ plastic, which is what I used, with lights, with a computer, with a special docking station to get it started and in metal (I want this one!), and they all work on the same concept. A gyroscope inside an outer ball spins and creates a random force that works all the muscles and tendons in your arm. There’s a lot of medical mumbo-jumbo about why this works, and if you want to learn about that you can find that info online, but regardless of the reasons, it does work. When combined with a program such as the one in Treat your Own Tennis Elbow, I noticed a reduction in pain.
The hardest part of using the Dynaflex Gyro Exerciser is getting it going. It comes with a string that you wrap around inner gyroscope. You pull the string to get it started. After it’s going, you rotate your wrist in a figure 8 or circles to speed the ball up further. Once it’s going, it stays going as long as you continue to rotate your hand. I long ago lost the string, so instead of pulling a string, I pull the ball along a flat surface to get it going.
During exercise, it feels like the ball pulls your arm around and you have to fight against that pull.
During my initial rehab, I didn’t really start noticing a constant reduction in pain until I added the Dynaflex Gyro Exerciser to my routine. I added it later in the routine, so I’m not positive that it was completely responsible, but it sure seems that way.
I still notice the pain now and then. When the pain comes back I just use the Dynaflex for five to 10 minutes a day for a week or so until the pain goes away. I plan on using the Dynaflex religiously again before the start of next years paddling season. I’m going to incorporate it into my exercise program three times a week for the three months prior to the start of the season.
At any rate, the Dynaflex helped me and was well worth the $25 I paid for it. If you worry about tendinitis, have tendinitis or suffer from a repetitive stress injury, I highly recommend trying the Dynaflex Gyro Exerciser (Of course, you should consult with your doctor before adding anything new to your workouts). It also helps to strengthen your forearms. Plus it’s fun.
A Few Other Afterthoughts For Kayakers or Canoeists Suffering from Tendinitis
A few other things that I think helped me (remember I’m not a doctor so talk to a real doctor before you try this) are Super B-Complex with Vitamin C and ice. Whenever I get the pain, I ice it as immediately as I can and then ice again at night to take down the swelling. I read that there might be a link between tendinitis pain and a vitamin b-6 deficiency, so I also started taking that during my initial rehab. The ice worked immediately in reducing pain, but I’m not sure if the B-Complex did anything, but I figured it was worth a try. If you have tendinitis, I feel for you. It sucks, and people without it just don’t seem to understand how debilitating it becomes. Mine got so bad that I couldn’t hold a rudder stroke on 2-foot wind waves. The paddle just seemed to want to fall out of my hands. I had no grip strength and I’d even wake up at night from the pain. If you have it, I wish you luck in your rehab. You can beat it. Just keep up the rehab and use lots and lots of ice.