Campaigning can be a dangerous job

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SALT LAKE CITY -- For candidates, campaigning for office is more than just political. The mental challenges they sometimes face are matched only by the physical ones.

At a function last light I probably shook at least 150 hands.

–Gov. Gary Herbert

If you thought athletes are the only ones who sustain work-related pain, think again. Consider the governor, diagnosed by his doctor.

"He said, 'You've got politician's elbow from shaking too many hands,'" Gov. Gary Herbert said. "I don't know if that's any kind of a badge of courage, to where I'd rather say ‘I had tennis elbow.'"

How about the wear and tear delivered by the honk and wave?

Democrat Peter Corroon, who is running against Herbert, says his doctor told him you're "supposed to keep your hand, or your elbow, below your shoulder to stop any kind of bone spurs."

Some will attest, campaigning can be a long road.

"I'm tired, but that's the way it should be -- and we won't stop until tonight," Republican candidate for Congress Morgan Philpot said. "Elbows, writs, knees, ankles; I'm tired. I'm worn out. I got ‘politician everything' I guess."

For others, the game face says "never let them see you sweat."

Medical Triage:
Politicians Elbow
Inflammation, soreness, or pain on the outside of the upper arm near the elbow. The condition is commonly caused by repetitive motion with the arm extended and the wrist moving up and down. Similar to "Tennis Elbow."

"I've got no ailments. I'm battle-ready; no problem," Rep. Jim Matheson said.

Perhaps the key in this business is building up fitness.

"No tennis elbow. Every once in a while the hand gets a little bit sore from shaking lots of hands, but it doesn't happen very often. I've had a lot of practice, so it's had time to build up gradually," said Mike Lee, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate.

Bottom line: fatigue and injuries go with the territory. No pain, no gain.

"It's just an occupational hazard, I guess," Herbert said.

Maybe that's why they call it a "campaign race."

No word yet if voters are reporting any trouble with election machine-induced "voter index finger."


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John Daley


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