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Elbow joint problems, any ideas?

Discussion in 'General Health/Fitness & Injuries' started by darksleeper25, Dec 2, 2006.

  1. darksleeper25

    darksleeper25 Active Member

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    This is a problem that I've had ever since I started lifting. Whenever i try to do any overhead tricep exercises like: skull crushers, seated/standing overhead dumbell extension, or even bent over dumbell extension, (basically any exercise that requires the use of my elbows to hold the the weight) I get really sharp pains in my elbows. It only happens with weight that I can do 10-12 times. I can do light weight with lots of reps with no problems but for some reason it hurts when i do heavier weight.

    I take Glucosamine 3 times a day and stretch for at least 15 minutes a day and neither of the two have helped. There's another guy in the gym that has that same problem. He's huge, cut, and knows what he's doing so I trust him. Anyways, he's never tried to figure out why. He just cable extensions and close grip benches.

    Does anyone else on these forums have that problem? If so what, if anything have you done about it. i'd like to try and fix this so I can add some more variety to my tri exercises.
     
  2. TylerGred

    TylerGred Well-Known Member

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    First does the pain nag you at any time during the day? Also how many pushing exercises do you do? For the skull crushers what type of bar do you use?

    When you stretch be sure to warm up first with a light jog or spend some time on the bike to get a little sweat going. Nothing that will fatigue you, just a little warm up. Also if you aren't doing it, grasp a towel in one hand and pull the other end of the towel behind your body. Kind of like the seated overhead ext., but with a towel. If you need a picture I'll look for one.

    Only other things I can say is...

    Use Voltaren cream on elbows.

    Use Blue Heat to warm-up.

    Use elbow sleeves.

    Use ibuprofen.

    Ice massage.

    Rest.

    It might not be a bad idea to get some band work in as anything that will stimulate blood flow is a good thing...

    If you aren't taking fish oil, I'd start taking that. Not only is it a great anti-inflammatory, but it has more benefits than you could imagine.
     
  3. John Stone

    John Stone John Stone
    Staff Member Owner

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    I started having the exact same problem about six weeks ago, and on the same sort of exercises. The pain was really bad, and it was starting to hurt my workouts.

    I tried increasing my dosage of Glucosamine/Chondroitin/MSM, doing extra warm-up sets, warming up with elastic bands, elbow wraps... none of which provided relief.

    The solution is Aleve. I started taking a single Aleve (Naproxen) tablet 2 hours before my arm workout, and the past two arm workouts have been 100% elbow pain-free. :)
     
  4. darksleeper25

    darksleeper25 Active Member

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    Thanks for the great replies.

    I'll definantly try some of those ideas. Especially the aleve, too bad i didn't think of that.
     
  5. specialk

    specialk Well-Known Member

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    I have had exactly the same issue with heavy skull crushers. My right elbow on the inside would really hurt. It became chronic and would affect my other lifts. I had a micro tear at the origin of my flexor/pronator muscle (Golfer's Elbow). I have been wearing a "GelBand" Arm Band and it has helped greatly.

    Here is what a hand surgeon told me.
    1) Lay off lifting for six weeks to break the cycle and allow the inflammation to come down

    2) Apply a prescription topical anti-inflammatory directly to the effected area

    3) Receive treatment from a physical therapist (shake & bake) massage and heat w/electro stimulation

    4) Wear an air brace or other armband to take pressure off the injured area

    5) Finally when the injury heals start-doing wrist strengthening exercises and stretches

    Good Luck
     
  6. darksleeper25

    darksleeper25 Active Member

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    Great, thanks for the info. I may not ever need to go that drastic because if any exercises ever hurt like that, I stop doing it. However, it'll be good info to have if I ever injure it that bad. I'll definantly go out and get some arm braces though.

    thank you
     
  7. elhewie

    elhewie Active Member

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    "Tennis-elbow" is the name for it.

    Glucoseamine is not specific for any thing.

    You got all the correct answers before me: rest, naproxen, .... I prefer rest over any thing else (local elbow rest, that is).

    What missing is:

    Why the back of the elbow always gets inflamed? Why not the front of the elbow? We will come back to this point later.

    The worst thing that could happen, if you insist to train with pain, is internal bleeding in the tendon of the triceps. That blood clots and dries up over time. Then turns into a "Spur". An elbow spur is common in weightlifters.
     
    #7 elhewie, Dec 2, 2006
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2006
  8. jaydfwtx

    jaydfwtx Well-Known Member

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    I have this problem too, it starts out as a feeling of weakness and popping. I apparently have spurs according to the picture above, but I had those long before I started lifting.

    I find that the angle matters a lot. I was trying to do lying tricep extensions with dumbbells, and had problems. After getting an EZ-bar, I have no problems doing them.
     
  9. HevyMetal

    HevyMetal Well-Known Member

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    Yes...I've had the elbow pain..for me it always hits the outside of the elbow at where the tricep connects to the elbow.

    Skullcrushers were the worst offender for this pain.

    So were close-grip Tricep pushdowns.

    And any tricep ex where the elbow was fully compressed during the ex.


    I had this theory that maybe the ex's I was doing were only working certain heads of the tricep creating an imbalance.

    So.....I did less benching and more dips with the elbows tucked in close.

    But not going to full compression.

    Cut out the skullcrushers and over-head one-arm extensions and instead did some intense kickbacks at the end of the routine (compo's first).

    Kickbacks work all three heads...so do dips.

    When benching, stuck to wide-grip...which takes some of the heat off the triceps.

    And made sure I separated the days when benching and dipping etc. from the day I do shoulders (which would include overhead pressing movements thereby recruiting triceps.)

    It's a balancing act anyway....figuring out how you're going to get it all in and get the proper recovery for bodyparts so you don't over-hammer 'em. Especially if a rigid training regimen done on certain days regardless, rules your workout schedule.

    Stiff-arm pullovers will work the triceps too...but in a different way than the extension.

    I've found deep-tissue massage around the affected area of the joint to be very helpful. Seems to releive the tension from a heavy lift.

    Works for me, anyway.

    ( I also find that I get way less elbow pain overall, if I use those neo-prene elbow wraps that you just slide over the elbow into place...and warming up DEFINITELY helps me...)
     
    #9 HevyMetal, Dec 2, 2006
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2006
  10. leftyx

    leftyx Senior Member

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    Wow, you guys covered everything except what's going on with my elbow. See link. Start with post #7. If you follow along you'll see a long history of elbow pain treatments.
     
  11. darksleeper25

    darksleeper25 Active Member

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    Thanks for all the great replies.

    Some are pretty serious and some are mild but I think my problem is more towards the mild side. Simply because I don't have any problems doing any type of bench press (close-grip, wide grip, incline, standard, decline, dumbells, etc). I also have no problems doing any tricep exercises other than: overhead extension or skull crushers (bar doesn't matter). I might have missed an exercise but you get the idea.

    The other guy at my local gym has this exact same problem and we're going to be working together to try and resolve this issue. Because I know that both of us would love some variety in our tricep workouts. I'll be trying some of the great suggestions from this thread and will definantly update when/if I find something that works.
     

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