T Nation

Bad pain in my forearms

A couple of months ago I started developing chronic pain in both my forearms. The sensation is similar to shinsplints, ie. close to the bone, appearing when force is applied. The pain is worst when I put the weights down after a set. I’ve asked around my gym, and it seems that many other people have a similar condition, but nobody knows what causes it or how to fix it. Has anyone successfully got rid of this condition? And does anyone know what causes it?

Tom T, I’m sorry I can’t give a better answer than this, but I had to REST for 3 weeks when I got this. Specifically, I did not do anymore curls (these were what hurt the most), and if I felt pain during a back exercise, I did not do that, either. It did go away. My training partner had the same problem, and he had to REST, as well. I’m sorry, I don’t know what causes it, but I used to get them the worst when I was tossing girls around while training for National routines. Curls KILLED.

have you tried stretching. the therapist recommended it to me even though i should have always done it. warm up properly. i suffer from tendonitis and it spread from my tricep side to my bicep side of the elbow. give ample time to rest and ice it down after the gym. laters pk

it’s from breaking the wrists over when doing curls. keep your wrists straight or slightly bent backwards when you perform your curls. i see guys all the time who curl upwards way too high (almost to their chin) and breaking their wrists over at the same time. makes me cringe because i know that as the weight gets heavier their forearms are gonna get pounded and they are going to hate letting the weight go due to the sharp pain during release. i never go more then 45 degrees beyond parallel to the floor and keep my wrists in a slightly backwards bent position. first thing to do is correct your form and kick the weight down a bit. you will have to baby it for a while and you will lose some strength along the way. this happened to me ONCE and i lost about 30lbs of strength while i healed. it took me about 3 months to get over it completely, but your mileage may vary. all the best and speedy healing. kevo

Kevo is right. f you do curls with a neutral wrist position it should go away. To help strengthen your forearm along with doing regular wrist and reverse wrist curls do twisting forearm exercises with a broom or long stick.

Another curling concern is grip width. Most people do not take into account their “carrying angle” What this means is that when you curl your hand should be several inches wider than your shoulders. The best way to determine how much wider is to stand with your hands in a neutral (hammer) grip, and then supinate them to the curl position. This should put you r hands in a position a couple inches wider than shoulder width. This will put less force across your elbow joint, which may be causing your elbow pain. The wrist position mentioned in previous responses may be the cause if the pain is in your forearm flexors (the undersides of your forearms). Even if this is the case the carying angle adjustment will relieve stress from your elbow, and allow you to whack it for many years to come.

I used to get the same pain from doing curls with a straight bar. When I switched to using an EZ-curl bar or dumbbells, the pain went away and hasn’t been back.


I had a similar problem when finishing Ian Kings Great guns program (which put between an inch to an inch and a half on my arm size).

I was quite concerned so I asked a sports physiotherapist friend of mine, after poking around in my arm I felt alot of pain and she said she knew what it was. She asked if I had started to lift heavy poundages when doing arm exercises which I had and the reason is - the thin layer of connective tissue which attaches the muscle to the bone has torn or is tearing/swelling which causes the problems.

She advised carrying on with the same poundages so the arms get used to it, thats what I did and all is now fine. It was more of an uncomfortable feeling rather than pain. She also knew all the greek or latin names of the parts involved but unfortunately I can't remember..

All the way from the UK…

Tom…answer these and I may be able to help. Which bone are you referring to? close to the elbow or the wrist? On the inside (close to the body) or the outside (away from the body)? do any other wrist, forearm, or elbow movements reproduce you pain? Is it sore to touch? Where? Bill, PT