TL;DR: Chronic elbow pain is holding back my training. At this point, it is mainly my right elbow that gives me the most trouble. I’m looking for help to get my training back on track.
Around early Spring 2012, I finished the base mesocycle on Smolov. The last day I was supposed to do ten triples at 300. The week before, my elbow felt a bit tender, but I hadn’t had any major problems. Around set 6, my elbow started feeling kind of sore, so I asked the gym owner to borrow his elbow sleeves. I did two more sets with the sleeves, but had to call the workout short because the pain got to be too much.
Over the next six months or so, the pain would subside, I would have a great workout, but then immediately after I would feel the tenderness in my elbow coming back. This summer, because I’m smart and learn from my mistakes, I decided to do another base cycle of Smolov. I had minor problems earlier in the summer, but I was feeling pretty good by the time I finished up the base cycle. I hit a long awaited 405 ATG back squat, and decided to try to intense mesocycle.
By the first workout, I already felt the pain coming back, and I said enough was enough. I spent August - November dieting down and on rehabilitating my elbow, and for the past few weeks, my elbow has felt great. Yesterday, however, I set a huge ATG back squat PR at 315x12 sans belt. As soon as I reracked the weight, I felt the oh too familiar stinging in my elbow. I couldn’t even get under the bar evenly to try to do some back off sets.
My chiropractor/sports massage therapist said that I suffer from a chronic tendonosis that caused a malformation of the tissue surrounding my elbow, and that my ulnar nerve was catching along the elbow joint on extension.
So far, I have taken the following steps to recovery:
-Lots of stretching
-Used a fucking car buffer to work on tight spots through my arms
-Use a foam roller/lacrosse ball/trigger wheel for SMFR
-Hot Epsom salt baths and cold showers
-Lots of sleep, food, and rest
-Adjusting the bar position in the back squat from low bar to high bar
-Generally improving my squat form to reduce torque on the elbows
-Because I have ignored direct arm work for a long time, adding most direct biceps exercises, namely curls, to improve the strength of the tissue around the elbow. I have what I would consider very small arms for my size (16" arms [cold, flexed] at 6’4" 265).
-Compressive ice wraps immediately after workouts
Movements that have caused me the most pain in the past:
-Heavy power cleans
-Heavy push presses
-Heavy back squats, especially “bouncing” out of the hole
-Externally rotating my shoulder, turning my right arm clockwise (my elbow and shoulder pop a lot more than they used to)
Where the pain is located:
Just above and below (currently below the elbow towards the forearm) on the inside of my arm. Dull, but occasionally sharp, pain on the inside of the elbow itself.