T Nation

Coming Back From Elbow Injury


I was told to take a rest from working out after incurring severe trauma to my elbow from a bad fall at the end of May. At least one bursa was injured, as well as much tension and sensitivity in the surrounding tendons.

I'm now back in the gym. Most of the pain is gone, but there is still some sensitivity in some of the tendons (but at least now I can rest my elbow on something without a severe reaction). Any advice? Is there anything I should be doing to be proactive in speeding up recovery?


Active release therapy (ART).

You can find more info with the search engine and a practitioner at:



A Swedish study on Achilles tendon injury clued me in to the benefit of emphasizing the eccentric to help tendonitis.

Since December I had been having significant pain and swelling in both elbows. I was doing a set of skull crushers when both elbows just popped. The swelling went down on its own. It was months before I was able to do much about the acute pain. It wasn't until I started emphasizing the eccentric (lowering) portion of the lift and minimizing the concentric portion (lifting) that I began to lessen the pain during weight training. I emphasize the eccentric only during movements that isolate the triceps (ex: cable extensions). I haven't modified my bench technique at all. Slowly but surely the chronic pain outside the gym has decreased, although even a minor bump on the point of the elbows hurts like hell.

As an aside, since April my benchpress increased over 10%. For the four months after the injury, my bench was stagnant.


I don't have the text of the original study, but here's a citation that could lead you in the right direction:

Alfredson, H., Pietila, T., Jonsson, P., Lorentzon, R. (1998). Heavy-load eccentric calf muscle training for the treatment of chronic Achilles tendinosis. American Journal of Sports Medicine 26, 360?66.


Trigger point therapy.


Thanks for the tip on eccentric training. I'll look for the reference. I'm seeing a massage therapist this morning. Three weeks ago, a physical therapist said that this would be about the right time because the injury was too acute at that point to be able to get in and "strip" the area.