T Nation

Forearm Strain Rehabilitation


It happens that I have been stuck with a muscle strain in my left forearm for far too long.

Last November I started the injury with my regular fitness routine. this consists of 4 rounds of kickboxing shadow boxing, which is a warmup besides technique, and 3 rounds with a heavy bag as an off chain workout. So, 3 3 minute rounds of pick up the 100lb bag to shoulder height explosively with one side, run with it, drop it, land on top of it and ground and pound it. 30 seconds later I stand it up and pick it the same but the other side for balance and do the same. The benchmark is 18 pickups over 9 actual working minutes interspersed with ground action.

In late November I did the slight beginnings of a strain having gripped the underneath of the bag with my left hand. Possibly the colder weather made me susceptible. I a week later got busy enough at work being physical that I put my training on hiatus. This used at times the affected muscle(s) and both forearms were sore throughout, but I had the sense I could work through it.

After Xmas work wasn’t physical and I got back to my routine, right in the snow. after a couple of days of working with the soreness, I completely strained my forearm, deep inside, close to my elbow.

Since then I have just been doing a shorter aerobics routine, the pushups that are part of it don’t cause an issue. some days the injury is making healing progress, but before long I retweak it and I am back to the beginning it seems. Just 2 1/2 weeks ago I found a reasonable arrangement to put medicine ball rebounds back into my routine. What this is is taking a 10lb rubber ball and rebounding it off a vertical wall (In an innoccuous place the neighbours don’t mind) and catching it. the idea is to work with the right hand to manage how much stress the left experiences. Give the injury enough to make it feel worked, which should be rehabilitative, but not over do it to the point that a stabbing pain lets me know I furthered the injury.

this had been going well until Saturday night when I used my left hand to prop myself up when I reached under my bed. I got back to rebounds today, which was fine, but I used my left again to support a moderate weight and again a sharp pain.

Is there a consensus that I am generally following the correct course of action?


I realize noone has responded, but it turns out for due diligence I will add another entry.

Last week I was thinking that I was in a good position to finish the rehab, my arm was seemingly healing at a faster rate and would have been soon to be fine.

This past Tuesday I was doing medicine ball rebounds and was concentrating on using my finger tips to handle the ball. It seemed like I got a properly worked feeling in the muscle and I thought things fine. Yesterday, I was taking groceries home and made sure I little used the left hand for grip. Sometimes I gave it a bit, and then after a few minutes transferred everything to my right. after a few minutes of rest, repeat. It seemed not so bad when I got home, but later when doing just enough exertion to perform kitchen tasks, sharp pain came out of it. I was utterly dejected.

the thing is, the area of my forearm that is closer to my elbow is much better, that operates wrist flexion, and the central forearm that I think is more to do with finger operation is the new culprit.

My takeaway is that now I need when doing rebounds tomorrow to handle the ball with more my palms and see if my central forearm starts to heal quickly.

I will see.


It happens that I finally saw a doctor, at the hospital. The initial registration person said they would only refer me to someone who would deal with, but when I got to the fracture area the doctor prescribed me Naproxen, 250mg, 3 times a day for 5 days. He said it a little bit helps with healing, and pain. I want very much to listen to my body, so all I really want is some therapeutic benefit. I will stay off of some supplements during this time, but I asked the pharmacist if I can still take Beta Alanine and instantized branched chain amino acids. She said the BCAAs don’t cause a conflict, unsure of the other. I also wonder if I can continue to keep my muscles saturated with creatine, I would rather maintain this than have to reload on it.


OK, so that you don’t feel ignored here ya go. I’m not a doctor i just play one on line.
You go into great detail about what you do and what hurts your forearm which is great. But what you don’t say is how old are you. Nor do you give much detail about where exactly the pain is. The forearm covers alot of ground. Most important, or at least almost as important as your age, is where the pain is so as to indicate is it the muscle or a tendon. Big difference. Muscle will recover from injury usually much faster. Tendons take time. And if your over 35 years old, they take alot more time. Oh yeah, and tendons, when they are injured, like to be left alone. Left alone. Left alone.
If your under 35 that can be like 4-to-6 weeks without “medication” (i’ll get to that).
LONGER if your older. And did i mention they like to be left alone to heal?
You went to the “hospital” and yet they made no determination or even guess as to whether it was tendon or muscle. Or at least you didn’t mention it in your details. Thats not good. Thats not good at all. They gave you a NSAID. Of course they did. You wouldn’t go back if they didn’t give you something right? Right. So here is the deal, about 15 years back in my late 30’s i hurt my “forearm” near my elbow working triceps. It wouldn’t get better for weeks. Finally went to the a sports med. doc. Guess what he gave me? A NSAID, for 14 days, didn’t do a damn thing, cause i had torn my tendons which he determined when i told him the NSAID did nothing. So he got out a big ole needle and site injected the inflamed area with steroids. He said: This is gonna hurt like hell for 24 hrs and then it should feel alot better and you can start easying into your workouts again. It was the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving day my arm hurt like hell. But by the following Monday i was back in the gym and lifting without restriction without any pain at ALL. I’ll never forget it, it was like night and day. Never had a problem with it since then except for tearing one tendon off the bone on the other arm, but steroids ain’t gonna fix that other than keeping the inflammation down.
Hope this helps.
And like i said i ain’t no doctor


I hadn’t realized I had neglected a bit. the injury was near the elbow, and the doctor called it a bicep injury. I also forgot to say he said to stay off anything to do with it (of course I can’t live my day to day life without some use of it) for 4 weeks. So I will forego doing medicine ball rebounds, and really take a hard look at what I am doing with it. The Naproxen might prevent me from listening to my body. I wonder what I should do after the initial 5 days, at the hospital I didn’t ask how long the course was, I guessed it would be longer, but that was maybe lacking in me. I take it it is likely a tendon, so that is maybe bad news as you have said.

Over 35, so damned a bit there. thanks for the answer, I realize you offered a different perspective than I have already had.


Didn’t see your original posts. I’ve had a recent forearm problem with tennis elbow caused by very poor form on power cleans.

It felt like it’d never go and the sports therapist recommended a few things: variety, heavy eccentrics and isometrics. He also said find exercises that hurt a little bit now and feel better the next day rather than the other way round.

The last thing that helped was super heavy isometrics, not recommended specifically by the therapist but found on a climbing forum.


Does your dealer do web orders? I need to smoke some of that.


Is that to me?


Umm…yes…super heavy isometrics from a climbing source? I was already doing what would give the injured area enough work to make it feel like a little was done with it, but not go over board.

I am now trying to stay completely off of it for about the next month.


You’re probably right, climbers barely use their forearms.


Hey, physical therapists, at least the ones that keep with stuff, are realizing that tennis/golfer’s elbow can be traced to shoulder issues. The latest shit says that quick resolution can be achieved by focusing on strengthening the rhomboid muscles. Many have noted quick relief by only doing these exercises, and without any direct forearm work.


I’ve seen that, and mentioned it to my therapist at the time His view was that with my diagnosis, which had a very obvious injury mechanism, I could be chasing shoulder issues around with no benefit and to focus on isometrics and eccentrics. It worked, I’m back to power cleans and rock climbing.

I’m trying to be careful and just mention my situation as the therapist works for some well known athletes and teams and I’m sure has a world of different approaches for different issues. I don’t think I can link to the UK bouldering site which mentions the supra maximal stuff on this forum?


Today is the end of the 4 weeks of staying off of my tendon, and I got back to it. Specifically, I wasn’t doing a full training day, I will start another week Monday, but I did some bicep curls.

I used a 35lbs dumbbell for my right, the unaffected side, for 3 sets of 6-8 reps (It occurred to me how long I had been neglecting biceps). I then took the dumbbell down to 20lbs and did the same for my left. I got it done with only a slight sense of feeling anything in my tendon, but it is over an hour later right now and it seems I made out with it just fine.

I will add the same work to the end of Monday’s upcoming workout, and get the feel of when I can raise the weight, maybe by a 2.5lb increment.


Interesting. I’ve been working with a case of golfer’s elbow for a several weeks. I noticed it when I was doing a lot of pullups and attributed it to lack of grip strength (I feel the discomfort on the inside of my elbow most acutely when I close my fist tightly). One thing that’s helped a bit is the T-Nation post on “Lifter’s Elbow” - https://www.t-nation.com/training/lifters-elbow-the-cause-the-cure


So it has been a week and a half since I started directly working my bicep tendon. I today moved the weight up for the second and third sets by 5lbs to 30lbs, and I am handling it well. Actually, I went grocery shopping and gave my left one bag in intervals with having the right do it all. Just a few minutes ago I felt a slight tweak of pain, but I am sure that if I take it easy for the rest of today it will feel fine tomorrow, and then I will train it again on Friday.

Making progress, getting there.


So I have been going along just as above for a while, and today got back to my old routine.
4 rounds shadow boxing (i am taking a remedial approach, just simple basic moves drilled in again and again).

3 rounds of pick up a 100lbs bag, run a few steps, land on it and give it ground and pound. 30 seconds later, pick it up onto the other shoulder and do the same. the benchmark over 3 rounds is 18 pickups and slams. As it is first day back, just 1 round, and 2 minutes into the second, consisting of 10 pickups. Also bringing it in and out.

I favoured heavily my right, unaffected side, and just used the left as a stabilizer. The thing is, it felt fine after. Tomorrow is rope aerobics, and Monday I will see how much further I can use my left.


Further to above, I have these last few days been at it, and today I discovered that I can actually lift the heavy bag with the left hand underneath, but using a bit more stabilizing with the right than I otherwise would. It felt and still feels fine.

I am now confident that in a week or so it will be up to maximal loads.


I’m glad that you are recovering.

Just a tip:

  • Be careful not to overdo it with right arm, because it also might get injured.

I’m not an expert but I know some people who got injury on one shoulder/knee/elbow and then soon after that they injured or strained other knee/elbow or shoulder for similar reasons as you mentioned. They wanted to keep training even when injured or to go back to training as soon as possible.


In case you are all wondering why this thread is still going…it is that a few weeks ago I was on the bus, the bus lurched forward and I used my left to grab a pole. So i set my recovery behind.

I just last week was training it, Monday and Wednesday, and noticed around Thursday that It was a bit sensitive, so I just did aerobics Friday. I am thinking until further notice to keep it Monday and Friday, with aerobics on Wednesday.

Damn this thing is a problem.


this just keeps going on. I decided that the broken record of getting a gradual increase in work for the tendon that eventually lands me where i was is a fucking pain in the ass.

Yesterday I reached into my pocket for a chiropractor. I saw this on DC who probed the area, asking where it hurt. By the end of that, it hurt. He then gave me 2 9 minute treatments of laser. It actually left the area feeling warm, I suppose a form of radiation is going to do that.

I went home hopeful, and waking this morning it was noticeably better. It is just that I went back today and he put me through the same routine. Well, it hurt after. I got 2 10 minute goes with the laser, but that was late this morning and it is still more sensitive than upon waking today. Am I getting screwed around here?

3 nights sleep before my next appointment, I wonder if maybe tomorrow or then I will feel stepwise better.