T Nation

Fragile Joints


I've been lifting for about a year now and I may be alone on this one but I seem to have developed rather fragile joints. For example, I was playing Hockey, like a good Canadian, and my elbows just starts throbbing like hell. Kinda feels like I'm gettting hit in the funny bone a bunch of times (tennis elbow I guess). I take about 2000mg Glucosamine Sulfate & MSM a day, which has worked wonders for me. So far so good. Jeez, I think I may be getting old at the age of 21. smirk

Has this affected anyone at all?

I do heavy lifts in the 10-12 rep range with all the basic movements (Presses, Squats, Deadlifts and all that good stuff), which might not help my situation, but I'm in it to grow some meat. Aren't we all.


How long have you been doing 10-12? We all need to change up the rep range from time to time to prevent overuse injuries.
Your lifting form will be important as well.

When's the last time you took a week off? Or backed off on the volume and intensity?


I change up my workouts about every month or so, and take enough weeks off to heal my elbow and give it a break.


I'd increase your reps slightly to 12-15. Maybe, so to keep strength, do 2 heavier sets for low reps and then finish with 2 lighter sets for more reps.

As well, look at both the exercises you are doing and the way you are doing them. For instance, the preacher curl is not a bad exercise if done properly. If done with lots of weight at a very high speed and not a controlled descent it can destroy your elbows in no time.


Take a week off lifting...your joints take a while to get rested. And you can't lift "heavy" at 10-12 reps.


Ronnie Coleman does 200pnd DBs for 12 reps. That's pretty heavy.


Sounds like tendonitis. Glucosamine and MSM are good for joints yes, but they wont help the problem you have here. They assist in cartilage repair. Your problem is probably with your tendon. See a doctor or a physio (or both). Youll probably need something like a full week off with icing and anitflammatories.

Then a recovery process begins. This can potentially take months, you will need to follow the assigned exercises from the physio, to maintain the strength in the muscle attached to your tendon. Typically its gonna be higher rep, lower weight, and unilateral in nature. Possibly with a reduced ROM.

If you do have this as a problem, and ignore it, then you might wind up having to have cortizone injections and/or surgery.

No ballistic movements especially. You might have to stop hockey for a while.

See a professional. Joint pain is serious.