T Nation

Help For Elbow Tendonitis


I have some tendonitis in my elbow. Do any of you have any treatment ideas? I can't even flex my left bicep hard or it hurts. Makes it hard to do arms!!


It could be low intra-cellular magnesium and/or a weak antagonist muscle.


rest and aspirin/aleve would be number one. Maybe even immobilization for a few days or a week. It will get stiff though so light movements at night is good.

Icing the area to alleviate some swelling may help. I actually liked to switch between ice and hot pads while doing range of motion type exercises.

Something else that helped me was taking the hand of the affected side and alternating between sqeezing a ball and putting rubberbands around my fingers and then spreading them against the pressure.


Can you suggest any particular movements ? :wink:


I had what sounds like the exact problem - pain in my left forearm and an inability to flex the bicep. I tried to work through it to no avail.
I gave up all pulling movements for a month, in addition to all dumbbell work. I stretched by pushing the fingers on my left hand both towards and away from my wrist.
The problem is gone (knock on wood). Good luck.


I did curls last night. Te first tcouple of sets hurt like hell but it gradually subsided. Now today it hurts like hell again. It seemed alright as I warmed up. I was able to work up to 125lbs for ten.


If curls hurt try some tricep work, it's usually the issue.


So you didn't take any of the advice then? :slight_smile:


I don't know where you live but if you're close to a metropolitan area, you could probably find a practicioner that uses Kinesio-Tape. If you're unfamiliar, Kinesio-Tape is a sports taping method that was developed by a Japanese physiologist. Because of the elastic properties of the tape and if applied properly (by an educated practicioner), the tape - in effect - "lifts" the skin off over the injured area and promotes greater blood and lymph flow to the area. Its very effective for acute injuries and especially tendonitis. Check it out and lemme know what you think.


I live in the middle of......well God's country. I am in Western Wyoming. I will just keep on keeping unless it gets too bad at which point I guess my only option is to take some time off. My Tris are fine, I worked them heavy and hard last night as well.


I just meant any type of movement if you decide to immobilize it. Simply straightening it out. Hanging it down with a 5lber in your hand. Very simple with as much ROM as possible.



I'm sure this has the potential to be taken wrong, but, what the hell was the point of your post if your next post says the above. Why ask for advice and then to do what you've always done. Do you expect different results? You know what that means don't you?


Not taken wrong at all. I was just hoping that someone out there had the same experience and had a way to relieve the pain. It is tolerable right now but I can see it getting to the point where it would hinder my workouts. At that point I will probably have to seek medical advice but until then I guess I will just have to deal with it. Thanks for you concern.

Semper Fi




Quite a while back I had tendinitis similar to yours, I even found replacing the telephone receiver really caused pain in the elbow.
I did NO bicep work, or any movement that caused pain (e.g. chins / pullups), for about a year. The symptoms reduced and finally went. I went on 10 fish oil (3g combined EPA / DHA) per day (2 doses) for about a month. Then I started with a couple of sets of 15 of DB hammer curls twice a week with 5kg DBs.
SLOWLY I increased the weight & sets until I got to 15kg for 3 sets of 15, twice a week with no pain. I then introduced EZ curls, but still used a warm up of 2x15 light Hammer curls. EZ Curls started off for sets of 12, then eventually got down to 8's and lower. The whole process took about a year before I was confidant enough to drop the DB hammer curl warm up. I'm still usin the fish oil and have had no real problem with my elbows now.

Basicaly what I'm saying is act NOW before the problem gets worse, I didn't and it cost me the best part of 2 years decent training.



I had a very similar issue. I found alternating between hot and cold helped a lot. Ibuprofen in regular small doses also seemed to help quite a bit.
Someone else was telling me tricep pushdowns with your palms facing up will also help.


You'll probally find it's either medial or lateral epicondylitis and that some form of Cyriax deep friction massage will help(one is tennis elbow and the other is golfer's elbow).

Be warned,this is agony!!!!!!!!!But it works.Any reasonable Physiotherapist or Chiropractor will be able to do it for you.Hope this works for you,let me know.


AND......why will working the antagonist help in the long term???

By reciprocal inhibition it may ease it acutely and possibly by pain-gate theory,but these modalities are not going to deal with the underlying cause which is the tendonous inflammation.

In conclusion,better to use it than not(your elbow)but get to the underlying causeto resolve.


I have very much the same symptoms. I had tendonitis on the inner tendons of both arms. Golfers elbow. At its worst I wasn't able to grip and pull anything. At work I had to use ladders and that was killin me. I tried anti flams and even an oral anti inflam steroid kinda like cortizone shots. I tried ultra-sound therapy. All of this was to no avail. After a year+ of taking it easy and getting the proper quality braces it has gotten better. My left arm now has very mild tennis elbow and golfers.
What has helped the most in the gym was good warmups, tiger balm, no direct weight training on arms, static stretching, dynamic stretching, roller device(foam roller, omni massage roller) for Myofascial release.
A year and a half and am still plagued by this but not near as bad 85% recovered. My next thing is look into a ART(active release technique) practitioner.The nearest to me is SLC,UT and I am not sure to drive that far.


I have got the same problem. Right elbow, and upper forearm. (right arm only). So, I'm resting it, and curtailing my workouts to exclude the right arm as much as possible. Dumbbells primarily when doing upper body. More cardio now. It does indeed suck. But if you keep pushing it, it doesnt get better! It's been 2 months now, and finally the pain is starting to recess. Doing light concentration curls and hammer curls with right arm for now.

I hate getting old. I'll never smirk again when some 65 year old man complains about his hips, back, knees, etc....