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Medial Epicondylitis/Golfer's Elbow Going on for Years, Can't Do Pull-ups

Looking for any input I can get here.

My inner elbow area / tendons are extremely sore, and have been so for a few years. I’m 100% sure this is from jiu jitsu, from repeated grabbing, pulling, and squeezing. I know I made it worse by doing pullups.

I still train jiu jitsu, but I am super careful about not over-using grips now. And I still lift weights, but this soreness really limits what I can do. If I do pullups, my inner elbows get super sore right away, to the point I know it’s doing damage.

I have a Theraband Flex Bar (blue) that I’ve used a good amount. I have Iron Mind finger expanders. I regularly massage the area to help break up scar tissue. This massage seems to actually help a bit. I think the Theraband Bar has helped a bit too.

BUT: these aren’t really working in a meaningful way. It’s been about 2 years, and I still can’t do pullups. I know that bloodflow to these tendons is an issue, and I know that PRP would be a great thing to try. Unfortunately I can’t afford that right now.

I have of course googled this ad nauseam, read pretty much all the basic stuff out there, and put the common recommendations into practice.

I’m not expecting any miracles; I realize the answer is probably “your best bet is PRP.” Again though, I can’t afford PRP.

If anyone has any other things I can try, I would love to hear them.

Hi james_m. I’ve struggled with both medial and lateral epicondylitis for years. After many years I’ve finally adopted some good elbow cuffs for just about any pulling exercise. This gives me some support and some (though not much) relief. However, the one thing that HAS helped me considerably through the years is treatment from a talented ART practitioner. ART (active release) is a soft tissue therapy that is essentially a form of deep tissue massage where the practitioner takes you through a range of motion while manipulating the troubled area. I am simplifying this greatly but if you’re interested you will look it up and research it as I would expect. Most ART practitioners are chiros but some are massage therapists. In fact the best one I’ve had was a massage therapist. This guy is talented and is one of the staff therapists for the NY Yankees. The other key advice I’ve gotten is to use a licensed ART practitioner. That said, I’ve had some success using unlicensed people (my favorite therapist moved out of the country). But I would research and seek out ART as a treatment as it’s relatively reasonable and definitely worked for me. Good luck:


ART® Provider Location Search - Active Release Technique


Plenty of good feedback in this thread too:

Ah thank you - I didn’t see that one…my bad… but will check it out. Thanks!

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Interesting. I had come across this on Youtube but didn’t really pursue it (I figured it wasn’t much more than the self-massage I was doing) but it does look like there’s more to it than that. I’ll see who’s in my area / affordable.