T Nation

Medial Epicondylitis (Golfer's Elbow)


#1

Hey,
I got this injury 2 months ago because i did some freestyle on the bars. Like 360 muscle ups and shit like that. I do some forearm exercises to strenghten the area (Both inner and outer muscles in the forearm). Like wrist curls with 2 kg weight. I stopped massageing because i heard some people say it might worsen the inflammation, but i dont know. Should i massage or not? I have not done any pullups/pushups during this time. Please give me some advise what to do, just want to get back on the bars.
/Lucas


#2

Had the same problem. Get the finger bands from iron mind and work your extensors. Opening your fingers against the resistance of the bands. The game changer for me was I went to a chiropractor that had some kind of healing laser device. Sounds like a bunch of voodoo but I’ll be damned if it wasn’t 90% better after a couple sessions.


#3

How bad is the pain, what specifically aggravates it? Was it from one session or did it build up over time? I screwed mine up with crappy squats and pullups june-july, started working on it in august, almost there. Dont take an anti inflammatory long term, itll mask aggravation that prolongs the injury. I’m using a 3 lb weight for a bunch of wrist curls, a hammer for rotational stuff, and a flexbar.

You really have to go easy to not make things worse. Some aggravation the next day can be acceptable, but no pain at all during exercise even if it goes away after a couple reps. That’s how I kept digging my hole.


#4

[quote]StevenF wrote:
Had the same problem. Get the finger bands from iron mind and work your extensors. Opening your fingers against the resistance of the bands. The game changer for me was I went to a chiropractor that had some kind of healing laser device. Sounds like a bunch of voodoo but I’ll be damned if it wasn’t 90% better after a couple sessions. [/quote]
Thanks for the advise Steven. The finger bands sounds good, might get a some of them.
Yeah i’ve heard people doing that laser kind of thing on knee injuries etc. So how long took it for you to come back without feeling any pain while working out after that laser thing?


#5

[quote]FormerlyFast wrote:
How bad is the pain, what specifically aggravates it? Was it from one session or did it build up over time? I screwed mine up with crappy squats and pullups june-july, started working on it in august, almost there. Dont take an anti inflammatory long term, itll mask aggravation that prolongs the injury. I’m using a 3 lb weight for a bunch of wrist curls, a hammer for rotational stuff, and a flexbar.

You really have to go easy to not make things worse. Some aggravation the next day can be acceptable, but no pain at all during exercise even if it goes away after a couple reps. That’s how I kept digging my hole.[/quote]
In the beginning i had pain while opening doors, but its better now. I can open them without any pain now. Lifting things like 2 kg weights works fine, but over 4 kg or something it starts to hurt. Lifting things using fingertips mostly hurts.

I did the same thing 4-5 days in a row, and the pain came on the last workout. Yeah sometimes i feel aggravation the next day.


#6

Ok, really good you figured it out earlier on and have seen improvement. There seem to be lots of variations on it, some people get it due to a forearm imbalance, where strengthening the wrist extensors does the trick, some people have knots in their forearms or triceps that put a constant tension on the tendon, and some are just straight up tendon damage like what I did.

I did p.t. for about 6 weeks where they also did some ultrasonic stuff and graston massage on the tendon. I think it helped, but didn’t seem completely necessary. It sounds like you’re doing some exercises for it which is good, I always did 3 sets of 10 to 15, but making sure never to go to the point that it was aggravated at the time of excercise. Maybe add some rotational stuff both ways holding a hammer, and look up the theraband flexbar.

I think elbow revive has helped a bit, but it may be a placebo. There can be lots of plateaus in the healing process, sometimes for a month at a time. You just have to be patient and keep working and stretching. Lots of good stretches, just search around and pick a couple to do 3 sets of 30s every day.


#7

[quote]FormerlyFast wrote:
Ok, really good you figured it out earlier on and have seen improvement. There seem to be lots of variations on it, some people get it due to a forearm imbalance, where strengthening the wrist extensors does the trick, some people have knots in their forearms or triceps that put a constant tension on the tendon, and some are just straight up tendon damage like what I did.

I did p.t. for about 6 weeks where they also did some ultrasonic stuff and graston massage on the tendon. I think it helped, but didn’t seem completely necessary. It sounds like you’re doing some exercises for it which is good, I always did 3 sets of 10 to 15, but making sure never to go to the point that it was aggravated at the time of excercise. Maybe add some rotational stuff both ways holding a hammer, and look up the theraband flexbar.

I think elbow revive has helped a bit, but it may be a placebo. There can be lots of plateaus in the healing process, sometimes for a month at a time. You just have to be patient and keep working and stretching. Lots of good stretches, just search around and pick a couple to do 3 sets of 30s every day. [/quote]

I really appreciate your reply. Thanks for all the tips and tricks, I will try them. How long did it take for you to come back and be able to exercise again?


#8

No problem at all, hope some of it will work. I’m still not all the way but real close. I started seriously trying to fix the problem in August, then went back to lifting in October too early, because I was still on an anti inflamatory for something else.

So I was aggravating it to prolong it, but wasn’t getting that feedback. Anyways, now I’m just lifting 2 days per week, nothing heavy, everything in the 5 x 10 kind of effort range. I’ve figured out I can do fist pushups (with a band), false grip overhead press, and a variety of cable rows/pull-downs with this spud-inc strap thing that I can loop around my wrists to take the grip out. It’s just a matter of finding what doesn’t aggravate it AT ALL, and easing back in once you can honestly say you’re ready to try it. In your case with the 360 muscle up things (no idea what those are, imagining crazy gymnastics looking things) it may be some time to get all the way back, as those sound really demanding of the grip. Best of luck, I know it’s frustrating.


#9

[quote]FormerlyFast wrote:
No problem at all, hope some of it will work. I’m still not all the way but real close. I started seriously trying to fix the problem in August, then went back to lifting in October too early, because I was still on an anti inflamatory for something else. So I was aggravating it to prolong it, but wasn’t getting that feedback. Anyways, now I’m just lifting 2 days per week, nothing heavy, everything in the 5 x 10 kind of effort range. I’ve figured out I can do fist pushups (with a band), false grip overhead press, and a variety of cable rows/pull-downs with this spud-inc strap thing that I can loop around my wrists to take the grip out. It’s just a matter of finding what doesn’t aggravate it AT ALL, and easing back in once you can honestly say you’re ready to try it. In your case with the 360 muscle up things (no idea what those are, imagining crazy gymnastics looking things) it may be some time to get all the way back, as those sound really demanding of the grip. Best of luck, I know it’s frustrating.[/quote]

Thanks man. Really hope you will be fully recovered soon also. Hahahah ye youre right about the 360 muscle up thing. I dont really care about being able to do those, but i want to start doing dips, pushups and Pullups again. But if pushups dont hurt, can i do them? I will wait more on the Pullups though, since those are really demanding on the grip as you said. Best of luck to you too.


#10

Pushups would be worth a try. I switched to them as it turns out I can’t not grip the hell out of the bar when benching, which aggravated it. I have the best luck with fist Pushups with my hands down towards my hips so there’s a straight line from my forearms through the wrists perpendicular to the ground. Avoiding an open palm pushing the ground really helps.

Also, thought of anether couple things… I got a strap fo my foreaem, it’s made for tennis or golfers. The idea is genile pressure a couple inches up from the tendon to take a bit of tension off from the cluster at the pointy area. Some people where them all the time, I just use it if I’m going to be carrying my daughter a lot or when I lift.

Another thing, haven’t tried this one though, is getting a carpal tunnel brace for sleeping. If you sleep with your wrist or fingers contracted, it rests and heals in a shortened state over night, then has to be elongated in the morning. If it typically feels crappy in the mornings this would be worth a shot. On my phone so sorry for any typos or lack of punctuation in all of that.