T Nation

My Joints Holding Me Back

Anyone have a lot of trouble with their joints? It is starting to hold back my progress in the gym. It started with my shoulders and now my elbows are giving me trouble. I make sure to lift with excellent form, so I think I may just be cursed with bad joints. I have small wrists and am naturally pretty thin, so maybe my joints just aren’t cut out to be lifting this much?

Anyone have any experience with this? Found any supplements that help? Anything??

Thanks in advance for any advice.

I feel your pain man, I’m the exact same. Some folk are more prone to injury than others. Oh well.

You just have to be very careful with your programming, avoid exercises you’re not cut out for (which may be the ones you enjoy most, unfortunately), keep on top of your mobility work and soft tissue quality, and deload regularly.

Dealing with injuries is all part of the game, and shit happens, but if you’re careful you should be able to minimise the risk.

Stop smoking them before training.

Seriously though, you might give these a shot.

I know how you feel.

My right shoulder has been problematic for years. For example, it takes so much concentration/force/energy to keep that shoulder joint stable during pullups that I can only do 4 bodyweight pullups at a time before it starts slipping out of position and impingeing tissues. It’s taken me several years to work up to 4 pullups from not being able to do pullups at all.

I think I may have torn a ligament at some point because it never improves - I have to mentally concentrate on the muscles doing what the ligament automatically does with no effort in the other shoulder, and there is only so much the smaller muscles can take

[quote]rds63799 wrote:
Dealing with injuries is all part of the game, and shit happens, but if you’re careful you should be able to minimise the risk.
[/quote]

There are many aspects to development…injury prevention is at the top of the list.

[quote]BlueCollarTr8n wrote:

[quote]rds63799 wrote:
Dealing with injuries is all part of the game, and shit happens, but if you’re careful you should be able to minimise the risk.
[/quote]

There are many aspects to development…injury prevention is at the top of the list. [/quote]

maybe for YOU gramps :wink:

[quote]OrangeWolverine wrote:
I make sure to lift with excellent form, so I think I may just be cursed with bad joints. I have small wrists and am naturally pretty thin, so maybe my joints just aren’t cut out to be lifting this much? [/quote]
I just saw your progress thread. Sick work, congrats, but gaining 50 pounds in a year and presuming your strength shot up accordingly, there’s chance your strength/muscle progressed faster than your smaller support structures (tendons, ligaments, etc.). Some pre-hab or specifically warming-up your problem areas before training might help.

I’d also check to see if it could be a side effect of your TRT. I’m not 100% familiar, but in some quick reading online I saw a few guys complain about joint pain while on Androgel. Worth looking in to.

Fish oil. I’ll sometimes pop a few Flameout instead of aspirin if my knees start bothering me. Reducing inflammation goes a long way in cutting off joint-based problems before they get worse. But, again, look at the bigger picture.

[quote]seekonk wrote:
I know how you feel.

My right shoulder has been problematic for years. For example, it takes so much concentration/force/energy to keep that shoulder joint stable during pullups that I can only do 4 bodyweight pullups at a time before it starts slipping out of position and impingeing tissues. It’s taken me several years to work up to 4 pullups from not being able to do pullups at all.

I think I may have torn a ligament at some point because it never improves - I have to mentally concentrate on the muscles doing what the ligament automatically does with no effort in the other shoulder, and there is only so much the smaller muscles can take[/quote]

There is a difference between joint pain from development issues and from injuries that aren’t rehabilitated/repaired correctly.

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

[quote]OrangeWolverine wrote:
I make sure to lift with excellent form, so I think I may just be cursed with bad joints. I have small wrists and am naturally pretty thin, so maybe my joints just aren’t cut out to be lifting this much? [/quote]
I just saw your progress thread. Sick work, congrats, but gaining 50 pounds in a year and presuming your strength shot up accordingly, there’s chance your strength/muscle progressed faster than your smaller support structures (tendons, ligaments, etc.). Some pre-hab or specifically warming-up your problem areas before training might help.

I’d also check to see if it could be a side effect of your TRT. I’m not 100% familiar, but in some quick reading online I saw a few guys complain about joint pain while on Androgel. Worth looking in to.

Fish oil. I’ll sometimes pop a few Flameout instead of aspirin if my knees start bothering me. Reducing inflammation goes a long way in cutting off joint-based problems before they get worse. But, again, look at the bigger picture.[/quote]

Thanks a lot man.

I’m on injections, not Androgel. I’ve got a great doc that ironically enough is an ex-body builder. He says that the joint issues are unrelated. I do have low vitamin-D levels, but we have gotten that fixed and seen no joint relief.

I already take plenty of fish oil.

I think you might be onto something with my joints not catching up to the weight I can push now. I’ve only been lifting a year and have more than doubled my bench press. I’m sure my joints aren’t happy!

Thanks again.

What about trying a full body routine instead of the one body part a day approach that I have been using? For example, now my elbows have to withstand an entire chest day (bench, incline, decline all in the same day). Maybe if I broke them up using a full body routine they wouldn’t get as overloaded. Make sense to anyone?

You should probably stop limiting yourself mentally. Postive thinking will cure your joints.

Really though, i know your pain. I have had lots of issues with my shoulder joints from various sport and lifting related injuries in the past. That is actually what got me onto mountain dog training. Been pain free ever since i started.

As a 50 yr old who’s gone thru it, these are the changes I made :

Fish oil/Flameout - 8/4 every day (add if joints start to act up, with Circumin)
Elbow and knee sleeves and more warm up sets
Used to train low reps heavy all the time - now 1 major lift only, the rest is 6-12 range. I second the MountainDog training - have not had an issue since.
Invested in a Safety Squat bar and a Fat bar, both of which I LOVE

Also - I’m on TRT too. Joint pain can also be a symptom of E2 being too high or low. I “think” especially low => impedes the lubrication in your joints.

[quote]derf wrote:
As a 50 yr old who’s gone thru it, these are the changes I made :

Fish oil/Flameout - 8/4 every day (add if joints start to act up, with Circumin)
Elbow and knee sleeves and more warm up sets
Used to train low reps heavy all the time - now 1 major lift only, the rest is 6-12 range. I second the MountainDog training - have not had an issue since.
Invested in a Safety Squat bar and a Fat bar, both of which I LOVE

Also - I’m on TRT too. Joint pain can also be a symptom of E2 being too high or low. I “think” especially low => impedes the lubrication in your joints.
[/quote]

Thanks for the post. E2 isn’t the issue. My bloodwork is great.

i’m in the same boat with you; elbow tendinitis,bad knees (no cartilagines) so…

1/switched to an higher reps number(8/12)&shorter rest periods for all excercises/muscles

2/using bands (reverse method) for all my benchin’ (and now also for rowin’,t-bar)

3/using dbs for bis

4/dropped OHP; I bench 2xweek and my front delts are sore…

5/my tris main excercise is CGBP,then band pushdowns and LAST kambered exstension (otherway my elbows get on fire)

5/used a “sledge” to train legs

and A LOT of specific warm-up…

If you have tennis/golfers elbow… Get some good straps and you will thank me later.

You could look into some pre-exhaust training. John Meadows has plenty of good material out there on this. You can use much less weight for the same muscle stimulus, making it much easier on the joints.

[quote]Ripsaw3689 wrote:
You could look into some pre-exhaust training. John Meadows has plenty of good material out there on this. You can use much less weight for the same muscle stimulus, making it much easier on the joints. [/quote]
THIS…I pre-pump before all my heavy main lifts thanks to JM and it does wonders,and your numbers will climb back up over time.