I experienced the same kind of pain after doing tricep pushdowns with a significant amount of weight (for me anyhow). I was using the V bar and pushing down 160 for 10, 170 for 8 and 180 for 8. The pain however also extended down into the middle of my elbow joint. I went to a massage therapist who said my tendons were overworked and that I had developed bursitis in the elbow as a secondary injury. I was doing this lift 3 X per week. I was advised to stop lifting until the pain went away. I didn’t want to do that for fear of losing ground and so I lessened the amount of weight and worked through the pain.
The pain went away and I kept doing my tricep work at about 120 to 130 at 10 reps. But, the problem is that not only is this pain recurring but working at 120 to 130 is not doing me any good it seems; no real pump, too easy. Yet,everytime I try to increase the weight (so as to get stronger you know) this pain in the elbow joint and tendons returns (both arms) and I feel like I’ve lost ground again.
So, if anyone out there has any advise or an effective alternate exercise to these tricep pushdowns, please share your knowledge/experience with me.