T Nation

Steroids, Ligaments & Tendons

OK guys I looked around, ran a search on this topic however it is still unclear to me other than anecdotally that there is an issue with tendons/ligaments due to steroids.

Can someone chime in with some studies or facts?

I recently had a partial biceps tear that has made me paranoid. Add to that the loss of flexibility I get every time I am on. When I am on I usually run two or three drugs in combination so I cant say which is doing what.

I read some guys here suffered from tendon/ligament concerns on tren and whinny. The worst I am sure of for me is the low back pump and strength imbalances which seem to get me in the knees but I am trying to rectify that through training and more focused dynamic stretching which already accounts for 30-45 min of my day.

I just have a nagging doubt in my mind from hearing comments like, “your tendons and ligaments will turn to dust”… yadda, yadda… never paid it much attention until I torn my biceps.
I have to say my bones feel bullet proof due to years of cycling my use… never broken a bone yet… knock on wood only a few cracked ones :slight_smile:

Anyways I’m rambling now… anyone have anything to add?

deca has a positive effect on joints/ligaments but can also give a false sense of security when on where your joints fel great and the strength increase allows you to lift more than you should and you tear something (like a biceps muscle).

winny has a reputation of being bad for the joints because it tends to make people drop water which your joints rely on to move smoothly. both winny and tren give very fast strength increases which can put a lot of stress on your ligaments because they don’t have time to catch up…your ligaments take time to build so when you have a rapid strength increase of the muscle there is an increased chance of a tear.

generally people recommend not going below the 4 rep range when on cycle to reduce the chance of a tear. as far as your joints/ligaments I would recommend staying away from winny, trying to balance opposing muscles, and supplementing with fish oil and glucosamine/chondroitin. Some people have had great results healing injuries with Test, Deca, HGH, and IGF-1 used during rehab (if you do a search there have been guys that posted their experience with rehab of sholder injuries etc so you may find a good protocol from them).

Best of luck.

FG

I don’t know much about the direct effects of AAS on joints, tendons and ligaments, but the indirect effect of my strength going up 20% in about 6 weeks is playing hell. I have been training relatively injury free for over 20 yrs and now both elbows, one shoulder and one knee are pretty well torqued.

The end of my cycle is coming just in time as joint pain and possible further damage is making it impossible to keep up the intensity. Good 12 wks off cycle and dial it back a notch and I will be good to go in May though!

My experience from two 6 week oral cycles (tbol at 60 mg ed) and a just finishing injection cycle (10-11 weeks 250 mg test-e e3d + 6 weeks of tbol at 50 mg ed) is that I have joint problems into weeks 6-8 that are severe.

I will have to run deca next cycle for the joints such as test-e 250 mg e3d + deca 300 mg e7d.

funmetal

[quote]funmetal wrote:
My experience from two 6 week oral cycles (tbol at 60 mg ed) and a just finishing injection cycle (10-11 weeks 250 mg test-e e3d + 6 weeks of tbol at 50 mg ed) is that I have joint problems into weeks 6-8 that are severe.

I will have to run deca next cycle for the joints such as test-e 250 mg e3d + deca 300 mg e7d.

funmetal[/quote]

             Fun, just curious why you haven't noted that on your log yet then? Surely it is valuable info.

                  good luck

I’ve done more than my share of cycles.

I usually train heavy weight (3-6 rep range).

I’ve used almost every AAS I can think of.

And yet…

I’ve never had either a tendon or ligament issue, whatsoever.

Generally weather you are on or off AAS you need to listen to your body.

AAS gives you the ability to grow strong muscles, but Tendons and ligaments do not hypertrophy like muscle cells, and do not have the blood supply either - so they are much less effected by AAS use then muscles.

Since muscles grow strong quickly and the others do not, you can leave yourself open for injury, due to subjection of force on the tendons ligaments and joints that are above their tensile strength or load capasity.

This can occur within the muscles themselves as well.

As for joints, Joints take years to strengthen and one work out to injure if lifting too heavy, or can slowly be worn down by continued poor form or excessive weight over a long period of time. but this also applies to all soft tissue as well.

AAS can speed up joint wear and tear of course and SWD commented on why.

However, armed with this knowledge, a bodybuilder can safely continue to train his body and build it while on AAS so long as he listens to his/her body, and is mature about the training.

Sometimes this requires maturity and experience to achieve.

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Hi I saw your post and know the answer to your prayers. It all depends on the type of drug youre using. I picked this one from steroidlogy.com: The guy who wrote this is a doctor so he knows his shit. Nothing unsubstantiated here!

While injecting test increases protein synthesis by roughly 50 times, depending on dose and time, most bodybuilders forget that it will reduce collagen synthesis by more than 50% – more like 80%, giving you the collagen synthesis rate of a senior citizen. Since collagen makes up tendons, bros are very prone to injury if they continue to lift very heavy, unless they cycle off T and let their collagen synthesis get back to normal. It’s like having the skeletal muscle of a gorilla with the tendons of a very old man.

Winstrol increases collagen synthesis. It will give you bigger tendons. However, your body compensates for this by making them more brittle, weaker, and more prone to injury. I can’t tell you how many bros work out anaerobically and become injured while on winstrol. Guys who lift in the 1-5 rep range while on winstrol, to baseball players who sprint all out from a stationary position – winstrol should be the LAST drug they choose. Most of them like winstrol because they don’t get the weight gain from it but it is very detrimental to bros who train for any sport anaerobically. Tendons tear easily on it.

Also, the drugs I mention increase collagen synthesis while also increasing collagen cross-linking integrity, making for a much stronger tendon.

Winstrol, on the other hand, will dramatically increase collagen syn, but ironically it decreases collagen cross-linking integrity, thus making a much weaker tendon.

You can plan a cycle of AAS which will increase collagen synthesis and skeletal muscle growth at the same time. The key is the drug(s) you choose.

Deca, Equipoise, Anavar, and Primobolan will ALL increase skeletal muscle while at the same time dramatically increase collagen syn and bone mass and density, leaving you with a substantially reduced chance of becoming injured than if you choose to use AAS like sus, cyp, or enth.

While testosterone will increase bone mass and density, even at supra-physiological levels, the result is weaker tendons due to inhibition of collagen syn.

To plan a cycle where the goal is to increase skeletal muscle mass/strength while at the same time increase joint/tendon/ligament strength, enough to keep up with the dramatic increase in skeletal muscle, you must choose drugs like Eq, Deca, Anavar, or Primo as the base of your cycle. Testosterone and its esters can be added to your cycle to keep levels within a ‘normal’ physiological range (ie, 100-200 mg/wk) but must not go above this. Since drugs like eq, deca, anavar and primo will reduce endogenous, natural levels of test, these levels may be maintained with exogenous test in the 100-200 mg/wk range. Test at this dose will not inhibit collagen syn, but paradoxically, will help increase it. It is when exogenous testosterone is used > 200 mg/wk that collagen syn is inhibited.

Deca @ 3 mg/kg a week(about 270 mg/wk for a 200 lb male) will increase procollagen III levels by 270% by week 2. Procollagen III is a primary indicator used to determine the rate of collagen syn. As you can see, deca is a very good drug at giving you everything you want – an increase in collagen syn, an increase in skeletal muscle, and increases in bone mass and density. The one thing it does not give you is wood.

Primobolan, @ 5 mg/kg, will increase collagen synthesis by roughly 180% – less than deca and equipoise but still substantial.

Equipoise @ 3 mg/kg will increase procollagen III by approximately 340% – slightly better than deca.

Oxandrolone has over a hundred studies documenting its effectiveness at treating patients needing rapid increases in collagen syn to enhance healing.

These drugs have longer half-lives than most other AAS, so this should be considered when timing your post cycle Clomid use. Here they are:

Deca: 15 days Equipoise: 14 days Primobolan: 10.5 days

Anavar has a half-life of only 8 hours so it should not pose a problem.

GH is probably the most remarkable drug at increasing collagen synthesis. It increases collagen syn in a dose dependant manner – the more you use, the more you will increase collagen syn. It has also demonstrated this ability in short and long term studies. From what I’ve read, hGH at 6 iu/day increased the collagen deposition rate by around 250% in damaged collagen structures. This result indicates that the increased biomechanical strength of wounds to collagen structures treated with biosynthetic human growth hormone was produced by an increased deposition of collagen in the collagen structures.

Eq, primo, anavar, and deca are all good – they increase several biomakers of collagen syn – ie, type III, II, I, procollagen markers. GH just seems to do so most dramatically.

Use of any of these drugs @ supra-physiological levels with a maintenance dose of test will increase collagen syn while at the same time increase skeletal muscle mass. Skeletal muscle mass gains will not be as dramatic as with large testosterone doses but you have to weigh the risk/reward basis for yourself. Also, these drugs do not satisfy the libido like testosterone, but that is not the point of this thread. It is only to demonstrate that you can increase skeletal muscle and collagen syn at the same time with certain AAS – the decision is up to you.

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Now that was a wealth of information to a guy with tendonitis! Many thanks.

yOURE WELCOME

I too have struggled with tendonits a year ago and I beat it the natural way with a decrease in trainig and so forth - a real longlasting and painstaking ride mentally.

If i had the information above i sure as shit would have turned to roids to solve my problem quickly.

Roids arent always bad, eh ?

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There are reasons why pre-exhaustion, double contraction and all the other bodybuilding methods were used back in the 70’s and 80’s. AAS are powerful drugs that need maturity in its use in the gym. Lifting heavy ass weights in good form with intensity techniques is a must.

Volume has its place more often than higher poundage for the sake of lifting heavier and heavier weights.

[quote]Deus vult wrote:
yOURE WELCOME

I too have struggled with tendonits a year ago and I beat it the natural way with a decrease in trainig and so forth - a real longlasting and painstaking ride mentally.

If i had the information above i sure as shit would have turned to roids to solve my problem quickly.

Roids arent always bad, eh ?

[/quote]

decrease in training is really the key.

Relative rest and therapy - i.e. if it hurts at all you are traing with too much weight and doing damage - training with weight that doesn’t ellicit pain is the heaviest weight you can use and expect to strength and improve the area without further injury.

Don’t be fooled into thinking just because you use a drug that increases collagen that you are safe or immune to joint wear or injury. These drugs definitely do not give you a license to neglect form and overload your body.

Also once an injury has occured, healing back to %100 is next to impossible as you will always incur some scar tissue. It doesn’t matter what drug you use during rehab.

The smarter move is not to injure it in the first place.

Additionally I would warn of using drugs such as nandrolone and others as they will disguise injuries by masking pain and inflamation so that you continue to train an injured joint/tendon/ muscle causing it to become a chronic issue.

Once you come off the drug that is masking the problem, rebound inflamation and accompanying pain occurs and you are suddenly unable to even train.

Bottom line is avoid these drugs unless you know your body very well, and are not lifting heavy as this is the chief cause of these kinds of injuries.

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Prisoner is throwing out some very practical information here, nobody can afford not to listen.

I’d like to add that although training smart is the key to staying injury free there are other things you can do to further insure yourself. Try to cut the word rehab from your vocabulary and replace it with prehab, by strengthening smaller and weaker muscles and improving flexibity/mobility you can eliminate that torn rotator cuff or the irratating pain in your lower back at the lock out of a deadlift. Small imbalances that go unattended will have you constantly one step ahead and two back.

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[quote]bushidobadboy wrote:
Anyway, I would also add that only one drug (arimidex/anastrozole) has consistently given me joint pain when used overenthusiastically, due to its negative effects on estrogen.
[/quote]

I actually dose Arimidex quite liberally while on cycle but have never experienced this. Are you fairly certain this is the cause of your joint pain?

Also, the image of one “overenthusiastically” dosing Arimidex makes me laugh for some reason.

       Great posting Deus/Priz. What a wealth of information right here on this compact thread. Beautiful.

I have nothing to add except that at one time not too long ago and over the years I was more prone to not take it quite as easy as I should have with different minor lifting injuries. I also incurred some form of impingement or rotator cuff injury from long term use of one arm from over a decade of painting cars, swinging a roughly 5 lb paint gun back and forth at arms length, over and over and over.

       Recently I had developed a significant amount of pain in both shoulders from training heavy DC style etc. a while back. The left was more of a "tightness" issue anteriorly, and the right was a relapse of the original long term injury of the cuff area, due to negligent training of the smaller musculature of the shoulder. Spin/Infraspin/Rhomboid, etc.

        After talking to Bushy and Schwarz extensively, I quit training all chest and traditional pressing movements completely. This has been about two months now, and after incorporating the diesel crew shoulder rehab protocol 3/week, and tweaking it by choosing one specific circuit out of the several, and utilizing a theraband given to me by Schwarz, I am happy to say that while not perfect yet, there is considerable improvement in both. The left is damn near 90+% rehabbed, and the weak link right delt is feeling much better and is probably at about 85+% rehabbed. 

        I have since added in one chest exercise to the routine Schwarz made for me during this time of rehab, and it's going really well. Like prisoner and bushy said, listening to your own body is the key. There's no place for ego or plain ignorance if one wants to lift long and steady while on the planet. So, I just wanted to post about the terrific effects of completely resting said bodyparts for a decent amount of time, and hey, the manzere isn't all that bad either, lol. Kidding, the chest did atrophy of course somewhat, but is rebounding very nicely thanks to muscle memory and diet.

          Thanks to all of you excellent posters whom I have learned so very much from over the last couple of years. I'm very grateful for all of your help.

                   best,

                 ToneBone

[quote]Power GnP wrote:
Prisoner is throwing out some very practical information here, nobody can afford not to listen.

I’d like to add that although training smart is the key to staying injury free there are other things you can do to further insure yourself. Try to cut the word rehab from your vocabulary and replace it with prehab, by strengthening smaller and weaker muscles and improving flexibity/mobility you can eliminate that torn rotator cuff or the irratating pain in your lower back at the lock out of a deadlift. Small imbalances that go unattended will have you constantly one step ahead and two back.[/quote]

yeah, You are only as strong as your weakest link.

Great post by Deus Vult with great follow up advice by Prisoner.

This one should be a sticky.

Wow guys a hell of a response thanks to all of you. I didn’t know about the effects on collagen, that sucks, especially as I have been loving a rest run of test/tren/mast.

Tell me anyone have any thoughts on whether or not you can block the negative effects on collagen synthesis by taking GH ? say Gh and Test? What about EQ and Test? or something along those lines?
I personally hate Deca for the progestogenic gyno and fat accumulation so I stay away from it. So thats out for me.

Prehab… better than rehab for sure. Again thanks to everyone, this is a heck of a support group :slight_smile:

Another quick thought, anyone here ever tried to go completely clean for a year or two after using heavily? How did you feel? Are there any lessons there that you might want to share? Me and the wife are thinking about kids and I have to do something about the swimmers.