T Nation

Tendonitis in Elbow & Bicep Pull

I injured my bicep tendon and it gets injured off and on. I also have chronic tendonitis in my elbow and don’t know how to work around this or stop it from reoccurring.

I’ve got something like this going on right now. Mine is in the inside bend of my elbow. I’m taking lots of fish oil and using a neutral grip on all my curls. I can lift without pain that way. If you can’t lift without pain, I’d say the smart thing to do is take some time off to rest it.

This is a major concern of mine, training baseball players. If elbows or biceps get irritated we:

Remove heavy rowing, mostly specifically chin ups and other vertical rows. Horizontal and low-angle rows at moderate or light intensities can often stay in without causing pain. Neutral grip, as was said, plus freely-rotating grips are much more elbow friendly than straight bar chins.

Avoid exercises that cause high-tension to run through the arms. Specifically these are the rows mentioned above, heavy farmers walks and deadlift variations. Basically any heavy weight being pulled with the arm is going to exascerbate the elbow and bicep tendinitis.

Avoid these for 4-6 weeks and gradually reintroduce, and typically you’ll be good to go from there on.

Throughout the years I’ve had issues on and off with my elbows, and most recently the muscle belly of my biceps began hurting like the dickens on any curl variation and pullups.

Anyhow, I’ve always lifted through the pain even when it felt like my elbow was about to explode.

…but when it becomes absolutely unbearable, I’ve noticed that the pain dissipates after a week layoff from the gym.

neutral grip - do you mean like palms in hammer curls rather then out?

I used to blow through the pain and it went away. All I was doing was numbing it out. It got worse. It does seem that pulldowns do affect it more then the push type exercises. Has the fish oil helped?

By neutral grip do you mean palms in like hammer curls? I can’t do straight bar curls anymore for years. I use the EZ bar more natural hold.

does the fish oil help?

What does bicep tendonitis at the elbow feel like? Is the tendon painful to touch? Do you get pain in the belly of the muscle? Just wondering, as I’ve had problems with my forearm flexors for years.

Yes like hammer curls, but I usually do 3 or 4 neutral grip exercises on my bicep days. I just read about fish oil looking through the past posts on this site. It may be a placebo effect but fish oil really seems to help me. I was in constant pain 4 weeks ago. I can still tweak it every now and then and feel some pain, but since I’ve been taking fish oil, I am not in constant pain

@ huskarl - bicep tendinitis is either down by the elbow or up by the shoulder. If your pain is in the belly of the bicep, I think you have a muscle problem and not necessarily a tendon problem

Ive had the same problem in my outer tendon in my forearm. Was going too heavy psyched up on some machine flyes. I walked 150 feet and felt like someone was trying to rip my arm off. literally the worst pain ive ever felt. Now it has a prickly feeling every time i abuse that tendon too much in one week. mainly lifting boxes does this. stuff outside of the gym. but all i did was rehab it. went much lighter. stayed off the flyes. people suggest ice after each workout. taking breaks. but if your like me taking a break from training is not acceptable. so ice should do it. find what stresses the tendon and cut it out.

fish oil and… VOOODOO BANDS!!!.. Haha I swear by these things (they are def magic). Cured my tricep tendonitis even after PT didn’t.

Neutral grip is when each palm faces the other palm.
All vertical pull are safer, more joint friendly when done with 2 freely moving handles(like rings)or simply 2 D shaped handles. Each rep with a fixed position will irritate over time.
If you use thicker bar/handle it might bring a feeling of tendonitis to the elbow area.