T Nation

Tennis Elbow While Lifting


#1

I've had lingering tennis elbow for over a year from heavy skull crushers. I've found moderate success in healing the injury with stretches and exercises (forearm flexion, wrist curls, etc.) and supplements ("Elbow Revive" with cissus quadrangularis, others for inflammation).

Exercise and Elbow Revive and have got me back to about 85% (whereas at one point I couldn't lift a frying pan it was so bad), but there's still a lingering pain. Does anyone have any advice on how to eliminate this pervasive bastard once and for all? Appreciate for your input.


#2

Yeah Elbow Revive is as good as it gets as far as supplements go. Other than stretches, the best thing you can do is rest and ice. No one wants to hear it but taking time off is necessary to get back to 100%.


#3

Yeah, rest I think is key. Icing, however, I’ve read that is useful in the beginning, but afterwards can be counterproductive to the healing process. I guess I’ll take some time off and work on mobility and what not, while supping with the Elbow Revive. Maybe finally try yoga for once. haha. Never thought I’d say that, but I’ll do whatever it takes to get back to full health.


#4

HEHEHE i was thinking the exact same thing about the yoga. Good luck with recovery.


#5

I’ve been dealing with it for a few months, and I believe its mainly from power cleans. I stopped the movement all together but I still deal with the pain, especially in the left arm. I wear a sleeve over it during the day, and in the shower I run hot water over the area and roll and shampoo bottle over the muscle for a few minutes. It’s actually not a roll and more of a scraping the slippery bottle back and forth and really pushing down on the muscle.

Sounds weird but it really seems to help as opposed to doing nothing – which is what I used to do with no success. I also use the same hot water/massage trick before a workout to warm up the muscle and it doesn’t bother me too much in the gym. All of my lifts are the same.

It seems to feel the worst in the morning, but some warmup helps. I probably need to take a month off to really heal better, but I can’t seem to take more than 3 days off anymore.


#6

Kelley Starret has some helpful stuff on MobilityWOD using tacking bands (aka “voodoo floss”). Trying that out with rest and supping with Elbow Revive and Cod Liver Oil.


#7

I think my tennis elbow was about as bad as yours. It hurt when I pick up my laptop. My grip was absolute shit after a workout. I went through physical therapy multiple times and tried a bunch of different anti-inflammatories. Rest for a month would help tremendously with pain but it always came back after a few weeks of working out. This was happening for about 4 years. I learned to live with it until finally an ortho recommended surgery. I thought I was gonna have to either stop lifting and grappling or live a life with constant pain.

So a few months ago I had the elbow surgery. My ortho removed all the scar tissue and scraped away damaged parts of the epicondylitis ligament. The doc told me I only had about 25% muscle tissue left around my elbow joint and categorized my ligament as severely damaged.

I’m about three months past surgery now and am starting to lift again. I won’t be able to grapple (because it requires so much gripping) until the end of the year (most likely). Although the recovery is long and slow, I am pain free for the first time in 4 years. I’m only doing very light weights at this stage of my physical therapy but my PT and ortho are confident I can make a return to lifting heavy and grappling at close to full strength. Of course I will be more susceptible to injury from a sudden trauma but barring a freak injury I should be able to go back to normal sport activities.

You may want to get an mri and see how much damage is in there.


#8

I guess an MRI would be smart to see how much and what kind of specific damage has been done. Anyone tried prolotherapy for this sort of thing?


#9

Yes i have went through prolotherapy. Go ahead and read my Bpc 157 log where i have the prolo outlined in first post. To keep it simple i don’t think i would go do it again for my elbow at least. I am thinking of getting it for my Si joint in the future tho.


#10

I forgot to mention, when i was doing research into tennis elbow treatments last year i came across this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hjqBRr5Skz8 .
Looks very promising to those that are thinking about going the surgery way.
If my tennis elbow doesn’t heal up with the TB 500 cycle i am starting this week i will be seriously contemplating this.


#11

Unless you had trauma in the specific region where it hurts such as hitting it really hard in a car accident, I guarantee that your forearm muscles such as the; Flexor Carpi Ulnaris, Palmaris longus, Flexor carpi radialis, pronator teres etc are tight/knotted. I would also take a look at the head of your triceps because they’re probably tight as well, at least in certain points. You need to find the tension/tender areas and break down the knots or in other words; release the muscle from permanently being flexed.

Either do it your self if you feel capable or go to a massage therapist and tell them where you feel the tender spots and let them go to town. Your body is a machine, if you have a car for 20 years and never align the wheels and your axle is all crooked your car will have other “postural” problems . Same goes for the human body. If you have tightness in a certain areas, it essentially means that area of the muscular system is being overworked and overused.

Having a muscle curl up in a ball/knot is going to throw off the mechanics of the whole structure which is part of, such as the elbows, knees, hips, shoulders etc. If not taken care of, it will lead to inflammation over time in the connective tissue responsible for keeping the structure together do to rubbing and unnatural pattern movement (such as joints, ligaments, and tendons). Good looks on the ice, that helps a lot but that will only keep the inflammation down.

If you don’t fix the root of the problem which is incorrect mechanics of movement, it will never heal or you might have to get surgery but it WILL come back if you don’t do soft tissue work. Most joint, ligament and tendon pain comes from overused movement patterns, the same muscles get used over and over to the point that they are on permanent “flexing mode” while other muscle which don’t get used as much are nice and loose but weak.


#12

[quote]ronaldo7 wrote:
Unless you had trauma in the specific region where it hurts such as hitting it really hard in a car accident, I guarantee that your forearm muscles such as the; Flexor Carpi Ulnaris, Palmaris longus, Flexor carpi radialis, pronator teres etc are tight/knotted. I would also take a look at the head of your triceps because they’re probably tight as well, at least in certain points. You need to find the tension/tender areas and break down the knots or in other words; release the muscle from permanently being flexed. Either do it your self if you feel capable or go to a massage therapist and tell them where you feel the tender spots and let them go to town. Your body is a machine, if you have a car for 20 years and never align the wheels and your axle is all crooked your car will have other “postural” problems . Same goes for the human body. If you have tightness in a certain areas, it essentially means that area of the muscular system is being overworked and overused. Having a muscle curl up in a ball/knot is going to throw off the mechanics of the whole structure which is part of, such as the elbows, knees, hips, shoulders etc. If not taken care of, it will lead to inflammation over time in the connective tissue responsible for keeping the structure together do to rubbing and unnatural pattern movement (such as joints, ligaments, and tendons). Good looks on the ice, that helps a lot but that will only keep the inflammation down. If you don’t fix the root of the problem which is incorrect mechanics of movement, it will never heal or you might have to get surgery but i will come back if you don’t do soft tissue work. Most joint, ligament and tendon pain comes from overused movement patterns, the same muscle get used over and over to the point that they are on permanent “flexing mode” while other muscle which don’t get used as much are nice and loose but weak.[/quote]

Amen.


#13

Will “scraping” or acupuncture address these knots in the forearm/triceps? I’ve been using the Elbow Revive, wrist curls, and stretching and feel much better than I did a month ago.


#14

This is more for the long-term, but I have found that upper body exercises with rings have helped a lot with joint issues, including elbows. Get yourself a good dipping belt, and you will be challenged on the rings when doing dips, pull-ups, push-ups, and inverted rows. If you don’t like rings, DB floor presses are fantastic for triceps, and much more elbow friendly than skull crushers.


#15

For long term, I can only assume seeing a Dr. would be your best bet…however…

As mentioned above, relieving tightness in tricep/bicep/forearm area has personally helped me with elbow issues. I primarily use a tennis ball and roll out all such areas (typically on the floor, with arm almost fully extended). I can only speak for myself, however this practice has helped tremendously. 3-5 minutes each arm (easily work up a sweat, most spots are very sensitive closer to the elbow), every day has drastically reduced my elbow pain. I also use Floss Bands after workouts to compress the elbow/forearm areas, which has been much more useful than icing ever was.


#16

After another month + of taking Elbow Revive and doing rehab stretches, I’m at about 100%. Highly recommend the two combined if you’ve got tendonitis in the elbow or wrists (I had both).