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Wearing a Sling or Brace to Increase Bench with Arm Injury?

I’ve had a metal plate in my left arm for almost 10 years. Fractured my arm in an auto accident. My pressing movements have always been piss poor. I have a 405 deadlift and a 355 squat but the most I’ve ever pressed was 185 for 3 and that was a floor press. I want to increase the weight so I’m on a program a buddy of mine who has squats and deadlifts lifts in the 600s-700s and a 440 bench gave me. I got off a recent program and I’m basically starting all the way down 60% of my 1rm on all my lifts. I’m now on week 3 doing 70%

Anyway not getting off topic I am wondering which can be more beneficial. I assume using a slingshot to try and bench 185 and beyond is pretty pathetic so I think all I need is some extra elbow support. Any input would be much appreciated

Is pressing painful?

I can’t really see how a slingshot would help. I can’t really see how an elbow brace would help either unless your break was in the area the brace covers.

Generally pressing isn’t painful. When I first started lifting a couple years ago doing something as simple as db skull crushers with 20lb db was really painful. Now I whip out 10 reps for 4 sets with no issue. Overall my injured arm has adapted with my my training. The pain and stress happens specifically around my elbow area halfway as the weight is pushed

Hey mane

Im a student physio/physical therapist so maybe I can be of some assistance.

This probably comes 10 years later than it should’ve (not ten years too late kind you): a fracture that heals without complication and appropriate rehabilitation is carried out in the weeks/months after there should be no reason that you cannot come back as strong and, in time with appropriate loading, even stronger than pre injury. This still applies 10 years down the track. Try not to use your past injury as a crutch or an excuse.

When you say you fractured your “arm” are you referring to the forearm, the upper arm near the elbow, mid shaft or up near the shoulder?

Firstly a slingshot, elbow sleeve or other assistive/supportive device will not help you unless the pain is loading related which kind of defeats the purpose anyways. A brace is usually used during that iffy period after a fracture where bone is healed enough to put weight thru it but not fully healed. It would not be of assistance unless you have refractured. You’d probably know if this has happened.

It is highly unlikely that your arm is injured. When we think of injury it’s strains, sprains, tendinitis etc. that have little to do with previous fracture. These usually have a history of their own. Is this the kind of pain or injury you’re experiencing? Or is it something that’s been around after your fracture.

Pain is a response to harmful or potential harmful stimuli. After fracture tissues can stiffen and scar tissue can be formed. Whole joints can become stiffer. Stretching or tensioning of stiff tissue can cause pain. This is just one potential source of your symptoms so would need more questions e.g. location, nature etc. and examination to zero in on the culprit.

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Thank God some professional advice!

The fracture I believe happened in my upper forearm. I have a scar that begins two inches on my forearm going to the elbow and pretty much ending an inch or so in my upper arn. So it’s not that big of a scar.
And as I have been doing more general strength my endurance and my strength has gone up on alot of things. The bench can be pretty mental for me since I have a metal plate. My arm has gotten a bit stronger amid it’s lack in size because exercises like skull crushers and over head extensions don’t feel as bad as when I first started. My tricep area is significantly smaller than my other arm. Idk if the surgeon took out some muscle from my arm to fit the metal plate.

If I was going to have a fracture (sounds weird I know lel) shaft of the bone sounds a lot funner then either of the two ends. At the ends you can get joint/articular surface involvement which complicates things and predisposes to problems down the line. Seems that you’re elbow joint was involved.

After you had your surgery were you placed in a cast which immobilised your elbow and wrist joints or nah? Perhaps a brace or just specific instructions as to how to protect your fracture? All of these at one point in time?

Extended time immobilised or ordered to partial weight bearing can lead to the decreased muscle bulk however after 10 years of lifting you’d have thought that it would balance itself out. If you don’t specific work to this end that could explain it.

Is your left arm your dominant arm or nah? Tbh I’m paranoid my right (strong) arm is bigger than my left but bust out the tape measure and their damn close.

Maybe you’re just being paranoid. Then again the tape measure doesn’t lie.

Just to clarify you’re not experiencing a common lifting injury like strain (pulled muscle) or tendinitis (inflamed tendon, pain increases with activity)?

After the surgery yes my arm was immobilized in a foamy cast for some time I don’t know exactly how much. And my dominant arm is my right. My injured is my left. I have no problem with moving or using it although I can’t fully extend/lock my left arm because of the plate in there. And yes my left arm is pretty small/thin. It’s more noticeable from the back when you see a fully developed forearm but the upper arm is a tiny bit small. Let’s say if I posed like Rich Piana doing that thumbs up side arm pose making my arms bigger than they look with my bad arm my tricep sweep is close to non-existant lol

And I’m experiencing some discomfort maybe paranoia when I go heavy on pushing movements. Perhaps it is tendonitis idk

Hmm. Have you been told this explicitly or are you operating under such an assumption? Usually with plates screws or what not surgeons will do their utmost to allow for return to full function including range of motion. Designing internal fixation that physically restricts movement is really not optimal.


Usually after surgery ROM is indeed lacking due to factors such as pain tho not due to the pores and screws themselves. With the immobilisation from the cast this loss in ROM is made worse and rehab is usually started ASAP to minimise and reverse this. Perhaps rehab was lacking?

It sounds like the difference in muscle bulk has been caused by the injury compounded with the fact that’s it’s your non dominant arm. Aesthetically it may worry you but functionally it’s not the worst imbalance you could have. The difference in ROM between sides however, if fixable, should be addressed.

Given your history I think it’s a bit premature to write yourself off as paranoid and self admit into a mental institution. There’s quite a few structures that more than likely to be the source of your symptoms. Cant really do an examination thru this forum format so itd probably be worth seeing a good physical therapist if you want this issue fixed.

What’s a bit money to a lifetime of pain and worry free lifting?

Good luck and god speed mane

Thanks for clearing things up. I will say the ROM in my arm is about 90% full. I’d say an inch is taken off my ROM. AGAIN nothing too bad or noticable and I feel like weightlifting has slowly yet surley improved my arms ability to move and lift almost pain free despite some discomfort.