T Nation

What Kind of Injury Do I Have?

Around 5 weeks ago I was doing heavy weighted pullups and I felt a sharp pain in my upper forearm near the bicep. I’ve put a picture below to show where the pain is. It’s now been 5 weeks and whilst I HAVE been recovering and the pain is going away, I’m actually finding it impossible to even do ONE pullup, using just bodyweight. I used to be able to do sets of 12 full range of motion pullups, with 30kg (66lbs) attached to my belt, and it’s making me feel as though I’ll always have this injury. The funny thing is, it’s just when doing pullups and hammer curls, whereas I’ve actually set PRs on all my other lifts, including exercises which use the biceps, which is strange. I only feel pain when doing pullups or hammers.

I went to the hospital about it and had a doctor look at it, but he said that it didn’t have any swelling and seemed fine, but just needed rest. My question is, what kind of injury does this seem like and how long should it take to recover on average? 5 weeks seems quite long and it’s still not fully healed. As mentioned, I can’t even do a single pullup anymore and it’s playing on my mind big time, as it feels like I’ll never be able to go back to my previous pullup strength. I may be being overdramatic though, I don’t know.

Thanks for any help.

Stop trying to do pull ups or it will never heal. If its more on the outside near your elbow, its tennis elbow, if its right where you circled, its probably a muscle strain.

Thanks alpha. Yeah it’s pretty much exactly where I circled, not on the outside as would be the case with tennis elbow. I’ve had to stop pullups since the injury occured, but I’ve been playing mind games with myself over the past few weeks about losing pullup strength. Took me several years of consistent pullups to reach the stage I was at, and whilst it’s not amazing, I was proud of the progress I’d made.

On that note, is there an alternative exercise to pullups which will perhaps still allow me to keep my pullup strength for when I eventually heal properly and can do pullups again? I’ve been switching to lat pulldowns for the time being in place of pullups, but if there’s a better alternative that won’t mess up the healing of my arm that’d be great.

I wouldn’t get so stressed about it. Shit happens, you just need to let it heal. I have “strained” that area before, and it just needs some rest. Just avoid activities that aggravate as best as possible and train around. ICE ICE ICE.