T Nation

What Kind of Injury........

…could this be? I haven’t lost the use of my right arm; just the strength, at least most of it; there is no pain whatsoever.

Last week I had a hard time doing chest & triceps. It seems its certain range of motion; just no strength in my arm. I cannot do any chest work, noticed it in dips too - one arm doing all the work. Shoulders seem fine as long as the weight isn’t going above my head. I rested it, today it felt just sort of weird but I started with chest. I’m doing flyes with free weights (not that heavy for me about low to medium). I’ve got the weights up in front of me and BANG!!! I completely lost all control of this arm - the weight landed on my chest, no warning, no pain in the arm, nothing, just gone.

I did not injure it as in I felt something - just a mystery injury? I’ve had no pain at all, maybe slight stiffness like you’ve slept on it wrong or something but absolutely nothing else.

Has anyone ever heard of this?

Experienced it?

Know of anything that could cause this. Best I can come up with is some kind of nerve damage? Tendon?

Yeah, okay doctor visit but I’ve nothing to show him or tell him. Any ideas? Dropping that weight scared the crap out of me and it wasn’t because it was too heavy.

Definitely get to a Doc and get it checked out. It does sound like some sort of nerve problem. Whether it is due to a true nerve problem or is just caused by neural inhibition due to another problem is what needs to be determined.

Tell the Doc the same story you just told here. They should test reflexes, motor strength, and sensation as well as doing a complete ortho/neuro screen on you. Depending on what showed up, I would imagine an MRI and possible EMG/NCV (test of muscle and nerve function) would be beneficial to determine the nature/extent of the problem.

Keep us posted.

Take care,


I know exactly what you are experiencing. It happened to me in 1991. I was a cop at the time. I was in a car chase when the left front tire came off and I flipped the cruiser several times and came to rest against a tree and a few parked cars.

I walked away from the crash at first seemingly unscathed other than a few minor scratches and needing an underwear change. As a precaution I was taken to a hospital ER. I was examined by the ER doc, x-rayed, etc. and given a clean bill of health. I finished the remainder of my shift and went home and to bed.

Upon getting out of bed the next day I had a hot, burning and numb sensation to my left arm. I didn’t think much of it because it seemed to fit the soreness and stiffness from the previous evening’s crash I was experiencing systemically.

As I woke up a little more and tried to stretch and workout some of the stiffness I grabbed two 30 lb. dumbbells I had and tried to curl them. The right arm was no problem but with the left not only could I not curl it but it just unexpectedly fell out of my hand to the floor and I had no control at all over my left hand and arm. As far as pain went there really was nothing but this aching like a toothache in my left arm on the interior surface and between my thumb and index finger. This was a serious OH SHIT moment not unlike yours I’m sure.

After an MRI and neurological tests it was determined I had herniated my cervical disk between C5 and C6.

I had a fusion and lamenectomy which has left me with near constant pain in my neck and a 25% neurological deficit to my left side. I’m not trying to frighten you; I’m sure you already are. I just want to be totally honest is all.

Weight training has helped me compensate for the neuro-deficit but not much works for the neck pain. I’ve just learned to deal with it. It’s been a mixed bag, but I train heavy and I train hard. If this is your fate too just know the procedure is much better now and I’m sure your outcome would be better than mine. So get your butt in to a neurologist/neurosurgeon NOW! Don’t wait.

Also, if you could, please let us know how things go.

If I can be of any assistance feel free to lean on me. I wish you the best of luck.


Well this is shaping up nicely isn’t it? I’ve already made an appointment for tomorrow morning. All I can think is what the hell did I do??? Nothing!!! Normally I’d just work through this but it happened last week too, no dropping weights or anything but totally shitty workout, no chest work at all, so I rested entire upper body til today. There’s no way in hell I could have bench pressed anything but my own hands. It did scare me as it could have been in the face.

I won’t forget it for awhile either; makes me think of when I was a kid. You know you go in for the fly ball, I got it, got it, mine - BANG right in the nose. I don’t think since then I’ve ever held a baseball glove in front of my face since then. Even if/when it does heal I’ll be thinking of that weight coming down on me the same as that fly ball. THIS HAD BETTER HEAL!!!