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Question
Posted by: Christopher | 2010/12/08

Joint Pains

Hi,

I have just joined the gym again and I have an issue whereby I get very painful elbows afterwards. I was sensible enough to take it easy with the weight lifting and start off slow again. It is definitely not stiffness. This has happened before and has caused me to not be able to use the gym equipment again due to the pain. I am worried this is a repeat. Even if I leave it for a couple of days and try do things again, the pain returns. Is there anything I can do to either loosen up my elbows or somehow strengthen them to allow me to continue training?

I also have painful knees. This was a result of a tubing accident which my doctor said has caused me to not be able to squat or run for long etc. I would also like to get into running again but cannot do this while in this state. He said that I should do swimming and cycling to improve them and that it usually lasts around 3 months to recover. It is over 3 months. I apologise for such a long email but I am 26 and would like to get on with things!

I would appreciate any assistance.

Kind Regards,

Christopher

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageFitnessDoc

Hi Christopher

It sounds like it's probably a little inflammation or overuse of the elbow tendons. If it was from overdoing it acutely, causing stiffness, then you'd feel it more in the muscles.

So I'm guessing a little here, but it sounds like maybe the increase in your training is just a little too quick for your history. I know you said you'd been using light weights, but when you start out, the tendons and ligaments often get overworked without you knowing about it. Until the next day when you train again.

So it's a matter of reducing the work load, dropping the weight even more and also avoid the exercises that are causing the pain for a week or two. Try alternative forms of training, give it a day or two between sessions and allow your body to adapt - the key is recognizing that your pain is probably the result of chronic training, not a once-off session, so even though each day might feel easy, the cumulative effect is still just a little high.

The same principle applies to running. If you can't run long, then you can find out where that cut-off is - perhaps it's 20 minutes, and you should aim for that for 2 weeks. Then up to 25, then 30 and so on. It might be 10 minutes, and that's fine too. You can do pretty much anything, it's the "ceiling" that is the problem, and staying just beneath it until to edges upwards.

Good luck

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: fitnessdoc | 2010/12/12

Hi Christopher

It sounds like it's probably a little inflammation or overuse of the elbow tendons. If it was from overdoing it acutely, causing stiffness, then you'd feel it more in the muscles.

So I'm guessing a little here, but it sounds like maybe the increase in your training is just a little too quick for your history. I know you said you'd been using light weights, but when you start out, the tendons and ligaments often get overworked without you knowing about it. Until the next day when you train again.

So it's a matter of reducing the work load, dropping the weight even more and also avoid the exercises that are causing the pain for a week or two. Try alternative forms of training, give it a day or two between sessions and allow your body to adapt - the key is recognizing that your pain is probably the result of chronic training, not a once-off session, so even though each day might feel easy, the cumulative effect is still just a little high.

The same principle applies to running. If you can't run long, then you can find out where that cut-off is - perhaps it's 20 minutes, and you should aim for that for 2 weeks. Then up to 25, then 30 and so on. It might be 10 minutes, and that's fine too. You can do pretty much anything, it's the "ceiling" that is the problem, and staying just beneath it until to edges upwards.

Good luck

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