Posted by: Greg | 2009/04/17

elbow pain when exercising

Hope you can assist.

For some years now I have experienced tenderness/pain in my elbows when performing any type of exercise which involves lifting dumbells or press ups. I have tried to ignore this and train through it. However it becomes progressively worse over days and weeks untill I am forced to rest the elbows and eliminate my training program altogether. After a protracted rest the whole cycle starts again with minor pain building up until I am forced to rest.

I do not know if this is something to do with my technique although trainers at the gym cannot see anything obvious.

I have in the past referred this issue when seeing biokinetists but literally no response other than them saying that it could be a pinched nerve ??? (I find this strange seeing that it happens in both arms simultaneously). Admittedly I think they were more focussed on treating an ITB issue in my knee which was probably easier to diagnose and treat.

Can you either advise me how I can reslove this and what type of doctor/specialist etc etc would be best to give me proper specialist advice


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Our expert says:
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HI Greg

Unfortunately, it's impossible for me to diagnose anything like this. So I have to pass the buck and recommend that you see a biokineticist about this specifically. Or a physio, possibly. Just some thoughts on this one though - the fact that it happens in both arms suggests that IF it's a nerve issue, it might be in the back, because that way it would be common to both arms.

It might also be something structural, or mechanical, though that's not something I've heard of before. Another possibility, which I know happens with the knees, is that you can get degeneration in the cartilage, and it's possible that the same is happening in your elbows. This would make them susceptible to becoming inflamed when they're loaded heavily, and that would certainly explain why it gets worse and worse. Thinking about it, I suspect this to be the most likely scenario for you.

HOwever, as I said, it's probably best to see a biokineticist about it. I'm not sure if you have access to sports physicians, but that would be the best, I only say biokineticists because they're generally easier to find, and I don't know whether you can get to a sports doctor.

Good luck

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