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Sharp pain in elbow joint...advice?

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  1. #1
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    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    Sharp pain in elbow joint...advice?

    I have a naturally thin skeletal frame and when I lift very heavy for long periods of time, sometimes my elbows really begin to experience pain. There are some exercises I just cannot do because of the pain such as skullcrushers.

    The pain feels like the cartilage on my elbow -- the elbow cap if that's what its called -- is very bruised. Just applying pressure there results in extreme pain. When I start preacher curls I have to start light just to get past the pain so I can curl heavy, because all the weight rolls over that cartilage. It's not so much a soreness but a feeling like I slammed by elbow on concrete several times.

    Today I was doing hack squats and just pulling the release bar sometimes triggered a feeling like someone was jabbing a small needle into my elbow, and there wasn't even any stress on the joint. The sharp pain from nowhere is something new.

    If I stop lifting for about 10 days my elbows can heal, but after another couple weeks of lifting heavy they hurt again. So there's no way around this problem if I want to keep my gains, so basically I've been gritting my teeth and ignoring the pain.

    Now I read in Arnold's book that there's a type of joint injurt where the ligaments/tendons actually pull off tiny fragments of bone and that can supposedly cause such pain. Has anyone else experienced this and any suggestions on what to do about it without halting lifting? I have an extremely efficient metabolism and even a week off from the gym will cause me to start losing gains.

  2. #2
    Rocco32's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Hagerstown, MD
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    There are two things that could be happening here.

    1- Most likely it's tendonitis
    2- What you read in Arnolds book. It's kinda like Shin splints for the arm.

    What you need to do is improve your w/o's in terms of how often and how much rest you give yourself, how heavy you go and the exercises you choose to do.

    As far as your metabolism, that's got nothing to do with your amount of time in the gym, your gains will be retained from eating not spending more time in the gym.

    Myself and a few people here do have similar problems and I believe it can be taken care of through training around it

    For now, lay off the weights for 2 weeks and ice your elbows.
    I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain...

  3. #3
    Registered User

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    Feb 2005
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    Well what I meant about my metabolism is that I'm naturally a skinny guy and without my body having a reason to maintain the lean mass I have now, it will quickly shed itself of the extra calorie-consuming weight. If I allowed it and completely stopped working out and kept my diet the same, in about 4 months I'd shed 30 lbs off my 165 lb body. My body seems to naturally wish to stay at that weight...for prehistoric man, I can understand why since the body strives for efficiency and excess energy requirements are detrimental to one's survival in nature.

    So if I remove the stimulation that tells my body to retain the muscle mass, it WILL shed it. I know this from several times experiencing it over 10 years as I tried to incorporate recuperative periods of rest in my schedule. Anything longer than 10 days of inactivity and I can lose as much as 10% of my strength in a typical muscle group, along with noticeable lean mass loss.

    I think I may have to consider light training days. Perhaps an elbow wrap for support would help.

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