Loss of strength in left arm after heavy lifting

by Andersson Liriano
(Bronx, Ny)

Hi, I started going seriously to the Gym and eating healthy on Jan 2 of this year, after 4 weeks of training i decided to go real heavy for 4 weeks, working 2 muscles per day, chest and triceps Monday, legs and shoulders wed, and back and biceps Friday, on my 2nd week on Wednesday I did my shoulder and legs, and next day I felt an uncomfortable pain on the lower part of my neck and left shoulder blade, but it did not feel like a muscle but something more deep inside.

I kept doing my exercise for one more week thinking it might go away. But my left side of my triceps started twitching also my shoulder blade, my left pec and left lat were twitching now and then depending on my arm position, after resting a couple of days they started twitching less, also I don't feel that much pain but I lost all my strength and I could barely grab a 10 pound weight and do triceps or any workout using that arm, I can't even support myself or stand up using my left arm.

Another detail, I have full flexibility of my arm, I'm able to move it up, Down or to the sides without any pain, everything is normal except for not having any strength on that side of my body and I'm an above average strong guy.

What is your opinion?

Thanks for taking the time to read this.



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Joshua Answers:

Hi Andersson.

You're welcome, no problem. Thanks for

all the details.

Well, it certainly doesn't sound like Tendonitis.

See: What Is Tendonitis?

It does sound like you lifted heavy, and essentially tightened up a muscle so much that it pulled one of your cervical vertebrae out of whack. This can explain the twitching and then the loss of strength.

Also, twitching is a function of lack of Magnesium (for Tendonitis), and can also be a function of nerve impingement.

Having said that, give me more details, including update/progression.

1. Do you have loss of strength due to pain? Or just less strength?

2. Describe more -where- the pain/problem is. YOu said 'more deep inside'. (sounds like scalene muscle and where it refers pain to)

3. Was there any pain from the lifting, or was the lifting fine but next day the pain/problem kicked in?


You say more, then I'll say more.




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The Tendonitis Expert
www.TendonitisExpert.com











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Comments for Loss of strength in left arm after heavy lifting

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Sep 15, 2015
identical symptoms here. Any ideas?
by: Mike

Hi Josh,

I've got the exact same symptoms as this guy from the Bronx. You ever continue that conversation with him? To answer your followup questions:

1. Do you have loss of strength due to pain? Or just less strength? JUST LESS STRENGTH.

2. Describe more -where- the pain/problem is. YOu said 'more deep inside'. (sounds like scalene muscle and where it refers pain to) MINE IS 2 PLACES - BEHIND THE SHOULDER BLADE ESPECIALLY WHEN CROSSING MY ARM ACROSS MY BODY, AND DEEP WITHIN THE TRICEP ON THAT SIDE, ALMOST ALONG THE BONE. VERY BAD WHEN I LAY ON MY SIDE AT NIGHT.

3. Was there any pain from the lifting, or was the lifting fine but next day the pain/problem kicked in? KICKED IN THE NEXT DAY & HAS PERSISTED OVER A WEEK NOW.


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Joshua Comments:

Hi Mike.

I don't think he ever showed up again.

How are things now?

How's your head/neck flexibility.

Does anyting bad happen if you lift your arm towards the ceiling all the way? Any numbness occur? Able to point straight up into the air?

Any history of whiplash type injury (car crash, boxing, etc)?



Oct 05, 2015
Loss of strength in left arm after heavy lifting
by: Mike

Thanks Josh. No trouble pointing up, no limits on range of motion.

No history of whiplash. Likely brought on by tricep pulldowns.

Once or twice in the past, I've given myself a stiff neck after doing these. But 4 weeks later now, still have occasional deep pain in bicep, such as when resting on elbow in car or at desk.

Occasional tingling in fingers too. But twitching stopped. Sleeping is better, though some nights still get painful lying on that arm.

Interestingly, the pain usually disappears during my workouts, but then settles in later at rest.

Above all, biggest concern is loss of strength, esp in chest. Previously could do 50 pushups, now about 5-10 & that elbow always wants to go out to the side. Getting old sucks!


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Joshua Comments:

Well....I would expect issue when raising your arm.

But there's not.

So sorry this is a pain in the butt, but I need more details.

1. Describe in detail the experience of doing a push up and the elbow goes out.

2. Say more about 'loss of strength'.

3. Problem with push ups only? Or bench press also?

4. What fingers is the tingling in?

5. Say more about stiff neck after tricep pull downs (that points to too tight muscles in the neck, which points too too tight scalenes which would impinge nerve to the arm, but would also predict numbness etc when reaching up overhead...but doesn't -have- to).

6. The pain when resting elbow in car...is the pain from the point of contact (elbow on window sill), or pain from being in the rested position?



Oct 17, 2015
RE: Loss of strength in left arm after heavy lifting
by: Mike

1. Describe in detail the experience of doing a push up and the elbow goes out.

In a proper pushup, the elbows should be tucked towards the torso. My right elbow now pushes away from my torso, probably to compensate for the weakness.

2. Say more about 'loss of strength'.

Besides the pushups, when I do pullups now, my body is lopsided because the right side doesn't have as much strength anymore as the left. And I can only do 2 or 3 at a time, instead of 10-12. Same with tricep pulldowns - need to go lighter or compensate with bad form.

3. Problem with push ups only? Or bench press also?

Yes benches too. need to go lighter on the right, and after a few reps the right arm shakes and then gives out.

4. What fingers is the tingling in?

Thumb, index, middle, and top of palm under those fingers.

5. Say more about stiff neck after tricep pull downs (that points to too tight muscles in the neck, which points too too tight scalenes which would impinge nerve to the arm, but would also predict numbness etc when reaching up overhead...but doesn't -have- to).

Only happened a few times over the past few years, would hurt real bad when turning head to one side. but would usually clear up in 1-2 days. This time though, a more substantial, lingering injury.

6. The pain when resting elbow in car...is the pain from the point of contact (elbow on window sill), or pain from being in the rested position?

Not point of contact, but a deep pain along the length of bicep, tricep, and/or shoulder. Probably from the force of my weight shifting up my arm and pushing into my neck.

Obviously I'm hoping it's not a disc injury b/c I don't want to dish out $2000+ for an MRI with a high deduct ins plan. But you mentioned scalenes. Never heard of them, but after some research, my symptoms sound almost identical (except for the weakness). But would tight scalenes still persist after 6 weeks? Any treatments I can try?

For what it's worth, I recall another workout set I did that day - a very heavy load of single-arm rows using all plates on my cable machine (stupid). That could have been the one that messed things up...


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Joshua Comments:

Absolutely they can get/stay tight for 6 months, 6 years, 60 years.

Things get tight, they stay tight, and it goes downhill from there, as you've experienced.

Granted I'm biased, but I recommend the "http://www.tendonitisexpert.com/reversing-whiplash-tendonitis.html">Reversing Whiplash Tendonitis
Whether you have had a 'whiplash' event is irrelevant, it's all about reversing the dynamic of chronic tightness of muscle and connective tissue, chronic inflammation, and chronic nutritional insufficiency.

Even if there is some dic bulge or equivalent, the bulge isn't the problem, the problem is the compression.

All that tightness compresses, and that causes problems. If you don't remove the tightness....

Your description of weakness does strike me as a nerve compression thing, but it doesn't have to be....sounds like things are super tight, and that can cause all sorts of things to not work right.

So I wouldn't worry about disc issue (though I'd set your mind to fixing the causes of the symptoms so you won't have to deal with a for sure disc issue down the road...[you think it sucks now....you definitely want to avoid a full blown acute bulging/ruptured disc dynamic]).

Point being, focus on opening up the too tight dynamic that is causing compression and problem. The Reversing Whiplash program shows you how, and I can answer a few questions along the way to make sure you're targeting things correctly.




Oct 20, 2015
RE: Loss of strength in left arm after heavy lifting
by: Mike

Thanks Josh, what you're saying makes sense. I'll give it a few more weeks & hope for the best, but will check out your book too in the meantime. Again thanks a lot for your time, I really appreciate it!

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