Elbow pain in multiple areas

by Jake
(Dover, DE, USA)

I am a very active high school athlete. I play soccer and lacrosse and have recently started lifting weights.

I have only been lifting for about a year, and have noticed some elbow pain over the past several months.

I enjoy lifting and this pain stopped me from lifting for awhile. I'm not entirely sure when this pain started, though I think it was around January of 2016 or December of 2015. The pain isn't too bad, but enough to make me stop lifting in attempts to let it heal.

I am left handed and have noticed pain in two areas on my left arm and one on my right. On my left arm the pain is on the outside of my arm slightly above the medial epicondyal.

The other area is on the inside of my arm, directly on the antecubital space. This one has only recently started around July or August. On my right arm the location is the same as the outside of the left arm, though this pain is very minor, but I'm afraid it will get worse.

After noticing the pain worsen around May, I decided to take the summer off of lifting. I didn't wast to do this, but I really wanted my elbow to heal.

The pain did decrease after 3 or 4 months of rest over the summer, but it has not fully healed. I started lifting again in September, and now it has started to come back. The pain happens in several different exercises and everyday life.

The most pain comes from skull crushers, and after doing that once, I immediately stopped. However the pain started to happen while benching, and also dumbbell presses.

When I go down past 90 degrees and try to go back up is when it starts on both exercises. Also, if I flex my arm, I get the pain on the back of my elbow when my arm is at 90 degrees or less until my hand gets as close to my shoulder as possible.

I have tried icing 2 to 3 times a day for a straight 2 weeks, and also taken anti inflammatories like ibuprofen. I read around thinking about possible things it may be, and somewhere said it may be an entrapped nerve. I tried 4 or 5 different Ulnar Nerve flosses for 3 sets of 10 3 times a day for about a week and a half, but that didn't work either.

I have had a little success lately, and that is rolling the back of my arm with a golf ball. I would fully extend my arm and roll around where it hurt. And it hurt pretty bad just above the elbow. I did this a few times a day and started 4 or 5 days ago.

There is little to no pain anymore when rolling it, but there is still pain when I try the exercises listed above. The pain on the outside of my elbow also affects must weight lifting, but the only thing I have tried to fix it is doing a stretch to help it.

It is usually he worst when I wake up in the morning (probably the way I sleep makes it worse) and also after finishing a set of an exercise like the dumbbell press. The stretch I did was something like if you were to extend your arm out in front of you with you're palm down, and then bending your wrist down as if you were trying to make your fingers touch the underside of your wrist. Then you keep this position and drop your arm to your side and
rotate your wrist to the left and right. That was the only way to get a stretch for me.

Another weird thing is that my right elbow pops when I do push ups, but I don't know if this has anything to do with it.

Sorry this is really long, but I have tried a bunch of things that haven't worked, and I need to know what this may be and how to fix it.



Joshua Answers:

Hi Jake.

Thanks for all the details. That's very helpful.

1. Anytime a teenage has physical complaints like yours (multiple areas of soft tissue pain/problem), the first place to look at is nutrition.

Meaning, nutritional lack.

The body can't work right if it doesn't have what it needs to work.

In the US, we think we're nutritionally sufficient because there's so much food around us, but such is not the case.

Most of what one finds at regular grocery stores is not only nutrition-less (not much nutrition in it) but also actively nutritionally depleting (sugar, processed foods).

And we don't get enough sunshine for vitamin d, and there just isn't any in foods (and not much more in vit d fortified foods), and you aren't getting ANY Vit D from sunshine between minimally October through April.

Plentiful calories in no way equate to plentiful nutrition.

I bet you a dollar your vitamin d levels are low, if not deficient.

Get a vitamin D level test, just so you know what your actual level is.

2. It sounds like you have some issue with your Triceps/back of the upper arm.

Which also means there's a lack of function there, and an expanding lack of function to other structures.

When muscles (and connective tissue) get too tight, they don't work well. When they don't work well, bad things happen.

That's what Tendonitis is...a progressive decrease in function.

Really, tendonitis is three main factors working together to cause pain and problem:

- too tight muscle and connective tissue
- inflammation
- lack of nutrition.

See: What Is Tendonitis?

Hey, notice that 'lack of nutrition' thing....

And...the body can't get better until the lack is taken care of.

Maybe you'll need to do additional physical self care after nutrition, but it may be that getting enough of what your body needs will allow it to work right and pain will go away and function will return.

There's only one way to find out.

What's for sure is that no amount of Rest is going to fix it.

Anti-inflammatory meds like Ibuprofen also don't work. They can help to get you through the day, but in no way are they part of a fix.

I recommend you get my Tennis Elbow Treatment That Works program and work with that.

Which includes either getting the recommended nutrition through the program online, or use it as an example of what to get locally.

The program covers the nutrition, how to lower pain levels (even if you keep using ice packs), and self care work on the forearms and triceps.

All in all, you'll learn a skill you can apply anywhere for any soft tissue pain/problem.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Please reply using the comment link below. Do not submit a new submission to answer/reply, it's too hard for me to find where it's supposed to go.

And, comments have a 3,000 character limit so you may have to comment twice.

Joshua Tucker, B.A., C.M.T.
The Tendonitis Expert

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