Pain around elbow for about 5 months now

by Ali
(los angeles)

Hey Joshua, I've been having pain around both my elbows for about 5 months now. I'm a 20 year old guy. It all started rite after new years I wanted to get back in good shape as my new years resolution and in the first week of lifting weights I felt an extreme pain in my elbows when I was doing tricep extension.

I had just finished working out my chest doing bench press, incline and decline too. After i started doing tricep extension and when I was done, I felt like a shocking pain. I read your page and knew it was tendonitis.

The pain is towards mostly my inner elbow like where the funny bone is, and a little towards my outer elbow, but it just feels like its all over my elbow. also alot above the elbow where the tricep and elbow connect.

after the pain started I ignored it thinking it would go away, but didnt work out my tricep or benchpress because it would hurt, basically anything that would put too much pressure on my elbow.

so i went to the doctor and all he told me was to rest it, its only stressed muscle..nothing else. so looking at him like hes crazy I listened because i didnt know what to do. so after that I just started to do mostly cardio workouts such as the treadmill and jogging.

So its been 5 months now since i've actually lifted weights or even had any kind of workout. and the pain is still there when i try to do any kind of excercise but no pain when i just relax all day.

I cant even do a few pushups now because it hurts my elbows and before i used to be able to
do like 50 pushups and 4 sets of them. same thing with pullups. ive read all other peoples problem but nothing really matched what I had.

I've also tried icing it here and there but still hurts a bit when i try to work it out. It just feels really weak.

So Joshua please I need to find a way to get back in shape and start doing my workouts without this annoying pain, especially because I really want to start boxing which is one of my favorite sports instead of just sitting here helplessly.


Joshua Comments:

Hi Ali.

Well, if you want to get into boxing and deal with this Tendonitis dynamic, you're going to have to go after a fix with more determination and frequency than 'here and there.'

See: What Is Tendonitis?


1. what are you actually doing to get this better, other than rest and occasional icing?

2. Are you (your joints) hypermobile at all? Can you touch your thumb to your wrist? When you straighten your arm, does your elbow joint go past a straight line?

3. When you say 'icing here and there', what exactly does that mean?

4. What does an overall day of eating look like for you, specifically?

5. Do you have any other Tennis Elbow Symptoms and/or Wrist Tendonitis Symptoms?

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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Jun 15, 2011
hey Joshua
by: Ali

1. Other than rest and occasional icing I do some warmup exercises and stretching for my arms such as light hammer curls, use 5 pound dumbells to do light workout for my forearms by rotating it 360, tricep and bicep stretches, also use handgrippers. and i have no pain when i do those excercises, but when i do the forearm rotations i can feel my elbow like cracking a bit without pain too. I do those about 2-3 times a week. so basically light exercises just to keep my elbow somewhat active.

2. No my joints arent hypermobile, I cant do any of those things. elbow stays straight.

3. I usually ice my elbows only when i get pain but i havent iced them for over 2 weeks now because they havent been hurting because i stopped really exercing them.

4. I actually eat pretty healthy such as 3 eggs, a salad, yogurt, sometimes a can of tuna and a banana for breakfast..for lunch is usually chicken or beef with vegetables, sometimes with different types of night time is usually lots of fruits nd vegetables like apples, bannanas, 2 handfulls of almonds, a few cups of milk, i also eat about 1/2 a cup of honey through out the day...pretty much it, thats how i eat all the time doesnt really change much.

5. I checked them out and didnt really have anything in forearms are just fine, pain nd clicking noise just comes from rite behind the elbow where the tricep tendon connects and the little bone next to the elbow like where the funny bone is and a bit on the outside of the elbow.


Joshua Comments:

Hi Ali.

1. I bet that if you were in my office and I pressed on a couple of the muscle structure at the upper end of your forearm (on the palm side), it would be super easy to find VERY tight and tender spots. Dig in there and tell me what you feel.

2. Looks like you're light on protein and REALLY light on good fat.

3. That's a lot of honey. Not necessarily bad as your diet looks overall healthy. Just out of curiousity, how do you work a half a cup of honey in? Tea?

I could talk diet, but as far as elbow pain check out the Pronator Teres.

Sep 09, 2012
Same problem
by: Timmy S

I'm nineteen and I've had the same problem for about a year now. It started last year, i took a really long break and started again a few months ago. The pain came back. Whenever I do tricep extensions with heavier weights, something in my right elbow feels like it is popping out. Basically, when I bend my arm back to do the exercise and pull my arm back, something pops out and pops back in within one second. It's continuous popping. The most I can tell to pinpoint the location (I haven't taken anatomy in 7 years)is to extend your arms, palms facing the ceiling, in between two bones that I think are the very top left of the ulna and the humerus.


Joshua Comments:

Well, it's likely one of two things (or a combination thereof).

1. You have a loose elbow joint.

2. Your muscles are too tight and compressing the joint and therefore, when doing that action, the joint can't go through it's appropriate range of motion so it has to move around/get pulled out of it's usual groove.

Which of those two do you think it is?

Sep 10, 2012
Same problem
by: Timmy S

If it's either of the two, I think it's more of the second problem (because if it was the first one, I'd have this pain every time I lifted anything heavy in this motion right?) So what's the solution for it being either of these two?


Joshua Comments:

If it's the former the best you can do is strengthen the musculature to to the job that the ligaments aren't doing.

If it's the latter, you have to open up the too tight muscles and connective tissue. Long story short, then things will work better.

Said another way, when muscles and connective tissue are too tight, bad things start to happen: less strength, less stamina, joints get compressed (thus the popping), inflammation, increased nutritional depletion.

Jan 22, 2013
Same elbow pain
by: Joseph Jorge

Hi Joshua,

I dunno if i am experiencing the same situation as the others.. i started lifting about a month ago pure dumbbells only.. after reading on the net about how to make your arms bigger, i started doing pushups, at the beginning it was ok but after a few days of doing it i finally started to feel the pain on my right elbow, sometimes i hear cracking sound and it hurts the more i do pushups..sometimes if i twist to the left it hurts but if i twist to the right i cant fell any pain..

im worried and i dont know what will happen if i continue again.. appreciate your help too.. im 29 from philippines


Joshua Comments:

Hi Joseph.

It sounds to me like you'd better get to work making that arm structure more optimal (less tightness, less inflammation, etc).

It's highly predictable that these elbow tendonitis symptoms will continue and increase in severity if you don't.

Time off and rest may help, but were it me I wouldn't rely on that.

Jun 15, 2014
Elbow tendonitis-- can't tolerate ice; nothing helps
by: LM

I started experiencing at first bothersome aches that turned into alot of pain on the outer section of my elbow( sort of where the bony part is) it burns all the way down towards my hand.

I work at a factory which requires repetitive motion but I've been on medical leave for 3 weeks to rest it-- didn't help at all. I tried cortisone shots-nothing, tried physical therapy, taping, ect and its only getting worse.

It is to the point lifting a glass is very painful and I can't tell you how much it hurts to spray a can of hairspray or anything trigger type. Cannot tolerate ice!! It burns all the way down my arm and up in my shoulder and causes my hand to draw up.

I finally had an MRI yesterday and praying it will get to the bottom of this. I bought some calciumagnesium zinc. How do you recommend taking these and dosage? They are 40g magnesium, 1000 mg calcium and 25 mg zinc.

Any help or suggestions I'd appreciate. It's hard to sleep as I'm in constant pain.


Joshua Comments:

Hi LisaMarie.

Yeah....shots and such generally just don't help. And they're in no way capable of a 'fix'.

1. "How do you recommend taking these and dosage?"

See Magnesium For Tendonitis

See: Magnesium Dosage

2. Have you always reacted poorly to ice? If not, that reactivity can be nutritional insufficiency related.

For instance, see: Inflammation Causes Vitamin B6 Deficiency

Jun 16, 2014
MRI came back shows tendon tear and tendon rupture
by: Lisa marie

Ok MRI came back and showed tendinitis, a 5mm tear and a ruptures tendon. I am now scheduled to see a orthopedic surgeon to try and repair the damage.

Should I still take the magnesium or since we know the damage would it do any good??


Joshua Comments:

1. Reread the Magnesium For Tendonitis page. Yes Magnesium will help. It's not a cure for a ruptured tendon, of course, but it helps the whole body work better.

2. Do you have a tear -and- a ruptured tendon?

Tell me more.

Jun 17, 2014
Update from Lisa re: MRI came back shows tendon tear and tendon rupture
by: Lisa

From what the doctor said I have a 5mm tear on the outer of my forearm (epicondile) something like that and I have tendinosis but he also told me my tendon was ruptured and sending me to a arm and hand surgeon.

I read the diagnostic report from MRI and I didn't see the word rupture just the tear and the tendonitus. It's been about 3 months I think and pain is pretty bad as far as trying to do anything with my right hand or moving it to any extent.

It's gotten worse over time for sure.

Meeting with surgeon Monday to see what they are going to try and do to repair it. Praying I get full use back ; been off work long enough.


Joshua Comments:

Thanks Lisa.

Let me know what the surgeon says. Perhaps your doctor was interchanging 'tear' and 'rupture'. Rupture usually means a total tear, but doesn't have to mean that.

.5mm tear is not insignificant, so that makes sense why there's signficant pain lasting a long time.

Let me know what the surgeon says Monday, and we'll go from there.

Aug 19, 2014
Guitar Player with popping and cracking sounds
by: Will

I play guitar and when I do I feel pain in my elbow, somewhat in the forearm at times as well as my hand.

The main popping and cracking in my elbow happens when I extend it and when I rotate it over.

What would you suggest?



Joshua Comments:

Hi Will.

I suggest doing some mechanicing on your arm (and system) before the current annoying symptoms eventually turn into problems.

'Popping' comes from muscle and connective tissue tightness. That tissue pulls on tendons that cross joints, thus compressing the joint(s).

So when you move, the one bone has to 'jump' to get through it's range of motion. That's what makes the popping sound/feel.

Pain comes from a variety of directions (tightness, inflammation, nutritional insufficiency).

This page explains in detail what causes the different symptoms: Wrist Tendonitis Symptoms

So, you have to soften things up, yes?

And you have to makes sure your body has the basic building blocks it needs to function optimally.

You definitely want to understand the Pain Causing Dynamic

See: Magnesium For Tendonitis

And of course, you know I'm going to suggest the complete plan: The Reversing Guitar Tendonitis ebook

The same actions that get rid of tendonitis issues are the same actions that prevent it and/or keep it at bay. Might as well get to work now and make sure it never gets bad so you can continue to play as much as you want as long as you want.

Apr 01, 2015
Elbow/Tricep Pain
by: Nicholas

Hello Joshua,

Here's my issue:

23 years old. Very Active after work hours. Work in a cubicle for 8 hours a day. Healthy diet. Consistently working out for about 4-5 years. April 2014, tore my left Labrum in shoulder, then Had Arthroscopic surgery.

Did PT for months. Felt pretty good for a while, but for several months my left Tricep, connecting to my elbow, in the Lateral head, has been bothering me. It constantly feels tight. It has a dull aching pain throughout the day.

I constantly stretch, take Fish oil and Glucosamine, and ice twice a day for about 15 minutes each time. I also use my foam roller on the tricep and forearm. No relief. When I palpate the area, my forearms have several trigger points, as well as the tricep.

What could it be?




Joshua Comments:>

Hi Nicholas.

Well, as a general response, all the forces that were at play (or not at play, as the case may be) that resulted in the labrum tear have still been in place and doing their thing.

Surgery stirred things around a little bit, but the process keeps processing (more tightness, more chronic inflammation, nutritional lack).

'Healthy diet' is relative. I'm a big fan of therapeutic supplementation.

See the Magnesium For Tendonitis link in this thread. That's likely an important (and missing) piece.

Sep 28, 2015
elbow popping everytime while tricep extension
by: Anonymous

Hi joshua-

I have been reading all the comments on this blog.
I have been doing gym for 6-7 months. When I do triceps pull down, everytime the sound of popping comes up in my elbow when my left hand faces downwards and causes little pain.

Even when I try to rotate my wrist popping/ cracking sounds comes up in my left elbow.
The problem started when I was doing skull crushers(heavy).

I rested for a while too. But now when I do tricep pull down without even using any weights, sound of pop/crack arises.

So please suggest what I can do

PS- I can do other triceps exercises without any sound in my elbow.


Joshua Comments:

1. Do you have loose ligaments/joints?

(Can you touch your thumb to your forearm? When you straighten your arm does it go past 180 degrees?)

2. In general, you're going to have to open up the tight line(s) of tissue in the upper arm that are connecting to the lower arm and compressing the joint (and/or vice versa).

Sep 29, 2015
Re: elbow popping
by: Anonymous

Thanks for commenting. Really appreciate it.

Yes I can touch my thumb to my forearm. And my arm does not go beyond 180 degree.

Can you please elaborate more in detail that how can I prevent this?

Is this a serious issue? And should I stop gong to gym?

Your reply will be appreciated.


Joshua Comments:

If you can touch your thumb to forearm, then you're higher up on the ligament mobility range, meaning there's a certain amount of laxity in your/some of your ligaments/joints.

So the popping is either because of or partly because of tightness pulling unevenly on a joint (elbow), and/or some amount of laxity such that it's easier for the joint to move around/pop.

Sep 30, 2015
Re: popping in elbow
by: Anonymous

Can you suggest me any solutions please.


Joshua Comments:

1. Read this entire thread.

2. Follow the links on this thread and read those pages.

3. Come back with any questions you may then have.

Dec 26, 2015
17 years 1 year elbow pain help
by: Anonymous


I've had an elbow injury for about a year now.

In both my arms whenever I do bicep curls (even without weight), something on the inside of my elbow cracks, not hard but it ticks/cracks.

Also, my whole elbow cracks and pops when overextending. My right (bicep?) really hurts and cracks when I try to squeeze my bicep hard. When ever I get a pump in my biceps/triceps/forearms, there is no pain but that doesn't help.

I've tried to train my biceps light, not train for months, train only forearms, train only outer head triceps, only train whole triceps and nothing works.

Please any suggestions would be appreciated.


Joshua Comments:

See the following thread:

Help Identifying Inner Elbow Pain Can't Straighten Arm

May 15, 2016
Pain in elbow for several months
by: David

Hello Joshua,

At work I had an accident when lifting a very heavy man off of the floor with probably bad form because I was full of adrenaline (I'm a paramedic).

At first I didn't feel much but after an hour it started to hurt so I iced it. The next day I was unable to bend my arm and had a lot of pain in my elbow.

I took some NSAID for about 2 weeks and it helped, stopped working out for 1 month as well. I gently began working out again and 2 months later I was able to do my regular sets of 100 lb dumbbell bench presses again without any pain.

Despite that I am unable to do skull crushers or any overhead tricep isolation exercises as it causes excruciating pain so that I can basically not lift against any resistance large than about 10 lbs.

The pain is right in the back of my elbow behind the tip of the olecranon. I have recently developed pain on the outside of the elbow with every pushing motion and slight pain with curling motions as well, but this feels more like a muscular problem and I'm going to take a week off and see if that fixes it.

Would appreciate some advice on how I can get my tendons in my elbow to heal faster. This problem with the pain during skull crushers has persisted for over 4 months now and apart from the acute phase it has not improved.

Thank you very much,
David (btw I'm 20)


Joshua Comments:

Hi David.

Rest won't fix anything.

I imagine that you either have a Bone Bruise, a joint bruise, really, where the lift compressed the elbow joint and bruised/irritated the joint lining, or one or more muscles worked REALLY hard, and is stuck tight.

Being stuck in firing mode, it is fatigued, fatigues very easily, and is constantly putting tension on the tendon, the attachment to connective tissue and bone, etc.

Which of those two do you think it is?

Or both?

Jun 16, 2017
Same exact Tip of Elbow Pain
by: Kevin

Hi Joshua,

I have the exact same pain in my elbow after getting back into weightlifting in January of this year.

Over a couple workouts of chest, shoulders, back, and triceps my right elbow became very painful during extension and heavy pressing exercises. I stopped lifting then.

5 months later, after zero working out, the pain is still there.

I don't have hyper mobile joints, I take fish oil and eat plenty of other healthy fats. It hurts to do pushups, pull-ups, and when flexing my bicep with my arm at 90 degrees in the exact same spot (the tip of the elbow, a few millimeters behind my olecranon. What can I do? Is this tendonitis? My job requires a high level of physical fitness and this is making that very difficult.

Thank you!


Joshua Comments:

Hi Kevin.

It's probably the tendonitis -dynamic-, meaning a combination of (progressive) muscle and connective tissue tightness, inflammation process, and nutritional insufficiency.

Long story short, you use your muscles, over time they get tight(er) and stay tight.

Then they can't work correctly.

All in all, that equals pain.

As mentioned elsewhere in this thread, rest isn't going to help, whether it's 5 months or 50.

Is the pain more on the front of your arm (bicep side) or back of your arm (tricep side)?

Aug 02, 2017
by: Anonymous

Hi Joshua,

Ive been doing all what you recommended (high protein intake and vitamins).

At start both elbows were in pain but after 2 weeks of doing so its only my left one now, i didnt have any kind of accident, most likely bad gym form thing is, i can do bicep curls or tri with no problems but when it comes to shoulder press my elbow cracks on first 10 to 15 reps (no weight) then its fine, but theres a slight pain in my elbow whenever i do any excercise dependent on elbows (butterfly, back lats ) or when im simply holding phone, im planning to go see a doctor later this week but i would like to have your opinion first if it isnt too much of a bother, thank you.


Joshua Comments:

Wow that was a long sentence!

Are you following the plan from one of the programs, or from info found on this website?

May 27, 2018
Mild Ongoing Elbow Pain
by: Anonymous

I have a similar issue, I received a sudden onset of the elbow pain about 6-7 months ago from a combination of work (checkout person) and as a rock climber. After receiving the injury I rested it, took a couple of anti-inflammatories in the early period. I then proceeded to try and back into exercising, I found climbing gave NO pain, but pull ups and some what push ups gave pain.

I have tried time off work, I am healthy with my diet, I have tried a number of stretches and exercises, none of which have worked. I have tried foam rolling and soft tissue release. Nothing has worked, I went to the physio recently and it is so mind they didn't even suggest exercises, but it hasn't gone away in 6 MONTHS!!! I can't get back into the full swing of things until this is sorted. Thanks for any advice!


Joshua Comments:

Hi Anonymous.

There's tons of advise here. Read this entire thread, follow the links and read those pages. Come back here with any specific questions.

Sep 12, 2018
elbow pain
by: joy


i have pain in my inner elbow of my right hand since 2 months now. i used to work out. since i had pain i couldnt lift any weight and i stopped working out since it hurts even when i lift a light weight. i used to apply heat for 5 min every day to get relief.

i want to ask what may be the reason behind this.

can i start working with this pain using light weight.

do u have any solutions


Joshua Comments:

Hi Joy.

The reason behind that scenario is the tendonitis dynamic. See the 'what is tendonitis' link you'll find in this thread.

If you can work out with light weight and not have symptoms get much worse, then yes.

I do have solutions. See: The Tennis Elbow Treatment That Works program.

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