Tricep Tendonitus in both arms, best way to ice

by Anthony
(New York)


I have Tricep Tendonitis is both arms (too many overhead extentions in the past I think).

The pain presents itself in the back of the elbow.

Which one of your icing techniques do you suggest for this? The ice attack or the ice massage?

Thanks so much.


Joshua Answers:

Sounds like you have it identified, so I'm not going to ask any questions.

The good thing about Triceps Tendonitis is that it's about as simple as it gets, problem-wise. Nothing tricky about it.

In general, I suggest both the ice dipping 'attack', and the ice massage.

Only problem with dipping is, unless you have a huge sink, it's tough to get too much above the elbow. Ideally, you would want to dip the entire arm up to the shoulder....

Still, it can only do good things for the health of your arm to ice dip as described, and get the water to cover as high up the arm as possible.

If I had to pick between the two, I would pick like this...I would ice dip like crazy for a few days. Then lighten up the frequency and start adding Ice Massage. Then focus on Ice Massage and dig in there.

That's not really picking between the two, obviously, but you see what I'm getting at, yes?

Superficial (depth)
inflammation out with ice dipping, then go deeper with massage.

There is no perfect way. If you just want to ice massage, go for it, and cover as much area as possible.

Also, I'm starting to like frozen water bottles over ice for some things. (no melting and dripping)

So how about try this. Freeze a big or small bottle of water. Put it on a table. Put your triceps on the ice bottle, and basically roll the bottle the length of the arm, and back.

This will take some experimentation to get smooth with, but not only do you get the benefits of icing, but you get the benefits of massage too.

Tendonitis treatment requires both for the best results.

The downside is, you can't do both sides at once to save time.

So that was kind of a longer answer, but there you have it.

Ask more questions, get more answers.

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

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Comments for Tricep Tendonitus in both arms, best way to ice

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Aug 04, 2009
PART 2 - Tricep Tendonitus in both arms, best way to ice
by: Anthony

Thanks for the answer, far more detailed than I expected. I also learned something from your answer, it looks like I need to treat as much of the muscle (entire tricep) as possible and not just the area of pain.

I feel better already because at least I have some hope and I have been dealing with this for years and taking time off has not helped at all.

Thanks so much


Joshua Comments:

You're welcome.

And yes, exactly. Treat the whole thing.

Rest will never ever -heal- tendonitis.

Rest does not reverse the Pain Causing Dynamic.

Heavy lifting strains the tendon structure. But it also makes muscle tighter. Then muscle stays tighter. Ongoingly as one works out over time.

Too tight muscles puts a constant tension and pull on it's tendons.

Unhappy tendon does not like constant strain.

Sometimes, just getting the muscle it relax is all one needs to make pain go away, or at least give the ecology of the structure a change to get happy again.

Dec 20, 2011
Tricep tendinitis in right tricep for 8 months
by: Rob

Have had tendinitis in my right tricep for about 8 months now pain is never really that bad just annoying and flares up when I workout. It causes pain right above the elbow.

Was wondering what you would suggest I do to heal this for good. Was thinking about purchasing an Ultrasound Pain Therapy System.

Your opinion would be greatly appreciated.


Joshua Comments:

He Rob.

I'm not particularly against ultrasound therapy, I've just never spoken with anyone that said that it helped them. Doesn't mean it doesn't help, of course...

What have you done for self care for the nagging pain in your tricep so far?

Apr 08, 2013
Triceps tendonitis
by: BL

First of all thank you for your great advice. I'm only 20 but I've had triceps tendonitis for a year now and it seems to be getting better since I started implementing your tips. I actually figured out the rolling ice bottle thing before reading this because it felt like it might relieve tension, but I didn't know how deep to dip my arm, so this article has been quite helpful.

Anyways, I'd like to ask a question about exercise. Now, the tendonitis doesn't usually bother me except the day after a workout. During the workout it feels great, almost normal, and I don't have any pain after it or during the day after.

The problem comes when I try to work out again (usually just pushups or pullups) it hurts and I can tell that it is tender. Do you think I might have overdone it and I should hold back (even though it feels normal during the workout), or do you think that it helps the tendons to strengthen as long as the pain goes away in three days?

Thank you for your work.


Joshua Comments:

Hi Bl. You're welcome!

1. Tendons don't need strengthening. They're already plenty strong.

2. Tendons need less constant tension on them.

3. You feel better when working out because blood is flowing, old stuff out, new stuff in. Then you sleep at night etc, and pain enhancing chemical fills the area again, and you feel pain.

4. Ice dipping helps that, old stuff out, new stuff in. Ice massage helps, same thing plus adding mobility to less mobile tissue.

5. Have you seen the Magnesium For Tendonitis page?

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