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  1. #1
    NewGrayMare's Avatar
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    Tendinitis inhibiting push ups

    Primal Fuel
    Back in high school, I could do push ups like it was nobodies business. It irked the jocks to no end that I could do more than them and I was just an underweight bookworm. I've always been able to quickly adapt to physical challenges. When we started doing the Presidential Fitness program, I could do five push ups. By the end of the month, I could crank out 70 without a problem.

    I've done this before and I know I can do it again! However, some overuse of my joints (not THAT kind of joint!) in college gifted me with the lifelong injury of tendinitis. It's in my right elbow and wrist. Massages have helped and most of the time my rm feels quite normal during regular use. Now that I'm trying to get in shape, I'm finding that the tendinitis is keeping me from doing proper push ups! Doing even one push up makes the elbow throb and I can tell that I am very close to overworking the triceps tendon. Considering a flare up will either cost two weeks of not using the arm or a $100 massage, I don't want to push it. Money is too tight right now to spend on a massage, even if it's very badly needed.

    What would you suggest I do to help re-build the strength in my arms without causing extreme pain? I'd really appreciate any help you can give!

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    eKatherine's Avatar
    eKatherine is offline Senior Member
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    I suggest you take lots of time off using that arm. Really. Let it go for now.

  3. #3
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    Tendonitis sucks. A low inflammatory diet (such as Primal) is a great start, but you will likely need some professional instruction on remedying the muscular or articular imbalances (probably from your college years) that predispose you to a flair up. My chiropractor uses ultrasound therapy that really speeds up the healing process during a flare up and we work on the AC joint (old seperation injury) and scapular glide. I also do some specific rotator exercises. I would suggest that route for you (obviously with regard to the elbow and wrist instead). Some mechanisms can be fixed completely, but some could be permanent damage if it was a severe enough initial trauma or been present for quite a long time. How you approach it will depend on which one yours is. Mine have some permanent damage so I have to handle the flares if they happen and do what I can to reduce the frequency of them and improve overall health. No easy answers here really. During a flare practice pain avoidance and stick to passive range of motion work.
    Last edited by Neckhammer; 03-01-2013 at 04:02 PM.

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    nouveau primal is offline Junior Member
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    I've had the same issues.
    Shoulders, wrists....

    What I figured out is that it is made worse by TMTS (too much too soon)
    I used the 100 Pushups iPhone App.
    Made sure I was doing PERFECT FORM Pushups (the ones you force out with bad form and especially just before failure are the most likely to cause injury).

    By building up a progressive workout, I was amazed at how many I could build up to.
    It was hurting me to do 10 and now 35 are doable without pain (just failure

    I'm afraid to go past that mark for a while at least.
    Instead of adding reps I change angles.
    Deep pushups against door frames, handstands, elevated feet, elevated hands, wide/narrow, fingers up or in etc...

  5. #5
    Coach Palfrey's Avatar
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    Agree that a more primal diet can certainly help with the inflammation. There is plenty that you can do to combat this but it probably needs some face-to-face time with a good physical therapist or coach. I'd be really interested in seeing a video of you doing some push ups too - any chance you can upload something?

  6. #6
    marthat's Avatar
    marthat is offline Senior Member
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    I had three months of tendinitis in my right wrist (de Quervain's tenosynovitis, to be exact) this past fall. It was an overuse injury. I tried physio, rest, ultrasound, splinting, massage, chiropractic - nothing worked much or for long. I couldn't exercise at all using my hands or wrists. For quite a while, even lifting a juice jug or full carafe of coffee required either my left hand or two hands for support.

    A neighbour/friend doctor gave me a cortisone shot into the tendon. Older guy who had spent decades doing everything in a rural practice, not the young whipper-snapper type physician who refers everybody to somebody else because they have no real hands-on skills. It hurt more for about 24 hours (the local effect of the cortisone), then started to heal. By a week later the pain was completely gone and within 2 weeks, I could start strengthening it again. About a month later, I spent hours on end on my hands and knees using pliers and a screwdriver to remove carpeting staples and nails from plywood underlay. The entire upstairs of my house. Pulling, twisting, wrenching, moving around on hands and knees - all would have been totally impossible with the tendinitis.

    It was a last resort for me. I'm really not into invasive interventions. But it was a total resounding success and I can recommend that you at least investigate it if you haven't yet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by marthat View Post
    It was a last resort for me. I'm really not into invasive interventions. But it was a total resounding success and I can recommend that you at least investigate it if you haven't yet.
    I'd say you did it the "right way" if you exhausted every other conceivable option first. The shot can actually delay the body's normal repair response so absolutely would be contraindicated in early stages. Not to mention animal studies have shown effects of weakening of tendons and softening of cartilage with cortisone injections. This is compounded with repeated use. Hey sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do though if everything else fails, but only IF everything else fails.
    Last edited by Neckhammer; 03-02-2013 at 07:22 AM.

  8. #8
    NewGrayMare's Avatar
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    Thanks for the suggestions! I'll certainly give it some rest. I have noticed that the Primal diet has been helping with the super cold hands and feet, my skin is clearing up, and I do believe I have less inflammation. It will probably just take some more time for my arm to heal completely. I'll also start saving up for another muscle release massage and make sure my arm is all healed up.

    Quote Originally Posted by Coach Palfrey View Post
    I'd be really interested in seeing a video of you doing some push ups too - any chance you can upload something?
    Will do! I'll try filming it tomorrow and getting it uploaded in the afternoon/evening. If it doesn't work out tomorrow, then I'll get it done Tuesday for sure.

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    NewGrayMare's Avatar
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    Got called in to work yesterday, so I couldn't make the video. But, I got it done today! Any tips given would be greatly appreciated and will be incorporated into my tiny little workouts right away.


  10. #10
    Coach Palfrey's Avatar
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    Thanks for taking the time to upload the video. Your technique is actually pretty good - hands are roughly where they should be and you aren't flaring the elbows too wide. Things to improve - you seem to relax your core during the reps, try to keep this as active as you can. It's tricky to see from the angle of the video but it looks like you might need to change the angle of your hands slightly (turn out) and allow your fingers to splay out a little. The way that your hands are 'bunching up' would suggest that your weight placement isn't quite right so this may help.

    You are also rocking backwards onto the heel of the hand fairly heavily - this might also be exacerbating the issue in the elbow. Try shifting the weight forwards in your hand slightly (splaying the fingers will also help here).

    Other than that, it may be a case of reducing the volume and/or substituting the exercise until you have developed some more strength there. Have you tried single reps throughout the day rather than during your specific workout time?

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