Exercising while injured

Discussion in 'General Training' started by imported_firefighter2032, Jan 9, 2005.

  1. Ok, so here's my story, I've had 2 cortisone shots in my right elbow for medial epicondylitis (golfers elbow). Problem is now that the pain has returned but not as severe. I went to my doctor and told him I really did not want to get that third shot since three was the max. He agreed and I am going to see an Ortho surgeon to see what we can do short of a shot and surgery.

    Through 2 cycles of HST I've made some great gains, but I've also put on some fat. I haven't really done any cardio during my cycles so I have no one to blame but myself. So I figure since I'm down and get hit the weights, I might as well do some cardio, so I'm going to do the HIIT cardio. While I'm at it I know I can do abs and not affect my arm. I also want to do pushups, but I'm worried about my arm. Though push-ups don't do much of anything for forearms I'm still concerned because by laying your hand blat on the floor it is stretching the muscle and tendon that is effected by the golfer's elbow. So my solution as I see is to do knuckle pushups. Anyone have any thoughts on this or do you think good ole fashion pushups would be ok? Also does anyone have any other ideas for exercises I can do, (besides legs, I got that covered).
    I really do not want to lose all that I have obtained especially in the strength department.

    Also, for anyone suffering from this same injury, I had been doing lat pulldowns with a bar that has my hands to face each other, but once I was at my 5rm I decided to switch over to wide grip pull-ups. With the bar I was using wrist straps with hooks on them to help take the pressure off of my forearm. Well what I found was that when you do a standard pull up it activates that very muscle that I injured where as when your hands are facing each other that muscle is not as contracted. So my advise, use some hook straps and stay away from the standard pull up (even though I love doing them).

    So hopefully by the time I go to see the "specialist" the swelling in my arm will have gone down and I can do some rehab instead of something more invasive.

    One last note, after the second shot that I received I asked my Dr. for some physical therapy on my arm, he said no bother give my arm a week to recover and I can go back to my normal activities as long as I wear a tennis elbow bracelet. I found some good stuff on the net about exercises and rehab so after this heals, I'll be taking some additional time off to properly rehab my arm.
  2. Jake

    Jake New Member

    Hey fire- sorry to hear about this- I had the same thing (with a lateral epicondylitis, too- what a drag) last year, although mine wasn't as bad as yours sounds- I was able to fight it off with careful exercise, a steady stream of NSAIDs (aspirin and ketoprofen), and conscientious use of a tennis elbow support (I take it that it's the same thing you mention as a bracelet). And, I stayed away from the offending movements, which for me was reverse EZ-curls and lateral arm raises. Oh yeah- cold and heat too.
    As to your question about pushups- the knuckle stance might help, but I'd probably even stay away from pushups altogether for a while as you rehab. The exercises on the web are good (I used them too), and if you keep up the NSAIDs, you'll break the inflammatory cycle. All that said, you really should check with a sports medicine doc, though!
    Good luck-
  3. Thanks for the reply Jake, I just really hate the NSAID's. they tear my stomach. I also think your right on the pushups, best to relax for awhile and take this as an extended SD.
  4. Jake

    Jake New Member

    I hear what you're saying about the NSAIDs- my doc had me on 800mg of ibuprofen 3x/day for a month to treat a cervical spondylitis several years ago. It was ripping me up, but a physician coworker of mine suggested a neat trick, and it really worked: eat about half a meal before taking the drug, then follow the drug with the other half or your meal. It helps to minimize contact of the drug with your stomach lining and really keeps down the irritation. Any residual irritation can be quelled with a glass of milk. If you ever do have to take NSAIDs, you might try it-
  5. I decided after reading your last post that perhaps I should be taking my NSAIDS, so I started taking them today. My arm feels a lot better but I do know that it's the drug and it's masking ability. I'm gonna try alternating between Motrin and Naproxen and hope that it minimizes the gut tearing affect. I will also try your 1/2 meal plan and hope that it helps a bit more. I'll keep you updated on my progress.

    Thanks Jake
  6. Well for those interested I went to the Specialist Doctor. No cortisone this time, for which I'm happy about. He advised me that I didn't technically tear the tendon. He told me that wear the tendon starts to become muscle is where I injured it. He said I sort of pulled the muscle from the tendon a bit.

    Bottom line---4-6 weeks of taking it easy, NSAIDS, and start out slow when I get back into it. He also said that when us guys start to get into our 30's and 40's and still love hitting those heavy weights is when things begin to "snap and pop".

    I also told him that I have been heating my arm with a heating pad, doing some acupressure, then icing it down. He said that it was a very good regimine.

    So I'll be with lifting for a month or so, I'm gonna do my cardio and try and drop some body fat.

    P.S. Thanks for your advise Jake
  7. Jake

    Jake New Member

    Glad to hear you're doing better, fire, and glad to help! Just to clarify something you said in the previous post about NSAIDs masking ability- actually, NSAIDs diminish inflammation, so any pain relief you get from them is a result of the drug interfering with the COX-1 enzyme that is a keystone in the inflammatory cycle. Thus, NSAIDs don't just relieve pain, they hit the cause (unlike narcotics, for example, which really do just blunt the effect- you'd still have the underlying inflammation were you to be taking codeine, for example). If you're interested in how these guys work, check out:

    It's pretty interesting stuff, especially given the hubbub about the COX-2 inhibitors (Celebrex, Vioxx, etc.,.

    Good luck and keep on healin'!
  8. For Those Interested:

    It has been a couple of weeks now since I've picked up a weight. I've been choking down the NSAID's and doing some light rehab on my arm. I go in Tuesday to have an MRI on my arm so they can see what is actually happening in there. Hoping it's something that can repair itself, really don't want surgery and like most people can't afford the time off of work.

    I played basketball on Thursday night and I would have thought that since this injury of mine has to do with the forearm flexors that it would have really hurt my arm, but come to find out, My arm feels better than it has in weeks (the rest of me hurts like hell from not playing B-Ball in a year though) :)

    Perhaps it acted like a rehab for it.

    For those interested I'll keep you updated on the MRI outcome.

    Wish me Luck
  9. My MRI produced some interesting results:

    I have an "Incomplete healed fracture" at the head of my radius in my right arm. Went to my family doctor...he said he wanted to cast it then. Thankfully I waited on the cast until I went to the specialist. He said it never "fully" healed with calcium, but it was a steady joint, and no worries. He said it healed up more with scar tissue type material. Bottom line...I'll have athritis someday.

    The MRI also showed that I have a small tear in my tendon. He said it's a small tear so he won't do any type of surgery. Basically told me to take it easy for awhile.

    It's been feeling a little better and I'm doing my physical therapy for it.

    Come around April I am going to go back to the weights. Start with the 15's for a month or so and see how it feels....and slowly move my way to the tens. I think it will be awhile before I ever get back to doing heavy 5's.

Share This Page