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Old 03-19-2013, 08:56 AM   #1
Mark Pieciak
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For those with snapping triceps syndrome, golfer's elbow, subluxating ulnar nerve...

For those of us who have the "snapping" in the medial side of our elbows, we've been pretty SOL.

If you search "snapping triceps" or "subluxating ulnar nerve", you can browse years of threads across different forums in which people have to either give up elbow movement or get surgery. For those who are unsure of what injury I am talking about, check out this (WFS).

I've come to the conclusion that the medical community is totally lost when it comes to this injury. Totally effing lost.

Some people have mentioned massage and stretching being somewhat helpful, so I sought out a sports-based chiropractor who works with athletic teams. I've been getting Active Release Technique (ART), Graston technique, adjustments, as well as stretches to do at home.

Essentially, improving the tissue quality ad loosening up the surrounding tissues does improve the condition. The snapping I get as I descend in a pushup became less "forceful". However, it didn't completely do it for me yet, so I experimented with KT tape.

I used two strips of KT tape on my elbow like so (WFS) and I jumped into some pushups. The first few still created some snapping, but I messed around with my hand positioning (width and height) and am now able to do some pushups without snapping. I'm not even sure if I did the taping optimally, as I followed the video to a T and centered the tape around the medial epicondyle, not the groove where the tendon/nerve lies.

Regardless, I found something that gave me instantaneous results! The reason why I feel the need to share this is because if you see an orthopedic about this issue, you'll either get: 1. surgery. 2. PT or 3. "lifting weights is bad, you should swim". Surgery seems to be provide so-so results (some being 100% fixed, some being worse than before), PT doesn't address the problem, and we're not gonna stop lifting ;-)

I really really really hope this helps you guys and gals out there whom have this elbow issue. Mine came about out of nowhere, and I'm glad it dissipated just as quickly.
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Old 03-20-2013, 03:50 PM   #2
Mark Pieciak
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Re: For those with snapping triceps syndrome, golfer's elbow, subluxating ulnar nerve

Update:

Went back to the chiro today for some extra ART and massage, and tested some pushups WITHOUT the KT tape, expecting the snapping to return but surprisingly I was able to do it fine!

Who would've thought that the KT tape would stop the snapping after I had taken it off. The chiro says in addition to assisting with the mechanical load, the tape offers proprioceptive feedback to the elbow. The tape touching the skin and stretching during movement aids in muscle-recruitment, apparently. Whatever, it works for me!

So here's an injury that the medical community tells us can only be dealt with through inactivity or surgical nerve transpositioning (just an illustration WFS), yet is seemingly improved with massage, stretching, and taping.

Brilliant!
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Old 04-03-2013, 04:17 PM   #3
Mark Pieciak
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Re: For those with snapping triceps syndrome, golfer's elbow, subluxating ulnar nerve

Update: The ulnar nerve subluxation came back with a vengeance.

After a few days of confusion and frustration, and dropped into some pushups again, and the snapping went away, Look at my hands as I did the pushups, I saw that I was putting all of my weight on the pinky-side/ulnar-side of my hands. I was practically rolling my hands into neutral, and afterwards, the redness from the weight-bearing was located all around the ulnar-side of my hands.

I told my chiro this discovery, and I was then instructed on rotating my hands externally when trying pushups, and this did the trick.

My conclusion is that the KT tape somehow led me to subconsciously compensate, which did in fact work in the mean time. With previously tilting my hands to bear the weight on my pinky-side, and now externally rotating my hands, I believe both of the changes in technique reduce the distance the nerve must travel throughout the arm.

If I'm correct, the subluxation we experience allows the nerve to relieve it's stretch while the elbow undergoes flexion. When the elbow goes through extension, the nerve has a shorter length to travel and is less stretched (or under less tension), thus the nerve pops back into the groove.

Why the nerve is suddenly unable to stay in place while under tension, I don't know. Possibly because the ligament responsible for holding it in the groove has gone loos, or even torn? Wheeless' Textbook of Orthopaedics says that possibly 16-20% of the population has the potential for ulnar nerve subluxation (WFS)). Well, you know what? That blows.

Maybe, the nerve has somehow shortened, and is under more tension during elbow flexion than the nerves of asymptomatic people? I've never heard of the ability for nerves to stretch or shorten, but I've never read anything that outright disqualifies the notion.

I hope this little musing has helped some people out there with this annoying condition.
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Old 09-09-2013, 01:32 PM   #4
Mark Pieciak
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Cool Re: For those with snapping triceps syndrome, golfer's elbow, subluxating ulnar nerve

UPDATE/MEGA-NECRO-POST:

It's been roughly 6 months since I've began to rehab and correct my snapping triceps syndrome/subluxating ulnar nerve. I'd like to say that I've even improved my ROM with pressing exercises, such as pushups or DB/KB shoulder presses. I rarely ever experience snapping (only when I go too deep on pushups), and it much less powerful of a snap.

Recently, I made an article on my experiences, and went over my entire approach that helped me deal with this injury.

Here's the article. (WFS)

I feel compelled to post it here because quite a few people have reached out to me about my original experiences with this injury after I began speaking out about it. So, for anyone dealing with this crap, here you go, and good luck.
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Old 12-30-2015, 02:10 PM   #5
Mark Pieciak
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Re: For those with snapping triceps syndrome, golfer's elbow, subluxating ulnar nerve

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Pieciak View Post
UPDATE/MEGA-NECRO-POST:

It's been roughly 6 months since I've began to rehab and correct my snapping triceps syndrome/subluxating ulnar nerve. I'd like to say that I've even improved my ROM with pressing exercises, such as pushups or DB/KB shoulder presses. I rarely ever experience snapping (only when I go too deep on pushups), and it much less powerful of a snap.

Recently, I made an article on my experiences, and went over my entire approach that helped me deal with this injury.

Here's the article. (WFS)

I feel compelled to post it here because quite a few people have reached out to me about my original experiences with this injury after I began speaking out about it. So, for anyone dealing with this crap, here you go, and good luck.
For anyone wondering, the old link is dead.

The article can still be found here. (WFS)
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