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Old 09-13-2010, 12:42 PM   #1
Sebastian B. Vaneria
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Bicep/Tricep Pain After Olympic Lifting

I've been CrossFitting for a little over two years. Recently, I've starting placing greater emphasis on the olympic lifts, and have been attending an olympic lifting class on Saturdays in addition to my regular 4-6 days/week of CrossFit. Toward the end of these sessions, I've been feeling pain in my arms. It feels like the arms are totally inflamed, and I've self-diagnoses it as a mild form of tendonitis. It's ususally not *terrible*, but this last week it made my arms feel so heavy and I just wanted to lie on the ground. It seems to be caused mainly by excessive time spent in the rack position. My flexibility is sub-par, and I notice the pain most when I'm doing clean & jerks. That being said, I was surprised this Saturday when the pain came from doing snatches.

I have some experience with tendonitis. I had a case of it last winter while doing Starting Strength. My shoulder flexibility was bad and the strain from the low-bar back squat (and my poor form) led to some serious inflamation. It went away after avoiding upper body exercises for about a week and by cutting back significantly on the low-bar back squat.

Currently, I'm using a tennis and lacrosse ball to roll my arms. Also, I'm doing some ice massage and taking a lot of fish oil. I plan on avoiding pulling exercises for a few days, but I really don't want to take too much time away for them (I'm in a great groove right now).

Has anyone experienced anything similar -- this tendonitis-feeling from too much time in the rack position? Please provide your thoughts on how I can get back to olympic lifting soon without the pain.
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Old 09-13-2010, 02:13 PM   #2
Steven Low
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Re: Bicep/Tricep Pain After Olympic Lifting

Elbows? Triceps tendon or some other tendon?
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Old 09-13-2010, 03:22 PM   #3
Sebastian B. Vaneria
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Re: Bicep/Tricep Pain After Olympic Lifting

It's definitely above the elbow, but not up into the shoulder. It's difficult to pinpoint right now because the pain isn't acute. That being said, after the olympic lifting, the pain would be on the inside of my arms, seemingly running between my bicep and triceps while also getting into those muscle. I apologize for the lack of specificity, but it's really to say. Basically, after the olympic lifting, it feels like my arms (between the elbow and shoulder) are completely fatigued. If I continue to push through it, that same area feels very inflamed and painful.
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Old 09-13-2010, 05:03 PM   #4
Mark Patterson
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Re: Bicep/Tricep Pain After Olympic Lifting

I have the same issues in the the bicep during the clean portion. i have not had this issue w/ snatch.

Last edited by Mark Patterson; 09-13-2010 at 05:12 PM..
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Old 09-13-2010, 10:15 PM   #5
Steven Low
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Re: Bicep/Tricep Pain After Olympic Lifting

1. Lay off those for now.
2. Do thoracic mobility stuff
3. Soft tissue work for your triceps/posterior shoulder/forearm area
4. Nerve glides (google first link middle of the page). Particularly ulnar and radial nerve which it looks like you're having some problems with overstretching them

That should help
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Old 09-14-2010, 06:20 AM   #6
Sebastian B. Vaneria
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Re: Bicep/Tricep Pain After Olympic Lifting

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Originally Posted by Steven Low View Post
1. Lay off those for now.
When you say "those," do you mean all activities involving hyperextension of the wrists? That's difficult to avoid in CrossFit. HSPUs, thrusters, all variations of cleans, all variations of presses, and (to some extent) push-ups all involve stress on the wrists.

Should I continue with the ice massage in addition to your protocal?
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Old 09-14-2010, 03:36 PM   #7
Steven Low
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Re: Bicep/Tricep Pain After Olympic Lifting

1. "THOSE" are painful exercises

2. Ice only if it helps. If it doesn't help why bother?\

Yes, for some people it doesn't help. But if it helps why not do it?

I'm a fan of what works. If it works use it. Ice if it helps.


Anything in my "protocol" can be dumped or added depending on if it helps. If it helps then use it. If it doesn't they don't do it. If it causes pain for now DEFINITELY don't do it.

But stuff like mobility work is important so even if it hurts now you may want to rest a few days and try again because movement in general will cure all once tissues have healed sufficiently.
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