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Old 05-03-2007, 02:41 AM   #1
Cal Jones
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Well I did last night's WOD involving a lot of deadlifts, and now have some pain in the left elbow.
I use an alternate grip for deadlifting - regular grip on the left side; supinated (underhand) grip on the right.
If I let my arm hang normally, the pain is just on the outside of the elbow joint, so I'm thinking I just overstressed a tendon. Iced it last night and before I went to work. It's not severe but I have a history of injuries that won't go away so I'm not anxious to acquire another chronic problem. Best course of action? (Other than seeking medical help at this stage).
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Old 05-03-2007, 01:44 PM   #2
Mark Brinton
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Cal,
I will let those more informed offer advice on treating your elbow but might I suggest that you consider using the hook grip in lieu of the alternating grip? It might help you avoid a recurrence.

You can save the alternating grip for that last PR attempt. I started out using the alternating grip but I've been coached to switch to the hook grip. The reason is that its more functional in that you will likely never have the occasion to naturally pick something off the ground with an alternating grip. Using the hook grip has the added benefits of more quickly improving grip strength; that and general preparation for using the hook grip in the oly lifts.
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Old 05-03-2007, 04:07 PM   #3
Cal Jones
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Mark - appreciated - however...

a) When I use an alternate grip it's the right hand that is reversed (ie, palm forward).
b) It's the left elbow that hurts.

Consequently, the position of the left hand will not change with your suggestion...only the unaffected right hand. How will this help my elbow?

(Regarding the hook grip - I generally use a hook grip for most things as it's not easy for my small, girlish hands to wrap all the way around a thick oly bar. :-) In fact I use a false grip more often than not.)
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Old 05-04-2007, 11:48 AM   #4
Evan Swiker
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Let me first put this disclaimer out there: I am by no means a doctor, I am just a guy who had a real bad case of medial epicondylitis (Golfer's Elbow) and finally rid myself of it.

In my non-expert opinion the first thing I would do would be to rest it. Even if you don't want to take a complete day off from CrossFit try to stay away from pushups, pullups, bench press and anything else you think may make your elbow flare up. Make sure you rest it until the pain is gone. After this I began to strengthen my elbow using Theraband exercises (I guess anything elastic may work, like a bungee cord or something). Four quick exercises I did were as follows:

1. Tie the Theraband to a door handle or wall directly behind you. The band should go over your shoulder and in to your hand. Your forearm should be perpendicular to the floor with your bicep/tricep are parallel to the floor. Extend your hand forward without moving the elbow until your arm is straight.

2. Same setup as the first one except your arm starts down at your side and you essentially do a bicep curl with the band in your hand. No movement in your elbow.

3. Right shoulder on the wall and you want to have your left arm across your chest at a right angle as if it were in a sling. Take the band in your hand and pull it out until your forearm is parallel to the wall without moving anything but your forearm.

4. Left shoulder against the wall and its the opposite motion of number 3. You forearm starts parallel to the wall and you pull it across your chest (again like your left arm was in a sling)

I used to run through this and do 10 reps of each maybe twice a day. I would also stretch out your elbow once you begin to work out with it again. Just hold your arm straight out in front of you and pull your fingers back and that should work.

Hopefully your condition doesn't need any of this and a day of rest does the trick. My trainer in college told me about these exercises and they worked for me and I haven't had a problem with my elbow in almost a year now since I started these exercises. I apologize if my explanations of these exercises are awful, but if you want me to I can give it another shot.
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Old 05-04-2007, 03:24 PM   #5
Cal Jones
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Heh, and here I am living in a flat with no doors! (I know the exercises you mean though - there's a pully machine at the gym I've used to do the same sort of moves after I accidentally vaccumed up my theraband...)
This isn't a bad injury so far, more of a niggle, but then that's how my shoulder started off, and I soldiered on regardless and 16 years later have a chronic rotator cuff injury that won't ever get completely better. So not anxious to acquire any more like that, especially as I'm not getting any younger!
I'll do my best to work around it for now and see what happens. Hopefully it'll clear up quickly.
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Old 05-04-2007, 05:49 PM   #6
Rene Renteria
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Make sure you're not bending your arms (even just a bit of flex) in your start position. The weight (relatively high in the deadlift) will pull your arms straight for you, and your biceps is at its least advantageous position at that position, too. This can lead to effects like you described.

Also, for high rep DLs (which I am probably not going to do anymore after a scary couple of back rounding incidents when lowering the weight during a "Diane"; I pulled it properly but my back couldn't stay locked while lowering), reset yourself at the bottom. If you're slackening your arms when the weight hits the ground and then immediately pulling up hard again without setting your arms for it, you can yank on the elbow.

Best,
Rene'
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Old 05-06-2007, 08:42 AM   #7
Evan Swiker
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Either way, best of luck with the injury. Hopefully it doesn't turn in to one of those that you can't shake.
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