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Old 11-20-2015, 08:02 AM   #1
Garo Spenjian
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Triceps Tendonitis

Hi everyone! First post here. I've had this issue in the past, maybe 7 years ago when I used to do regular weight training, and somehow I got passed it. I think I stopped any tricep workout that caused the pain for about 6-8 months and then I went back to normal routine and never had the pain come back.

Well, I've been into CrossFit (lots of oly and strength) and it's back, but not in both arms, just my left. It's gotten fairly bad. Yesterday I stupidly did some heavy push presses and afterwards wasn't able to do HSPU during the WOD (nor could I really do push-ups).

I know I need to work out the knot(s) in my tricep, but any other advice? Should I really give up all pressing motions for a while? If any of you have gone through this or know of it, please send your comments my way. I'm open to whatever you have to say, and yes I should have caught this sooner! I had some tightness on the mid-outer section of my left tricep, but now I have an insane knot on the lower-outer section, just above and outside the elbow.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 11-20-2015, 09:02 AM   #2
Luke Sirakos
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Re: Triceps Tendonitis

I had this REAL bad and am now completely over it. I couldn't even push myself out of bed with my arm it hurt so bad and now I can do any motion, overhead press, dips, etc with zero pain. I tried nearly everything but the one thing that did the trick was I would use a cable machine that one would typically use for tricep pressdowns and just grab it at the end of the cable with one arm, pull the cable down with my free arm, and just do the negative portion of a pressdown with my injured arm. Press down with my good arm, negative portion with the bad arm. Rinse and repeat.

If you google eccentrics and tendinitis you will see I am not the only one with these results and it has shown a lot of promise in studies. That type of exercise has healed three forms of tendinitis I have had when nothing else would.

If you don't have access to a cable machine you could do it with bands as well. Just attach a band to a pullup bar or something, grab it with your bad arm, pull down with your good arm, and a slow negative with the bad arm. I would do 3 sets of 15 3-5 days a week. You don't need a ton of resistance, you are working your tendons, not your triceps.
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Old 11-20-2015, 11:15 AM   #3
Garo Spenjian
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Re: Triceps Tendonitis

Thanks for the quick reply, Luke!
Yup, it's pretty painful, even if I accidentally, lightly bump the elbow onto something. Bumping your elbow surprisingly happens a lot often than one would think, but you don't realize it unless you have this condition!!

I work in Manhattan, and conveniently located 1 block from me is a wellness center that I just got some PT done on my arm. I'm going to do that twice a week and definitely going to follow your advice as it makes perfect sense. Thanks again!
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Old 12-25-2015, 06:40 PM   #4
Vilan Natanzon
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Re: Triceps Tendonitis

I have major elbow pain too. Had hot elbows, then hurt to do planks for 3 weeks.

Took 2 months to get through all the referrals into PT so before that I tried a lot of stretches and exercises. Did some light curls and cable machines that made it feel less stiff and painful, but then it felt better to do nothing. Theraband flexbar seemed to work. Made it worse the first day as expected, then made it better to the point I forgot about it and reinjured it foam rolling and stretching on extended elbows. Was doing that for a week, then one wrong move set it off for a month. Used voodoo floss on it, lacrosse balls for 3-5 minutes, no noticeable long term effects. It healed slowly over weeks.

Massages weren't noticeably effective because I didn't take them well, squirmed from pain so they didn't focus on those areas or were too gentle.

When I got to PT got 7 hard, painful 5-10 minute massages, then the PT told me to try pushups on knees. That set it off. In desperation I went through triceps with Supernova 80mm alternating with soft beastie ball for 20 minutes per arm, focusing on small areas, several days in a row for a total of 3 hours. And daily voodoo floss. Seemed to subside in a week. Now tricep is numb to massages wherever I went through it. It was a rabbit hole.

Just feel stupid that so much time passed counting on appointments that weren't particularly effective. Could have gotten deeper with the right balls.

Hopefully PT exercises will go better now. They have me doing light tricep extensions laying down, 3 second eccentrics. Felt pretty scary the first 4 times and worse the next day. Left elbow still feels painful in the morning, before getting it moving and warmed up.

Last edited by Vilan Natanzon : 12-25-2015 at 06:52 PM.
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Old 12-27-2015, 06:14 PM   #5
Zach Long
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Re: Triceps Tendonitis

Has anyone done a thorough evaluation of you? There may be some deficits outside of the triceps that are causing this recurring issue
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