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Old 09-09-2008, 07:21 PM   #1
Jonathan Frederick
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Pain in Elbow from Pushups

Well as you can probably tell from the title, I have encountered pain in my elbow doing pushups.

First of all: Yes, I know, go to a doctor.

Now that that's out of the way:

Started about two weeks ago, and it's been on and off. Only during pushups, and only on the left elbow. It's pretty much exactly where your 'funny bone' is. Put your arm down, palm facing your body. Put your finger on the tip of your elbow, and put it back a little more, and it's in that little canyon hole thing, at the bottom of it. It's fine if I go down in the pushup about two inches above 90 degrees, but past that it just kinda 'cracks', but without a loud noise. I can just feel it kinda give way, and it hurts. It usually stops after doing pushups, but today is was bad and hurt even after I finished. I've discovered that if I do wide pushups it doesn't hurt at all though (the cracking thing doesn't come) so I'm gonna stick with those for now.

Oh, and if I bend my elbow, flex my arm, then straighten my arm while flexing the same thing happens and it hurts. It happens when my arm hits about 90 degrees again.

I've been doing pushups for a few months now and nothing like this has happened. I'm 17 and fairly skinny.

Anyway, I'm just wondering if anyone has any experience with this, any suggestions, etc.
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Old 09-09-2008, 11:13 PM   #2
Victor Putz
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Re: Pain in Elbow from Pushups

Hmm. It could be "snapping triceps syndrome" where the medial head of the triceps (and possibly the ulnar nerve) "snaps" over the medial epicondyle at about 90 degrees of flexion. I have a problem with that myself, which is why I no longer do pushups (luckily mine doesn't really hurt that much). It's worth reading about to try and learn more (search for "snapping triceps" and you'll get plenty of hits). If it is that, there's not a ton you can do except avoid the exercise, but it's worth reading up on (maybe that's not what it is)... and yes, talking to your doc.
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Old 09-10-2008, 09:22 PM   #3
Sakura Barrientos
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Re: Pain in Elbow from Pushups

hm. mine is on the other side...i think. the bottom of my tricep, closest to my elbow hurts. mostly when i bend or fully extend. i did angie on friday and then it started to hurt over the weekend. i did some push ups today and those didn't hurt too much but it's when i'm not active that it hurts. hurts more when i fully bend my right arm....feels tight like when you try stretching out a tight quad.
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Old 09-10-2008, 10:45 PM   #4
Jonathan Frederick
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Re: Pain in Elbow from Pushups

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Originally Posted by Victor Putz View Post
Hmm. It could be "snapping triceps syndrome" where the medial head of the triceps (and possibly the ulnar nerve) "snaps" over the medial epicondyle at about 90 degrees of flexion. I have a problem with that myself, which is why I no longer do pushups (luckily mine doesn't really hurt that much). It's worth reading about to try and learn more (search for "snapping triceps" and you'll get plenty of hits). If it is that, there's not a ton you can do except avoid the exercise, but it's worth reading up on (maybe that's not what it is)... and yes, talking to your doc.
My chiropractor today said it's definitely muscle snapping over bone, and he said it was the tricep. That sounds suspiciously similar to what you're referring to, so I'm getting a little worried. He recommended massaging the muscle and applying heat to stretch up the tricep and put less tension on the nerve/medial head.

Any other information/recommendations/what-do-I-do-now help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

John
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Old 09-11-2008, 03:59 AM   #5
Victor Putz
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Re: Pain in Elbow from Pushups

Yeah, was worried about that. But basically, do a lot of reading on it and see what you come up with. You may find some stretches which help, as your chiropractor mentioned. You also may have the option of surgery, should you choose (may wind up being worth it if it really hurts; mine wasn't bad enough to warrant it). And you may have to just avoid activities that bring your elbow to 90 degrees, which means reduced ROM on many activities.

I found eventually that loads of pushups were just not a good thing for me to do, but dips weren't so bad, etc (whether it be angles or just lower reps I'm not sure). As long as I didn't go to that ROM and didn't get the click, it really just didn't seem to be a problem. Your mileage, of course, will vary. Good luck, though--it sure is frustrating.
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Old 09-11-2008, 07:43 AM   #6
Jonathan Frederick
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Re: Pain in Elbow from Pushups

Did you always have yours, or did it only start when you start repetitively doing pushups, etc. Mine only started after about a month or so of pushups, and was only a faint 'clicking' feeling sometimes until a week ago or so.
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Old 09-11-2008, 10:11 AM   #7
Victor Putz
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Re: Pain in Elbow from Pushups

Developed over quite a bit of time and quite a bit of pushups, actually. I think it was a much slower onset than yours to be honest; I remember noticing an annoying click for quite some time, but I was pretty lightweight on fitness for several years, which probably explains it. Once I started more seriously doing CF (and subbing lots of pushups for the CFWU dips since at the time I didn't have rings) it got worse faster.
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Old 09-11-2008, 04:04 PM   #8
Jonathan Frederick
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Re: Pain in Elbow from Pushups

If the clicking wasn't always there and didn't come on suddenly, it does kind of make sense that it would go away if you stayed off of it for a while; did that ever happen with yours?

Thanks a lot for your continued help,

John
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Old 04-15-2009, 02:23 PM   #9
Peter A Sheeran
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Re: Pain in Elbow from Pushups

I get pain in the same spot but I don't here any snapping noise. It also only get the pain when I do diamond push ups, heavy bench presses or weighted dips. It will hurt if I use it again for about the rest of the day. I use a compression bandage and rappigel to reduce the pain. Also interesting is if I wear the compression bandage while performing the exercises it doesn't hurt.
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Old 04-15-2009, 09:32 PM   #10
Steven Low
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Re: Pain in Elbow from Pushups

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Originally Posted by Peter A Sheeran View Post
I get pain in the same spot but I don't here any snapping noise. It also only get the pain when I do diamond push ups, heavy bench presses or weighted dips. It will hurt if I use it again for about the rest of the day. I use a compression bandage and rappigel to reduce the pain. Also interesting is if I wear the compression bandage while performing the exercises it doesn't hurt.
Don't do any pressing.

Massage the whole area.

Rest.

Then slowly work you way back in....... and by slowly I mean VERY slowly.
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