View Full Version : Pull Up Injury

Vijay Vadlamani
12-15-2009, 07:01 PM
Hello all,
I've been doing pull ups for years. This last year however, I've had two incidents of a shooting pain down the back of the upper arm when doing pulls and chins. It came in April on my left arm and as of Nov, my right. The pain begins right where in the back of the upper arm where it joins the arm pit and continues down in a line from there to the elbow. I'd perused this site back in April and read up about tricep brachii tears being akin to the pain I have. However, I see no bruising. Could it be tendonitis? If so, do NSAIDs work?

I'm in a quandry as to why all of a sudden I've suffered these injuries. As of late, though I have actually diminished exercise volume, my overall weight has gone up by about 30lbs since when I was at my most fit. Not sure it the excess weight could be the cause(?)
Any suggestions on how to treat a possible tricep brachii tear and/or any diagnoses otherwise, very much appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Steven Low
12-16-2009, 07:32 AM
Shooting pain has to do with nerves, in general. Likely decreased in shoulder mobility or increase in muscle tightness is pinching part of your brachial plexus.

Stretch and massage all of the muscles from your neck to your wrists. Find ones that are tight and loosen them up.

How's your posture?

Vijay Vadlamani
12-16-2009, 06:12 PM
Thanks for your reply. I have to say, my posture is pretty bad. My shoulders slouch quite a bit. As an addendum to my previous post, I noticed that in addition to the shooting pain in the back outer edge of the upper arm during any adduction exercises - seated rows, pull ups, etc. - I've began to experience pain in the same shoulder during bench press, dips, etc. - accompanied by a snapping, popping sound. My knowledge of anatomy is pretty poor, but I wonder if all this is rotator cuff related?. However, the pain in the back of the arm during pull-up and related exercises feels like some muscle or ligament is actually being wrenched away from the shoulder joint. In other words, it hurts like hell! Going on 6 weeks using NSAIDs, ice and some liniments has helped a bit. However, any pulling motion is unbearable. I know everyone here appreciates the "jonze" for pullups and, hence, will forgive my extended lament! Thanks again!

Robert Pierce
12-16-2009, 07:20 PM
I would lean away from triceps problem given the exacerbating movements. What about a cervical radiculitis? Does it bother you at night? Google Hawkins, Neer, empty can sign, lift off test for some indications that it could be your rotator cuff.

Steven Low
12-16-2009, 07:35 PM
I would see a physical therapist

Postural + strength imbalances usually gives stuff like this. Except yours seems to be really bad.

Camille Lore
12-16-2009, 07:40 PM
As usual, Steven-thank you so much for your help.

Vijay Vadlamani
12-18-2009, 06:04 PM
My thanks for everyone's advice. After about 6 weeks of trying to fight through it, I've decided to go seek a doctor's advice.
Steve, I wanted to let you know that upon reading your first reply regarding poor posture, I've spent the last few days doing some light stretching exercises. It's really helped my shoulder pain, though the tricep problem (for lack of a better description ) still persists and I'm unable to do pull ups. Hopefully soon though! Thanks for your help.

Steven Low
12-20-2009, 08:21 AM
Don't forget the massage... that's a major component.

Glad to see the posture is helping some. It usually helps most people significantly once they get in the habit and it becomes second nature.