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James Neuman 08-22-2011 11:00 AM

exercising around elbow injury
I'm not sure where to put this question.

Bottom line: orthopedist just told me not to do any exercising involving the elbow for 3 weeks because of an ulnar nerve neuritis. (If the rest is insufficient to cure the problem, at that point we will be considering surgery.) I asked if I could even do something like pushups, and the answer was "no."

So, I'm trying to develop a list of exercises that I can do in the interim, without violating doctor's orders (and without becoming bored) Please let me know if there is anything I can add (or anything that should be taken off). (Question marks indicate that I am unsure whether they are ok.)

air squats
squats holding a medicine ball
split squats (perhaps holding a light kettlebell?)
forward lunges
box jumps
flutter kicks
jump rope
jumping jacks
mt. climbers?
one-legged deadlift with kettlebell?
kettlebell swings?

Michael Kelley 08-22-2011 09:16 PM

Re: exercising around elbow injury
I have been avoiding my elbow for a month now. I would suggest not holding ANYTHING with that hand. I found that even though I might try something light that did not hurt at the time, the injured area would give me "payback" later in the day. I have been going many of the things you list, but included some one-handed kettlebell swings (on the uninjured side), GHDs, back squats, running (including mileage, sprints, and intervals), split jumps (jump from lunge position and switch feet in mid-air), etc. Before the last 4 weeks, I was trying to do some light stuff that used the injured side as well, but I did not start to recover until I reduced my use of that side to almost zero. No exercise with it (no pushups, burpees, holding myself in position for mountain climbers, nada, nothing), and tried to use the other hand in most daily tasks (opening doors, etc). Now, with the help of a sort of physical therapist, my "golfer's elbow" has almost cleared up. I am looking forward to trying 5 pushups and 1 pullup on Friday to test the waters.

Matt Huston 08-31-2011 02:01 PM

Re: exercising around elbow injury
Michael, wondering how the 5 pushups and 1 pullup went after 4 weeks of not using your affected arm? I have been trying to figure the right level of activity for right-arm golfers elbow...basically, whether to do as you've evidently done and kept your affected arm out of the exercise picture.

(Just signed up to get a consult with a PT / chiro on Friday; he specializes in ART and gives flexbar 'homework'...this week I'm doing eccentric wrist curls / reverse wrist curls, heat, self-massage -- and only exercises at the gym that don't involve the right arm...)

Michael Kelley 08-31-2011 08:54 PM

Re: exercising around elbow injury
I now have no symptoms with the few pushups I have attempted, so I am "cleared" to try pushing motions to the front and overhead (starting with low reps and weight, of course). The pullups are still not right. I can do a pullup, but I feel it towards to top of the rep. My standard has been that if I feel sensation in that spot, I don't do the exercise. I may have to relax that standard a tiny bit as I try to recover.

Regarding the eccentric exercises, I was surprised to find that the acupuncturist/therapist told me today to hold off on the eccentric exercises. I thought they were supposed to be for rehab, but perhaps I should be closer to 100% before trying them. Very confusing.

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