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Old 09-23-2010, 01:27 PM   #1
Charles Hwang
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Bicep tendonitis?

Hi all,

Is what I have indicative of 'bicep tendinitis?' Near the insertion of my bicep/inside crease of my elbow, I have this sort of dull bother going on. It gets particularly aggravated when I undergo full flexion either at the bottom of the bench press or like the finish of the clean rack (I guess it's 'during' the rack portion).

I've iced it immediately after it started flaring up but I wonder where this came from? Could it possibly be from my contortions of my upper body when doing the back squat (it used to be a process trying to get my chest flexible enough to get in a secure low bar back squat position and ever since I've been pushing things out on that avenue, this problem has started cropping up).

Another thing I altered was on the descent of my bench press, I've also closed the angle of my elbows to my lats ever so slightly but that seems to be even more correct form than before so I can't really imagine that being the problem..
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Old 09-23-2010, 04:34 PM   #2
Steven Low
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Re: Bicep tendonitis?

That doesn't sound like biceps tendonitis,especially if it doesn't hurt during any pulling exercises. This is the problem with self diagnosing yourself.

Hav eyou had any traumatic elbow probelms before? It sounds more like a compression problem where there might be some impingement in there.

I would get that checked out with an orthopedic doc.
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Old 09-25-2010, 10:46 AM   #3
Rene Forestier
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Re: Bicep tendonitis?

Sounds like bicep tendonitis to me...I'm going through the exact same thing right now. Mine seems to have popped up after a few intensive pull-up and false grip pull-up workouts. Its been painful for about 7 weeks now. The rack position hurts as does any pulling. I've just started physio and massage therapy...both seem to think that my shoulder dysfunction is causing extra strain on the tendon. Treatment for me is trying to fix my shoulder mechanics and releasing everything in the forearm, shoulder, and neck.
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Old 09-25-2010, 02:36 PM   #4
Steven Low
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Re: Bicep tendonitis?

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Originally Posted by Rene Forestier View Post
Sounds like bicep tendonitis to me...I'm going through the exact same thing right now. Mine seems to have popped up after a few intensive pull-up and false grip pull-up workouts. Its been painful for about 7 weeks now. The rack position hurts as does any pulling. I've just started physio and massage therapy...both seem to think that my shoulder dysfunction is causing extra strain on the tendon. Treatment for me is trying to fix my shoulder mechanics and releasing everything in the forearm, shoulder, and neck.
How does what he said sound like biceps tendonitis?

His DOES NOT hurt while pulling... only hurts at the bottom of bench, and the rack position when the elbow is fully closed?

Sounds like a compression issue with elbow joint to me.


For what its worth you shouldn't be tensing your biceps much during rack either so it shouldn't raelly hurt that much in the rack unless your bicepital aponeurosis is aggravated too/
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Old 09-25-2010, 04:33 PM   #5
Rene Forestier
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Re: Bicep tendonitis?

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Originally Posted by Steven Low View Post
How does what he said sound like biceps tendonitis?

His DOES NOT hurt while pulling... only hurts at the bottom of bench, and the rack position when the elbow is fully closed?

Sounds like a compression issue with elbow joint to me.


For what its worth you shouldn't be tensing your biceps much during rack either so it shouldn't raelly hurt that much in the rack unless your bicepital aponeurosis is aggravated too/
Does he state that?

Still sounds like it to me...he needs an exam.
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Old 09-26-2010, 05:07 AM   #6
Steven Low
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Re: Bicep tendonitis?

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Originally Posted by Rene Forestier View Post
Does he state that?

Still sounds like it to me...he needs an exam.
I'm pretty sure he would've mentioned it if it was bothering him, especially if it was actually bicepital tendonitis.

bench may hurt, rack may hurt, but pulling exercises will DEFINITELY hurt

But yes, he needs to get himself check out by an ortho
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Old 10-01-2010, 11:20 PM   #7
Brent Sallee
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Re: Bicep tendonitis?

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Originally Posted by Steven Low View Post
That doesn't sound like biceps tendonitis,especially if it doesn't hurt during any pulling exercises. This is the problem with self diagnosing yourself.

Hav eyou had any traumatic elbow probelms before? It sounds more like a compression problem where there might be some impingement in there.

I would get that checked out with an orthopedic doc.
Yep, sounds more like compression of the median nerve (or one of its branches) either at the cubital fossa or as it passes through the pronator teres. I'd bet it's moreso at the bony junction of the cubital fossa (especially because flexion causes the greatest compression there), but clearly it needs a bit more examination to be sure.

Also, to support Steven, bicep tendinitis has its worst symptoms during PULLING motions. The biceps flexes the arm, as found in most pulling motions. The biceps (or even brachialis) aren't even active during pushing motions and therefore its very unlikely to be tendinitis.

<- Another physical therapy student here to give his opinion.
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Old 10-02-2010, 07:55 AM   #8
Steven Low
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Re: Bicep tendonitis?

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Originally Posted by Brent Sallee View Post
Yep, sounds more like compression of the median nerve (or one of its branches) either at the cubital fossa or as it passes through the pronator teres. I'd bet it's moreso at the bony junction of the cubital fossa (especially because flexion causes the greatest compression there), but clearly it needs a bit more examination to be sure.

Also, to support Steven, bicep tendinitis has its worst symptoms during PULLING motions. The biceps flexes the arm, as found in most pulling motions. The biceps (or even brachialis) aren't even active during pushing motions and therefore its very unlikely to be tendinitis.

<- Another physical therapy student here to give his opinion.
I would've guessed bony compression of some of the soft tissues or the joint itself.

I guess it could be median nerve compression or pronator teres syndrome.... but usually that has some radicular symptoms which I don't think he had so.. that's why I didn't suggest that.
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Old 10-02-2010, 08:55 PM   #9
Brent Sallee
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Re: Bicep tendonitis?

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Originally Posted by Steven Low View Post
I would've guessed bony compression of some of the soft tissues or the joint itself.

I guess it could be median nerve compression or pronator teres syndrome.... but usually that has some radicular symptoms which I don't think he had so.. that's why I didn't suggest that.
Yeah, makes sense. I assumed that, since it's likely that impingement only occurs during a pressing movement at significant flexion, then radicular symptoms would be present only during the movement. He wouldn't report things like forearm flexor weakness because he wouldn't realize it during the movement and wouldn't have symptoms afterward. I guess he would describe tingling on the anterior aspect of the lateral palm and digits 1-3 (plus part of 4), but if he were just going numb, he might not even realize it. It could be as simple as soft tissue/joint issues as you say. Seems like a problem for either an ortho or PT to test and figure out.
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