The elbow is one of the most used parts of our body. Think about it. It’s what allows us to do every upper body exercise there is, and it undergoes massive strain on a regular basis because of it. Depending on how much you train, of course. That, sadly, however, often means that there’s room for an elbow injury somewhere along the line.
That is why it is crucial to ensure that you are looking after them however you can and know the signs and symptoms of an injury. There are ways you can help yourself both treat and prevent these injuries, though, and we’re here to get you clued up on what to look out for. We’re nice like that.
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A repetitive strain injury is probably one of the most common elbow injuries that occur, mostly due to the nature of it. It’s pretty much what it sounds like. The massive range of movements that the elbow is responsible for can cause a lot of wear and tear, especially if you’re training. The constant lifting of excessive weights, especially without much training beforehand, puts huge stress on your elbow, and certain exercises make it even worse.
This is where tendonitis or tennis elbow comes into play. The overuse strains your tendons because of the harsh movements and unnatural uses. That makes the tendon flare up in causes a lot of pain for up to weeks at a time. Knowing your limits and what you can and can’t do safely is important. Take a break every now and then.
Other than tendonitis, tendinosis can also become a problem over time. The difference is that this is the result of a gradual breakdown over time, resulting in an automatic response. That response? Your body telling you that you need to stop doing so much damage. It’s painful.
This won’t cause the swelling that comes from tendonitis where your body is protecting itself, but instead, a sharp and possibly constant pain whenever you use your elbows. The tendons in your arm require maintenance and exercise just like your muscles do to stay strong, but they are not as easily repaired. In this particular case, it can take months to heal. Enough rest is the big player here.
Gradually building elbow injuries are not the only thing you need to worry about either. Your tendons are not as strong as your muscles, so when you are deciding to try and push yourself to your limit and lift that extra weight, it’s easy to cause injuries like tears and even dislocation! Not. Good.
It’s a scary thought, we know, but it’s need-to-know information. As we have stated, your tendons need training too. Don’t worry; that’s what you are doing anyway, alongside your muscle training and just day-to-day activity. Unlike muscles, they aren’t as fast to heal. The more you are training, the stronger they become over time, but there’s a catch.
Because of this time difference and again, just like your muscles, your tendons are weak while recovering. Even though you’ve just trained your chest one day, for example, you feel okay to train your back the day after. The problem is the elbow is still being used for both with no time to recover whatsoever, and this is how a lot of these injuries happen. You really need to plan ahead.
So, what can you do about all of this? Well, specific exercises are always a good idea, like stretches that allow the arms and elbows to be in their prime. Elbow and wrist flexor stretches are a good place to start. Elbow and wrist flexors go hand in hand, so extending them as much as you can is the best way to do it. Usually, it’s done by extending your arm and pulling your hand towards you with your other hand. Do it both downwards and upwards to make sure they are extended as much as possible.
As we’ve said, you need to give your body time to heal itself. That’s the best way to avoid elbow injuries as a whole. Don’t over-train, and you shouldn’t have too much trouble. Just keep in mind what you are doing and how much you are going to be using them so that you can structure your workouts around factors like this and keep yourself in the best condition possible.
For more advice, here’s a link you can check out.
Before beginning any exercise or nutrition program, consult your physician, doctor or other professional. This is especially important for individuals over the age of 35 or persons with pre-existing health problems. Exercise.co.uk assumes no responsibility for personal injury or property damage sustained using our advice.
If you experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or any other abnormal symptoms, stop the workout at once and consult a physician or doctor immediately.