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Thread: Ugh ... help!

  1. #1
    Yes, I ate the WHOLE thing RCASEYH's Avatar
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    Ugh ... help!

    I've been bulking for the past six months or so and have managed to put on roughly 20 or so pounds. My routine has more or less been BGB with some cardio thrown in. Everything was going very well until about six weeks ago when I started getting elbow pain and hand numbness. Long story short, I finally bit the bullet went to an orthopedist and it turns out to be Cubital Tunnel Syndrome (which is like Carpal Tunnel but in the elbow instead of the wrist). The orthopedist said that basically I would have to wait it out to see if it will subside on it's own or if surgery may be necessary. In the meantime, however, my progress and workouts have almost come to a screeching halt since there is very little I can do without suffering for it later.
    My question is two fold ....
    1) Can anyone recommend a few upper body exercises which involve minimal or NO arm (elbow) movement? (I can handle legs and abs for the most part and a little bit of back work, but most things for the upper body involve moving the arms.)
    2) Has anyone had this condition or symptoms like this and were you able to continue working out while attempting to let it 'heal'?

  2. #2
    Senior Member lakeripple's Avatar
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    Get it checked out by at least one other doctor, I've experienced both of those symptoms...at least if i fully understand what they are in your case. I had an elbow and forearm tenderness/pain from arm wrestling(rowr!) that didn't heal for a couple weeks, i sucked it up and it just went away. Pullups/chins were the biggest bitch in the world. When do you get the hand numbness? One of the first things I noticed when i started working out and putting on size was that my hands would fall asleep really easily, as in I would wake up in the middle of the night with a numb/asleep hand(great for those late night strangers!). It falls asleep a lot more easily then it did before anyway.
    Last edited by lakeripple; 10-21-2007 at 02:13 PM.
    Goal: Set a deadlift provincial record in mens junior.

  3. #3
    Yes, I ate the WHOLE thing RCASEYH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lakeripple View Post
    Get it checked out by at least one other doctor, I've experienced both of those symptoms...at least if i fully understand what they are in your case. I had an elbow and forearm tenderness/pain from arm wrestling(rowr!) that didn't heal for a couple weeks, i sucked it up and it just went away. Pullups/chins were the biggest bitch in the world. When do you get the hand numbness? One of the first things I noticed when i started working out and putting on size was that my hands would fall asleep really easily, as in I would wake up in the middle of the night with a numb/asleep hand(great for those late night strangers!). It falls asleep a lot more easily then it did before anyway.
    In my case what the doc said definitely seems to indicate a nerve compression issue (Cubital Tunnel) rather than tendonitis, etc. Prior to going to the orthopedist, my own investigating pointed in that direction as well. (Unless surgery is required, I think I'll hold off on a second opinion.)

    The pain which is the principle problem, rather than the hand numbness, is ther for most of the day and at times excruciating. This has been going on for a little over 6 weeks now. The hand numbness has been present for several months, which should have been my first sign to back off my routine a bit. (I first noticed it when I'd have my arms bent holding the BB doing squats, etc.) I didn't want to stop working out my upper body completely, but the grip strength is getting worse as is the elbow pain.

    It's just unfortunate that there seems to be a limited number of exercises which don't involve moving the elbow or using the hand to grip a weight. I did some investigating and came up with a few, but didn't know if anyone else had any exercise suggestions.

  4. #4
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    That's unfortunate. Nerve pain is a bitch to deal with because icing generally doesn't help much. Are there ay pain killers you can take?

    Exercise wise, you could try straight arm pull downs, dumbell pullovers, front/side/rear dumbell raises and dumbell flyes. Straps or, better yet, hooks would help a lot with grip issues and may allow you to keep deadlifting, chins, etc. Go browse exrx to get some inspiration

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