Elbow pain from lifting

Elbow pain from lifting


Have you heard of Weightlifting elbow?

Have you ever had elbow pain after lifting heavy weights and following repetitive movements?

The term for doctors in this situation is Weightlifting elbow.

In addition to the times when you have done a heavy body lift, it also occurs after performing repetitive movements of the groin. This event is known to be due to inflammation of the triceps tendon. You can read more about this in the following.



Anatomy of the elbow

What is the meaning of weightlifter elbow?

What are the causes of  weightlifter elbow?







When you do repetitive movements with the muscles and musculoskeletal system of the upper limbs, the triceps muscle at the junction of the lower elbow will become irritated with injury and inflammation and creating a clinical picture called the head muscle tendonitis or Weightlifting elbow.

To better understand why repetitive movements cause pain in the elbow, we need to talk a bit about elbow anatomy. Elbow joint connects the end of the humerus and the upper part of the bones that make up our forearm. In fact, at the elbow joint, the two bones of the forearm and the arm bone are placed side by side.

In addition to the bony elements mentioned above, the soft tissues of the ligaments of the tendons and bursae also participate in the construction of the elbow, in addition to the very important arteries and nerves passing through the perimeter of the elbow.

What is the main complaint of people with elbows is pain and restriction of movement and swelling.


Anatomy of the elbow

The elbow is a hinged joint and is composed of different parts including bones and soft tissues and arteries and nerves that all the above components and tissues together form the human elbow joint. The elbow is the junction of the upper end of the arm bone and the lower part of the upper forearm.

The human forearm has two bones called the radius and the ulna. The radius is on the outside of the forearm in the same direction as the thumb, and the ulna is on the inside of the forearm in the direction of the little finger.

The lower selection of the arm bone above the elbow joint is quite bulky and prominent . It is divided into two general areas. The outer part is called the outer bulge or outer condyle and the inner part is called the inner condyle. There is a part that attaches to the inside of the inner condyle of your elbow and is called the medial epicondyle.

Between the outer and inner condyles of the groove, the shape of the bone changes and takes the shape of a spool. This part of the end of the humerus is called the trochlea or spool.

The anterior, dorsal, and inferior surface of the end of the humerus in the elbow is generally covered with articular cartilage. In fact, this is the part that connects with the upper parts of the ulna. Now let's see where the radial bone connects. The anterior surface and the lower part of the external protrusion of the lower end of the humerus are covered with cartilage and is called the capitulum and is articulated with the head of the radius bone.

The bony parts that we briefly mentioned above participate in the structure of the elbow joint. Now let's see where the joint space of the elbow is.

It is a curtain with a strong texture like a bag and surrounds the elbow. Both sides of this bag are open. The cylindrical bag is a skeleton and the circular part of the top of the bag is connected around the lowest part of the humerus.

The bottom circle of the cylindrical bag connects to the circumference of our forearm bones, so a completely closed space is created in which the lower end of the humerus and the upper end of our forearm bones are located.

This membrane is called the synovial membrane of thin cells that, like a carpet, covers the inner surface of the wall inside the joint capsule and their job is to secrete synovial fluid. Joint fluid is a clear, thick liquid, like egg white, that covers the cartilage of the joint.

It facilitates the movement of surfaces relative to each other. In addition, synovial fluid is rich in nutrients and oxygen, and tissue cartilage lacks blood vessels and is nourished by the release of oxygen and nutrients from this fluid.

Soft tissues are involved in the structure of the elbow.

Ligaments are thick, strong bands that attach bone to bone.

Their job is to bring the bones close to the joint surface together. The force of all the joints that are also in the elbow area, the ligaments inside the elbow play an important role in strengthening the joint capsule.

Outside the elbow joint, there are ligaments called collateral ligaments.

Another soft tissue seen in the elbow joint is the bursae, which are small pillows full of fluid. In different areas around the elbow, we see the presence of bursae. Some of them are large and some of them are small, and are basically located where the adjacent buildings wear together and it will make slipping the muscles and bones easier and more comfortable.

Tendons There are other soft tissues around the elbow. At the end of the muscle there is a cord-like tissue called the tendon. Tendons are very strong soft tissues. In fact, they become the interface between muscle and bone. So I can simply say that tendons are the interface between muscle and bone. There are four important tendons in the structure of the elbow, which is the inflammation and stretching of one of these tendons, which causes a complication that we will talk about in this article.

Elbow tendons includes of:

Four important tendons in the human elbow include the biceps tendon, the triceps tendon, the common flexor tendon of the wrist, and the common tendon of the extensor muscle of the wrist.

 Triceps tendon:

When the upper limb is pulled over due to repetitive movements and lifting heavy objects, it becomes injured and inflamed. This inflammation actually allows the damaged tissue to heal but, in practice, inflammation in the triceps tendon at the junction of this tendon to the elbow causes pain which is exactly what we are talking about in this article.

The triceps tendon passes behind the elbow joint. The triceps tendon in the elbow is actually the lowest part of the triceps and connects to the bony appendix of the elbow.

In addition to the above tissues, important arteries and nerves pass around the elbow. The brachial artery passes in front of the elbow and divides slightly below the elbow into two radial and ulnar arteries. There are other arteries around the elbow called sub-arteries with the collateral arteries of the elbow veins pass along the arteries and are named after them.


What is the meaning of weightlifter elbow?

 It is a condition that occurs due to repetitive movements of the muscles that stimulate the junction of the triceps to the elbow. In fact, it is a condition that describes the tendonitis of the triceps.


What are the causes of weightlifter elbow?

Doing exercises that throw the ball over the head creates problems for athletes in those disciplines, professional baseball and volleyball dancers, and people with repetitive movements and pressures of the shoulder and upper arm.

The main cause is overuse ,in fact that recurrent injuries mean that during a short time of play, exercise or physical activity are repeated many times and quickly so that the body does not have enough time to rest and does not have time and opportunity to repair the damage.

These elbow injuries are also seen in throwers. They are also common in other athletes who participate in high-waisted sports, with frequent arm, shoulder, and upper limb movements and repetitive hand movements above the head.



There are many reasons that can cause a lesion.

People are more likely to suffer from the above pain after a chest press or weight lifting. In fact, the main cause of an overactive lesion is a joint or overuse of a ligament, which causes a person to suffer from elbow pain. In fact, it occurs when you apply a repetitive movement to your body regularly and at very short intervals and do not give your body a chance to repair.

 bench pressing

Lifting Heavy Weights Weightlifting can also lead to overuse of the elbow joint and the important ligaments around it, which is a major factor in the development of  weightlifting elbow.



Progressive discomfort that may start with a burning pain that spreads to the wrist and is accompanied by a feeling of warmth and swelling along the way. You feel pain in your elbow when you try to lift weights.



Let's see how this disorder is treated

  • Rest : means that as long as you are in pain, you should avoid any activity that causes the pain to start and intensify. Limit your activities until the acute phase is over.
  • Cold Compression: You can also use over-the-counter steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or indomethacin pain.


Most cases will improve with the above tips. If you are a person who still has pain after doing the above tips for 6 to 12 months and you feel that you are unable to lift weights above your head, be sure to consult a doctor.

Sometimes it is necessary to use a splint or sling cast for 2 to 3 weeks to pass the acute phase, and depending on how your elbow joint is stretched, you may need standard physiotherapy.

Standard physiotherapy by a trained person with stretching as well as strengthening exercises increases the stability of the elbow joint. People who have a tendon strain will improve within four weeks by observing the above points.

If you have a sprained or sprained elbow with inflammation of the triceps tendon and you have followed these tips and have not recovered, you should if this does not improve in six to 12 months (Despite observing the supportive points) consult a doctor.

Depending on your circumstances, your doctor will choose intra-articular injections or surgery for you.

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