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-   -   Pain in wrist, thumb, & forearm tendons (http://www.catalystathletics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3975)

Craig Bailey 03-06-2009 06:08 AM

Pain in wrist, thumb, & forearm tendons
Iíve currently been experiencing a lot of pain when performing Cleans, thrusters, & Front squats. The pain primarily affects the inside of my forearm nearest to where my bicep and elbow meet, but my thumb and wrist are extremely sore. Iím currently preparing for the Mid-Atlantic qualifier for the Crossfit games and this couldnít come at a worst time. Other exercises that cause pain are pull-ups (after a high reps) and SDLHP.

Any ideas on what the problem could be? I have an appt. set up with my GP for next week.

Garrett Smith 03-06-2009 07:24 AM

Sounds like medial epicondylitis to me (tendonitis of the forearm flexors).

Your GP will likely say rest it, or will offer a hydrocortisone shot to calm it down. The first is necessary, the second will weaken your tendons and ligaments in the long run (leaving you more susceptible to experiencing it again in the future).

I'd suggest PMing Ben Fury on this board for his AIS advice. I've personally found Low Intensity Laser Therapy (aka "cold" laser) to put out tendonitis "fires" very quickly (like 1-2 treatments). You can find practitioners near you (hopefully) with the same equipment I use at www.meditech-bioflex.com .

Stop doing anything that hurts the area. This may be a lot of things. Work on your weaknesses that do not aggravate this problem. I'd suggest you go to low-rep weighted pull-ups (if any) for the time being. SDLHPs are an exercise that I consider to be well-covered by rowing and other pulls from the floor (ie. sumo DLs).

Cleans, thrusters, FS all irritate the area due to stretching the inflamed area under load. Pull-ups and SDLHPs irritate it due to the repetitive grip stress (forearm flexors do the gripping).

You better take care of this now.

Contrast hydrotherapy is cheap and easy, Google it.

Steven Low 03-06-2009 09:43 AM

Here's my "general" guide to tendonitis based on what I've seen.

1. Rest. Especially if it's overuse.
2. Ice after any use & when sore. 15-30 mins per sessions for couple times a day.
3. Stretch flexors, strengthen extensors *until* pain subsides (medial epicondylitis). Then strengthen everything (my pref = rice bucket)
4. Self massage... cross friction and myofascial release the whole area inbetween both joints that surround it (shoulder to wrist for medial epicondlyitis; ankle-hip for something knee; etc.). As much as possible... at least 30 mins a day if not more. Also, tennis ball/golf ball areas & foam roll
5. Anti-inflammatories/NSAIDs. Fish oil is a good one.
6. Stay away from painful exercises. Period. It hurts, you're done.
7. Light eccentric exercises tend to help
8. + joint/cartilage health supplements like glucosamine & chondroin sulfate, MSM, shark, etc. Might be a good idea to start eating the cartilage and tendons off your meat too.

Garrett Smith 03-06-2009 11:29 AM

Steven's suggestions are great, I'm sure gymnastics strength training gives plenty of opportunities to learn to treat tendonitis, right Steven?

One anti-inflammatory you might try is high dose bromelain (proteolytic enzyme), taken at least an hour before or two hours after meals. I've recently been having good results with it on "-itis" conditions.

Craig Bailey 03-09-2009 06:20 AM

Thank you for the advice.

I started the contrast hydrotherapy and Glucosamine & Chondroitinon supplements on Friday.

Dr. G
I checked out the meditech-bioflex website. Unfortunately there are no providers in the state of MD. I am very interested in the cold laser treatment. Can you make any recommendations for a treatment facility in the state of MD?

Garrett Smith 03-09-2009 07:04 AM

Search for "cold laser" or "laser therapy" in your area, let me know what you find, I'll let you know my impression.

Craig Bailey 03-09-2009 07:53 AM

Dr. G

The options were pretty slim. There were a lot of cosmetic laser treatment facilities but not many laser therapy centers.

The three I found were:



Garrett Smith 03-09-2009 09:11 AM

I'd go with the Sollay place. If you need insurance to cover this though, your best bet may be the chiropractors.

Craig Bailey 03-27-2009 05:49 AM

Thanks for all the advice. I ended up going to the chiropractors which actually worked out really well; one of the Dr's is on staff at the University of MD as a team doctor and was very familiar with the cold laser treatment.

I had three treatments and the arm is feeling as good as new. He also noted that I had some fluid forming under my bicep so we are currently resolving those but it is not precluding me from training, which is a good thing.

One of his major recommendations was that I tape my wrist, which I had not been doing previously. Once I started doing this my wrist are no longer sore after performing FS and Cleans.

Garrett Smith 03-27-2009 06:43 AM

Craig, that's awesome!

When you say treatments, if you don't mind, what generally was done? Was it laser therapy?

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