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Old 07-21-2010, 05:59 PM   #1
Brian M Smith
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Default Upper arm pain from rack position

lately I've had some serious pain in my shoulder/outside upper arm/elbow area. I thought at first it was caused by arm pulling during the clean, but tonight I realized its caused by the rack position and not the clean. Pain flares up and becomes unbearable, and just throbs for a half hour to an hour.

Anyone ever had anything like this? I can't find much on it doing searches. Is this tight tricep muscles? maybe some deep tendon or something similar to an IT band in your arm? Whatever it is, its preventing me from front squats or doing clean work, not to mention just being miserable to deal with in general.
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Old 07-21-2010, 09:01 PM   #2
Steven Low
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If you want a real diagnosis, see an orthopedic doc.

If you want a guess by myself, we can do that..

1. Google a pic and mark where it hurts.

2. What exercises hurt? Which shoulder articulations hurt?
http://www.exrx.net/Articulations/Shoulder.html

3. What type of pain is it? Burning? Ache? Tingling? Sharp?

4. Acute or chronic? What date was onset?

5. Any previous injury history?

6. How's your posture?

7. What is your current workout routine for that bodypart? Do you play any sports?

8. Have you been training through pain? If so, how long?

9. Check the tissue quality of the surrounding muscles. Which ones are tight? Which ones are tender? Is there any swelling?

10. What have you been doing for recovery purposes?

11. Any other information I should be aware of or that comes to mind that may help?


Initial impressions -- Pain deep in the shoulder joint generally isn't a good thing... could mean labrum.

I would definitely recommend seeing an orthopedic doc if at all possible.
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Old 07-22-2010, 06:11 AM   #3
Brian M Smith
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I'll try to explain a little more by using your questions, please excuse my crude drawing by "upper arm" I meant the arm between shoulder and elbow.

1) http://cathletics.com/forum/attachme...1&d=1279803201
the pain is more on the outside of the shoulder (not deep in shoulder) and extends down the side of the arm to the elbow, where theres soreness seemingly under the forearm muscle there, and then around to the back just above the elbow bone/"point". As for the "side of arm" part, its not specifically in the bi or tri area, but the area between them. More specifically, it seems to be right along/under the front edge of the tri muscles. Hopefully that makes some sense?

2) the only thing that makes it flair up is the rack position (so front squat or cleans make it hurt). I can do snatches, pullups, jerks, pulls, snatch balance, etc no issues. I can do shoulder dislocations almost down to a clean grip with no issues either. I'm assuming the problem lies at the elbow when it is in full flexion? (ie, how it is in the rack position). Its worse on left arm than right, which somewhat makes sense as the left elbow is lower in the rack position (cost me a lift during comp as it touched my knee)

3)when the pain flares up it is burning, like a fire under the skin. right now (next day) its just a slight soreness, similar to what you'd feel the day after an intense workout.

4) first sign of soreness was july 10th, during the C&J warmup/portion of a comp. Took it easy the week after, did some snatch/c&j work on the 15th and it was sore again. Started a progression into a full bulgarian program sunday and its been sore on C&J days.

5) no injury history

6) I'd say posture is pretty good, its something that I have worked on specifically in the past.

7) current routine is moderate volume, progression into bulgarian program.

8) training through the pain this week. Its fine & sometimes no initial pain, but then flares up when I start C&J

9) this is what perplexes me as I can't seem to find anything. Soreness is obviously there, but nothing is tender to the touch. the behind-the-head tricep stretch doesn't hurt, shoulder articulations don't hurt, etc. I'm puzzled.

10) recovery the past few days has been 2 advil and bengay on the problem areas. The bengay really works some magic.

11) additional info: I'm somewhat of a beginner in oly lifting. Been working the lifts into a strength program for a couple months, met up with a local club and started full oly lifting end of june, first comp was july 10. I've been doing cleans for months now though, so its weird that all of a sudden this is an issue. Maybe heavy snatches are tightening the muscles in that area? A shot in the dark I suppose, my initial thoughts are flexibility issues I guess.
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Old 07-22-2010, 01:39 PM   #4
Brian M Smith
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been doing some research on this, seems like a few people have had similar issues, but haven't found any solutions just yet.

I should add that wrist movement in any/all directions doesn't affect it, nor does grip (so not tennis elbow). Elbow bending/extention doesn't really seem to affect it either, nor does forearm rotation. (was thinking tricep tendonitis, but maybe not?)

I'm still confused...
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Old 07-22-2010, 04:28 PM   #5
Steven Low
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Google "nerve glides" and click on the first link and do some radial nerve glides.

See how that feels.

The position you're describing is pretty much the path of the radial nerve down intot he forearm. If your nerves aren't long enough to stretch in rack position it puts a lot of tension on them which can lead to some minor tearing/burning/searing pain of the nerve as it's a bit stretched beyond it's limits.

Nerve glides should help fix that.

Take your fish oil, DO NOT WORK THROUGH PAIN, do the nerve glides and some other soft tissue work.

Let it heal up and nerve glides loosen it up... see how it feels in a couple days and get back to me.
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Old 07-22-2010, 05:42 PM   #6
Brian M Smith
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thanks for the tips Steven, I appreciate it.

I found your site as well today, should provide for some good reading
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