I have been doing push ups for almost a year with no problems and I never worried much about overtraining. About a week ago I was doing my sets one day when I felt something get caught in my arm in the elbow. I took it as a sign of overtraining and stopped any activity for the next 4 days. After four days I started again with a much lower intensity and I was perfectly fine, except that I would feel nerve pain in my left arm. I continued pushups for the next 3 days until I read about tendonitis, the symptons sounded very similar and the article said to completely stop any activity. However, the nerve pain has stayed with me and today it feels a little worse. I'm worried that it may be tendinitis or a ligament tear, I have been applying ice for temporary relief. I want know what it is and how to "cure" it not just relieve the pain because I need to get back on track as soon as possible.
Hi Monty, It's pretty unlikely you actually did any damage to a nerve, What may be going on is you did some damage to a muscle/tendon/ligament and the swelling from that injury may be compressing a nerve. Have you tried any of the OTC NSAIDS like Alleve or Ibuphrofen. If your looking to speed things up you could probably find an ortho willing to do some cortozone injections into your shoulder or elbow which would reduce the inflamation faster. However if you have torn something and you simply dull the pain and continue to over work the injured muscle or ligament you could end up with a much more severe injury. If you stretched or had a slight tear in a ligement in your knee, you wouldnt strap skis back on after 4 days, so I dont see the need to rush an injury in order to continue excercising. You should be able to make up the ground you loose in a matter of weeks even if you have to take a month or two off to allow complete healing.
Good luck, Dave
If you've developed Tendonitis there's not a whole lot "waiting it out" will do. You need to see an ortho and get it treated. Tendonitis doesn't just go away.
If you've pulled something, Ibuprofen or Alieve will help with the pain, ice/heat alternated will help with any swelling or onsite sorness, and rest and time will help it heal, not something you can rush.
If you've torn something you need to see an Ortho and have it evaluated.
From doing simple pushups that you do all the time, and I assume are doing properly...odds are you probably just pulled a muscle. If it doesn't get better within 2 weeks, go see a Dr. and get it evaluated.
Thank you for both of your replies, I hope I just a pulled a muscle/tendon/ligament and don't need any medicine or see a specialist. I have one other question though, how can I differentiate the symptoms between a pull and a tear. Also, I'm not sure if this helps at all, but the I think i found that the pain comes from right above my elbow. And the pain fades and comes back.
There is little difference between a pulled muscle and a torn muscle, unless the muscle is completely torn into two pieces, then there is a big difference. When the muscle is stretched too far the muscles fibres can break, causing a pull or tear. Think of the muscle as a rope, you know the action thriller where the guy is hanging by a rope and it's slowly tearing strand by strand, thatís similar to what happens to your muscle when you pull it, the fibres stretch and tear. It sounds a lot worse than it actually is. When you build a muscle you work it out till there are tiny tears that heal stronger than they were before, thatís how a muscle builds and thatís why you may feel stiff and painful the day after a heavy workout.
A lingering pull can be painful but they are not nearly as serious as a completely torn muscle. A pulled muscle will heal on its own, but it may take a full month to be completely healed, a completely torn muscle will usually require surgery to fix.
The more severe the damage the more severe the signs, there will be bruising, swelling, redness, and a lot of stiffness. If the muscle looks fine from the outside, but feels painful itís almost definitely just a pull, if there is a significant amount of bruising and swelling there could be a tear.
If the pain is continuing and not getting any better after 2 weeks and there are any physical symptoms you need to see your Dr. and have it evaluated. If it's feeling better and there are not physical symptoms, that just take it easy and let the muscle heal.
I forgot how long its been since the pain came (2 or 3 weeks ago) but it has greatly subsided. I'm sure within a few days I will be completely pain free. However, I'm not sure when exactly I should be exercising my arms again. I don't want to make my situation worse.
If it's been 3 weeks and it's greatly subsided, I'd give it 1 more week and then start very slowly, low weight, more repititions. Use heat afterward to keep it from stiffening up or becoming from painful. Once you can get through workouts painfree without any tenderness or stiffness the next day, you should be okay. But once you've pulled a muscle/tendon, they can remain somewhat weak, so don't go fullbalst on it antime soon.
I'm very close to getting back to working out again, but today I started feeling a pain in my arms. At first I thought the nerve pain was coming back but after a while I realized it felt a little different. Could this pain be caused from stiffness in my arms from applying ice all this time? I haven't done any real physical activity.
After two weeks of applying ice and no pain, the nerve pain returned. Is this from applying ice too much? And should I move on to heat? I haven't been working out so I can't see why the pain would return.