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Hello, fellow trainers! My name is Ben and I was born with f*cked up elbows! Before delving into this topic, I'd like to provide a brief disclaimer that this is NOT a recommendation of how to fix your elbow pain. This is merely my personal journey with my specific joint problem, and how I've gone about fixing it. My hope is that other members of the forum can read this and perhaps share their own personal journeys with their own problems. Knowledge is power, and I can only assume that there are more trainees than just me who are suffering from their own anatomy. It can be a hindrance. It can make performing some of the GST progressions dangerous if your body can't anatomically handle it. PLEASE consult your doctor/orthopedist if you think you have these kind of structural issues. There just might be a solution. And now, back to my f*cked up elbows. To be more specific, I have/had subluxation of BOTH of my ulnar nerves at my elbow joints. If I bend my arms more than 90 degrees, the ulnar nerve slides out of its home in the cubital tunnel and across the bone that is supposed to hold it in place. It doesn't hurt, really. Just some slight discomfort the longer I hold flexion of my arms. It wasn't much of a problem until I started Gymnastic Strength Training. Foundation One is where I began, and things were going swimmingly until I reached the second progression of the push up variation. To begin with, I couldn't get my chest to the bar in progression one, so I thought I would just bend my arms up to 90 degrees, avoid the violent nerve shift (it was worse under load), and I would be fine to progress with that modification. BOY was I wrong. I got stuck doing regular push ups for MONTHS, until I finally woke up and realized that my modified push ups weren't going to help me progress through this program. I use push ups as the primary example, but it was a major set back in my row progression as well. This was enough incentive to get me to pay my local orthopedist a visit. He confirmed what I had already guessed was subluxation of my ulnar nerves. My hope was that this could be fixed with a brace or some physical therapy, and we wouldn't have to resort to surgery. Surprise! We had to resort to surgery. If I were to leave this unchecked, I would eventually begin to lose feeling and strength in both of my hands. So, I could either get it done now, or wait until it manifested later. To me, this was a no brainer. So, I got myself scheduled for surgery on my left (dominant) arm. It was called a cubital tunnel release with anterior transposition. Basically, they took my ulnar nerve out of the tunnel and replaced it outside in a new tunnel made out of excess skin and fat. Yummy. A new discovery was made by my surgeon during the procedure. The lower part of my tricep was somehow wrapped around my ulnar nerve, which may have been the culprit of the subluxation in the first place. He had to make an incision to free the nerve. What followed was two weeks in a splint (which I just got off two days ago). I absolutely hated that thing. Now, the stitches are out and the process of healing is still in progress. I'm still working slowly to get back my full range of motion, but I can already tell that the problem is, indeed, fixed. I will be scheduling surgery for my other arm before the year is out. That's my story, and it's far from over. I will keep y'all updated as I heal and get back into the swing of things GST-wise. I welcome any and all members of the forum to engage and discuss with their own experiences and knowledge. Train smarter, not harder. And most importantly, train SAFE.
I've always had fairly sensitive wrists, which for quite a while kept me from doing any kind of HS work. For some reason only wrist extension aggravated me though, I've always been able to do full wrist pushups with ease. About 4 months ago I found that if I actively engage my posterior forearm muscles while my wrist is in extension, it almost feels like it braces my wrists... after about a week of doing this all pain was gone and I was, and still am able to handstand to my hearts content. Just actively flexing my posterior forearm, and kind of rapidly bringing my wrist to extension throughout the day, especially pre-handstand, combined with all the basic wrist stretches have completely fixed my wrist pain. I've searched all over, and I've never heard of this method before. I've been rock climbing very regularly for the last two years which is obviously very anterior forearm dominant... Maybe I just had a muscular imbalance, and strengthening my posterior forearm balanced everything out? Anyways, I thought I would put this info out there for others who may be suffering from wrist pain, and I'm also curious if anyone could explain why this worked so well for me?