all posts post new thread

Other/Mixed Avoiding tendonitis?

Other strength modalities (e.g., Clubs), mixed strength modalities (e.g., combined kettlebell and barbell), other goals (flexibility)

Smile-n-Nod

Level 5 Valued Member
Five years ago I bought a kettlebell and begin a journey to attempt Simple and Sinister. After about seven months, I had to take a half-year break to heal some tendonitis (or tendonosis) in my knees and shoulder. I eventually started I started again, but several months later I had to take another long break due to tendonitis in my left forearm.
Today now I'm six months into another break from kettlebells, the fourth such extended break in five years.
I'm getting really tired of losing all my progress and essentially having to started over every 12 to 18 months.
What can I do to avoid tendinitis and tendonosis?
I've had my form checked by an SFG2 and told that it is fine. I'm 58 years old, so I'm sure that has a lot to do with it. I really want to get stronger to make my older years a little easier, but I'm making no progress.
Any thoughts on what I can do?
 

Slothlike

Level 5 Valued Member
I’m 53 and I’ve started to put in more recovery days into the plan to prevent that sort of thing. I also drink a cup of bone broth in the mornings when I start getting tendinitis and that seems to shut it down. YMMV.
 

offwidth

Level 9 Valued Member
There are a boatload of variables at play here. Getting checked by an SFG was a good call by you. Maybe hiring one as a coach for a period of time would be a possible next step.

When you were recovering before, were you doing so under the guidance of a qualified physiotherapist?

Are your diet and hydration and recovery strategies dialed in?

Are you trying to progress too rapidly (weight, volume, frequency)?

There are a variety of ‘pre-hab’ exercises one can do to strengthen the areas in question. (I do this for achilles, knees, elbows, and shoulders) These are obviously specific to body part and can be specific drills or something more global like OS Resets, Super Joints, Flexible Steel, etc.

And unfortunately genetics play a role. Some folks seem to be more predisposed to tendonosis than others.

There is likely no one silver bullet.

(65 and training for 5 decades +/-)
 

bluejeff

Level 6 Valued Member
@Smile-n-Nod are the flare-ups always in the same places? What part of the forearm? Inside or outside the elbow? Can you tell if there's a difference if you do just swings or just get ups? Comb through everything you can think of (including diet, rest, etc) and give us some details. The more info you have the better. As said above, there can be many factors at play here.
 

Melika

Level 1 Valued Member
I actually got an absurd amount of value (and relief!) out of walking backwards on a treadmill for 2 minutes with the treadmill off. I, too, have had limited training for the past two months as I rehabbed. I believe I had also injured my nervous system for my quads in the past which made it more likely to perceive injury. Someone posted the following video a little while ago and I decided to give it a shot since what he said was clinically true and I figured I would stop if it was painful. I was surprised, no pain during or following and I was able to do my half workout without pain. Then yesterday I did a ridealong with a local fire department and was climbing in and out of the fire engine (you have to understand, I'm 5'1" so those steps are HUGE) all day- no pain! I am thrilled and will be continuing to test this out and build my training back to where it was. Maybe it will be worth a shot for you, too.

 

Shawn Crespi

Level 5 Valued Member
Five years ago I bought a kettlebell and begin a journey to attempt Simple and Sinister. After about seven months, I had to take a half-year break to heal some tendonitis (or tendonosis) in my knees and shoulder. I eventually started I started again, but several months later I had to take another long break due to tendonitis in my left forearm.
Today now I'm six months into another break from kettlebells, the fourth such extended break in five years.
I'm getting really tired of losing all my progress and essentially having to started over every 12 to 18 months.
What can I do to avoid tendinitis and tendonosis?
I've had my form checked by an SFG2 and told that it is fine. I'm 58 years old, so I'm sure that has a lot to do with it. I really want to get stronger to make my older years a little easier, but I'm making no progress.
Any thoughts on what I can do?
Tendinitis of the patellar tendon, or “jumpers knee” is what I think I’m dealing with right now as well, and trying to stave off. I’ve had some success.

This is a related thread:

I feel your pain (quite literally). I’ll post some more specifics later, but I found certain stretches really help with preventing jumper’s knee.

Standard treatment of tendinitis is stretches, strengthening exercises, NSAIDs, cessation of exercises that exacerbate it, and RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation).

I’m amazed out how much deep, diaphragmatic nasal breathing affects my general well-being, including helping maintain good posture. Though i can’t support this with evidence at the moment, I suspect it also helps with circulation, perhaps anti inflammatory as well.

Perhaps you need to take time off of S+S, rehabilitate until pain is completely gone, and easy back into S+S with less volume and/or weight. Something like doing swings one day and get-ups the next rather than on the same day.

One last thought: tendons do not strengthen as quickly as muscles do. Somehow we have to account for that.
 

BillSteamshovel

Level 5 Valued Member
Various ideas that I have seen, might be useful- discard what is not relevant to you.
Us older folk who think we are still as invincible as we were 30 years ago need to pay a bit more attention to seemingly minor tweaks so "Expand" your 7 day exercise cycle into a 10 day exercise cycle with more rest days
+1 for Offwidth's prehab exercises suggestion

Artificial aids ? Some people use lifting hooks to do deadlifts I used them to gently start doing pullups again, less stress on grip/ forearms/elbows - able to exercise bigger pullup muscles whilst putting less stress on the injury.
Use abs slings to do hanging core exercises - less stress on grip/forearm/elbows/ (and shoulders ? not sure)

One idea I found on internet was that for novices its easy to grow stronger muscles but tendons and ligaments lag behind and can get hurt(tendonitis) by the newly strengthened muscle, so don't try to improve strength too much too quickly - can someone who knows more than me verify or debunk this idea please ?
 

LukeV

Level 6 Valued Member
The first thing you need to do is abandon any preconceived notion you have about what "exercise" looks like and instead figure out what exercise looks like for you without tendon damage and pain. Drop the weight, increase the reps, increase the rest periods, increase the rest days, change the exercises, change the range of motion etc. As soon as you feel tendon discomfort stop what you are doing and go home. If you only accept one piece of my advice please let it be that! And before you workout again reflect on what you were doing to cause that twinge and don't do that again. I hate to say it, but why are you so fixated on S&S and using kettlebells? There's plenty of other ways to get a great workout that might not cause you such repeated discomfort. Try something else
 

jozko

Level 5 Valued Member
Everything tendon-related is a long run. Based on my experience, nutrition plays role too.

+1 for bone broth recommendation, but I don't think it's sufficient. IMHO gelatin contains more peptides you need + vitamin C is crucial for collagen synthesis - Tip: A Cheap, Simple Stack for Healing Injuries.
I eat a lot of soups, and I just put a little bit of gelatin to it to gain bone-broth qualities ^^

+1 for recommending kneesovertoesguy - I am going to investigate his protocols in detail this weekend.

As for training-wise advice, perhaps this helps a little: Overcoming Tendonitis - Steven Low

This is quite long and in-depth analysis, an although I find some passage questionable (increased blood flow does not help?), it is overall quite good reading. I think you should keep moving without aggravating it. From article:
  • Rest — You may encounter “rest” for tendinopathy as a common form of treatment from doctors, physical therapists, advice from others, and so on.

Rest typically only works in the range of normal tendon to reactive tendinopathy. It typically does not work for tendinopathy moving toward tendon dysrepair and degenerative tendinopathy stages. If resting does not help your tendinopathy, then it’s likely that there’s some dysrepair or degenerative aspects that need rehabilitation.

Quote from article II:

"Corrective measures

Eccentrics — The only high quality evidence for rehabilitation
Research note: Heavy slow resistance (HSR) is a protocol that has gained a bunch of popularity in the past 5 or so years which seems to be effective for lower body tendonitis (achilles and patellar specifically). In this, you aim to do 3 sets of 10-15 reps with heavier weights and a slow eccentric phase. This has been proven to work for around 60-80ish% of the population with those tendinopathies as well, so if you want to use a scientifically proven method for lower body tendinopathies you can try this. If that doesn’t work, the higher reps protocol has had some success with non-responders of HSR. Likewise, the opposite: if you’ve tried higher reps and not tried HSR then HSR might work for you."



However, I believe this is something you should consult with a doc specializing in this area. Unfortunately most docs will just tell you "rest, do not move", or prescribe NSAIDs, which just cover the problem, but do not solve it.

Bonus: glycine in collagen is a neurotransmitter, so it may improve sleep quality in certain cases. Which is good for regeneration too ;)
Bonus II: read Pavel's Super joints. My shoulders and elbows liked it a lot!
 

PaulAllen

Level 6 Valued Member
For me, trying to go to heavy to fast or pushing myself to hard and loosing my technique have been the causes. I fixed my latest bout of this in my right forearm with yoga of all things. LukeV's post above is spot on! You have to stop when you initially feel it or else....
 

jozko

Level 5 Valued Member
The first thing you need to do is abandon any preconceived notion you have about what "exercise" looks like and instead figure out what exercise looks like for you without tendon damage and pain. Drop the weight, increase the reps, increase the rest periods, increase the rest days, change the exercises, change the range of motion etc. As soon as you feel tendon discomfort stop what you are doing and go home. If you only accept one piece of my advice please let it be that! And before you workout again reflect on what you were doing to cause that twinge and don't do that again. I hate to say it, but why are you so fixated on S&S and using kettlebells? There's plenty of other ways to get a great workout that might not cause you such repeated discomfort. Try something else
Right. For example, Romanian deadlift is a powerful hip hinge, and actually improves knee health buy strengthening hamstrings. Pressing with bad shoulder is more problematic, but one arm dumbbel/kettlebell presses are sually the safest choice, as they allow you to rotate the arm during press. Also be sure to incorporate some pulling movements. More horizontal upper body pulling helped me in the past.
 

Pete L

Level 5 Valued Member
Make sure you're working the antagonistic movement as well, e.g. finger flexors not just grip.
If the body part is small, put it in a bucket of cold water. That helped my thumb tendinitis.
 

Manuel Fortin

Level 6 Valued Member
It seems you can do S&S for a few months before problems occur. I would suggest doing S&S and stop BEFORE you are forced to stop. Then, for a while, do something else that will keep you in shape For example, S&S for 12 weeks, then switch program for 12 weeks, with different movements. You choose what you like. The possibilities are endless. You can for example do the strength aerobics program if you want to keep on using kettlebells. You can learn the C&J and do any of the numerous programs that use this movement. You can even go in a totally different direction and do deadlifts, a press and some light jogging a few times a week for 3 months. You can try shorter blocks also. Experiment. Blocks can be as short as 2 weeks. People in the forumlike blocks of various lengths.

Now, will you "lose" your progress? Well, yes, of course. The first time you get back to S&S after 3 months off it, you will not be able to repeat the same performance you had just before you stopped. However, if you choose your alternative carefully, you will be back to your previous level rapidly.

There may be a "reason" why you have problems with S&S, and if you are lucky enough to find the cause of your problem, you may solve it. However, this may take a lot of time, and asking on a forum will give you so much information and possibilities that your chances of finding the "right" answer rapidly are slim. The reason however may be impossible to "fix". Don't forget that tendons and ligaments adapt much slower to exercise than muscles, and the older we get, the worse this gets. I'm 51, so I see the trend. If you load a structure repeatedly, and it's not up to taking the load, it will get damaged. By switching exercises, you make sure that the loading pattern changes, and that may be just what you need to keep you injury free.
 

Benjamin Renaud

Level 8 Valued Member
I've been dealing with the same kind of issues as you since I started training some 8 years ago. I wish I would have found the solution by now.

If I don't do enough volume I don't progress and if I do even just a little bit too much I've gotten tendon issues. But not progressing or progressing slowly is better than nagging tendinopathies that last months or years.

If I can give you a piece of advice, it is to learn what your body can take. I don't follow a program to the letter anymore, I take more rest and recovery and progress through volume/intensity slower.

What has helped me recover from the worst tendinopathy issues I've had are GTN patches. I posted a thread about them a while back. They didn't fix everything but certainly did help a lot.


I also recommend reading these books: Overcoming Tendonitis by Steven Low and A Guide to Better Movement by Todd Hargrove. They both helped me understand tendinopathies and how pain works.

EDIT: you can also look up stuff from Keith Baar about tendinopathies

I hope some of this will be useful to you.
 

DocMike

Level 6 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
You will need to I corporate active recovery into your routine. Lots of info online but look for something that incorporates bands into your routine. Bands at high reps make tendons and ligaments bulletproof. I am a PLer and my routine is geared for a PL plan but the basics are high reps for 3 sets or reps for time...ie how fast can you do 100 reps with red band
 

DocMike

Level 6 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
The use of them varies but in the context of tendonitis i would use bands to do the following
Knee, hamstring...1 set of 100reps of seated hamstring curls with a band that allows you to do them non stop about 8 hours after a leg day workout
Knee, quads...1 set of 100reps of seated knee extensions with a band that allows you to do them nonstop about 8 hours after a leg day workout
Upper body...1 set of 100 reps of triceps extensions with a band that allow you to do them nonstop about 8 hours after an upper body day.

These exercises can be done with free weights or a machine but the bands are more effective and very easy to perform anywhere.
 

Skip

Level 2 Valued Member
I've had severe golfers elbow on and off for about three years - certain exercises really raise the risk, so I avoid them for now and instead focus on ones that help. Heavy clubbell inside circles have really helped, as have heavy mace 360s. Likewise dead hangs, and yoga. Lots of yoga.
Point is there's usually *something* you can do to keep your progress up, and don't be too insistent on keeping an exercise in your regime if it's going to cause you grief
 

Nate

Level 6 Valued Member
Bands are the large colored fitness bands. They range frin skinny (micro mini) to huge (monster). The use of them varies but in the context of tendonitis i would do the following
Knee, hamstring...1 set of 100reps of seated hamstring curls with a band that allows you to do them non stop about 8 hours after a leg day workout
Knee, quads...1 set of 100reps of seated knee extensions with a band that allows you to do them nonstop about 8 hours after a leg day workout
Upper body...1 set of 100 reps of triceps extensions with a band that allow you to do them nonstop about 8 hours after an upper body day.

These exercises can be done with free weights or a machine but the bands are more effective and very easy to perform anywhere.
Love bands for tricep extensions & face pulls/BPA, but need to figure out how to set up what I have for ham & quad.... Thx!
 
Top Bottom