Physical Rehabilitation Medicine/strange arm pain since 1 year



I really hope you can help me!

I did Acrobatics/Tumbling for a long time, but started with gymnastics a little later. I am doing really fine, I am quite strong but I always get severe problems with my arms.  I donít think ití s an overuse injury.
It started a year ago when doing pull-ups. It was a sharp pain near humerus on the inner side of my upper arm, but it didnít really hurt. The pain gets also aggravated when I work on bars or climb the rope, 10 minutes workout is enough to get it started. Push-ups and tumbling are usually fine and donít cause anything.
I also feel the pulling pain along the outer side of the upper and forearm, I guess this is where the radial nerve is.
Then I sometimes have dull and pushing-like pain on the inner side of my elbow and sometimes on the back where the tricep tendon attaches, which just flares up every now and then whenever it wants to but subsides after some seconds.

If I train through this, it gets worse and worse each session, it even hurts when tumbling.
I also feel these pulling dull pain when I do shot-put or play handball.
It is always a pulling pain in the whole arm, just on the inner party of the arm near the elbow, it hurts like if I was bleeding inside.
There is no redness, swelling, numbness or tingling and it doesn't hurt when I touch it. Also the fingers are not affected at all, this pulling, dull pain stops at the wrist. When I stop training the pain subsides either immediately or after about half an hour Ė depends on how severe it was. I do never feel it in everyday activities, just sometimes these little flare ups or muscle spasms every now. When I hold my arm in a certain angle (for example when I hold on to the gear change and put pressure on it) then I feel this little sharp pain along the inner side of the humerus as I felt in the very beginning.

I have been to several doctors, but no one could help me. All they said was it might be a nerve, a tendonitis or some sort of overuse injury. I also got deep tissue massage of the arms and rested for 3 months, but it came back immediately when doing pull-ups.
I am having an MRI and X-Ray of the cervical spine next week, but this is really freaking me out!
I really want to figure it out, because bars are one of the events in gymnastics and I am scared it will get worse.
BTW, I have the same symptoms in both arms, although the right one is affected more!

I hope you have some advice!

My guess is a radial nerve irritation at the Arcade of Froshe....or cubital tunnel syndrome.  I have seen ulnar nerve subluxation also but it doesn't sound like you have any symptoms.  Just a guess.

A good physical examination and MRI should help.  You should be seeing a hand and upper extremity specialist.  You can locate one near you at

Thanks and good luck!!

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Brian Neville, OTR/L, CWCE


I can answer questions about both conservative and post-operative rehabilitation for UPPER extremity injuries. These include but are not limited to: fractures, tendon repairs, tendon transfers, nerve repairs, lacerations, tenolysis procedures, TFCC injuries, repetitive motion disorders, reconstructive procedures. I have an advanced knowledge of UPPER extremity anatomy and industrial rehabilitation. I have extensive splinting skills for injuries to the upper extremity. Although not a physician or a surgeon I have worked closely with world renowned upper extremity specialists for over 10 years. I can give general information on what some of the most common upper extremity surgeries involve. I can reference those procedures as well. PLEASE DON'T ASK ME QUESTIONS ABOUT ANYTHING OTHER THAN THE NECK, SHOULDER, ARM/HAND. I'M NOT QUALIFIED AND KNOW ABSOLUTELY ZERO ABOUT BACKS/HIPS/KNEES/ANKLES/ETC. THANK YOU!!!


10+ years working closely with orthopedic and hand surgeons and their patients. I have treated patients with small lacerations to major reconstructive procedures. My knowledge base includes both conservative and post-operative rehab protocols and care for upper extremity injuries. I have treated patients all the way from day 1 post-op to return-to-work status.

Kentucky Occupational Therapy Association American Society of Hand Therapy National Nurses in Business Association Roy Matheson and Associates

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Occupational Therapist former Certified Hand Therapist (license currently inactive) Deep Physical Agent Modalities Instructor Certified Work Capacity Evaluator

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