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To push through tendon pain or not?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by music321, May 27, 2017.

  1. music321

    music321 Well known member

    I hope you guys don't mind me posting so much, but I'm just trying to get through this damn thing. As a result of injuries, real or imagined, I was laid up for months and lost quite a bit of strength. I was weak to the point that propping myself up out of bed too much caused pain.

    I started lifting weights with 3 lb dumb bells, and took things very slowly. Within about the last three weeks or so, I have progressed significantly in terms of gaining strength. I lifted with heavier weight (6 lb), and many reps (30) last night, and felt fine afterwards. My muscles burned during the exercise from lactic acid, but I felt no pain at all, anywhere. Although 30 reps might seem like quite a bit, I didn't think of it that way at the time. As a rule, I try not to dumb bells that I can't lift at least 15 times per set. I do this precisely to guard against tendon injury. I had intended to lift the 6 lb weights 20x, but realized that I could get to 30. Yes, it was a struggle, but again, there was no pain. I felt that I'd given myself a good workout at 30 reps.
    Actually, I probably could have lifted another set, but decided not to push things too much.

    Today, the tendons of my forearm are painful. I have two choices: I can ice and rest the area for a few days, or not do anything, and go ahead with further lifting after two days have passed since my last workout. Icing the area and holding off on things like powering through washing the dishes would be the way to go if I were irritating the tendon as a result of building too much muscle too fast. NOT icing, and repeating to myself that there's nothing wrong with me is the way to go to address this as TMS.

    In a way, I feel that this might be a legitimate injury. I have read that muscles grow much faster than tendons. People that use steroids often suffer tendon injuries since muscle growth outpaces tendon growth. I am not using drugs to get stronger, just exercising vigorously and eating well. Is it even possible to grow muscle "too fast" in relation to tendons with this sort of program?

    What would you do?
    Last edited: May 28, 2017
  2. RichieRich

    RichieRich Well known member

    I wouldn't stress it too much. I'm pretty sure what you're experiencing is DOMS: delayed onset muscle soreness. Due to the low starting weight, your muscles probably weren't challenged enough to amount to much stress. When you start challenging the muscle that's when you start getting the soreness. Depending on the load it can vary from mild pain to down right agony (too much weight too soon). I'd take a few days rest until the soreness goes down to a dull ache then start back again with the same reps as last time then see how you feel the next day. 9 times out of 10 the soreness will not be near as bad. Wash, rinse and repeat. Eventually the tendons will strengthen to handle more load and you won't experience the pain, just fatigue.

    At that weight level I can assure you your muscle is not going to greatly outpace your tendon growth.
  3. music321

    music321 Well known member

    Thanks for the reply. I'm sure it was tendon pain rather than muscle pain, given the location. I spoke with someone knowledgeable in TMS, and was told that if there is orthopedic irritation of the tendon, for lack of a better term, then it will become manifest soon after engaging in exercise. Tendon pain that doesn't manifest until the next day is TMS.
  4. RichieRich

    RichieRich Well known member


    I understand what you're saying. I've lifted for some years and ran for others. I've torn and strained a lot of muscles, tendons and ligaments in the process. Some things are simply the normal process of things and not TMS. Please don't mistake my comment for rudeness, but I wouldn't get into the habit of assigning the TMS brand to seemingly innocuous circumstances, otherwise you may find yourself wrongly assuming certain pains as a psychogenic and not simply just a normal response to stress. This only fosters obsession with the problem, and this obsession can quickly spiral out of control resulting in more chronic discomfort.

    I wish you the best of luck in your recovery.

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