Elbow pain from weightlifting

Elbow pain is a warning sign that something is wrong and there is a need to treat the condition before getting worse. Elbow pain from weightlifting is usually caused by golfer’s elbow. Using improper techniques when lifting weights can cause overloading of the muscles and tendons found in the elbow and result to pain and tenderness on the inside part of the joint and part of the forearm. There is weakness in the hand and wrist, stiffness and tingling sensation or numbness in the fingers. There is limited mobility of the affected elbow. If the elbow pain is severe, chronic and becomes worse, it is vital to seek medical help immediately.

Elbow pain can be caused by overuse or repetitive movements from certain jobs such as typing or reaching for something across the desk. Performing regular bench pressing or pushups can cause pain in the elbow area. Small tears will start accumulating in the surrounding tendons which results to pain and inflammation and becomes worse when the tendons repairs and there is formation of scar tissue around the affected area and lessened flow of blood.

Elbow pain

Apply an ice pack on the affected elbow. Icing the affected area helps in minimizing the inflammation of the damaged tissue and pain.

Pain in the elbow starts from the inner or outer part of the elbow and sometimes spread down the arm. Pain can be felt when twisting the wrist or forearm especially while lifting something heavy such as a dumbbell.


  • Take plenty of rest especially the affected elbow. Avoid lifting weights using the arm when there is still pain to prevent making the condition worse.
  • Apply an ice pack on the affected elbow. Icing the affected area helps in minimizing the inflammation of the damaged tissue and pain. Apply ice on the area at least 15-20 minutes at 4 times throughout the day. Avoid applying ice directly on the skin in order to prevent frostbite. Wrap ice in a towel or cloth before applying on the affected area.
  • Wear compression bandage on the affected elbow in order to help lessen the pain. Compression also helps minimize inflammation of the damaged tissue and relieve discomfort. Continue wearing the compression bandage even if pain is minimized especially when lifting. The elastic bandage helps lessen the load placed on the elbow as well as reduces stress and strain on the tendons, muscles and the joints. Another option is wearing a forearm strap which also helps in relieving the load due to lifting.
  • Take Omega-3 or fish oil supplements to minimize the swelling and development of scar tissue in the elbows. You can also include fish, flax seeds, walnuts and chia seeds in the diet. Flax seed or chia can be sprinkled in salads to make sure these can be consumed.

Seek the help of a physical therapist for activities that are not stressful on the elbows in order to help prevent re-injuring the affected area.

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