It is no surprise that the elbows take quite a beating in heavy lifting sports. Lifting heavy and repeatedly is consistently adding a stressor to the tissues of the elbow. 

This elbow pain complaint tends to vary in each person and how much it is being a deterrent to training or competing.

The most common complaints for the elbow are named as golfers elbow or tennis elbow. The repeated swinging of the arm either in a forehand or backhand position while hitting a small object to make it go flying forward. That is all good and fair if you are a golfer or tennis player, but what about someone that is lifting weights or throwing? A major problem is getting this elbow pain right in the middle of competing. 

What if you didn’t have to have elbow pain during your training or competing? 

The biggest problem seen is the repeated trauma to the tissue that causes the injury or what would be known as tendinopathy. The achilles heel is that for a lifter it may be less reps but a higher load that causes the trauma, while for a thrower its less load but more reps. Within teachings from the creator of Active Release Technique Dr. Michael Leahy was described this law called The Law of Repetitive Motion. 


Here is the equation: 


Here is the Key.

I = insult to the tissue

N = number of repetitions

F = Force or tension of each repetition as a percent of maximum muscle strength

A = Amplitude of each repetition

R = relaxation time between repetition (lack of pressure or tension on the tissue involved)

So when looking at this we know that high load with less reps and less relaxation brings about increased insult to the tissue. 

In the treatment of golfer’s/tennis/lifters/throwers elbow there are many. The grand goal is decreasing the inflammation in the region. Whether that means manual therapy using dry needling, scrapping and or ultrasound/TENS unit it can be dependent on you the patient and what you have experience or less anxiety over. The use of kinesiology tape is for the support, removal or dampering of tension to a certain area. 

Here are 5 things we look for when assessing for elbow complaints.

  • Redness and swelling
  • Joint range of motion and end play
  • Tender to the touch palpation
  • Wrist range of motion (painfree)
  • trigger points and nerve tension

What should be looked at and evaluated is your position with said activity. The bench position or squat position. A major component of all of this is building up the capacity within the elbow to resist injury. If the elbow isn’t aligned well with heavy push positions it is extremely easy to put more tension in that region.

In treating elbow complaints the rehab is directed at strengthening up the elbow in its end ranges of muscular strength in all the varieties and positions.


Watch these two videos showing what to expect with treatment. 

As with all patients of ours we don’t just treat the complaint, we treat the whole person. A full body assessment in movement patterns and the history tell us so much information that help us build the best treatment plan for you. 


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