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Elbow Stiffness/Pain

Old 12-18-12, 04:44 PM
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kinetic
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Elbow Stiffness/Pain

Hey gang- I've only been road biking for about a month but have been getting in steady miles, usually at least 20mi rides. I have about 300mi on the bike in the last month.

I started to get some elbow stiffness and pain at full extension after one 35mi ride with a couple of longish sprints out of the saddle plus some out of saddle climbing. It has gotten a little worse so I took a week off of riding to see if it improved. The left one did, still some pain at full extension but nothing bad. The right one is just as bad and on todays ride was so stiff that it didnt want to move for me when repositioning on the bars.

Most of the pain is on the outside, right around the point if that makes sense.

I hate to have to get off the bike......is this a fit issue or do you know any stretches that may help with this?
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Old 12-18-12, 06:02 PM
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You are a good candidate for a fitting.

Yes, fit issue and also core muscles. Even after all the adjustments have been made, a good fitter will "coach you" as to how you should be riding.

One thing I learned is that the core muscles are supposed to help in supporting your torso so that the elbows, arms, wrists don't take all the pressure from the weight of the torso.

Next time you ride, try resting your hands on the hoods as light as possible. That is, don't allow the torso weight to transfer to the arms much at all. This will make your stomach and back muscles do the work.

Another thing I do is to do some repetitions while riding on long straightaways. I would purposefully lower my torso and raise it, trying not to put weight onto the arms. I automatically do strengthening of the core muscles this way.
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Old 12-18-12, 10:42 PM
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Sounds like tendonitis. You could try ibuprofen while following the Cat's suggestions. When I've had this sort of thing in my arms, I went to the gym and worked them, hard. That has always fixed it for me. So seated rows, lat pull-down, curls, tricep extensions, stuff like that. I never got it from biking though, just coding.
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Old 12-18-12, 11:00 PM
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I’ll second having someone look at your fit especially the handlebar geometry. You might want to make sure the position of your brake hoods matches the angle your hands naturally want to rest on them. Gripping the bar or hoods too tight during a ride can put a constant stress on the back of the elbow where the Triceps attach. Think about making a conscious effort to have a light grip and to not lock your elbows during a ride. There is a reason for it happening. Hoping you find the reason soon so you can enjoy the benefits of riding!

Google ‘stretches for elbow pain’
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Old 12-18-12, 11:18 PM
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Do you lock your elbows when you ride?

Can you post a photo of yourself on the bicycle?
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Old 12-20-12, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Sounds like tendonitis. You could try ibuprofen while following the Cat's suggestions. When I've had this sort of thing in my arms, I went to the gym and worked them, hard. That has always fixed it for me.
+1 You can rest it but it always flares up again. You need to work it with light resistance training to strengthen the muscle around the joint.
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Old 12-20-12, 02:18 PM
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Make sure you don't lock your elbows when you ride. Besides making things hurt it'll make you swerve every time you hit a bump.
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Old 12-24-12, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by clemsongirl View Post
I’ll second having someone look at your fit especially the handlebar geometry. You might want to make sure the position of your brake hoods matches the angle your hands naturally want to rest on them. Gripping the bar or hoods too tight during a ride can put a constant stress on the back of the elbow where the Triceps attach. Think about making a conscious effort to have a light grip and to not lock your elbows during a ride. There is a reason for it happening. Hoping you find the reason soon so you can enjoy the benefits of riding!

Google ‘stretches for elbow pain’
Thanks for the input gang!

I had some tweaks done at the LBS....things are too crazy for a full fit right now, but after the first of the year they are going to do one. Something they noticed was that I drop a shoulder and ride a little cockeyed with my upper body. I suspect this is from the upper body muscle imbalance from around 22 years of hockey.......

The brake hood issues is one I have been messing with a little. I'm having to make a conscious effort to keep my elbows tucked in.....moving the brake hoods a little bit out helped with that and also reduced some strain.
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