How to tell Joint vs Tendon weakness?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 26, 2013 2:08 AM GMT
    Hey RJer's. Anyone here have joint problems or tendon problems in the past? What was your experience, and how did you stay fit when the pain was around?

    Can't really tell if the pain around my shoulders and knees are more joint related or tendon related. I do know that:

    - Pain tends to get worse as it gets colder.
    - Shoulders make a slight popping/crunching sound when rotating sometimes
    - The pain tends to be sporadic, not always ever-present (but moreso in winter months)

    What do you guys think?
  • Timbales

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    Feb 26, 2013 2:16 AM GMT
    Without an x-ray, you really can't tell. I'd suggest looking up some joint stabilizing exercises and make sure you maintain good form.
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    Feb 26, 2013 7:45 AM GMT
    I'm not an expert in this, and it's really hard to say for certain without seeing a good ortho or physical therapist.

    However...if the problem happens in the cold, or in the winter, it could well be that you're dehydrated. Heavy lifters / bodybuilders deal with "getting too dry" when they compete, or simply don't drink enough water. Statistically, only 15% of athletes are properly hydrated. In the winter, central heating causes you to lose water. These usually manifest in your elbows, shoulders, and knees, and will get better if you drink more water. Sometimes, they can be a result of a hormonal imbalance that changes your overall fluid volume. There are other causes, of course, but, dehydration, or too little estrogen / testosterone can often cause these generalized aches.

    Shoulder impingement, is caused by muscular imbalance. That is, the posterior side of your shoulder (the back) is not properly developed as opposed to the anterior (front side) and your shoulders pinch and snap. You'll see idiots at the gym doing shoulder presses to the front, and no rear delts exercises rubbing their shoulders.

    If you're drinking lots of coffee, as you see in your picture (if that's coffee), you can get dehydrated pretty easily. You need at least 1 gallon of water a day, every day, and 2 gallons is even better. If your pea is not clear, you need to drink more water.

    Stretching (post workout & never before), hydration, and a balanced strength routine are critical to long term health.

    You can look at taking some glucosamine, too.

    No one here can really diagnose you, and, you gave a very poor description of your issues.

    Likely, it has something to do with dehydration.

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    Feb 26, 2013 7:47 AM GMT
    Hi, the essential thing here is to get a diagnosis. You have more than one joint affected and you need to know the cause. This does not sound like a tendon problem. Once you have a diagnosis (which depends much more on your history and physical examination than x rays) you know what you dealing with. Whatever that is please don't despair because the most likely thing is exercise will be a key part of its management.
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    Feb 26, 2013 7:58 AM GMT
    Timbales saidWithout an x-ray, you really can't tell. I'd suggest looking up some joint stabilizing exercises and make sure you maintain good form.


    This is bad advice because he's aching all over for one. Two, for soft tissue problems, a MRI is indicated, but, because he's got problems all over, it sounds like a systemic issue rather than a single joint issue.
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    Feb 26, 2013 9:37 AM GMT
    I have tendonitis in my forearms. Massaging the muscle and where it joins the tendon gives relief. Massaging the joints does nothing. Maybe that's a hint?
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    Feb 27, 2013 12:30 AM GMT
    This is all really great, thanks guys.

    jackbennett-- I went to a doctor to try and get a diagnosis for this before, but he wouldn't do anything about it unless I came in specifically when I was feeling a lot of pain, which was impossible with my work schedule at the time. (Not with that doc anymore). Maybe I'll try my newer one..


    And Mr. Chucky Stud, sir! Thanks so much for the detailed analysis! I know my description was brief and a bit vague. I know when there is something wrong with it, and I can feel out when to stop during climbing or conditioning. But I am pretty bad when it comes to pinpointing and articulating what is exactly wrong in my body.

    I'm going to try upping my water intake to 1 gallon as per your suggestion. Usually I drink 2 cups of coffee, and around 50-75oz of water a day, but nowhere near a gallon of water. But what you say makes a lot of sense, and does sound to be very accurate to my issue. So you are also right when you say that the pain is all over, and not just around one joint.

    Also, I had been working in some light exercises to help balance out the posterior shoulder muscles, but maybe I should put a bit more focus on it, since climbing develops the front side fairly quickly.

    As for stretching, I usually spend the first 30min or so doing various stretches and bodyweight exercises before I either start in with weights or go climbing. Don't usually stretch afterwards though--that is definitely something I'll try.

    Seriously, this has been super helpful guys!