Forearm Pain with Bicep Training

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    Feb 08, 2010 5:56 AM GMT
    Lately, while I've been working my biceps, I'll get this piercing pain about halfway down my forearm when I release the weights. The pain is really specific - it almost feels like the bone is aching. I have been lifting pretty heavy and I know I could actually be lifting more but the pain is preventing me from pushing myself too much further.

    I'm just wondering if any of you have experienced this before, what I may be doing wrong, and if there's anything I can do to prevent it.

    Thank you in advance!
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    Feb 08, 2010 6:49 AM GMT
    It's common. A few tips..

    - Implement forearm training in your routine.
    - Use an EZ curl bar instead of a straight bar.
    - Try using dumbbells.
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    Feb 08, 2010 9:05 AM GMT
    You may want to study where your biceps tendon attaches. In particular, note where your radial tuberosity is. If you're having pain there, you've got a problem that needs some level of attention.

    If you have a partial tear, on the distal side, that's about where you'd feel it. Note that your radial tuberosity is fairly high on your forearm. Sounds like you may have inflammation, but, without the right tests, it's hard to tell from here, or, even, there.

    That should be enough to get you started helping yourself.

    A complete tear on the distal side is easy to figure out with the hook test. A partial tear is harder to tell without being an expert, and having proper diagnostics. A tear usually has some level of bruising a few days after. Sometimes, though, there's very little bruising.

    You may just have an inflammation where R.I.C.E. is indicated (Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation). Once that inflammation is down, if that's your problem, you'll want to strengthen that area, as well as stretch it, and proceed with some level of therapy involving lifting, stretching, and, likely, heat.. Remember: anything that's coddled generally only gets weaker. You're pretty thin, and you may just have bad muscle tone / weak muscle in your forearms.

    If you're unsure, you need to see a qualified professional.
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    Feb 08, 2010 12:35 PM GMT

    From your description it sounds like you may have distal biceps tendinitis. This is an inflammation in the biceps tendon where it attaches to the radius. This is a common problem resulting from bicep curls. The pain from distal biceps tendinitis is located on the front of the elbow and forearm area (anterior surface). There are other causes of forearm pain. There are two additional problems which are common. If the pain is located near the elbow on the thumb side this is tennis elbow ( lateral epicondylitis). If the pain is located near the elbow on the small finger side, the problem is golfer's elbow (medial epicondylitis). Like I said, there are other less common causes of forearm pain such as nerve or vascular compression and stress fractures. There is another problem which is being diagnosed more often since physicians are becoming more aware of it. Forearm splints (periositis) which is the same pathological process as shin splints that occurs in runners. You would need to see a professional to make the correct diagnosis. Don't believe anything you read on the Net concerning your health, and this includes what I'm saying. Always seek professional help.

    Chucky's advice for treatment is a good way to start. NSAIDS like Motrin or Alleve can also be used if there are no contraindications.

    Sometimes the problem is the result of weak wrists and forearms. Working on these areas may help you. An EZ curl bar may help, but for some individuals an EZ curl bar makes the problem worse or doesn't help at all.

    I had a similar problem which I'm slowly getting over. I found that hammer curls and concentration curls did not cause discomfort like barbell curls did.
    I could not do chin ups (palms toward you) because of sharp forearm pain. If I did pull ups (palms turned away), I had no pain. When you do chins ups, the biceps are relied on. Pull ups rely more on the upper back muscles and less on the biceps. Since the biceps are not as stressed, the pull up should result in less pain in the bicep tendon. The pull up is actually the better of the two if you want to work the upper back. Since the powerful biceps are relied on less, a pull up is more difficult than a chin up.
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    Feb 08, 2010 5:05 PM GMT
    Used to get that some time back. But then my instructor explained that I was lifting too much weight and in doing so lifting it incorrectly and thus the pain. So I went down a notch and made the movement more precise, slow and without jerks. So far haven't faced it again in last 5-6 months.
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    Feb 08, 2010 11:16 PM GMT
    I tore my distal biceps tendon on my dominant arm completely off. It's been reattached using the two incision with surgical sutures procedure,'s stronger than ever. I love my orthopedic surgeon! Still gets a bit achey, but, it's coming along nicely.

    Days in cast: 12
    Days in ROM brace: 17
    Days from surgery to full range of motion: 34.

    Smoked all my numbers...BIG TIME!!!