When we exert a little too much force or push our muscles beyond what they normally do on a daily basis, you can expect to experience some discomfort and pain. But what if you have recently noticed that your elbow is tight combined with some stiffness that prevents you from straightening your arm fully? Is this something you should worry about but more importantly how do you get your elbow back to normal?
There can be many reasons for elbow tightness and stiffness. For many individuals it can be a direct result of starting a fitness routine that involves lifting weights and doing exercises with dumbbells. To be more specific, you may have noticed that your elbow is tight the day after you perform a bicep workout. Why is this?
The main reason and causes of stiff elbow pain can be attributed to doing bicep curls with dumbbells. Most people tend to use way too much weight when doing this exercise. This causes you to swing the weight instead of engaging your bicep to curl the dumbbell. Using too much weight also requires an extreme and tight grip on the dumbbell. The combination of these two factors puts undue stress on the tendons and ligaments that attach at your elbow. More specifically your extensor tendon.
As you lower the weight, your arm becomes fully extended and straight. Because you are using too much weight, your extensor tendon stretches beyond it’s normal range resulting in irritation or even worse a small tear develops. Your body’s natural defense mechanism is for your tendon to tighten to prevent it from tearing completely. This is why the next day you notice some elbow tightness.
Besides working out, another reason for your tight elbow could be from lifting heavy objects with your arms fully extended and straight. If you’ve recently moved and had to lift boxes, then this could be the cause of your pain. Perhaps you just started a new job, sport or hobby that has you constantly reaching with your arms fully extended. Over time this action can cause tightness in your elbow.
Did you know that if your elbow is tight for an extended period of time and doesn’t seem to improve with time, then you could very well be suffering from the most common type of elbow injury? This injury is called tennis elbow. Despite it’s name, tennis elbow can happen to anyone at any age.
Besides elbow tightness, have you also noticed that your grip strength is not what it used to be? Do twisting actions of your affected arm cause the pain in your elbow to increase? If so, then you most likely have developed a case of tennis elbow.