Something interesting happened as my triceps workouts continued in their intensity. After doing some triceps elbow extensions and numerous other elbow extension exercises, I began to feel effects of what is known as elbow tendonitis. The symptoms generally included a pain with any movement of my elbows. So much so, that even resting my arms on a chair began to have an associated soreness to the touch. Similar to my bicep tendonitis experience, the pain experienced was not normal. A bodybuilder who is tune with their muscles can tell the difference between an intense workout and an intensely painful workout.
This elbow tendonitis came about from an overuse of any exercise. With the increased weight, I eventually reached a peak of classic overuse of the joints. Not sure of a treatment, I did the first thing I could. Adjust my form. Keeping the elbows locked in on triceps movements is critical. It can alleviate if not remove the pressure on the joints when doing a very heavy exercise movement. This was my first elbow tendonitis treatment experiment.
Continuing week after week with my new form, the pain was less severe, but it was not a full treatment. Some of the elbow tendonitis symptoms became less painful but the general pain was always present. This has an acute effect on your motivation to continue to do exercises. Doing triceps exercises (dips, skull crushers, one arm and two arm overhead extensions, rope pushdowns) has always been something I look forward to with each arm workout. But with anything that is painful, your body doesn’t want to do it. In fact, continuing and pushing past the pain “no pain no gain” mantra, I would have eventually damaged my joints beyond repair.
After talking to a friend’s wife, she told me about her husband, who started taking Glucosamine for his joints. There are basically two kinds of people who need some type of cartilage therapy. Those who are suffering from osteoarthritis or athletes with overuse injuries. Considering he’s not very old and probably isn’t losing too much cartilage, I had to believe that it was working on cars daily and using his joints excessively (turning hands, manipulating small parts) that lead to his overuse of his finger joints and the pain associated. Thus began my short research and trial of a Glucosamine product to see what benefits Glucosamine might have and any possible side effects specific to me.
Glucosamine is a combination of sugar and amine. It’s found normally in cartilage and plays an important role in cartilage health and resiliency. As you naturally age, you lose some Glucosamine and that leads to the eventual thinning of the cartilage around the joints. Osteoarthritis defined as the deterioration of the cartilage in the joints. Glucosamine and Chondroitin are found naturally in your body. Chondroitin Sulfate helps draw water into the cartilage (that the Glucosamine is repairing) making it more elastic.
Glucosamine is derived from the shells of crabs and shrimp. Most studies show that taking approximately 500mg three times a day for a total of 1500mg is effective in improving joint health. Those who have damaged their joints to the point of little to no cartilage, or who have had cartilage surgically removed, probably won’t experience any benefits simply because it’s impossible to repair cartilage that no longer exists. Most oral Glucosamine is easily absorbed because the molecules are very small, easily diffused and water-soluble.
After viewing the brief research above, I began taking oral doses of Glucosamine and Chondroitin, 1500mg a day, 3 capsules. My first choice was AST’s ProFlex 750 Joint Support formula. I ended up going to Costco and getting Kirkland’s Glucosamine Sulfate product as well. Just so I could have a supply at home. Different products but basically, Glucosamine and some Chondroitin.
Within the first few days, my elbow tendonitis symptoms started to disappear. I’ve been taking this product for about 2 weeks now, and my workouts are back to their regular intensity. Taking a Glucosamine and Chondroitin supplement has all but cured my elbow tendonitis. From the research I could gather, it’s important to take these products when you still have a lot of cartilage to repair. It’s pretty ineffective to take it when the damage is too severe or the cartilage is absent. Glucosamine is a naturally occurring substance in the body with a primary function of stimulating the growth and repair of cartilage tissues.
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