I’ve recently developed significant pain inside my right elbow, to the point pull-ups, dips and several other moves, like putting on a t-shirt, have become painful and problematic. There’s a certain irony to this happening after the CrossFit Open and not during, but I believe I’ve the solutions in hand.
First was going to see Dr. Alex Tapplin at Valley Spine & Sport. Alex keeps my body on the athletic road; Active Release therapy from him has been instrumental helping my torn rotator cuff heal and perform. He diagnosed my elbow with epicondylopathy. More or less, impingement of a nerve by tendon, ligament and/or muscle. Therapy on his table, exercises to perform on my own, and I’m seeing improvement day by day.
Second step was getting my hands on the Schiek Elbow Sleeves. Thanks to John Schiek I had a set in my hands within two days. I’ve never worn protection on my elbows, but knowing from experience how much of a difference knee sleeves make for me, I hoped these would be useful.
John sent me Model 1136ES; these are decently heavy duty, made with HyPUR-cel (meaning, they stretch and breathe without turning my skin into the surface of the Moon). I like them a great deal. Using the sizing chart on the Schiek website is necessary (www.schiek.com). Open the package, slide the sleeves on with a minimum of tugging, no skin scraping, and I was ready to train.
Dr. Tapplin and I hoped that stabilizing my elbow would enable me to train most movements more easily with a minimum of pain. For a week or so, or until the pain goes away entirely, I’m avoiding those movements that send unmistakeable arrows of pain through my arm and shoulder. But with the Elbow Sleeves on I’m overhead pressing, deadlifting and cleaning with no problem. Today I’ll experiment with kettlebell work, and tomorrow in my Monday bro/meathead session, I’ll bench (just so you know, I’ll also squat tomorrow).
I’m wearing both sleeves, even though I’ve not experienced pain in my left elbow. My thinking is this will keep that situation from developing. Plus, I like looking like an extra from a Mad Max movie when I’m stomping around the gym with my lifting shoes, Rehband knee sleeves and Schiek Elbow Sleeves on. I feel a bit like Barry Bonds; remember how much protective gear and braces he had on when he went to bat?
For me, the Schiek Elbow Sleeves are essential to keeping me in the gym while my elbow undergoes treatment. I feel good with them on, I experience a significant lowering of nerve pain during many movements. Being able to continue to train at a high level, yet at the same time not feel I’m compromising my health, is important for me.
Hey, I wonder if Wall Balls will be easier with these sleeves on?