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Forearm muscle/tendon soreness

Old 09-12-19, 11:57 AM
  #1  
RubeRad
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Forearm muscle/tendon soreness

I didn't know where exactly would be the right place post this, so I chose General.

For the past few months I've had soreness in the tendon/muscle area near my left elbow (outer side when in biking position), is this possibly due to bike time/bike fit?

On my berfday ride I tried to cater to two very different groups of riding friends by offering a 20mi trail ride followed by a 30mi road ride. My MTB was out of commission at the time so I did it all on my drop-bar CrossCheck.

Actually, not 'all', because almost immediately after starting the road part I totally died. All-body soreness (including my Right elbow in this way, but ever since the ride, in my Left elbow), extreme fatigue, I got dropped hard on every hill. Ended up cutting the road segment short at probably about 20mi. Every time I finish riding to/from work, it's sore and I have to stretch/rub it out (and I have a hard time finding a position that gives a good localized stretch there)

My wife thinks my stem is too long, my position is too stretched out. Is my kind of elbow soreness a symptom of that kind of fit error? I notice when I'm in the hoods my arms are pretty straight. I usually ride on the tops, leaning on locked elbows, I almost never ride in the drops.

I'm a hair under 6' tall. I feel pretty averagely proportioned, but if anything tending more towards leg/arm than torso. The CrossCheck is a 60cm ('just a fistful of seatpost') and I have I think a 110 stem on.

Any feedback appreciated...
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Old 09-12-19, 12:38 PM
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I'm not sure how to help with this. I'm 6' 1" with a longer torso, and I ride bikes with ~57.5 cm top tubes and ~100-110mm stems and maybe 80mm of saddle to bar drop.

To me, your frame sounds one size too large, but who knows? Do you have a side view photo of you on the bike in various riding positions? Maybe someone else might see something. If your elbows are locked and you're feeling lingering discomfort, that might be the issue right there.

Good luck. PG
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Old 09-12-19, 12:55 PM
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+1. Sounds like lateral epicondylitis, but you would need to be repetitively stressing that muscle to have that issue. It sounds like you've been riding for many years so it seems unusual to blame cycling as a cause of new onset pain. If it's a new bike/new fit you may be struggling to grasp and hold on.
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Old 09-12-19, 03:40 PM
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Thx, googling and finding lateral epicondylitis=Tennis Elbow, I've of course heard of 'Tennis Elbow' before but never had a concrete understanding of what it is, but it seems like that's exactly what I've got going on.

I wouldn't say it's long-term cycling that brought it on, but more likely the extra-intense day of cycling. 20+20 doesn't seem like much, but the 20 trail miles on the CrossCheck was pretty vigorous (for me) and as I said I couldn't complete the planned 30 on the road.

Don't have any pics of me on the bike I don't think. If I can find or take any I'll post them.

When I think of sizing I think primarily of seat tube length and probably not enough of top tube length. I think I have a shorter stem knocking around the garage somewhere, I keep meaning to swap that out and see if it makes a difference.

I'll also google PT exercises/stretches for tennis elbow and see if I can work it out.
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Old 09-12-19, 05:13 PM
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I found holding my phone for long periods, as when reading, causes the same issue, especially in bed with my elbow resting on the matress.
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Old 09-12-19, 05:25 PM
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I'm finding (with age?) my knee joints are aggravated by long, slight pressure. In the bedroom we have a couch a couple feet away from the side of the bed. If I sit on that couch and rest my legs straight on the bed, my knees get sore from gravity. Or if I pull in a bit, let the knees bend out, they get sore from the lower legs being supported by the bed, but gravity on the thighs pulling down against the knee joint.

Aging, amirite?
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Old 09-12-19, 06:21 PM
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I thought that you shouldn't ride with your arms locked but they should have a slight bend in them (at the elbows). I always thought that riding with the arms locked transfers all your bumps straight up your arms and your elbow joints would bear a lot of abuse on a bumpy road.

I could be wrong here but that's what I've always been told..
If this is correct then your stem might be too long indeed (or saddle position too far back)

Cheers
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Old 09-12-19, 06:25 PM
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I seem to be sensitive to the combination of saddle height, handlebar height, and rotation of the drop bar. I have 24,000 miles on the bike and one would think in that time everything would have long since been dialed in. As it turns out, the current setup is the best so far. I am finding that if the saddle and top of the bars are even, the bars need to be rotated a bit up for a relatively comfortable angle of the wrists. Other wise the wrists get sore. Currently the saddle is above the bars one cm and the bars are level. The saddle has been moved forward about one cm, opposite of what oe would expect to relieve pressure on hands and wrists.

My general conclusion is that cycling is so repetitious that even a slight amounts can cause discomfort and possibly long term damage. For example, keyboard use for hours daily and days on end can cause carpel tunnel syndrome. With this in mind, I recommend you experiment with different settings, changing things less than a cm at a time. Record dimensions before hand so as to get back to a previous position if a new setting does not work out. https://www.parktool.com/blog/repair...icle-section-1 You can download the Park Tool Road Positioning Chart to record various settings.
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Old 09-12-19, 07:00 PM
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Not from bike most likely

I currently have the issue you describe. In fact I have experienced this twice in last 10 years. Neither one caused by riding bike. But both are/were extremely painful when riding. The current issue I could trace to using string trimmer. I use a forearm compression sleeve, which makes riding ok. Eventually I find it will go away.
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Old 09-13-19, 01:53 AM
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I gave myself "tennis elbow" from playing musical instruments. The cure for me was a device called a Theraband Flexbar. I use it every time I get any discomfort in my elbow. Look for:
https://www.amazon.com/TheraBand-Ten...gateway&sr=8-5
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Old 09-13-19, 04:37 PM
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The 60cm Crosscheck has a 60cm top tube (actual). Pretty long. With a 110mm stem, its getting longer. I am just under 6 foot and ride 60cm frame with 58 tt, and 100mm stem. Frame is parallel 73 degree angles.

Body is fairly equally proportioned. From a fitters perspective, there is no real way to determine proper fit without seeing it in person. Go talk to a shop and see what they say.
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Old 09-13-19, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by justslow View Post
I gave myself "tennis elbow" from playing musical instruments. The cure for me was a device called a Theraband Flexbar. I use it every time I get any discomfort in my elbow. Look for:
https://www.amazon.com/TheraBand-Ten...gateway&sr=8-5
+1 on the TheraBand! I struggled with tennis elbow last year. Tried different PT exercises but it kept getting worse. What did the trick was the TheraBand.
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Old 09-14-19, 06:45 AM
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I wonder if it was over use (exceptional squeezing and/or jarring) from the MTB on CrossCheck. I've had golfers and tennis elbow issues from strength training. While I didn't feel riding actually aggravated golfer's elbow, I'd feel enough to know I had an ongoing injury. It's since healed and I no longer feel it while riding. However with existing tennis elbow I feel like riding makes if feel better. I attributed this to low pressure high volume braking over the course of a ride. As such I picked up a hand squeeze grip trainer and feel like it's noticeably better. My rides are pretty short by forum standards 8 - 30 miles, with 15 being typical.
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Old 09-14-19, 06:54 AM
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Interesting seeing the endorsements for Therabar. I had such high hopes for them base on all kinds of reviews from all types of athletes. I've tried for both medial and lateral at all resistances except largest with no improvement. At times felt it was aggravating the injury. With lateral seem to be having success with good, cheap, old fashioned hand squeeze device.
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Old 09-15-19, 04:19 AM
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I’ve had tennis elbow several times over the years and found the best way to treat it was compression bands, and the best bands are sold at bowling alley pro shops. They are nylon or polyester, but with no elasticity.
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Old 09-15-19, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by justslow View Post
I gave myself "tennis elbow" from playing musical instruments. The cure for me was a device called a Theraband Flexbar. I use it every time I get any discomfort in my elbow. Look for:
https://www.amazon.com/TheraBand-Ten...gateway&sr=8-5
Originally Posted by jkrjhn View Post
+1 on the TheraBand! I struggled with tennis elbow last year. Tried different PT exercises but it kept getting worse. What did the trick was the TheraBand.
Another endorsement for the Theraband bar thing, assuming this is, in fact, lateral epicondylitis.
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Old 09-15-19, 08:07 AM
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Originally Posted by cecu View Post
I thought that you shouldn't ride with your arms locked but they should have a slight bend in them (at the elbows). I always thought that riding with the arms locked transfers all your bumps straight up your arms and your elbow joints would bear a lot of abuse on a bumpy road.

I could be wrong here but that's what I've always been told..
If this is correct then your stem might be too long indeed (or saddle position too far back)

Cheers
Correct. Do not ride with elbows locked. I'm surprised no one else mentioned it.
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Old 09-15-19, 09:04 AM
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I remember way back in the 90s when wrist carpel tunnel syndrome started to be a known thing caused by computer keyboards. They then introduced keyboards with a new shape, and it went away for most people. They said it was due to the bad wrist position of the former keyboard. I doubted that, even as a boy in elementary school; common sense told me that repetitive syndrome could be caused by doing anything long enough in the same position.

Later they found that those new shaped keyboards were causing people pain again. Then they said that it would be a good idea to take a rest and stretch once every hour. Now they don't use that new keyboards as much anymore.

Anyways, my suggestion is to drastically change your riding position. If you currently ride a mountain bike, ride something like a beach cruiser, anything that puts your body in a completely different position so the stressed part can heal. During this time take it easy and have fun.

No need to run yourself into the ground by doing the same thing over and over.
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Old 09-16-19, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by justslow View Post
I gave myself "tennis elbow" from playing musical instruments. The cure for me was a device called a Theraband Flexbar. I use it every time I get any discomfort in my elbow. Look for:
https://www.amazon.com/TheraBand-Ten...gateway&sr=8-5
Dr Jo says those things are good, but you can do basically as well with a rolled up hand towel. I've started her regimen of stretches.
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Old 09-16-19, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by TiHabanero View Post
The 60cm Crosscheck has a 60cm top tube (actual). Pretty long. With a 110mm stem, its getting longer. I am just under 6 foot and ride 60cm frame with 58 tt, and 100mm stem. Frame is parallel 73 degree angles.

Body is fairly equally proportioned. From a fitters perspective, there is no real way to determine proper fit without seeing it in person. Go talk to a shop and see what they say.
The other stem I have laying around is a 60mm, so 110-->60 is pretty drastic, but I'll give it a try anyways. I dropped my saddle about 5mm this morning, and I liked it. I think I'm so paranoid about looking like an idiot for having my seat too low, I put it too high.
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Old 09-16-19, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by gear64 View Post
I wonder if it was over use (exceptional squeezing and/or jarring) from the MTB on CrossCheck. I've had golfers and tennis elbow issues from strength training. While I didn't feel riding actually aggravated golfer's elbow, I'd feel enough to know I had an ongoing injury. It's since healed and I no longer feel it while riding. However with existing tennis elbow I feel like riding makes if feel better. I attributed this to low pressure high volume braking over the course of a ride. As such I picked up a hand squeeze grip trainer and feel like it's noticeably better. My rides are pretty short by forum standards 8 - 30 miles, with 15 being typical.
That's interesting. I recently made a change to my cantis that made my CrossCheck braking significantly easier, but it's still nothing like easy, and 20 trail miles on the CC would have been quite a lot of stress from braking.
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Old 09-16-19, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by bedtime View Post
I remember way back in the 90s when wrist carpel tunnel syndrome started to be a known thing caused by computer keyboards. They then introduced keyboards with a new shape, and it went away for most people.
I've never understood why there are feet on the backs of keyboards, they should be on the front. Why would you want your wrists to have to bend backwards more? If anything your wrists should be able to drop some; or if your computer position is properly ergonomic your forearms are straight and your wrists should be straight too.

Anyways, my suggestion is to drastically change your riding position. If you currently ride a mountain bike, ride something like a beach cruiser, anything that puts your body in a completely different position so the stressed part can heal. During this time take it easy and have fun.
LOL my MTB is kind of like a beach cruiser, with the brooks saddle and Jones H Loop bars.
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