Posted: August 26, 2011

AHHH! Light at the end of the tunnel!  After 4 months of having my ass kicked by severe nerve pain in my elbow, I can now see the light! I have learned some very important things about my bodies mechanics, and it’s predispositions to certain injuries. I have been battling ulnar neuropathy for 4 months. I couldn’t grip even a 5 lb dumbbell, if my arm was pointed down, or out laterally. I saw many practitioners. Sports medicine specialists, had EMG, soft tissue manipulations, chiropractors, and massage therapists. Thank God for one very special test, the EMG. It showed that the problem was not coming from a past neck injury, but from my ulnar nerve, and 3 mechanical predispositons in my bodies personal makeup. One being that I had a fracture in my clavicle, years ago. I also have elbows that hyperextend when straightened. And the largest and most interesting one to me, my “carrying angle” which I will explain next, HAS NO ANGLE. It is straight. I learned that I was aggravating all 3 when I started training for a kettlebell competition 7 months ago. The sport moves involve many reps, that when executed, put a repetitive “torque” on your ulnar nerve, at your elbow. BINGO! I must have pissed that nerve off at least 1000 times. SO, can I still use kettlebells to train my body to it’s fullest? Yes, of course,…..I can do swings, squats, lunges, rows, get ups, and many other things, and am ready to learn more…..Of course with lots of attention to form, and efficiency!

The moral of this story….learn how to keep your body aligned properly with functional strength moves. Incorporate stretching, and start with an assessment of your own bodies alignment to learn about any imbalances you may have. Evaluations can help you strengthen your weaknesses, or stay away from potential injuries. Pay attention to your trainers tips, they can help you with ways to get your body functioning at its best!

Explaining your “carrying angle”
When standing up straight, arms down, directly at your sides, with palms up. Look into a mirror.
Your hands should be at an angle from your elbows about 15% away from your hips.
Mine have no angle. When my arms are at my sides, my hands are right next to my hips. FIGURES!
As I said, learn about your body, pay attention to what it tells you, and whether something feels really wrong when you are executing a certain move. You can ignore certain cues, or you can be your bodies best friend!! Choose the latter, for a lifetime of strength, and moving with ease!!!

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