"Pin Firing" Chin Up Protocol for Golfer's Elbow - Looking For Anecdotal Evidence "Pin Firing" Chin Up Protocol for Golfer's Elbow - Looking For Anecdotal Evidence

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Thread: "Pin Firing" Chin Up Protocol for Golfer's Elbow - Looking For Anecdotal Evidence

  1. #1
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    Default "Pin Firing" Chin Up Protocol for Golfer's Elbow - Looking For Anecdotal Evidence

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    My goal with this thread is to get some anecdotal evidence from people who have tried Rip's chin-up protocol for golfer's elbow.

    Before I get into the particulars of my case and specific questions, I want to state that 've done a bit of research (so many incomplete threads) and compiled relevant links as reference for the discussion.

    Videos
    YouTube
    YouTube

    Threads
    quick question about the pin firing - chin up protocol
    Splitting high volume chins protocol for elbow tendinitis over 2 days
    https://startingstrength.com/resourc...dylitis-2.html

    If you want to get to the main questions, skip ahead to Questions and Concerns. Otherwise, below are....

    MY SPECIFICS

    Background
    Age: 37
    Height: 6'2
    Weight: 215 (have cut from 255 over past 9 months)
    Current (before layoff) / Personal Bests
    Squat: 365 (dealing with nagging anterior hip pain for ~2 years) / 455
    Bench: 300 / 320
    Dead: 455 / 515
    Programming: A variety over the years but best gains were with Texas Method

    Injury: Golfer's Elbow (Medial epicondylitis - or most should it be called epicondylosis?) in right(dominant) arm

    When Injury Started: Maybe up to a year ago? Didn't bother me at all when training which is why I never paid much attention - just the usual little pains that come with training. In retrospect I would notice forearm pain when holding a heavy pan while cooking or when picking up my computer with the affected arm.

    When I started Noticing:
    In February/March, I built some dry-stack stone walls in my backyard (chiseling stone by hammer). I was training 4 days a week. I also was playing football regularly. Lots of stress on that right arm. The pain became noticeable in my training yet manageable. I had to leave town for work for a week at the end of March, so I figured a week away from all that stress would do the body good.

    When it became REALLY bad: In April I started using straps on my heavy sets of deads and rowing. On 4/23, I did a set of 1-arm dumbbell rows (a warm-up) and the pain was BAD. For the next 2 weeks, I tried working through it, pumping the ibuprofen, and it was getting worse. Then I did a volunteer trash clean-up and graffiti removal at a nearby school, and my forearm/elbow was trashed. At that point, I did a ton of research, and everything was saying rest, rest, and more rest, throw on one of those counterforce braces for a little while, then build back up doing eccentrics (without inducing pain), and build strength on the extensors via reverse wrist curls and finger extensions.

    My Current Rehab: By early May, everything inflamed it - low bar squats, benching (getting it out of the rack), deadlifts, any back work, arm work, opening a door, washing my hands, etc... Basically I was left to do safety-bar squats (which aggravates my anterior hip - low bar squats make it feel better thanks to a detail in the Starting Strength manual) and anything that doesn't use my upper body to avoid pain. The pain has improved, but beyond the first couple of weeks the level of improvement has tapered off. Not much pain in basic tasks but still there. Last week, I felt confident enough to test the waters with some super light deads and light pulldowns - a little pain while training - but by the next day it was as if I set myself back 3 weeks. I put the counterforce brace back on for a few days, didn't train at all, and now a week later it's improved but I now know any stress will set me back. In the grand scheme of , I'm going crazy thinking I'm months away from training hard again and am incredibly intrigued by Rip's chin-up method but don't want to set myself back another 6 weeks when maybe all I need is another couple months of this (no matter how maddening).

    QUESTIONS AND CONCERNS

    I have some serious concerns about this chin-up protocol and the pin-firing theory behind it...namely:

    As Rip says, pin firing is an ancient technique. Anecdotal evidence says it works. The scientific community - from what I've read - is against it. A fact I discovered regarding pin-firing is that after the horses receive the treatment, they then require several months of recovery time as they slowly get back into action. The argument against it is that the months of rest after pin-firing is responsible for the horses recovery rather than the pin firing itself.

    Common-sense-wise - the idea that forced inflammation can trigger healing in tendinosis sounds good. So pissing off the tendon via Rip's chin-up protocol makes sense in that regard. However, it doesn't include any recovery time akin to the horses after pin-firing, so the analogy isn't a one-to-one if we're assuming it's the same process at work. Why doesn't this "pin firing" chin-up protocol require any recovery time like with the horses?

    And if Rip's wrong....well I've now wasted nearly 2 months of rehab or made it even worse and have an even longer recovery ahead of me. I know pain is part of the deal, but if it's pain with a purpose, I'll staple my hand to the bar if that's what it takes.

    So, for those who have gone through the protocol, I'd love to get the following answered:

    How long did you have Golfer's Elbow before applying the protocol?
    How severe was it?
    Did you try anything else prior to the protocol?
    How long did you stick with the protocol?
    What were your results?
    Did you change any of your other training while doing the protocol (i.e. avoid exercises that aggravate like low bar squats or continue as planned)?
    How did you treat the time between the sessions - baby it or go about your business as usual?
    Any additional details to add regarding the experience?


    Apologies if I somehow missed any thread that answered this all already. Otherwise - thanks in advance for the replies.

  2. #2
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    My name Nock and I'm a recovering elbowaholic :-)

    I started getting golfers elbow in both arms about 2 months ago and it go to the point that training was very difficult and I couldn't cut bread, or clean my teeth very easily. Im not fully recovered, but things are a long way improved. I can't say what exactly helped, but here's what I have done so far:

    1. Moved to high bar squats. It didn't matter what I did, ultimately I could not perfect the technique in order to avoid beating up my elbows.

    2. Abandoned chins/pull ups and do wide grip Lat pull downs instead. I had a sense that pull ups were making things worse and it got to the point the pain was sufficient to put a stop to them. Not saying it did, but as I couldn't do them anyhow it answered itself.

    3. More careful on the dead lift not to shock the arms by letting the weight hit the deck with arms straight.

    4. Bought a theraband flex bar on advice from several on here. It starts off feeling like ripping out the tendons, but over time things definitely improve. This might act in a similar way to rips rehab method as you aren't resting the tendons/muscles, but working them ?

    5. I use a claw hammer, hang the arm over the end of the bench, gripping hammer by end of shaft upright. Rotate hammer to right (right hand) until Horizontal over a period of 6seconds, then use other hand to lift the hammer back to vertical-repeat six times. Swap to left hand and rotate hammer to the left 6 seconds etc.

    6. Use rubber band stretches - holding band under tension in both hands in front, then take over head to behind back. Standard shoulder stretches. I have a suspicion that shoulders have a part to play in all of this.

    7. Lots of massage forearms/biceps and stretching the hand.

    So, far, it's taken 6 weeks or so and its only causing minor grief now. Learning low bar has been an exercise in humility as I've had to remove at least 20% weight, so my squat is now behind ever other lift.

  3. #3
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    I've used it for tennis elbow only (multiple times) and it has been very effective for me. From everything I've seen online, it is very hit or miss with others. There are many people who don't seem to improve from it. When i use it for tennis elbow, I start getting some relief within 48-72 hours. I will be mostly pain free 48-72hours after the 2nd session. Those results seem atypical. I've read many reports of people who I believe who didn't see any improvement. I found Ibuprofen to be of no benefit, except as temporary relief to allow me to train through one session pain free. I've tried the Ibuprofen "protocol" a couple times, but saw no long-term improvement from it. I agree the science behind why and how it works seems pretty suspect, but good luck finding some proven effective way to fix tendon pain.

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    Thanks for the responses:

    Nockian - You managed pain by avoiding what hurts outside of the flexbar (I already have and am using one).

    Mugaaz - You went full bore and had great (yet atypical) success.

    Culican - You threw everything and the kitchen sink at it and accepted the pain until it got better.

    I'm becoming more and more convinced that this will not get better on its own. From its worst point, after 2-3 weeks of rest only better up to a point (still unusable and will backslide after training - just not debilitating "can't open door" pain) - then after that it stagnated. I've been training so infrequently and around the pain (no bench, no deads/back, only safety bar squats) - and am more interested in attacking the pain as opposed to languishing, I'm thinking of turning myself into a guniea-pig for the protocol.

    So, given your the feedback, here's my plan (since I'm now like a newbie again):

    - Start light and begin with phase 1 of starting strength and progress
    - At the end of the "A" workouts add the chin-up protocol (so it'll be twice a week) - maybe some curls on the "B" day
    - Use finger extensor bands (bought them) and flexbar liberally
    - Do all movements as intended (no straps or aides or anything) and live life normally while accepting the pain

    I've got a little over a month before a family vacation, so that should be a good body of time to see if there's any improvement.

    I'd like to hear thoughts on this along with any other anecdotes before I fully commit, just to bolster the plan - but when I do commit there will be no turning back.

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    Both Mugaaz and Culican had tennis elbow not golfers elbow. Pain is a sign of something being wrong. If there is soreness going into the exercises and the pain goes away, then that's usually a sign to keep on going, but if it gets worse, that would surely be a sign to stop ? I'm sure Rips advice wouldn't be to just blast through increasing pain, but to attend to whatever's causing the pain-technique, specific weakness, injury, diet, sleep, rest.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nockian View Post
    Both Mugaaz and Culican had tennis elbow not golfers elbow. Pain is a sign of something being wrong. If there is soreness going into the exercises and the pain goes away, then that's usually a sign to keep on going, but if it gets worse, that would surely be a sign to stop ? I'm sure Rips advice wouldn't be to just blast through increasing pain, but to attend to whatever's causing the pain-technique, specific weakness, injury, diet, sleep, rest.
    Nope, you misread it because both threads, which I did not start, had "tennis elbow" in the title. I quite clearly stated that I had medial epicondylitis, which is golfer's elbow.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nockian View Post
    Both Mugaaz and Culican had tennis elbow not golfers elbow. Pain is a sign of something being wrong. If there is soreness going into the exercises and the pain goes away, then that's usually a sign to keep on going, but if it gets worse, that would surely be a sign to stop ? I'm sure Rips advice wouldn't be to just blast through increasing pain, but to attend to whatever's causing the pain-technique, specific weakness, injury, diet, sleep, rest.
    Pain is not always a sign of something being wrong. Sometimes, yes. Pain getting worse *usually* is a sign to stop, but with the elbow stuff it was necessary. It *really* depends on how much worse it is getting after each set. There is a big difference if it is getting slightly more painful from one set to the next vs. feeling like someone is attempting to cut through the tendon with a plastic knife. You also need to pay attention to how it responds after each session. If there zero improvement after the first, second, and third session; then it is obviously not working and it is time to try another method. From everything I've seen in training logs, everyone keeps trying different methods until they find something that is effective for them - therabands, bench eccentrics, curls, chins, forearm / finger work, fat gripz, etc. That trial and error process is always going to be miserable. Some of the things you try will likely make the issue slightly worse, but how are you going to figure that out without going through the motion? You need to be mindful about the process. The extremes of pushing through the pain no matter what / complete rest are both ineffective.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nockian View Post
    Both Mugaaz and Culican had tennis elbow not golfers elbow. Pain is a sign of something being wrong. If there is soreness going into the exercises and the pain goes away, then that's usually a sign to keep on going, but if it gets worse, that would surely be a sign to stop ? I'm sure Rips advice wouldn't be to just blast through increasing pain, but to attend to whatever's causing the pain-technique, specific weakness, injury, diet, sleep, rest.
    If you watch either video with Rip, you'll see that pushing past the pain is exactly his recommendation....which sounds insane and why I started the thread in the first place. What you're saying is what I've always believed.

    That said, I threw caution to the wind and am now turning myself and this thread into anecdotal evidence (or refutation) of this protocol.

    I went through the first session, keeping my training weights super, super light and will LP with larger jumps until I enter my old training weights focusing on form the following weeks and monitoring pain.

    As for today - 6/21/18 - my top sets and relative pain:

    Squat - 185x5x3 - Went low bar. Pain was there but really focused on keeping my back tight and elbows up as instructed by Rip (I had always done an elbows down in the past because it felt better on my shoulders, but the elbows up relieves stress on my golfer's elbow).
    Bench - 185x5x3 - Not bad at all pain-wise. Really focused on keeping back super tight.
    Dead - 275x5 - Did hook grip throughout. Pain not bad.
    Chins - 3x10 - First set hurt - most painful of anything the entire session - but not too too bad. It didn't hurt any more on the 10th set compared to the 1st. The pain throughout was very tolerable and nowhere near where it was 2 months ago.

    The most pain I had was writing in my training log (after the chins).

    Maybe I'm benefiting from my layoff? Maybe I didn't go hard enough on the chins? But I'm looking forward to the next session and seeing where this goes.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by BTImpaler View Post
    If you watch either video with Rip, you'll see that pushing past the pain is exactly his recommendation....which sounds insane and why I started the thread in the first place. What you're saying is what I've always believed.

    That said, I threw caution to the wind and am now turning myself and this thread into anecdotal evidence (or refutation) of this protocol.

    I went through the first session, keeping my training weights super, super light and will LP with larger jumps until I enter my old training weights focusing on form the following weeks and monitoring pain.

    As for today - 6/21/18 - my top sets and relative pain:

    Squat - 185x5x3 - Went low bar. Pain was there but really focused on keeping my back tight and elbows up as instructed by Rip (I had always done an elbows down in the past because it felt better on my shoulders, but the elbows up relieves stress on my golfer's elbow).
    Bench - 185x5x3 - Not bad at all pain-wise. Really focused on keeping back super tight.
    Dead - 275x5 - Did hook grip throughout. Pain not bad.
    Chins - 3x10 - First set hurt - most painful of anything the entire session - but not too too bad. It didn't hurt any more on the 10th set compared to the 1st. The pain throughout was very tolerable and nowhere near where it was 2 months ago.

    The most pain I had was writing in my training log (after the chins).

    Maybe I'm benefiting from my layoff? Maybe I didn't go hard enough on the chins? But I'm looking forward to the next session and seeing where this goes.
    .

    I just took it on faith and pushed through the pain. First set of chins was the worst but it would always feel relatively better after my last set of chins.
    It was slow progress at first but it did get slightly better over time so I kept it up.

    Often times pain means STOP! but sometimes pain is misleading. Tendon pain may be like that.

    Where is the pain coming from in tendinopathy? It may be biochemical, not only structural, in origin | British Journal of Sports Medicine

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