Lifting heavy with joint problems

Just wondering if anyone has run into and conquered similar joint problems that hinder progress.

When I was younger (31 now) I had an injury to my acl in my left leg and also had my ulna dislocated in my left arm so the olecranon process(point of the elbow) was back further than usual and ulna also dislocated in wrist. I was lifting heavy for a while with no pain but was unable to do very many pullups do to weakness in my left wrist.

When my joints started to ache after about 8 weeks of heavy lifting and plateuing, I decided to give my joints a break and focus on some cardio and lighter weight/higher rep lifting to cut out some abdominal fat while keeping the muscle. This felt great and my joint pain went away.

Now after about 6 weeks of this kind of lifting I've wanted to go back to heavier lifting but my wrist and elbow of the left arm seem to be giving me problems. If I'm doing lat pulldowns or assisted pullups I feel as if my right lat is taking care of most of the weight while my left forearm feels much more strain than my right forearm.

I've tried doing wrist curls to strengthen my left wrist and it is definitely weaker than the right one. If I try to do as much weight with the left wrist as I can with the right it feels like my ulna pops out of socket slightly at the wrist. If I do a very light weight this doesn't happen though.

I feel extra stress in my left elbow as well when doing lat pulls or pullups. My leg doesn't seem to be as big of a problem with the torn acl, though I mostly use the elliptical and use machines for leg lifting as to avoid pivoting the leg.

Has anyone out there had similar injuries and overcome the limitations that came along with them? I really, really, REALLY want to gain the strength to do unassisted pullups and let my lats catch up to the rest of my muscles in size. I bought a wrist strap and it does help a little for lat pulldowns but there is still pain in my left forearm. Should I keep doing wrist curls until my left arm gets stronger? Can lifting tighten up the joint and alleviate the loose feeling and weak wrist/elbow? PLEASE HELP!! Any advice is greatly appreciated!!!! I will never give up my search to find some way to overcome these injuries but it would be awesome if someone had some tips!

Posted By Chad Pieper on February 14, 2011 at 10:17:38:

The stabilizing ankle support features no-stretch nylon figure 8 straps which lock the calcaneus into place to help control abnormal eversion and inversion.

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