Arm Pump

What Is Arm Pump And Why Do We Get It?‍

Two Reasons We Get Arm Pump:

  1. Electrolyte Imbalance
    - Please see Fluid Intake blog post for more information
  2. "Exertional Compartment Syndrome"
    - Occurs secondary to increased pressures in muscular compartment with resultant ischemia (reduced oxygen via blood flow) that manifests as pain
    - Essentially it is repetitive overuse
How To Treat Arm Pump
  1. If it is an Electrolyte Issue:
    - Please see Fluid Intake blog post for more information
  2. "Exertional Compartment Syndrome"
    - Breathing:
    Since the pain is brought on by ischemia (reduced oxygen via blood flow) to that area, breathing can be a simple and often overlooked asset. Oxygen is carried by our blood cells to the working muscles, so taking deeper breaths will ideally increase the amount of oxygen circulating in the blood stream and get to the areas where it is most required.
    - Grip:
    Do you have a death grip on the handlebars? Are your shoulders elevated and sitting close to your hears? Hanging on for dear life with your upper body? This could be the issue as well. You don't want to grip too tightly with your upper body. Rather, you want to squeeze and control your machine with your strong legs and relax your upper body.
    - Improper handlebars or suspension set-up:
    Handlebar and suspension choices can make or break the comfortability of riding due to the amount of vibration and forces being transferred from your machine to your body.Β Flexx Handlebars, antivibrational inserts, antivibrational steering stems (mostly all aftermarket stems are) can all help aid in preventing the amount of energy being tranferred from machine to body.

    If it is improper shock set-up think about seeking advice from the specialists in this area (Axis/Penske, Fox, Ohlins, etc)
    - Resistance Training:
    Implementing a resistance training program can help to build endurance, strength, and power in your body; not only overall, but also specifically in your forearms due to the repetitive gripping on barbells, dumbbells, machines, jump ropes, battling ropes, suspension trainers, etc. Your muscles will get well acquainted with usage and limit or even prevent the amount of arm pump you get. Look for improvements around 1-2 months in to a resistance training program.
    - Myofascial Release:
    If none of the above treatments help, you will need to seek professional help in 1 of 2 ways
    Noninvasive MFR:
    Therapeutic Massage or Active Release Techniques: my favorite! Please do this before you seek invasive measures. For more information on Active Release, please click here

    Invasive MFR:
    Surgical release of the fascia surrounding the muscles

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