chronic tendinitis caused by food allergy???

I am trying to think outside of the box here…

I have had some form of tendinitis (tennis elbow) for about two years. I have done everything the doctor has told me, tried complete rest, physical therapy and so on with no results. After doing a little research I read that sometimes these things can be caused by food allergies so I have been experimenting with my diet. Another thing I have been doing is weaning off my supplements. I am down to my multi vitamin and Glucosmaine/MSM supplement. I really don’t want to stop taking the Glucosamine as it has been a savior to my joints since my early twenties but then I was reading about shellfish allergies…but if I had such a bad allergy wouldn’t I feel it in my stomach first as the pill digested before it started messing with my tendons? Anyone have any insight? I'm worried that I might be grasping at straws here.


You never know. Your tendon

You never know. Your tendon could be frayed or something like that. And that isn't a significant enough injury to get an operation. All you can do is wait until it possibly frays more and then snaps. Then you get the operation to have it fixed. That's the problem. You can't tell what you can't see. And doctors have the mentality that if it isn't broke don't fix it.

I have tendonitis as well in the same area. And in the same case I still can't tell if it is frayed or not. I'm pretty sure it's just tendonitis though because the pain seems to go away when I take glucosamine and take it easy. But I'm not sure.

So I don't think there is much you can do. You can try glucosamine. I also hear bone broth is very good for you. You also have to have good fats in your diet, otherwise your tendons lose their elasticity also known as tendonitis. But none of that will work like magic. It can't. Just keep your nutrition good and hope for the best.

One thing I have realized over the years is that sometimes you might get a small injury that has to do with connective tissue. You might even think that it is bad enough to stop you from lifting. It can be discouraging. But some injuries will nag on you for a while, sometimes for months or over a year, but eventually they can go away. That happened to me. In such cases the best thing you can do is suck it up and keep on exercising. Because its better to exercise and stay in shape, regardless of what injuries you might have.


As I understand it, most tendinitis is from the muscles working unequally on a joint.

I sorted my elbow tendinitis completely by doing straight bar curls. Took about 3-4 days to see an effect, and completely gone in a fortnight. I was at the 'can't take my keys out of my pocket' stage, but the pain had started when I was benching.

What causes the problem? Which activities?


It's hard to remember

It's hard to remember exactly but I think the first time I felt it was doing pull-ups. Now I at the 'can't take my keys out of my pocket' stage. I have gotten all the x-rays, tests, and scans and my doctor tells me their is no damage that they can see. Makes me feel crazy.

Funny you mention straight bar curls, I just started trying them (with very low weight) a couple days ago to see if it will help. Also been doing wrist curls because it works the exact opposite side of the forearm where the pain is. So far no better no worse.

But it sounds like none of you have heard of glucosamine actually CAUSING tendinitis before right?

I'm not much for synthetic

I'm not much for synthetic medications but Voltaren Gel stopped the pain after two weeks use. I had tendonitus above both knees for 3 years and two weeks of this stuff stopped the pain after I dicontiinued use for 3 months. Perhaps it increases blood flow and speeds healing.



Especially if you have a thick bar.

Do you vary your grip? Same grip each time will cause tendinitis eventually.

Do you add weight and go heavy? Most people who go for the heavy weighted chins have problems at some point.

Combination that affected me: pull-ups (palms away) seated french press & heavy bench.
Added straight bar curls (dbs or cambered bars don't help) and the pain went. It was that inner part of the biceps that sorted it out. I reduced the fr. press for a while, but once I'd balanced everything it didn't matter.

So what is either (1) over-emphasised or (2) missing from your programme?

This is the thread I started (received some really useful advice):

Good luck with it


You give me hope Nick. Yes,

You give me hope Nick.

Yes, heavy pull ups (I used an extra 25 - 45lbs between my legs for about 10 reps/set), heavy bench, and dips was basically the core of my upper body workout.

My arms are so sensitive now that any activity flares it up so I am going to try and back off and focus on the straight bar curls for awhile. Your not the first person I have heard the straight bar suggestion from. I guess I just need to let the other exercises go until it's all back in balance. I hope that's all it is. It's been well over a year...lot's of pain endured and time lost.

Todd Wilson's picture

Food allergies can manifest

Food allergies can manifest themselves in a host of ways. Tendonitis is certainly one of them. Gluten allergies is one of the most common as glutens cause inflammation. However it could be from anything you eat regularly. Also, tennis elbow can generally be fixed with ulnar & radial rotations.

Todd - What about my

Todd - What about my original question, how likely could it be from a glucosmaine/msm supplement? It's one of the last things I haven't tried.

Todd Wilson's picture

The glucosamine/msm itself

The glucosamine/msm itself shouldn't be an issue. However, the particular brand you have may be inferior or have additives/ingredients that you have an allergy for, butthat's far less likely than a food allergy to glutens/grains, eggs, milk, chicken, or beef.

I just find it strange...if

I just find it strange...if I did have a food allergy wouldn't I get an upset stomach after eating said food and long before my tendons started getting messed up? If the answer is no then how could you ever know what food allergies you had?

Todd Wilson's picture

No. Again, there's all manor

No. Again, there's all manor of ways in which food allergies manifest themselves. In fact, if it's a food you eat regularly, it likely won't cause an upset stomach or GI distress.

The only way to know for sure is to get tested. Best way to prevent/eliminate is maximal variety in one's diet.

Actually Todd, now that I

Actually Todd, now that I think about it, I did get tested for allergies about 3 years ago and it showed that I was highly allergic to dust, dust mites, and just about every tree/grass in my in other words I guess I am just &^%$ed. Oh well, nothing else to do but keep trying and hope for the best.

Todd Wilson's picture

Those are completely

Those are completely different test.

Joe Skopec's picture

Not sure how far removed

Not sure how far removed after processing it is, but raw material for g/msm are predominantly shellfish, which is a common allergin.

Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom.
George S. Patton

I know that Todd. I am just

I know that Todd. I am just grasping. It's just a strange pain I am having. It doesn't behave like an injury. No triggers, PT hasn't worked, complete rest hasn't worked, NSAIDS don't reduce the pain...a year and a half is a long time to have no improvement. Discpline isn't a problem, if I knew what I needed to do I would do it. I have had injuries before but this one is just acting very strange.

wlewisj's picture

Lenny, Have you tried


Have you tried aggressive ice treatment Doc recommended? It helped me after 2 months of elbow pain. As Todd mentioned, Thor's hammer is great for tennis elbow and finger extensions.

Willis Lewis, Jr.
"The man that dreams success is already successful"

I have defiantly dabbled

I have defiantly dabbled with ice. Probably not as much as Doc recommended to you. But I always wondered, how would restricting blood flow help the healing process? According to the doctors I actually don't have any visible inflammation (even at the MRI level) so I wondered if ICE would matter.

DrSquat's picture

By restricting peripheral

By restricting peripheral blood flow with ice, deeper, more voluminous, blood flow is facilitated. This is what facilitates healing. This is why timing is important...never more than about 15 minutes of ice at a time (you'll restrict the deeper flow). Further, a short bout of cryo is great for reducing pain and inflammation. You cannot facilitate healing until the inflammation is dealth with.

wlewisj's picture

Does high rep work for the

Does high rep work for the affected muscle assist in the blood flow? Or is it a placebo effect?

Willis Lewis, Jr.
"The man that dreams success is already successful"