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Unexplained swelling around forearm, no associated pain, medical professionals stumped!

Question: Unexplained swelling around forearm, no associated pain, medical professionals stumped!


I have very recently (within the last three weeks) joined my local gym, and last week began doing some weight training. I am in fairly good shape for someone who has never done any serious exercise before, and joined the gym to increase my fitness levels and 'bulk up' a bit. I'm not overweight, and after my first training session instructor said that my cardio fitness levels are not bad for a 'desk jockey' like myself. That's the lifestyle bit out of the way.

Now, two days ago (that's about 5 days after beginning on weights- I'm doing 6kg dumbbells and a couple of weight machines) I noticed that my left forearm was quite swollen- not painful, but noticeably swollen. The swelling extended down from the elbow joint (though not very swollen around the joint itself) round the outside of my forearm to the base of my wrist. My wife, a student nurse, assures me that the swelling is fluid as pressing it leaves a temporary indentation in the skin. There is no inflammation, no change in sensation, no discolouration or abnormality of any kind- I just have a swollen forearm! I have now seen two medics, one a nurse in a minor injuries unit who immediately sent me to see a doctor at our local A&E saying that she was unable to give an accurate diagnosis. The doctor asked me to do various movements, pushed and pulled my arm about, and concluded that I'm absolutely fine and should go straight back to the gym, without delay! He said that the 6kg dumbbell weights I've started on are fine for my build, and said that the swelling is actually my muscle growing. I've not gone mad at all on the weights- I want to build up a bit, but I'm not suited to a muscle man lifestyle, and have no intentions of pursuing one!

I'm not convinced that absolutely nothing is wrong- and the swelling is definitely not muscle as it has moved slightly and leaves a definite indentation when pressed down. Frankly I'm not even sure if I should be worried- in the absence of any pain, or restriction in my mobility, should I just accept that my arm is going to be fat? Has anyone ever heard of something like this before? My gym trainer hasn't!

Hope someone can help!



Hi Tony,

Have you had any progress with this swelling - the exact same thing happened to me. I did tricep exercises a week ago. Then this swelling started to appear around my elbow then started to move down towards my wrist.

Has yours resolved itself?

Aaron Smith


Hi there Tony

I am an Australian Kinesiologist/sports therapist.

It looks like oedema to me. Are you drinking enough water? and if you are, avoid chlorinated water. You could have an absorption problem because of an allergic reaction to chlorine, a poison if there ever was one. This is more common than recognised at present by the medical fraternity. If it was a muscle you would feel pain on palpating and there would be a problem with the wrist and fingers. Massage at the base of the neck on the left side at C7 level. The nerve that exits at that level controls the muscles in the lower arm, hands fingers and esophagus.
You could have a bit of nerve pressure there.
Massage between the 2nd and 3rd rib next to the sternum. This will be painful but beneficial.
Drink plenty of lukewarm clean water during the day.

Good luck



It freaked me out a little because it didn't hurt.
Medical Thesis


I also developed similar symptoms after exercises; I'm using bathing water treated with bleaching powder. Would it cause the water retention?

Thanks for the sharing above details.


Well sometimes when we exercise we tend to have swellings. Just go for the advice given by your doc so that the swelling you got doesn't increase. It's good that you came out with this topic.
The strangers 3


Swellings can occur when done vigorous exercise.

just try some good doctor for it, there are many new doctors available in every field like cancer, eye surgery, fitness, etc.

Take Care !!


Hi Tony..well i think it is a hamstring problem is very normal ..and can easily be trateted by anti-inflammatory lotions...i wish for your speedy recovery..



Tony, what did this turn out to be? It strange that doctors couldn't diagnose the problem, which is exactly what happened with my brother. The swelling has since disappeared but it'd still be interesting to find out what the cause was.

James - webmaster of buy HGH and vacuum cleaners.


What was the diagnosis of your brother's arm?


Hey there,
I just recently started working out and while the first 3 months were fine, the last 2 months i have started to experience not only swelling in my forearms but also loss of circulation in my hands. It get's to the point where i cannot even grasp my water bottle. I drink filtered water all the time as i have a filter in my fridge and coffee maker. The first time it happened i had taken some workout pills (MYO SHOCK)and i had assumed that was the reason. Needless to say that was the one and only time i ever took them but it has been happening every time i work out my arms. Whether i do only arms for the day or total body. Any sugestions would be greatly appreciated!
Thanks alot!


Nice article.. keep up the good work and I hope you will resolve soon
good luck,


I don't think this is some serious thing to worry about. But still in fitness we have to be very much careful about Insanity Workout so that our body would get proper shape. Taking a proper instruction for instructor should do well, but anything trying out of the instruction might result in somewhat like this. Don't worry buddy, work out properly and it will be ok.


I think you should get some advice from the doctor. He gives you answer to your problem in the more precise and correct way.
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Before starting GYM, You should to follow some rules. & when you are going to practice regularly, you have to take foods several times.

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Learning to combat fat loss plateaus early on helps you get over it and get back to the game as soon as possible. Stay positive and focus on the solutions to the problem. Determine where you want to go so you what road to take in order to get there.



Hope everything went well

I do exercise with Jillian Michaels Body Revolution and my muscles hurt sometime too


Very good article. I certainly love this site. Stick with it!