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Partner blonde_loves_bolts


May 25, 2005, 12:13 PM
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Onset of Arthritis
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I realize this topic is often brought up, there are always questions about the correlation between climbing and arthritis. My question calls mostly for personal experience. I also realize that I should see a doctor for a professional opinion.

I'm curious as to what some of you who have arthritis went through during the first signs of it. When I was 13, I had tendonitis in both of my wrists (first in the right wrist from failed tennis lessons, then in the left from trying to compensate). I was in wrist braces for a solid three months, which was probably not the best remedy in terms of preventing atrophy. It took a very long time to heal, and even a year later I was still having a hard time with my right wrist being weak and painful. My left wrist also has this consistent clicking problem. My doctor speculated that I might have been developing premature arthritis, but never ordered blood tests, since it was statistically unlikely and because I am a huge baby when it comes to taking blood. That's the last time I saw a doctor for this issue.

Lately, as I've been climbing more (a year and a half now) and working at a job that requires a lot of computer time, I've noticed that my hands and wrists keep getting stiffer. I have acquired a wrist pad for my keyboard as well as a mouse pad. My fingers are always cold (but I also have poor circulation to begin with), and I find that I have a much harder time than I used to at doing simple things, like shuffling through papers or even counting change. It used to be a problem in rowing, when I was on a particular side of the boat, and I still tape it or use a brace when it feels worse than usual. It hasn't really affected my climbing, except when I am doing a twisting move while weighting the wrist at the wrong moment. But it doesn't seem to bother my clipping and all other climbing related difficulties usually just come when my forearms are pumped.

I would really appreciate any personal stories, related to arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, or any other related insight. I'm 21 and I feel like I'm too young to be truly developing arthritis.

And yes, I realize that spending time on the rc.com forums is not the greatest way to save my hands & wrists! :lol:

Thanks & have a great day :)


Partner jammer


May 25, 2005, 12:24 PM
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I'm 30 years older then you and have a very hard time reaching behind my back and closing my hands into a fist. The doc said that I have arthritis and all she could do was tell me to take ibuprofen. Still climbing, just being careful.

I agree that you are too young for this shit to happen, so I wouldn't waist any time getting it looked at.

Alan


zoebird


May 25, 2005, 3:52 PM
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i highly recommend yoga for these problems. Many of my clients have arthritis of various sorts, and yoga greatly reduces the symptoms and can definately slow the progress of the disorder.

as for the wrist issue, it seems that it's likely related to a tightening of the myofacial sheath, a problem not uncommon in rock climbing (as i've noticed in the few months that i've been doing it) but definately common from typing (as i've also noticed). Doing a lot of wrist movements will help decrease this.

But, to this i also reccomend yoga. There are some great books by Sabrina Mesko about Yoga Mudras. These are hand gestures that work the fingers, hands, wrists, and forearms in dynamic ways. I also recommend getting into arm balancing postures such as crow pose (bakasana), hand stand, chaturanga dandhasana (four-limb staff pose), urdhva muka svanasana (upward dog) and ado muka svanasana (downward dog pose).

These postures really work the whole area, and according to Beryl Bender Birch, astanga yogini, teacher, and author of Power Yoga and Beyond Power Yoga, these postures are excellent for recovering from tendonitis, carpel tunnel syndrom, and a myriad of related problems.

It is best, considering your situation, that you get proper instruction--so i recommend taking classes. Many studios offer work-exchange (you work, therefore dont pay for classes) if money is an issue. If you can't find a studio or a teacher, i recommend checking out the books mentioned above: sabrina mesko, healing mudras and power mudras; beryl bender birch, power yoga and beyond power yoga.


graniteboy


May 25, 2005, 4:00 PM
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I recommend 2 things that, at first glance, seem completely diametrically opposed, but which are in fact, not:

1) Yoga....as the gal above said, it's good for you
2) eat lots of Gristle and tendon meat in general. Eat chicken right down to and including a little bit of the Bone. And take your Chondroitin/Glucosamine supplememts...

Your tendons are stressed when you climb, and you need to build them up over a long time period. Lots of people these days start climbing and, within a year, are pulling down on lots of tiny crimpers, etc....take it easy...develop those tendons slowly.....and put in mileage on stuff that's easy for you.

I've been climbing a few decades now, and on a few occasions I've had tendon trouble...usually due to overtraining.

And remember: it's OK to take some time off and do another sport that doesn't work the same tendon groups.


nich_popsicle


May 25, 2005, 5:49 PM
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Yes, I too have been experiencing pain in joints for the last year on and off, and I am not even 21 yet (just shy by a few months)! Mostly it has been in the middle knuckles in my middle and ring fingers (ie, second away from the palm).

They don't really hurt whilst climbing, but more doing the usual things of the day, especially shampooing my hair (the sideways pressure on the joints is often painful) in the shower. I too thought I was too young for this kind of stuff...

Resting when necessary has been the best medicine for me, I don't generally believe in those supplement pills, and whatnot... If you are climbing hard one day, take TWO days rest.

At any rate, TAKE IT EASY on those precious wrists, so you can climb for many more years :D . Let me know if you are ever in the maryland area, and need a belayer :wink:


jt512


May 25, 2005, 6:07 PM
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In reply to:
I recommend 2 things that, at first glance, seem completely diametrically opposed, but which are in fact, not:

1) Yoga....as the gal above said, it's good for you
2) eat lots of Gristle and tendon meat in general. Eat chicken right down to and including a little bit of the Bone.

3) Go outdoors during the full moon, face east, and hop in circles -- counterclockwise -- on your right foot, naked, of course.

In reply to:
And take your Chondroitin/Glucosamine supplememts...

Glucosamine sulfate supplementation might actually be beneficial for arthritis. This is supported by a body of clinical trials for osteoarthritis of the knee. I'm not sure about other joints.

-Jay


pheenixx


May 25, 2005, 9:14 PM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
I recommend 2 things that, at first glance, seem completely diametrically opposed, but which are in fact, not:

1) Yoga....as the gal above said, it's good for you
2) eat lots of Gristle and tendon meat in general. Eat chicken right down to and including a little bit of the Bone.

3) Go outdoors during the full moon, face east, and hop in circles -- counterclockwise -- on your right foot, naked, of course.

and don't forget to do this WHILE you waving the chicken bone - of course...




zoebird


May 26, 2005, 5:16 AM
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the only thing i can figure about eating the meat is the fat content. Fat is good for joints and often carries a lot of nutrients.

But, a "low fat" diet is still appropriate. By "low fat," I mean a diet that is 10 to 20% fat, on average, though some people (such as my husband) do better at 30%. The rest of the diet should be 20-30% protien, and the rest carbohydrates. Decreasing refined sugars and refined carbohydrates may reduce inflammation (and is all around good for you).

as for the fats that one does consume, there should be a variety. Low in saturated fats, devoid of hydrogenated and trans entirely, mono and polyunsaturated fats in good amounts, and of course, EFAs. balance between omega 6 and omega 3 EFAs. Most modern western diets are higher in 6 than 3, which requires a period of 3-only supplementation for a few months (using flax seed oil), and then switcing over to a balanced oil such as hemp oil or a blended oil from barliens (for women, women's blend is great; they have an omega blend) or Udo's Choice blend (named after biochemist and fat researcher Udo Erasmus, author of Fats that Heal, Fats that Kill). Most people do a decent job of getting their other fats--saturated and unsaturated. Saturated fat is important for cell repair; mono and poly unsaturated are often turned into energy.

For more information about this, and it's application to arthritis (among other problems and situations), I highly recommend Udo Erasmus's Fats that Heal, Fats that Kill.


malabarista


May 26, 2005, 9:21 AM
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Try some Glucosamine, and yes, yoga will help. These helped me with wrist problems I developed from aid climbing.


jt512


May 26, 2005, 9:35 AM
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In reply to:
Fat is good for joints...

That is news to me. Can you back that up with citations to peer review research? (not Udo Erasmus's book)

In reply to:
Decreasing refined sugars and refined carbohydrates may reduce inflammation...

Same question.

In reply to:
Saturated fat is important for cell repair; mono and poly unsaturated are often turned into energy.

That statement seems absurd from a nutritional-biochemical standpoint. Same question as above.

-Jay


zoebird


May 26, 2005, 10:23 AM
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jay:

most of it comes from the book that i read; the research behind it was peer reviewed. i have other articles around, a few other books as well. most of them are general nutrition books (including those i have from university studies way back when--hard to believe nearly ten years ago!). There is information in my general nutrition text that EFAs are important for joint health. Not a lot of explaination as to why.

i have a few other articles around--but notice that i used terms such as 'may.' there is a great deal of information (and confusion) about the origin and occurance of inflammation (whether it's viral, or bacterial, or simply biological, similar to allergic reactions, and so on). So, there 'may' be a link based on the various research i've read.

I'm sure that you can find research that both supports and discredits this 'idea'--as i have. As with all science, there is a lot of debate. As it should be. Believe the argument; don't believe the argument. No big deal.


jt512


May 26, 2005, 10:47 AM
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Zoebird, it is true that omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory; however, many of the statements in your post do not seem to jibe with my understanding of nutrition, and in my opinion, don't stand in the absense of substantiation.

-Jay


zoebird


May 26, 2005, 11:13 AM
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jay:

that's fine by me. Like i said, there's information out there. I don't really feel inclined to dig through my personal library here in my home office to find the exact articles that may support my claim and then type in the bibliographies at great length. An online search may come up with both 'pro' and 'con' type articles from various nutrition journals.

my point wasn't really about how people should consume fats or whatever. It was simply trying to take the reasoning from the 'eat the meat to the bone' and 'eat gristle' suggestion. The closest that i can get to that is the fact that 'gristle' often refers to animal fat but may include various sinew (tendons, fascial tissue, blood vessels, etc).

As a vegetarian, i don't eat meat to the bone. So, i try to 'extract' someone's advice out into something more general. Perhaps this person thinks fat is good for this. It may be. Ah, so EFAs have various anti-inflammatory properties, which may be helpful to inflamed joints, which is one aspect of some types of arthritis. Ok, so i put what i know.

I also know that flax seed oil, hemp oil are two very good sources of EFAs for vegetarians. There are, of course, other sources and i have no trouble recommending those as well. Not everyone is vegetarian, not everyone should be vegetarian. Similarly, not everyone is omnivorous, not everyone should be omnivorous.

So, instead of 'eat meat to the bone' to get fat (and perhaps not EFAs), i recommend 'eat quality fat' and 'here are some other sources of fat that may have nutrient spectrums that may meet your needs.'


graniteboy


May 26, 2005, 5:02 PM
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Hmmmm....interesting stuff about fatty acids. New stuff learned every day. What I'm actually referring to, though, when I bring up the idea of eating the gristle is that you're eating tendon...same types of amino acid chains and other gobbledegook as the damaged tendons you're trying to work on. This is what I personally think helps the situation. Although the fat might be helping too.

Not gonna get into a howling match about it, I just find that, after 30 some odd yrs of climbing, and a couple good cases of damaged or inflamed tendons, this gristle thing seems to help...in conjunction with the Glucosamine/Chondroitin thing. Some people like shark cartilage for this purpose. No peer reviewed journal articles to support these statements..... But recognise that the commercial sources of chondroitin are derived from animal connective tissue (AKA "gristle").

Also...there was a meta analysis (=analysis of analyses, for all you statistics nerds) which showed that chondroitin helped with arthritis of both the knee and the hip. The positive results appear to be more of a generality than some would have us believe. Sooo...How I see it is that I'm just using some common sense and removing the middleman from the equation, not "dancing around on one foot on the full moon". Although that's fun, too. And I like eating chicken bones.

Good luck with your tendons.


megableem


May 26, 2005, 5:45 PM
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.


graniteboy


May 27, 2005, 8:25 AM
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As I said before....

In reply to:
But recognise that the commercial sources of chondroitin are derived from animal connective tissue (AKA "gristle").

Need I say more??

Good luck with the joints & tendons.


Partner blonde_loves_bolts


May 27, 2005, 9:29 AM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
I recommend 2 things that, at first glance, seem completely diametrically opposed, but which are in fact, not:

1) Yoga....as the gal above said, it's good for you
2) eat lots of Gristle and tendon meat in general. Eat chicken right down to and including a little bit of the Bone.

3) Go outdoors during the full moon, face east, and hop in circles -- counterclockwise -- on your right foot, naked, of course.

LMAO Jay, too funny :lol:

I've also never heard of fat as being particularly good for joints... I'll have to look into that more. As for what I eat now, my diet is about 80% carbs (many short-chain, sugar based carbs, but it's usually Gatorade vs. candy),
though lately I've been a little more diligent about limiting high quantities of starchy foods.

To be honest, I'm a little intimidated by the yoga folk, but I also spend a lot of time in Berkeley where it's all Bikram yoga, which is where they heat the room to 117 degrees and tell you that you're about to have a mini heart attack.


graniteboy


May 27, 2005, 9:50 AM
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In reply to:
80% carbs (many short-chain, sugar based carbs, but it's usually Gatorade vs. candy),

Hmmmm...sounds like the diet could use some work. They make these things called "Fruits and Vegetables".....you should look into it.
I still suggest the gristle thing...for the aforementioned chondroitin benefit. Not as "voodoo" as you might think.

One thing to think abt in terms of Yoga....I've been doing Ashtanga for abt 6 or 7 yrs now...I think it complements climbing really well...not only for the stretching and strength thing, but because Ashtanga does very little "pulling", in contrast to climbing.

Lots of "push" oriented stuff....(try sitting in Lotus and holding yourself up off the floor with your hands for 100 breaths, frinstance....) that opposes most of our movements in climbing, which is primarily strong pulling down (except mantling). It works muscle groups in opposite ways from climbing. I know, I know,,,,Patabi Jois says "ashtanga is the complete, total, excercise, blah blah blah", but when in yoga have you seen anyone doing a one arm lockoff??? Yoga and climbing complement each other really well. And strength and flexibility are good things to have if you wanna climb hard when you're an old coot, like yours truly, despite what the naysayers have to say.

Oh...did I forget....you also have to jump around on one foot while stuffing chicken bones in your nose piercings....


Partner blonde_loves_bolts


May 27, 2005, 10:07 AM
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GB - I didn't think the gristle suggestion was voodoo, I just got a laugh out of Jay's response :)

I do eat fruits and vegetables, although the fruit usually comes in the watered down, pureed version of Odwalla smoothies. But I love steamed vegetables, and I've been trying lately to eat a lot of spinach because of my iron deficiency.

I have to have Gatorade in the morning, in addition to working out. It's the only way I can stay off Starbucks as a jumpstart to my day... unless of course I've been up most of the night before (like most nights), so I make an excuse to have both.

8^)


jt512


May 27, 2005, 2:12 PM
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In reply to:
Hmmmm....interesting stuff about fatty acids. New stuff learned every day. What I'm actually referring to, though, when I bring up the idea of eating the gristle is that you're eating tendon...same types of amino acid chains and other gobbledegook as the damaged tendons you're trying to work on. This is what I personally think helps the situation. Although the fat might be helping too.

Not gonna get into a howling match about it, I just find that, after 30 some odd yrs of climbing, and a couple good cases of damaged or inflamed tendons, this gristle thing seems to help...in conjunction with the Glucosamine/Chondroitin thing. Some people like shark cartilage for this purpose. No peer reviewed journal articles to support these statements..... But recognise that the commercial sources of chondroitin are derived from animal connective tissue (AKA "gristle").

Also...there was a meta analysis (=analysis of analyses, for all you statistics nerds) which showed that chondroitin helped with arthritis of both the knee and the hip. The positive results appear to be more of a generality than some would have us believe. Sooo...How I see it is that I'm just using some common sense and removing the middleman from the equation, not "dancing around on one foot on the full moon". Although that's fun, too. And I like eating chicken bones.

Good luck with your tendons.

Well, if you want something that is actually known to be effective, then stick to glucosamine sulfate supplements. There is no evidence that eating gristle has any effect on anything. Plus, it's gross. Finally, glucosamine has been shown to be effective for osteoarthritis, which is a joint disease, and has nothing to do with tendons. There is no scientific evidence that glucosamine or chondroitin has any effect on tendon health.

-Jay


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May 27, 2005, 2:24 PM
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In reply to:
Well, if you want something that is actually known to be effective, then stick to glucosamine sulfate supplements. There is no evidence that eating gristle has any effect on anything. Plus, it's gross. Finally, glucosamine has been shown to be effective for osteoarthritis, which is a joint disease, and has nothing to do with tendons. There is no scientific evidence that glucosamine or chondroitin has any effect on tendon health.

-Jay

Can you name any specific brands, something drug-store accessable? The more specific, the better... I don't have 'blonde' in my name for nothin. 8^)


jt512


May 27, 2005, 2:24 PM
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In reply to:
GB - I didn't think the gristle suggestion was voodoo, I just got a laugh out of Jay's response :)

I do eat fruits and vegetables, although the fruit usually comes in the watered down, pureed version of Odwalla smoothies. But I love steamed vegetables, and I've been trying lately to eat a lot of spinach because of my iron deficiency.

I have to have Gatorade in the morning, in addition to working out. It's the only way I can stay off Starbucks as a jumpstart to my day... unless of course I've been up most of the night before (like most nights), so I make an excuse to have both.

8^)

Iron deficiency and a diet of mainly gatorade. Go figure!! I hope you are at least taking a daily women's formula multi-vitamin. So far, the only solid food in your diet you've mentioned is steamed vegetables. Are you consuming any major sources of protein at all? And how about calcium, while we're on the subject of your diet.

-Jay


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May 27, 2005, 2:32 PM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
GB - I didn't think the gristle suggestion was voodoo, I just got a laugh out of Jay's response :)

I do eat fruits and vegetables, although the fruit usually comes in the watered down, pureed version of Odwalla smoothies. But I love steamed vegetables, and I've been trying lately to eat a lot of spinach because of my iron deficiency.

I have to have Gatorade in the morning, in addition to working out. It's the only way I can stay off Starbucks as a jumpstart to my day... unless of course I've been up most of the night before (like most nights), so I make an excuse to have both.

8^)

Iron deficiency and a diet of mainly gatorade. Go figure!! I hope you are at least taking a daily women's formula multi-vitamin. So far, the only solid food in your diet you've mentioned is steamed vegetables. Are you consuming any major sources of protein at all? And how about calcium, while we're on the subject of your diet.

-Jay

Jay, I take One A Day Women's Active. I eat 2-3 PowerBars (or analogs of PowerBars) a day, which have around 10 g protein. I also eat at least my fair share of red meat and lean meats.

I mentioned the Gatorade because I usually drink that during workouts instead of water. If I am drinking water while I'm working out, I generally drink more Gatorade than water because 1) it can provide some compensation for calorie loss, 2) it provides quick energy, and 3) It is an excellent way to replace potassium loss. Also, I always try to eat an energy bar or at least something after I work out, so I don't go for long periods of time without eating after working out.

I am completely open to suggestion... and constructive criticism, or just plain criticism... as my dinner the other night consisted of a PowerBar, 24 oz of Fruit Punch Gatorade, and half a pint of Haagen Dazs.

:oops:


jt512


May 27, 2005, 2:49 PM
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In reply to:
Jay, I take One A Day Women's Active. I eat 2-3 PowerBars (or analogs of PowerBars) a day, which have around 10 g protein. I also eat at least my fair share of red meat and lean meats.

I don't know how much you mean by your "fair share" of meat, but even 3 power bars would provide only 30 g of protein, which is less half the RDI, which itself is known to be too low for athletes, or anyone even exercising moderately. You should probably be consuming about 90 g/day of protein. If you're not, consider using a protein supplement. You haven't mentioned any dairy, (except for the hagen-daaz), so a calcium supplement might be in order, too.

-Jay


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May 27, 2005, 2:56 PM
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What about protein shakes instead of supplements? I actually like the taste of those, I just never used to drink them because many don't comply with NCAA regulations.

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Forums : Climbing Information : Injury Treatment and Prevention

 


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