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Bad Elbow Tendonitis
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GreenGoblin7


Aug 23, 2010, 7:12 AM
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Bad Elbow Tendonitis
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Sometimes when I climb really hard my elbows feel like they are on fire. Anything I can do to prevent/treat this?


onceahardman


Aug 23, 2010, 2:41 PM
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Re: [GreenGoblin7] Bad Elbow Tendonitis [In reply to]
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Here is an overview of current medical treatment:

http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/97217-treatment

it can be stubborn. Be patient. persistent, and compliant.


james481


Aug 24, 2010, 12:58 PM
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Re: [GreenGoblin7] Bad Elbow Tendonitis [In reply to]
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I'm not a doctor or anything, so take my advice as nothing more than from someone who went through the same thing (at one point my elbow tendinitis was severe enough to keep me up at night). How long have you been climbing? If your answer is anything less than a few years, I have some bad news for you: the only remedy that is effective for most people is climbing less. The pain you feel in your elbows is probably your tendons crying for mercy because they have not strengthened at the same pace as your muscles have. Tendons generally take months or years to become strong enough for the rigors of constant hard climbing, and if you push them too hard you can experience injuries severe enough to postpone your climbing entirely for several months at least.

But I also have good news: Scale back your climbing, either in frequency or difficulty, until your elbows feel better, and after another year or so of climbing you'll realize that they no longer hurt afterward, and can begin increasing the frequency or difficulty of your climbing again.

Of course, as I said before, I'm no doctor.


tomcat_ct


Aug 24, 2010, 3:11 PM
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Re: Bad Elbow Tendonitis [In reply to]
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Same thing happened to me after I tried pulling too hard on a 2 finger pocket.Felt a sharp pain near my right elbow(inner part of forearm with palm facing toward me).It was preety bad at first and it hurt quite bad while shifting gears on the drive back home(though no problem with range of motion;i could close my hand but it did hurt).It hurt for another 3-4days until the pain went completly away.I took a 2 week break from climbing and tried climbing again.I felt the same pain while crimping a small edge on a 5.10.
I then decided it was time for a longer break and only after about 4 weeks did I try to climb, but only easy stuff(5.8 max).It's been about 3 months after my injury and I have eased back into climbing almost to the level I was before(lead a 5.9 and did a 5.10 on TR a few days ago without any pain;maybe a little sorenes the next day from not climbing as often as I did before)
There still is a little lump on my right forearm where I got injured but it doesn't hurt any more, though I am scared to pull harder than say 80-85% because I'm afraid of getting injured again.
Do you guys have any ideea if by now some strengthening exercises like say wrist curls would help make the swealling go away?Or should I just keep climbing stuff within my ability for the rest of the season to make sure I don't re-injur myself?


onceahardman


Aug 24, 2010, 7:11 PM
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Re: [tomcat_ct] Bad Elbow Tendonitis [In reply to]
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Several things originate from the medial epicondyle. Finger flexors, wrist flexors, pronator teres...you may well be able to isolate the actual individual structure you actually damaged, by manually muscle testing each muscle.

Based on what you've said so far, my early suspicion is that you tore a bit of a finger flexor, and the lump you feel is the balled-up little piece of muscle. It may well be permanent, but will probably result in an imperceptible functional loss.

Aftwer a 4 week rest, you should certainly be doing some stregthening. If it is, in fact, a finger flexor, then strengthening wrist flexors (wrist curls) wont help much. They are nearby, but are probably not the actual damaged structure.

Try strengthening your finger flexors instead, and see how that goes. Continue climbing, and when you feel strong, do some hard top ropes, to build up strength and confidence.

Good luck!


tomcat_ct


Aug 25, 2010, 12:43 AM
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Re: [onceahardman] Bad Elbow Tendonitis [In reply to]
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thanks for the advice.It's the finger flexors most likely since when I try gripping harder I can feel the tendons moving in that area with the other hand.
I'll stick to easier routes.
Anyway, I can still climb and that's the most important thing right now since I enjoy long easy trad a lot more than sport so I'll stop focusing on getting into 5.11(which was one of my goals for this season) and just be happy with what I can do right now until I get strong again(any advice on those finger strength exercises?).I guess that not climbing for some time also didn't do any good for tendon strength and that's another reason I'm hesitating to try harder stuff now.


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