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Elbow pain after two weeks?
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telos


Mar 30, 2011, 11:09 AM
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Elbow pain after two weeks?
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hello, I'm new here and was looking for some help for a predicament I've encountered...

I started climbing about two weeks ago, and the first week I stupidly went three days in a row, and noticed some pain in my left elbow after the second day. I dismissed this and went again the next day, started feeling tension in both elbows and stopped immediately. The elbow pain was infrequent and while mostly localized to the medial portion of both elbows ("golfers elbow"), the pain would occasionally radiate to the lateral portion, and even to my biceps and axillary region.

I took three days off after this and felt better. When I went back to the gym and was much stronger, easily sending some V3s and getting close on some V4s. My elbows felt a little tight but after I sent a few easy boulder problems there was no pain (save for tweaking my right elbow on a cross hold, but even then the pain eventually subsided). Afterwards (and for the next few days) my left elbow felt tight, but with little to no pain. My right elbow continued to have infrequent pain that seemed to keep oscillating between the medial/lateral portions. I took another day off and went in yesterday but quit very early when i tried to send a V3 I did during the last session and realized how weak I was (general weakness). Today the left elbow still feels pretty good (definitely not 100%) and I'm still experiencing the oscillating, infrequent pain on the right elbow, with no bicep/axillary pain. I plan on taking 4-7 days off to see how I feel. I was wondering if anyone else here has encountered similar symptomatology as mine don't seem to completely correlate with any particular condition I've researched thus far (ie: tendinitis/tendinosis), and what the outcome was. Thanks in advance, and I look forward to posting on here!


freezorburn


Mar 30, 2011, 11:41 AM
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Re: [telos] Elbow pain after two weeks? [In reply to]
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Do not look for the position that hurts you. Ice it when it hurts and wait this will take time.

My fractured elbow took 1 year before it felt normal.


shockabuku


Mar 30, 2011, 11:48 AM
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Re: [telos] Elbow pain after two weeks? [In reply to]
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Elbow tendonitis/tendonosis is pretty common among climbers. I think they call it medial epicondylitis or some such thing. I've had it, it sucks. Seems to be caused by pulling harder than your body is conditioned for. Getting rid of it is a good trick. My best results seem to come from toning down the intensity but continuing to climb regularly. Takes a few months (2-3) to go away after it gets pretty aggravated. If you catch it early and go easy it should go away within a couple of weeks. Not climbing makes it go away too but not terribly faster and not climbing sucks. Also, when you don't climb and then start up again I think you're more likely to cause it to be irritated again.


mr.tastycakes


Mar 31, 2011, 8:54 AM
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Re: [telos] Elbow pain after two weeks? [In reply to]
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You've only been climbing for two weeks? This must be some kind of record for fastest overuse injury ever Tongue

You're trying to climb too hard too soon, and, since you're a beginner, probably pulling way harder than you need to. There are lots of relevant threads on elbow injuries on this site, have you tried a search? Give it a go. There's lots of good information on this forum that's helped me rehab my own overuse injuries (fingers) and prevent a little niggling pain from turning into an overuse injury (shoulders).

I'm no doctor or PT, so I'll refrain from offering a diagnosis or advice on treating your injury.

Good luck, and take it easy or your climbing career will be over before it starts.


onceahardman


Mar 31, 2011, 4:32 PM
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Re: [telos] Elbow pain after two weeks? [In reply to]
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Climbing gyms get you strong incredibly fast. Borderline V4 in 2 weeks is absolutely ridiculous.

The gym allows you to pound V3, V3, V3, V4 V4...one after the other, one grade to the next. Humans aren't (generally) built for that. You are going too fast.

Climbing to attain higher and higher numbers is fine, but there is more depth to this game than that.

Go climbing outside. Enjoy yourself. Look for problems that look fun. Don't stress about the numbers.

Climbing outside will round out your experience, and provide depth to your movement over stone that transcends the pure numeric difficulty. Your career will be longer and more enjoyable if you start traveling to other climbing areas.

Besides, everybody knows that 5.11d is considerably harder than 5.12a Cool


(This post was edited by onceahardman on Mar 31, 2011, 4:34 PM)


telos


Mar 31, 2011, 5:22 PM
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Re: [onceahardman] Elbow pain after two weeks? [In reply to]
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onceahardman wrote:
Climbing gyms get you strong incredibly fast. Borderline V4 in 2 weeks is absolutely ridiculous.

The gym allows you to pound V3, V3, V3, V4 V4...one after the other, one grade to the next. Humans aren't (generally) built for that. You are going too fast.

Climbing to attain higher and higher numbers is fine, but there is more depth to this game than that.

Go climbing outside. Enjoy yourself. Look for problems that look fun. Don't stress about the numbers.

Climbing outside will round out your experience, and provide depth to your movement over stone that transcends the pure numeric difficulty. Your career will be longer and more enjoyable if you start traveling to other climbing areas.

Besides, everybody knows that 5.11d is considerably harder than 5.12a Cool

Thanks for the replies guys. I know it's ridiculous, but I'm also sure you understand that it's probably only natural to want to progress quickly (ie: challenge yourself). Instead of going for the tough problems what would you recommend? Working on efficiency/technique on easier problems? Top-roping some easy stuff?

When will I have a good idea that I'm ready to get back in the gym? The pain in both arms has almost completely subsided but I still plan on giving them a few more days before I try to go back to the gym. When climbing again, should I immediately stop if I feel ANY pain or should I continue to work on easy problems?

In response to the above poster, I've already spent hours researching the topic and have even checked out the two websites detailing the concentric stretching exercises. I have tried a few of these and have been unable to dial in a position that causes pain during the concentric contraction. Apparently these exercises should induce pain if they are being done correctly.

Overall I'm guessing this is just a minor injury and that I need to chill out when I climb. The problem is that I keep seeing conflicting information - some sources say to stop climbing immediately when the pain is felt while others say to continue climbing to increase the strength of the tendons. With this in mind it becomes difficult to "let pain by my guide". As you can see here I'm pretty lost here but at the same time confident I'll figure this out. Thanks.


Rufsen


Apr 1, 2011, 12:11 AM
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Re: [telos] Elbow pain after two weeks? [In reply to]
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telos wrote:
When climbing again, should I immediately stop if I feel ANY pain or should I continue to work on easy problems?

No pain, pack your bag and go home if there is any.

You can climb with some pain, but in my experience its really hard to do it correctly. Adrenaline will severely affect your ability to judge if its too much pain.

Just find something fun and easy to focus on for 3-4 weeks. If i have another fingerinjury i would just do lost of 5.9-5.10 slabs and crackclimbs, ill just consider it a great time to work on my tradskills.

Good luck.


tx88


Apr 1, 2011, 12:37 AM
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Re: [telos] Elbow pain after two weeks? [In reply to]
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Sounds like classic epicondylitis (tendonitis). Aka an inflamed tendon.

1. Space out your climbing longer, add one to two days to your typical rest day schedule.
2. Take a round of NSAIDs (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). Advil, normal dose, 2 times a day, for 5 days. Don't think more is better and take more, you can overdose on advil.
3. Stretch your muscles and tendons every day and every time before you climb. If its your medial epicondyle that's hurting then its your flexor compartment that's having issues. A good stretch is to place your hand flat against a wall and then straighten your fore arm until its parallel to the ground.
4. Ice. and ice. and ice. No more than 10 minutes at a time, twice a day, and after climbing.
5. Climb, but don't push yourself...so cut back on the V4's and maybe even V3's. If you're addicted the V1's and V2's will fill the void. Ice after climbing.

It generally starts hurting once you start climbing because you stretch out those muscles and tendons. When you stop they contract and the inflammation hits home.

Happy healing.


onceahardman


Apr 1, 2011, 4:09 PM
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Re: [telos] Elbow pain after two weeks? [In reply to]
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In reply to:
I've already spent hours researching the topic and have even checked out the two websites detailing the concentric stretching exercises. I have tried a few of these and have been unable to dial in a position that causes pain during the concentric contraction. Apparently these exercises should induce pain if they are being done correctly.

Honest, I'm not trying to be a dick. But either you don't know what "stretching" means, or you don't know what "concentric" means (or both).

To my knowledge, there is no such thing as a "concentric stretching exercise".

You might be referring to some discussion a while back regarding eccentric exercise for tendinosis, which has pretty good supporting evidence, especially in Achilles tendinosis. There is no compelling reason it shouldn't work in other tendons, and little danger in trying it.

Are you training pullups? Or are the routes you are doing really overhung, and you are doing a lot of "pullup-type" motions, rather than using your feet well? If so, your problem might be involving pronator teres, rather than the wrist/finger flexors. This was the case for me. You can try eccentric pronator strengthening with a hammer or weighted bar, but you might want to ask a trainer, or someone who knows something about biomechanics/kinesiology. No offense, but you don't seem to have the knowledge about it at this point. That's not your fault, you just don't know. So ask someone who does to teach you.


telos


Apr 4, 2011, 5:44 AM
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Re: [onceahardman] Elbow pain after two weeks? [In reply to]
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Thanks again for the advice... a friend at the gym recommended pyramid pushups which I have been doing a few days a week and the pain is gone. I will post back here in a couple weeks with an update.


Masterkush


Apr 10, 2011, 10:15 PM
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Re: [telos] Elbow pain after two weeks? [In reply to]
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man i had the same problem. started climbing and fell in love with it, 2 week later BOOM mad tendonitis, and ive been climbing for 5 months now with on and off elbow pain. Best thing you can do is work the opposing muscles, do push ups and what not. Warm up warm up warm up! and ice your arm after every single time you climb to keep inflammation down. I started taking condroitin, MSM, and glucosamine which are for joint health. Some people say that they dont work or that its a placebo effect but hey it works for me. best of luck mate


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