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Masterkush


Aug 15, 2011, 3:46 AM
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tendonitis/tendonosis
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So I started climbing about 10 months ago, and 5 of those months have been me sitting on my ass due to injury from my elbows. After taking long breaks, icing, stretching, warming up, taking joint supplements and doing concentric exercises, I continue to have elbow problems but I think i finally found a solution. I live 15 minutes away from Stoney Point, which is mainly bouldering, therefor bouldering is pretty much all I do. I'd like to think I progressed at climbing fairly quickly (sent my first few V4s and two V5s in five months) and that is what has caused my tendon troubles. Do you think if i stop bouldering and stick exclusively to relaxed 5.9/5.10s that it'd solve my problem? I'm starting to think these really intense bouldering sessions are what's breaking my body down.


tmplcrg


Aug 15, 2011, 4:42 AM
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Re: [Masterkush] tendonitis/tendonosis [In reply to]
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Hi,

I've been dealing with elbow tendonitis for about 8 months now ("golfer's elbow"). I've been climbing for several years but I, too, cranked up the bouldering intensity before I acquired my elbow problem. I'm now, finally, getting my strength back and what has worked for me is the following:

A) Don't crimp so often. I don't think it was the bouldering, in general, that caused the issue but all the repeated, high stress, crimping moves. I've been experimenting with using an open hand grip on as many holds as possible - even small ones I would previously crimp on. Since I have started this, I have no pain after climbing. With crimps: pain. Every time.

B) Eccentric exercises. I saw a physio therapist for my problem and the exercises he recommended were essentially the same as what this guy came up with:

http://sites.google.com/site/healgolferselbow/

For me it seems to be working.

Hope some of this helps.


sungam


Aug 15, 2011, 8:44 AM
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Re: [tmplcrg] tendonitis/tendonosis [In reply to]
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Clickied it for you.

Hey Masterkush. I hope you feel better soon, man. That shit is a bummer for sure.

Edit: Fixed that disgusting mess.


(This post was edited by sungam on Aug 16, 2011, 1:50 AM)


flesh


Aug 15, 2011, 10:02 AM
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Re: [Masterkush] tendonitis/tendonosis [In reply to]
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Masterkush wrote:
So I started climbing about 10 months ago, and 5 of those months have been me sitting on my ass due to injury from my elbows. After taking long breaks, icing, stretching, warming up, taking joint supplements and doing concentric exercises, I continue to have elbow problems but I think i finally found a solution. I live 15 minutes away from Stoney Point, which is mainly bouldering, therefor bouldering is pretty much all I do. I'd like to think I progressed at climbing fairly quickly (sent my first few V4s and two V5s in five months) and that is what has caused my tendon troubles. Do you think if i stop bouldering and stick exclusively to relaxed 5.9/5.10s that it'd solve my problem? I'm starting to think these really intense bouldering sessions are what's breaking my body down.

This is very common, especially when starting out. Climbing open handed may help, depends on which part of the elbow hurts. More likely is that it's an injury due to lockoff/bigmoves your elbows/surrounding musculature can't eudure. Or, it could simply be over use because your psyched! I've been climbing forever and if I climb more than about every other day, bouldering, I feel the elbow pain start to creep in. I had elbow tendonitis, three times, but I haven't had it for 10 years.

Do some pushups, nothing more, you don't want to add bulk, not benching 200 lbs. Just do a couple sets till close to failure every other day or so. Get a 4 inch pvc pipe and put a 3 foot rope through it and add a 5 or 10 lb weight and move the weight up and down to strengthen the top of the forearm.

Climb less, try climbing half the days you use to until it's gone.

Practice better technique, climb with straight arms whenever possible. You can't hurt an elbow using a straight arm. This may be why the other poster suggested climbing open handed, when one climbs open handed you naturally climb more straight armed and use momentum generated from the lower body and core to create upward movement. More fluid movement is the result.

Stretch and stay hydrated as well. My sports doctor suggested I take a bunch of omega 3's one hour before climbing, I take about four pills. He believes in lube, ;)

Remember, nothing will slow down your progress more than injuries, many times less is more.


westhegimp


Aug 15, 2011, 1:35 PM
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Re: [Masterkush] tendonitis/tendonosis [In reply to]
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I have just started to climb without pain in my elbow tendon.

I tried everything. Easy climbing, Ice, Heat, months of rest, push exercises, eccentric exercises, PT at Kaiser=all of the above+ultra sound. I was on NSAIDs, Ibuprofen, Motrin, for a year. Nothing worked.

I asked for and finally received a shot right in the tendon at the exact spot where it hurt. This was delivered by a orthopedic specialist. We took a few minuets to locate the exact spot, made some marks with a pen. Then he administered the injection. Right away I was in pain. But after a couple of days I was good to go.

I am currently climbing pain free. I am climbing a bunch and at a higher level than the last year. I will take it easy for a bit as I don't want to go through that again.

I have had these shots a few times over the years. Both shoulders. Once in my knee. Three times in my elbows. They always seem to work.

Good luck

Wes


Masterkush


Aug 15, 2011, 7:16 PM
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Re: [tmplcrg] tendonitis/tendonosis [In reply to]
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Yeah I have "golfer's elbow" as well (inner elbow pain) and changing my crimp is one thing I have yet to do. I will immediately start working on open handed crimps and straight elbows. You read it everywhere but never actually see people doing it. And the link you posted is the exact one that I use as well, it does help a lot but has yet to "cure" me.
To everyone else, thanks for the feedback.


michal104


Aug 19, 2011, 4:53 PM
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Re: [Masterkush] tendonitis/tendonosis [In reply to]
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The long-term solution for your elbow problems is not resting or taking NSAIDs. You can keep climbing and have to commit to doing eccentric exercises for the affected tendons...it only takes a few minutes.

This article has a good description of the exercises:

http://www.athlon.com.au/articles/r&i_dodgyelbow.pdf

This article provides some background on why eccentric contractions work so well at healing chronic tendon pain:

http://onlineclimbingcoach.blogspot.com/search/label/golfers%20elbow

These exercises have worked for me every time I have had elbow issues and for a bunch of other people I know who had long-term elbow pain - just be consistent and you should notice a big difference in 4-6 weeks. A really key part of the therapy is to constantly (day to day) change the angle of your elbow to find the position in which the exercises are most irritating to the painful area. Try 3 sets of 10 once or twice a day, 2 days on, 1 day off for a few weeks and see how it goes. I use 25 pounds for the wrist curls and 5 pounds on the end of a 16 inch handle for the pronator exercise.

For the first couple of weeks I found it helpful to ice for 10-15 minutes in a bowl of ice and water after the evening exercises - it should help the inflammation settle down.

Hope it feels better soon.


adelphos


Aug 24, 2011, 11:46 AM
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Re: [Masterkush] tendonitis/tendonosis [In reply to]
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I suffered a similar injury, doing similar kinds of boulder problems. I was climbing hard one afternoon and my arm started a hurting. I made a huge mistake by climbing on the injury a few days later thinking I could push through the pain.

The net result was that it took months for the pain to go away and to fully regain strength in the injured arm.

What worked best for me was using a dynaflex gyro exerciser and a tennis elbow band. The dynaflex really helped me to warm up and build tendon strength during the day. I used almost daily. The band helped to manage the swelling during and after climbing. I did use NSAIDs, especially at first.

After that I just had to learn to take it slow. As soon as I felt a twinge in the arm, I was done for the day. You can beat up a muscle and come back strong. The same is not true of tendon injuries. Pushing through the pain is a great way to create a chronic injury.

It took a long time to heal, but I'm back climbing hard now.


Myxomatosis


Aug 24, 2011, 7:33 PM
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I had tendonitis for two years... it sucked, now one year later I am completely pain free, even cranking five days in a row, no worries!

Heres what I did to get ride of it

1. Climbed less but climbed more. I always made sure I had three days rest after climbing one day. I also stopped climbing for grades and just enjoyed every day I had out there. Oh and I stopped training on hang boards, campus and climbing overhanging stuff.

2. Do other shit! I started white water kayaking and trained for a marathon. These helped strengthen different parts of my arms and helped with recovery.

3. I did those exercises every night, I even found more and did extra (I had golfers, climbers and tennis elbow, three bung tendons). EVERY NIGHT! for three years plus push ups, tricep curls, sit ups.

4. Do everything in your power to help recovery. I did ice baths after climbing, heat packs during the week, accupuncture twice a week for awhile.

5. Dont give up climbing! Just manage your injury, if they are sore dont go climbing, its not going to help. Just climb lots of easy stuff for the next year!


Masterkush


Aug 25, 2011, 12:48 AM
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Re: [Myxomatosis] tendonitis/tendonosis [In reply to]
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Thanks for all the feedback. Quick question, one of the exercise guides said it should hurt, but i have no sharp pain (any pain really) when i do these. Im almost positive i have tendonosis, so its more of a dull achy sensation i get during climbing. Will these exercises still benefit me?


Jnclk


Aug 25, 2011, 4:11 AM
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Masterkush wrote:
Thanks for all the feedback. Quick question, one of the exercise guides said it should hurt, but i have no sharp pain (any pain really) when i do these. Im almost positive i have tendonosis, so its more of a dull achy sensation i get during climbing. Will these exercises still benefit me?

The treatment for tendonosis and tendonitis is essentially the same. You shouldn't experience sharp pain during rehab exercises.


Masterkush


Aug 25, 2011, 4:34 PM
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Jnclk wrote:
Masterkush wrote:
Thanks for all the feedback. Quick question, one of the exercise guides said it should hurt, but i have no sharp pain (any pain really) when i do these. Im almost positive i have tendonosis, so its more of a dull achy sensation i get during climbing. Will these exercises still benefit me?

The treatment for tendonosis and tendonitis is essentially the same. You shouldn't experience sharp pain during rehab exercises.
thanks for the reply, another question, should i be doing these exercises before or after a climbing session, if at all on the day i climb, and i ice my elbow several times a day, should i be icing afterwards or before?


flesh


Aug 26, 2011, 11:37 AM
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Lame, guess who has minor elbow tendinitis for the first time in over ten years? It's only my right elbow. I've been thinking what I should do, it's so difficult to convince yourself to climb less when your on a roll. Normally, I climb every other day, I've decided that between now until I go to Font mid october, I'm going to follow this schedule.

One day one, one day off, one day on, two days off.

On one of the climbing days, I'll only do one or two arm, straight arm (not engage the elbow) handboard workouts. No crimping. On these days, I'll do reverse wrist curls and various types of push ups to strengthen the opposing muscle groups between handboard sets. Also, on these days, I'll do an hour of cardio, on an elyptical, at a high heart rate, to improve blood flow to my elbow, and therefore heal it faster. On the other climbing day, I'll still do boulders at my limit, but I'll decrease the volume. Keep the intensity up, but the volume down, I might only have six attempts at boulders at my limit on these days. With 10-15 minute rests between.

I may mix in some forced straight arm route climbing on routes below my limit so I won't be tempted to bend my arm.

Also, I'll be getting a massage once a week and have the therapist spend fifteen or so minutes on the injured elbow.

I need this injury totally gone before I go to font for a month as I won't have the option or inclination to climb less and not bend the elbow.

I'll let you know how well this works.

I'll be warming up totally straight armed on all climbing days.


ceebo


Aug 27, 2011, 5:45 AM
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Re: [flesh] tendonitis/tendonosis [In reply to]
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Glucosamine seems to help, I have taken it for about 2 years now on and off. Never had significant elbow trouble since. Not to say i did not pick up some other slight injurys along the way.


flesh


Aug 27, 2011, 11:05 AM
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ceebo wrote:
Glucosamine seems to help, I have taken it for about 2 years now on and off. Never had significant elbow trouble since. Not to say i did not pick up some other slight injurys along the way.

ya, I dunno if that stuff helps but just in case I take glucosamine/chondroitin and 4 omega 3 vitamins every day a hour or two before climbing to get stuff lubed up.


cvilleclimbing


Aug 30, 2011, 4:32 AM
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Re: [flesh] tendonitis/tendonosis [In reply to]
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Hey flesh,

I've been managing elbow tendonitis for a few months now (originally both severe medial and lateral, now just a bit of medial tightness when I slack on rehab). I've been under the impression (per Ben Moon, Hoerst, etc.) that hangboarding with completely straight arms is more stressful on the elbow. What's your logic behind keeping the arms totally straight? From my experience, keeping a slight bend has allowed me to complete hangboard sessions even on days when the elbow is pretty tight. Just curious, love your training info man keep it up.


flesh


Aug 30, 2011, 10:26 AM
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cvilleclimbing wrote:
Hey flesh,

I've been managing elbow tendonitis for a few months now (originally both severe medial and lateral, now just a bit of medial tightness when I slack on rehab). I've been under the impression (per Ben Moon, Hoerst, etc.) that hangboarding with completely straight arms is more stressful on the elbow. What's your logic behind keeping the arms totally straight? From my experience, keeping a slight bend has allowed me to complete hangboard sessions even on days when the elbow is pretty tight. Just curious, love your training info man keep it up.

Sure, good question, I'm no expert in elbow injuries, so I'm just speaking from personal experience.

When I originally had three bouts with elbow tendonites, 10 years or so ago, it was caused by training lockoffs on a system board and practicing one arm pull ups. In otherwords, doing extreme pull exercises. Once I stopped training pull muscles totally, it went away.

This time, it's probably from overuse, I've climbed more in the last six months than I have for 10 years. When my elbow hurts, it's when I'm doing big powerful moves, often requiring alot of weight forced onto one elbow.

My point is, for me, my elbow in the past and now, have only hurt when pulling, not hanging. Apparently, what hurts your elbow, depends on which part of the elbow hurts. Mine is probably different than what Ben and Eric are referring to. I'm no expert but when a certain type of movement hurts and another doesn't, the answer is simple.

My brothers elbow hurts whenever he sqeezes something hard with his fingers. This doesn't hurt me at all.


ghisino


Aug 31, 2011, 2:56 AM
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imho not hanging straight armed has probably more ralation with shoulder health than with elbows...


rockingallday


Dec 29, 2011, 12:51 PM
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Re: [adelphos] tendonitis/tendonosis [In reply to]
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I agree with this post! I used the Dynaflex Powerball for the last few weeks and it helped my wrist/elbow pain immensely. For all of you having these common injuries, you have a new device on your side to recover.


DouglasHunter


Dec 29, 2011, 1:40 PM
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Re: [Masterkush] tendonitis/tendonosis [In reply to]
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A couple of points:

1- correctly understanding the nature of the injury is important. You need to know exactly where the pain is and what it means. If the pain is around the Medial epicondyle, is the pain on the proximal or distal aspects? This matters.

2- When you stretch are you doing the right kind of stretches? Assuming that your tendonosis involves the flexors of the wrist and fingers are you doing your stretches with the elbow straight and with your hand rotated so that your fingers are pointed towards the floor? (assuming that you are doing the stretch standing up.)

3- You also need to stretch the extensors of the wrist and fingers, as well as look at your over all functionality in the wrist, elbow and shoulder. Muscles and tedons are best thought of as being part of a system. So we want to know if the system is healthy and how the injuried ligament, tendon, or muscle is relating to / effected by the functioning of the system.

4- Joint supplements do not help with tendonosis. Glucosamine for example, effects the cartilage, what's more, clinical studies suggest that it does not work in a targeted, or consistent way so its not really something that can be part of a treatment program.

5- What do you mean when you say you are doing "concentric exercises"

6- Icing is usually done after activity, but can be done several times a day. The thing you don't want to do is ice shortly before activity.

7-
In reply to:
I've been under the impression (per Ben Moon, Hoerst, etc.) that hangboarding with completely straight arms is more stressful on the elbow.

Activities that flex the elbow tend to put more stress on the flexors of the wrist and fingers as well as the pronators.

8- Anyone wanting a better understanding should read this article: http://www.med.nyu.edu/pmr/residency/resources/Clinics_sports%20med/clinics%20NA%20sports_medial%20epicondylitis.pdf


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