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treatment for tendonitis?
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jdean


Dec 21, 2001, 5:57 AM
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Hey guys, I figure if anyone can help me, it's you all. I have just figured out I have the "golfer's elbow" form of tendonitis. This is where the inside part of the elbow closest to the body is stressed (medial epicondylitis, the opposite of "tennis elbow"). It is not very serious yet, but I want to stop it before it becomes that way. I was wondering what I could to to rehab/strengthen my elbows so this doesn't happen again. I have been out of the gym for a week now and it is about to KILL ME! Any advice you could give would be of great great help. Thanks.

JDean


Partner missedyno


Dec 21, 2001, 6:34 AM
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take more time off. you don't want to injure yourself for life!


paulc


Dec 21, 2001, 7:30 AM
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You know about a month ago I would have said RICE, stay asymptomatic, blah, blah, blah.

But I have a new philosophy. See a physio. Not just any physio, but a good climbing physio. Until you've seen what a HUGE (really) difference a competent physio that understands your sport can do for injuries you don't really know how easy it can be to recover from injuries.

I used to say that I never learned anything from my physio as I had done my own research, but the new guy I see now is fan-freaking-tastic.

Paul

PS if anyone in Vancouver is looking for a great climbing physio let me know and I can hook you up. I have never met a climber that went to this guy and didn't think that he was a miracle worker.


jdean


Dec 21, 2001, 3:46 PM
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Thanks for the help! It is REALLY appreciated. I definitely don't want to be out of commission any longer than necessary. B&B, I am going to go work with the dumbells right now, thanks for the tip.

JDean


traddad


Dec 22, 2001, 7:28 PM
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I've suffered with low level climber's elbow for years. I have always been able to keep it at bay by:
1.RICE when it gets bad and ice after every workout.
2. Warming up properly before cranking hard, usually while wearing neoprene elbow "braces" to get my 'bows really warm.

3. working antagonist muscles.

Traddad the Old


[ This Message was edited by: traddad on 2001-12-22 19:29 ]


climbchick


Jan 4, 2002, 7:12 AM
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Wow, I'm glad I came across this post because now I know what's wrong with me! I got carried away a couple of months ago and climbed hard every other day for about two weeks straight . . my elbow started killing me and I ignored it and climbed anyway until I was in such pain that I no longer had any choice but to stop. Ever since then, it's been bugging me on and off. I'm going to try the dumbbells, but I was just wondering how many reps to do and how often. Would that be a good way to warm up before climbing?

Also . . what does RICE stand for?

And finally . . a couple of people have recommended that I take glucosamine . . has anyone else tried this.

I hope this is something that goes away in time and won't be a life-long condition!


treyr


Jan 4, 2002, 4:26 PM
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Rest and ice


paulc


Jan 4, 2002, 4:49 PM
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R - Rest
I - Ice
C - Compression
E - Elevation

Basically the first two or three days follow RICE and perhaps use an anti-inflamitory drug (advil or equivilant)

Then you should start onto strengthening exercises, with heat to increase the blood flow to help clear up any inflamation or nodules etc.

I have seen those elbow things but think that if you use them that you are really training your weak points to stay weak. It would be better to slowly work up to harder climbs and let your body recover fully.

Paul


climber_girl


Jan 4, 2002, 5:44 PM
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last year i climbed every other day if not everyday in a gym. never had a problem with my elbow. but i went climbing in the summer and we had to do this nasty hike to get to the base of the rock and i dunno what happened but sinc then i haven't been able to sit cross legged for more then a half hour becuase it gets a killer pain in it. i was thinkig it could have been from the hike down(70 degree angle) but i have no clue whsat it is. has anyone had this happen to them b4? if so do u kwo hwo to treat it. sorry its iff topic but it kinda isn't.

Brittany


jdean


Jan 9, 2002, 11:22 AM
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You know, I was thinking, maybe they should call it RICED:

Rest
Ice
Compresssion
Elevation
Drugs! (anti inflammatories/pain killers of course)


c-horse
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Jan 23, 2002, 12:30 AM
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Hey y'all - I had (diagnosed by sports doc and phys therapist) medial epicondylitis the first week of October last year.

Long story short : 7 weeks away from climbing, after returning, and climbing 3 times a week for 5 weeks, I was back to 90-95% of my previous strength, but climbing slightly better than pre-injury due to improved technique.

Long story long :

My injury came about from a big increase in the amount/difficulty of climbing I was doing - over the summer I went from weeklyish V0 gym climbing to 3 times a week, V2. No single event heralded it - just one day "hey, that sucks, and I can't gaston." To put it in perspective, I could lift a glass of tea, but I couldn't pour from a 1 gallon pitcher.

My PT gave me a 3 week rehab "recipe" - and it was too aggressive, and I re-injured, extending my non-climbing time. Anyway, here's the rehab I went through, and don't consider this medical advice (yadda yadda).

Week 1 : every other day, do barbell rolls (palm up) from fully open grip (and barbell handle on last pads of fingers) rolled up to fully closed grip, then bend wrist up as far as possible. Doing this with light weight, to reach fatigue (goal was 3 sets of 30 reps, and not being able to do any more) - to begin rebuilding new connective tissue. For me, this was a 5 lb barbell.
Week 2 : now on a 10lb barbell.
Week 3 : "light climbing at the gym" - I think I had an elbow lockoff at 90 degrees that killed me. No more climbing, wait a week, start over.
Week 5 : 5lb barbell
Week 6 : 10lb barbell
Week 7 : 10 lb barbell.
Week 8+ : Back at gym on the weekend after Thanksgiving - first sessions are 30 minutes, and literally, the first time my elbow hurt, I would stop and go home. Like a big baby.

I also gave myself the "static only" rule - and as I started reclimbing routes I used to have dialed, I found that I had no core strength, so I began improving technique, with much stickier feet, lots of drop knees, laybacks, hip turns and frogging. I made a game of tapping every hold before I grabbed it - to remind myself to be balanced.

After a month, I started building up the antagonist muscles (doing wrist curls, palm down) 3 sets of 30, on my alternate days. I think this has had a very positive affect.

That's about it, other than - when in doubt, rest it! And if you think you're starting back on the wall too soon, you are - wait. And don't do that move. Just within the last week have I started doing gastons again - and I still try and backstep really far and shift a lot of weight onto my foot first - I am still favoring my elbow when I climb. But my technique is better, and my core is a lot stronger, so I am excited to know that next month I'll be climbing harder and better, and probably the same the following month.

HTH
Scott


jdean


Jan 23, 2002, 5:36 AM
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Congratulations on getting through it in a short amount of time. I too am starting to see results from my rehab. The rehab I am doing is kind of a "home made recipie" though (i.e., I haven't sought any kind of professional medical advice). It was kind of a loose program, but it allowed me to keep climbing. I am trying to keep some of my overall strength up by rejuvinating my weight training as well.


crazyiv69


Jan 23, 2002, 7:22 AM
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Hey I just went to the doctor for tendonitis and he said I cant for a month or if I have to only about once a week. He also said take some anti-inflammatory medicine. The doc can give you some really strong pills. But advil and aleve work fine about 2-3 every twelve hours.And alot of rest will be good with ice. He said its from the same movement or types of movements when climbing that caused it. Get better and start climbing again but take it easy.


colin


Jan 23, 2002, 2:24 PM
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Rubber band reistance excercises will help to avoid tendonitis once you've recovered.


jt512


Jan 23, 2002, 2:44 PM
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The most important thing you can do (besides rest) to speed up the recovery from medial epicondylitis is to strecth the forearms. The following two stretches should be mandatory for all climbers. If you don't yet have sore elbows, do these daily; if you already have elbow tendinitis, do them 10 times a day (seriously). If your tendinitis has not progressed too far, you should feel substantial improvement in one to three weeks.

The stretches:

1. Arm extended out in front of you, elbow straight, fingers pointing down to the ground. Using opposite hand, pull the fingers back toward the body. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat until severely bored.

2. Arm extended out in front of you, elbow straight, fingers pointing up the sky. Using opposite hand, pull the fingers back toward the body. Hold for 30 sec. Repeat until bored silly.

The reason that these stretches work is because they lengthen the forearm muscles that attach to the medial epicondyle. Climbing shortens these muscles, which then chronically pull on and irritate the medial epicondyle.

Strengthening the opposing forearm muscles is important, too, as others have suggested.

Someone mentioned taking anti-inflammatories. I agree. YMMV, but I have found that ibuprofen (Advil) works best. However, you have to take at least 1800 mg/day for several days in order to receive an anti-inflammatory effect. Smaller doses will ease the pain, but will not reduce the inflammation. Do not try to take this much Alleve (naproxin), which is much harder on the stomach than ibuprofen.

-Jay

[ This Message was edited by: jt512 on 2002-01-23 14:48 ]


c-horse
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Jan 24, 2002, 1:08 AM
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Jay - just to be clear, in your stretches, which way do the palms go?

1. (fingers down) - assuming palm towards me.
2. (fingers up) - assuming palm away from me.

Thanks! Great point about the muscles constricting due to the micro-tears associated with climbing fatigue.

From what I've read about healing tendons, the more bloodflow you get to tendons, the more healing you get. And tendons get much less blood than muscles do (which is why it takes much longer for them to heal, presumably). I think I read that minor exercise of the area (like you would get from the stretches you describe) would increase the bloodflow in the elbow - helping to increase the nutrition getting to the tendons.

Scott "an engineer who reads too much" Sehlhorst

[ This Message was edited by: ssehlhorst on 2002-01-24 01:18 ]


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