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New Climber Medial Epicondylitis
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FusePB


Sep 13, 2014, 9:28 PM
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New Climber Medial Epicondylitis
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I started climbing at the beginning of this summer around 3-4 months ago. Quickly after starting I fell in love with it and began going to the gym around 4 times a week consistently. Here I am 3-4 months later and occasionally I have a slight dull pain around the inside of my elbow/bicep, but it's never been an issue. However after the last few times climbing with a rest day in-between each day I have a deep dull pain in my elbow. I plan to take the week off and continue reps with the number of stretches I've found on the internet surrounding Climbers Elbow. Any input as to if a week is long enough of a break, or any other steps I can take to speed recovery?

Thanks guy.


onceahardman


Sep 15, 2014, 10:15 PM
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Re: [FusePB] New Climber Medial Epicondylitis [In reply to]
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FusePB wrote:
I started climbing at the beginning of this summer around 3-4 months ago. Quickly after starting I fell in love with it and began going to the gym around 4 times a week consistently. Here I am 3-4 months later and occasionally I have a slight dull pain around the inside of my elbow/bicep, but it's never been an issue. However after the last few times climbing with a rest day in-between each day I have a deep dull pain in my elbow. I plan to take the week off and continue reps with the number of stretches I've found on the internet surrounding Climbers Elbow. Any input as to if a week is long enough of a break, or any other steps I can take to speed recovery?

Thanks guy.

I don't know what stretches you have found, or are doing.

If you train pullups, probably best to back off from those. Do wrist curls and reverse wrist curls (especially). Do resisted pronation and (especially) supination with a hammer or other appropriate resistance.

Many people have reported here that completely stopping climbing results in symptoms going away, then quickly returning when you start climbing again. Probably it is best to continue climbing some, to tolerance.

Try outdoor climbing if at all possible. The repetitive motions and positions of indoor "cling" holds seems to be particularly annoying.


Partner cracklover


Sep 16, 2014, 1:27 PM
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Re: [onceahardman] New Climber Medial Epicondylitis [In reply to]
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onceahardman wrote:
FusePB wrote:
I started climbing at the beginning of this summer around 3-4 months ago. Quickly after starting I fell in love with it and began going to the gym around 4 times a week consistently. Here I am 3-4 months later and occasionally I have a slight dull pain around the inside of my elbow/bicep, but it's never been an issue. However after the last few times climbing with a rest day in-between each day I have a deep dull pain in my elbow. I plan to take the week off and continue reps with the number of stretches I've found on the internet surrounding Climbers Elbow. Any input as to if a week is long enough of a break, or any other steps I can take to speed recovery?

Thanks guy.

I don't know what stretches you have found, or are doing.

If you train pullups, probably best to back off from those. Do wrist curls and reverse wrist curls (especially). Do resisted pronation and (especially) supination with a hammer or other appropriate resistance.

Many people have reported here that completely stopping climbing results in symptoms going away, then quickly returning when you start climbing again. Probably it is best to continue climbing some, to tolerance.

Try outdoor climbing if at all possible. The repetitive motions and positions of indoor "cling" holds seems to be particularly annoying.

All great advice from OAHM (as always).

Also, if you have a desk job, take a good look at your setup to insure that nothing you're doing is contributing to the problem.

I had a nagging case of epicondylitis in my right arm that rest, stretches, and RICE alone couldn't shake. It wasn't until I started mousing with my left hand that I kicked it for good.

Good luck!


sbaclimber


Sep 18, 2014, 7:31 PM
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Re: [cracklover] New Climber Medial Epicondylitis [In reply to]
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cracklover wrote:
Also, if you have a desk job, take a good look at your setup to insure that nothing you're doing is contributing to the problem.

I had a nagging case of epicondylitis in my right arm that rest, stretches, and RICE alone couldn't shake. It wasn't until I started mousing with my left hand that I kicked it for good.
Ditto here. I have been a "lefty" at work for a few years now. That, plus proper chair-, desk-, monitor-height, and wrist supports, has really helped keep things to a manageable level.
I don't expect to ever be completely free of carpal tunnel and golf/tennis elbow again, but keeping the RSI to a minimum (and increasing post-climbing recovery times as I get older Pirate) has reduced the frequency and severity of flare-ups significantly.
It is all about listening to your body. RSI isn't something you can "walk off" or train away...Unsure
Edit: by "train", I meant climbing training. There are definitely exercises you can do to help alleviate elbow problems!


(This post was edited by sbaclimber on Sep 18, 2014, 7:46 PM)


shockabuku


Sep 19, 2014, 1:41 AM
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Re: [FusePB] New Climber Medial Epicondylitis [In reply to]
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How old are you? It probably affects your recovery time.

My personal experience is that taking off time doesn't help much. I'm in my late forties and have had two cases of lateral epicondylitis in the last two years in different arms, the first of which was just getting worse till I undertook the treatment options below. I'd previously had problems with it in my thirties and early forties but it mostly corrected itself. The last two years not so much.

Effective, long term (4 months or more), treatment consisted of:
1. Don't aggravate it by bouldering too hard, campusing, pull-ups. I still climbed but mostly routes (often at my limit) but only occassional bouldering.
2. Therapeutic exercises focusing on eccentric movements and stretching (see websites below).
4. A little massage (see website below). Not sure if it really contributed to recovery or not.
5. It appears a week off here or there may help, not sure.

Some useful references:
http://www.nicros.com/training/articles/treating-climbers-elbow/
http://www.drjuliansaunders.com/resources/feature_articles/dodgy_elbows/
Maybe useful:
http://www.armaid.com/


FusePB


Sep 22, 2014, 6:56 PM
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Re: [shockabuku] New Climber Medial Epicondylitis [In reply to]
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Thank you for the replies guys, much appreciated. I ended up taking a full weak off to rest from climbing and just went a few days ago. I had no pain before or after the climb so I thought I was all recovered. I took a rest day following after climbing that Friday and decided to go back Sunday. During my climbing I was totally fine Sunday, however the morning after and following day I experienced a dull ache in my inner elbow again. This was nothing close to the previously mentioned pain, but definitely recurrent. In the week rest I did a variety of stretches a few times a day and some light strength training. Also I'm 20 years old.


Sparkington


Nov 12, 2014, 10:07 AM
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Re: [FusePB] New Climber Medial Epicondylitis [In reply to]
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I was having this issue too. I tried a lot of the stretches I found on the internet, and nothing particularly helped. I mentioned it to my brother who does static and flying trapeze, and he suggested the following. His take on the injury was that it was the finger flexor tendons getting tight, irritated, and bunched up.

1. I hold my arm straight out to the side palm outwards.
2. I pull my fingers as vertically as possible while at the same time trying to push my palm away from my body (I can't emphasize the push enough). When I do this, I lean into it, and try to stretch everything from my wrist to my shoulder.
3. When things start getting a bit tingly and the stretch starts wearing off, I tilt my head away. It gives just a little bit more.

When I do it right, I feel the stretch all through my flexors all the way to my medial epicondyle. I can never get my fingers totally straight by the way.

It's helped me a lot.

I've seen people doing something like this stretch, but they tend to do it passively; they put their hand in this position and lean it against a wall. This does put the flexors in a relatively stretched position, but I've never "felt" the stretch when I do this.

The thing about this that works for me is actively trying to stretch my arm as far as possible. It's a static position, but by pushing my arm out and trying to keep my palm and fingers as vertical as possible, I feel a stretch all through my arm.

I feel like I've done a poor job at describing this, so I took a few photos.

http://imgur.com/a/eRiFL

I felt a little silly at first standing in the gym doing a "stop" motion with my arm, but since I've started doing it, my medial epicondylitis has gone away. I was also having occasional pain when i released my grip quickly, and that has disappeared too. When I started doing this, I was doing it about twice a session for ten seconds each side. Now I do it about once a week.


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