Sign Up  |   Log In:Login with Facebook
REI Community
Elbow Tendonitis
View Latest Posts in This Forum or All Forums
Page 1 of 1.  
Follow replies to this topic? Notify me at the top of web site.

Email me.
Sep 26, 2011
Rock Climbing Photo: Avatar picture taken on Sand Island, WI
The extent of my knowledge on elbow tendonitis is copied from an online source here...

I've been experiencing problems with this issue again as my climbing has increased due to fall semester hours; pretty much quadrupling my weekly time in the gym. What are your experiences with this, and recommended rest time? I had symptoms a couple weeks ago that subsided after about four days rest, but I must have gone back at it too hard. My symptoms came back again after one week, and quite fiercely. I had to cancel plans to get out today because I can still sense the sensitivity in my elbows after four days rest again. I want to get back on the wall, but most importantly I don't want to hurt myself. Presently my goals are to break into 12's indoor at our school gym (currently knocking on the door of that goal), and I want to be as strong as I can manage for a trip to the Red over Thanksgiving. Thank you for any input :)

Edit to add... I feel like I'm doing enough to warm up and cool down, but I am relatively new to climbing (2'ish years) and am not well versed in specifics for the sport. What are your recommended reading/video resources for safely developing a training plan?
Justin Wheelock
From Menomonie
Joined Apr 7, 2011
5 points
Sep 26, 2011
this has been addressed pretty heavily here, but at least you posted it in the training forum!

you'll probably have to search through previous threads for info, especially inside v. outside of the elbow ("golfer's" v. "tennis") but the one thing that has been very helpful for me in preventing golfer's (inside) elbow pain is working antagonistic muscle groups. Standing with your elbow at your side and your forearm parallel to the ground, hold a hammer (or a broom or a light bar or whatever) starting with your palm up and weight to the outside. rotate the hammer all the way over until your palm is down and then go back.

as with most (all?) overuse injuries, you have to completely stop doing whatever it is that makes it hurt and then slowly rebuild with better habits. this will probably take more than 4 days- I would guess 1 week minimum. also, ice like crazy for tendon/muscle injuries.

good luck!
From Seattle
Joined Apr 13, 2008
42 points
Sep 26, 2011
as described by berl except I use a big can of peaches duct-taped to the end portion of any 2 ft ergonomic stick or pipe. I sit down and lay my forearms along the tops of my thighs as there doesnt seem to be a reason to also work the biceps. the effect is achieved by twisting your forearm from a supinated to a pronated (i think those are the correct words)position and back and forth again and again with resistance until you sort of balance the muscle tension throughout the forearm, then no single tendon or ligament or whatever is getting pulled way too tight. I'm not a doctor or anything so if someone with that authority calls me on that I submit my whatever shrug now. Also, depending on the level of burning in my elbows i will choke up or down on the broom stick, increasing or decreasing leverage, weight and effect. 3 sets of 15 each arm 4 to 6 sessions a day works for me to relieve the problem throughout the season. Also the HIT workout does me some good with that for some reason. RWC
Joined Sep 27, 2008
4 points
Sep 26, 2011
Rock Climbing Photo: Avatar picture taken on Sand Island, WI
Thanks for the feedback. Excuse me if this one has been exhausted so far. I've been through some forums with terrible search function in the past, and hadn't tried yet. I'm definitely experiencing outside pain. I've had a history of joint issues when I've worked out hard on a given sport, and this is pretty annoying. Guess I'll take more time off, and spend the time researching and working on recovery instead :/ Justin Wheelock
From Menomonie
Joined Apr 7, 2011
5 points
Sep 26, 2011
Rock Climbing Photo: Tough Mantle Problem.  Haven't sent yet...
I feel like I reply to this thread once a month, but here we go.

Climb less indoors more outdoors
Find out how many rest days you need after a hard session. For me it is 2 full days (climbing every third day. You get stronger by climbing less often if your muscles take a while to recoup)
Don't do a lot of pullups or campus boards.
Don't play tennis.
Rob Gordon
From Hollywood, CA
Joined Feb 2, 2009
139 points
Sep 26, 2011
Rock Climbing Photo: One Way Sunset Scott M. McNamara
From Tucson, Arizona
Joined Aug 15, 2006
78 points
Sep 26, 2011
Here are two useful links for information about elbow tendonitis, tendonosis, and treatment.
Frank F
From Bend, OR
Joined May 18, 2010
7 points
Sep 26, 2011
Rock Climbing Photo: Avatar picture taken on Sand Island, WI
Thanks again to y'all who have provided the helpful feedback. I've definitely learned a lot about this, and have developed a strategy to hopefully beat this back. Looks like it's going to be a very laid back month as climbing goes. Justin Wheelock
From Menomonie
Joined Apr 7, 2011
5 points
Oct 19, 2011
Hey hey,

I've been dealing with lateral epicondylitis (outside of the elbow) for about 6 months now. I tried everything, and I mean EVERYTHING. Reverse wrist curls in increments from 1 pound to 10 pounds, thera-bars,pushups,physical therapy and taking two months off completely. Nothing seemed to work, my elbows hurt just as bad as ever. A fellow climber recommended I look into Armaid (, and I was so desperate I picked one up, even though I was a bit skeptical.

Let me just say WOW. This thing is amazing. It works on the principle that the improperly placed scar tissue needs to be broken up, fluids pushed out, and that new, oxygenated blood brought in. After three weeks of daily use, I've noticed a significant change in elbow pain. I've returned slowly to climbing and have only noticed a slight soreness in my elbow after a climbing session, but it goes away after a brief run through my Armaid. I've recommended it to other climbers in town who were suffering from elbow pain and all have had similar results.

Dont let the price scare you, this thing has become part of my workout routine just as much as a hang board or rock rings are.

Check this out, part of the reason I was convinced to buy:

Daniel H.
From Cincinnati
Joined May 31, 2011
296 points
Oct 19, 2011
your post says it all: "quadrupled my time in the gym." that is the perfect recipe for getting hurt, no matter what you're doing. increase your training volume slowly--i know it's a pain because you're stoked to get indoors and hang with buds and all that....but if you banzai it and dive in, you're asking to get hurt. getting hurt like this is easier and easier to do as you age, too, so form some good habits now--and you'll be crushing in your 50s.

i tore my medial epi and did two PRP's, which seemed to help, but it took nearly a year before it was pain-free.

the other dudes here posted good info--best of luck, boss.

Joined Sep 9, 2009
70 points
Oct 19, 2011
Rock Climbing Photo: Haul Bag
I've been using a Theraband Flexbar for a few weeks and it's helping relieve some pain. They have exercises for tennis elbow and golfers elbow (Tennis = outside elbow, Golfer's = inside elbow). Judging from your previous comments I'd place my money on over training but keep in mind that it's not always climbing that causes the underlying issue, that's just when exposes the damage. For me the main reason my elbows are screwed up is because of poor ergonomics at my keyboard. The HR rep that got me the ergo keyboard and new chair has helped more than months of physical therapy.

Matt Marino
From Georgetown, MA
Joined Jan 4, 2010
17 points

Follow replies to this topic? Notify me at the top of web site.

Email me.
Page 1 of 1.  

The Definitive
Climbing Resource

Inspiration & Motivation
to Fuel Your Run

Next Generation Mountain
Bike Trail Maps

Backcountry, Sidecountry
& Secret Stashes

Better Data. Better Tools.
Better Hikes!