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Elbow Tension
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Jan 19, 2013
Recently as the weather got colder I switched from climbing mostly granite, to bouldering and pulling on steep limestone. I'm developing a bit of tendonitis in my elbow and have been taking the proper steps to let it heal. However, one thing really got me worried and was looking for any words of wisdom if anyone else has experienced this before. I was on a route with good two/three finger pockets that involved a lot of lock offs. I was locked off on my left arm and when I went to reach the next hold with my right hand, I felt a great deal of tension. It was almost as if, with my elbow bent about 110 degrees, that there was a large, strong rubber band holding my wrist to my bicep. I almost couldn't straighten my arm out... I had my belayer take, and I stretched it out for quite some time and it went away. It really got me thinking though, any ideas on what could be causing that? Wilson On The Drums
From Woodbury, MN
Joined Dec 8, 2010
845 points
Jan 20, 2013
Most likely is the fact that pockets are the devil. Blew my wrist tendon out on a limestone pocket 4 months ago and only now back to 90% or so. Rob Gordon
From Hollywood, CA
Joined Feb 2, 2009
80 points
Jan 20, 2013
I developed sever tendonitis in my elbow to the point the pain was almost unbearable. I ended up going to a physical therapist and they had me do the following
1. Rest. For me it was about 8 weeks

2. Stretch before and during climbs especially when it is cold

3. While resting use a lotion or bio freeze if there is pain and do deep tissue massage in the sore areas. This promotes blood flow which promotes healing in the tendons.

4. Wrist curls with light weight. 5 to 8 lbs and reverse wrist curls.

5. Ice during the rest time and after a hard climb. 15 to 20 minutes each elbow one to two times per day.

6. When climbing try to pull less with your arms and use your feet more. This is the reason why bouldering tends to flare up the tendonitis more than climbing.

7. Ibuprofen 200 mg is similar to using and anti inflammatory so I use this after a hard climb.

8. Push ups strengthen the other side of the tendon so start doing them if not already part of your strength training.

All this helped me. others may have something to add or disagree. Also remember you can not climb through tendonitis. Recognize the pain and stop when you feel a flare up coming on. If you do this you can normally get by taking a week off and it will clear up but if you keep climbing be prepared to be out for 6 to 8 weeks
Jon Powell
Joined Jan 23, 2012
5 points

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