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Jul 15, 2016
I have now had tendinitis in both of my elbows and my wrist for a month and a half and haven't been able climb since. I am actually going Insane. The worst part is not only can I not climb, but I cant work on calisthenics and the such other than legs and crunches. I have tried everything, ice, heat, braces,Ibuprofin, accupunture, over a month of rest, stretching, not stretching, eccentric exercises, and next week I'm trying freaking cupping. Does anyone have anything that can help!?!?. Im dying here. Mountainman
Joined Jul 24, 2015
0 points
Jul 15, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Wunsch's Dihedral
I started to feel elbow pain when I first started climbing and someone told me to do push-ups after every time I climb. I did for a while and haven't had the problem since. Don Ferris
From Eldorado Springs
Joined Nov 27, 2012
138 points
Jul 16, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: No Name Crack, 5.10, Supercrack Buttress, Indian C...
I was plagued with elbow tendinitis constantly for years. A buddy recommended magnesium supplements. I've been taking a magnesium zinc calcium supplement for over a year and it has been a miracle cure for me. Opposition exercises are good but weren't adequate for me. Wrist curl negatives and frying pan negatives are great and helped me a lot ( Dr. Julian Sanders has the best info on these online ) but with those I still had some pain. Now I just do the supplement and I have zero pain. Good luck, tendinitis sux and kept me from getting stronger for years. John Ryan
From Poncha Springs, CO
Joined Aug 31, 2012
172 points
Jul 16, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Afrika Bambatta V12 Elkland
Having just begun to get over a case of tennis elbow after more than two months, I will suggest the following:

1. Tendinitis/Tendinosis is caused by long-term degradation induced by low-level persistent muscle tension, especially in the flexors, extensors, biceps and brachioradialis, and triceps. This tension is the result of lots of things including climbing, working, computer use, phone use, bad posture and so on, causing muscle fatigue, knots, adhesions, etc., that prevent the tendon from repairing itself. The tendon will not repair itself until the muscle issues are resolved

2. Stretching and exercising (eccentrics, etc.) will not reduce or eliminate this nearly as effectively as deep tissue work in the affected muscle areas. You need to clear out the persistent muscle tension before you do anything else. So skip the wrist curls. They don't work until the underlying forces that cause the tendon to hurt are resolved. Begin with a professional PT who is familiar with climbing if possible

3. Resting doesn't work either. You need some level of inflammatory response to provoke healing and repair. This can easily be achieved by a combination of easy high-volume climbing, gentle exercise with a Theraband armbar, and regular self-massage with The Stick or similar device, such as an Armaid.

4.Icing is not necessary and may hinder the inflammatory process. Heat before exercise appears to be a good idea or alternating heat and cold to promote blood and other fluid circulation. Braces and tape are a waste of time since you need to move the affected area and get fluid moving freely. Anti-inflammatory medications do exactly the wrong thing. Don't take them. Cortisone and surgery are last-resort measures.

5.You need to self-examine your movement and life patterns to see if you have certain habits that could promote muscle imbalance and fatigue and prevent muscle and tendon healing. It could be really simple to change so look for that first. Make time and have a budget for professionally done bodywork on a regular basis if you are a serious climber.

Good luck!
Peter Beal
From Boulder Colorado
Joined Jan 1, 2001
2,056 points
Jul 16, 2016
I had tennis elbow last year and exhausted normal treatments / PT and finally got a shot. Continued to climb easy but re-injured ice climbing again. I continued to stretch, thera bar stretches, trigger point massage for the next couple months and it got somewhat better.

What really helped was "dry needling" - so I highly recommend that. Along with the above too.

I think I'd disagree about rest not helping as it certainly does for me since this bout I've rested and it's gotten better in a much shorter period of time. Also from everything I've been told "all or nothing exercise" - like push ups are not good to do.

I take turmeric supplement for anti inflammatory purposes and swear by it!
Mark NH
From 03053
Joined Feb 2, 2013
5 points
Jul 16, 2016
What Peter said. I've been seeing a good PT (Marissa Frank, Boston Sports Medicine) for my right elbow. Tendonosis of the finger flexors where they originate near the elbow. We started with deep tissue work and "scraping" with a tool like a butter knife.

Except I do think that stretching very regularly is good for me. Hands flat against a wall, arms straight, so the wrist is highly extended. If you feel any warning signals from the wrist area, respect them! When I started I was amazed at how much tighter my right side was (maybe a 10 or 15 degree difference in the angle of wrist extension). I hold the stretch for 30 or more seconds. Did that a couple of times a day for a while and my tendonosis greatly improved. Slacked off and it worsened.

I've also taken to stretching my forearms in between climbs/pitches. Especially if I don't warm up properly, my forearm muscles tend to stay constricted even after I've stopped using them. Stretching helps them to relax.
kevin neville
From Somerville, MA
Joined Jun 20, 2013
45 points
Jul 16, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Afrika Bambatta V12 Elkland
I should have clarified. I stretch all the time as well but stretching by itself will not get the healing process started as well as deep tissue work. After that I think serious stretching, especially in the forearms and biceps is very helpful. But get the muscles worked over a bit first. Peter Beal
From Boulder Colorado
Joined Jan 1, 2001
2,056 points
Jul 16, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Freaking Maverick over here

This was all I could think about when I saw this post's title
The Blueprint Part Dank
From FEMA Region VIII
Joined Jun 21, 2013
453 points
Jul 16, 2016
Followingwhat leter said, should i be doing easy climbing instead of pure resting? Mountainman
Joined Jul 24, 2015
0 points
Jul 16, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Afrika Bambatta V12 Elkland
By easy I mean roughly 2 or 3 number grades below your max, even easier if you have significant pain. I did a lot (4-600feet per session) of auto-belaying at 5.10 or lower, climbing up and down. With a little work you should find a level you can handle. Easy trad is good too except for the rope handling. That's why auto-belaying is so handy, plus the small amount of weight off! :) Peter Beal
From Boulder Colorado
Joined Jan 1, 2001
2,056 points
Jul 16, 2016
Thank you! Mountainman
Joined Jul 24, 2015
0 points
Jul 16, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Cams above the arm bar moves on Three Pigs in a Sl...
Elbows are complex and it depends on exactly what kind of tennis/golfers elbow you have.

I have found this stretch to be particularly useful:

And I have to do reverse suppination after every climbing day. It can take a few weeks to see the benefits.

Eccentrics certainly hold promise and if you aren't already doing them, add it in.

I've heard great things about the Arm Aid but have yet to use it.

Dave MacLeod's "Make or Break" is a great read too and may provide some insight.
Charlie S
From Ogden, UT
Joined Aug 23, 2007
1,481 points
Jul 16, 2016
Work on balance with no hands slab boulders. It worked to keep me from going insane when I broke my wrist last year. Vertical Addiction
Joined Mar 19, 2014
16 points
Jul 23, 2016
Might want to check this link at the NY Times - An Easy Fix for Tennis Elbow?

I can't vouch for the method, since I've never had that particular problem, but I read it and it stuck in my mind as being potentially useful some day.
From Lowell, MA
Joined Aug 19, 2011
543 points
Jul 23, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo:  me on CCK, P3
These exercises worked wonders for me:
John Pikus
From Keene, NY
Joined Dec 23, 2014
66 points
Jul 23, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: gilman
I thought that you were going to talk about the membrane. Disappointing. Mike Lane
From Centennial, CO
Joined Jan 21, 2006
984 points
Jul 23, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: This is a novel auto blocking belay device.  I thi...
I posted here about tennis elbow about 6 months ago and got all sorts of advice about message special exercises, Etc. Nothing seemed to work. I just decided to keep climbing, max bouldering grade for me is V5 gym, yes I have been climbing for about 17 years and yes I suck, but, I just bouldered V1 and 2 in the gym, easy trad outside and stayed at or below 10b for 2 or 3 months at gym and iit went away on its own. I also avoided pinches, especially on overhangs

My expert advice, not being an actual expert, keep moving, take it easy
Rick Blair
From Denver
Joined Oct 16, 2007
377 points
Jul 23, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Zion - GWT Great White Throne crag
+1 to everything Peter said, his alternating ice and heat is a very good idea. Ice by itself will be helpful. If your plan to do one though you may as well incorporate the other too. Klimbien
From St.George Orem Littleton Vegas
Joined Apr 22, 2009
417 points
Jul 23, 2016
Some good advice already. Grab a brace and climb on routes well within your ability and focus on pure technique. Do not make that move if you are not in balance. It's a slow process but 6 months later I can climb brace and pain free with the occasional flare up when doing something repetitive.

Grab every type of massager you can find, foam roller was my favorite.
Ryan U.
Joined Sep 27, 2015
21 points

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