/ Elbow tendonosis

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Martin Haworth on 07 Nov 2012
Looking for peoples experiences with elbow tendonosis.
I have done the usual internet searches and my self diagnosis is that I have golfers elbow and tennis elbow.
I have been suffering with it for about 4 months but just carried on climbing, now I am trying to sort it out. I am doing eccentric exercises and have have rested for a couple of weeks.
I am planning to carry on climbing but will try to avoid crimping too much and will keep up the eccentric exercises.
Anyone any similar experiences or positive experiences?
pebbles - on 07 Nov 2012
In reply to Martin Haworth: massaging the point where muscle is attached sorted mine out! was getting so bad a few years ago that it hurt to push doors open. Guido showed me how to massage the elbow and i did it twice a day for about six weeks, using ibuprofen gel instead of massage oil. cant remember how long it took, but it sorted it out, and if i ever get repeat twinges I do the same thing
CraigB - on 07 Nov 2012
In reply to Martin Haworth:

My GP prescribed me feldene gel (piroxicam), and this has been much more effective than ibuprofen gel in reducing the pain. Still need to be careful not to overdo it at the wall right enough...
turtlespit - on 08 Nov 2012
The Climbing Academy - on 08 Nov 2012
In reply to Martin Haworth: Take a read of Paul's experience with Armaid. Given how well it worked for him, we've just started to import it from the US
Paul Evans - on 08 Nov 2012
In reply to Martin Haworth:
Hi Martin
Unusual to have golfers and tennis. Do you have both of these on a single arm, or are both arms affected with both?
I've had recurrent outbreaks of golfers over many years. Rest, eccentrics, stretches, gradual return and whatever will get you over the flareup, but once you've suffered, you risk recurrences unless you tackle the underlying cause.
In my case the trouble was only ever in one arm (left) and it was only when I finally saw a climbing coach that I understood the technique errors which were the root of the problem.
I'm now in the middle of unlearning 30 years of bad habits!
There is a lot of good advice on posture and strengthening exercises on UKB - search for elbow problems and check out the posts by "Sausage", he knows what he's on about..

Good luck

JD84 - on 08 Nov 2012
In reply to Martin Haworth: before diagnosing yourself with tendonosis... Have a massage and see if that helps. Physios said I had tennis elbow and tricep tendonosis but was all just extremely tight and knotted from wrist to rhomboids.
DaveAtkinson - on 08 Nov 2012
In reply to Martin Haworth:
Had it in the right arm last year and left arm this year. Brought on each time by trying to step up the training too fast. Result no training all summer again.

However, after 3 months it seems to go away and I did keep on climbing but with much less time on the wall and no weights/pull ups. Choose slabbier or easier routes and go out running or have a break and get ready for next year.
sihills - on 08 Nov 2012
In reply to Martin Haworth: this may sound stupid, but pushups, lots of the bloody things, regularly. This maybe hasnt fixed it completely, but after 3 days in a row in font of pulling hard, i was starting to feel them again, but they are infinately better and I can now do 3 hard sessions at the wall a week with out any problems what so ever.

before pushups, sometimes the pain was so bad I literally couldnt climb!
jonnie3430 - on 08 Nov 2012
In reply to Martin Haworth:

I've had an elbow injury (triceps tendon I think,) for about three years and it's just flared up again. I recommend going to physio as quickly as possible to get a good diagnosis and remedial training!
iccy - on 08 Nov 2012
In reply to Martin Haworth:

I've had a similar thing on and off for a few years but never dealt with it properly. For me the most important thing has been resting after it flares up and warming up properly at the start of a session. I can pin point the last few times it's flared up to a moment of pushing too hard before I'm properly warmed up.

As an aside, does anyone have a good physio recommendation in SW London?
tprebs - on 08 Nov 2012
In reply to Martin Haworth:

I got both golfers and tennis elbow last winter and was out of action for a while. Physio recommended pretty much what is said in the below article and I was back after a few months. I didn't help my self by climbing on it repeatedly at the start. Rest for a while, don't boulder and climb easy. Any pain while climbing stop straight away. Don't just think its not too bad as it just trashes your tendons more
geeze on 08 Nov 2012 -
In reply to Martin Haworth: Had the same problem for over a year and tried every thing to get rid and for me the only thing that worked was Trigger Point Therapy.
Get your self a hard small ball and roll it over the area that hurts.Its painful but after a few weeks it cleared up and has never come back.Good luck.
abarro81 - on 08 Nov 2012
In reply to Martin Haworth:,9343.75.html

Eccentrics seem to be working for me, both the straight wrist curls and (mostly) the sideways ones. I'm doing them on climbing days (5 days a week). approx 100 reps in the morning and 100 again in the evening, ice after the evening ones (and after the morning ones if I wont be climbing until much later). Ditch any campusing (obviously), no 1 arm work, if you find a move that aggravates it then do a different problem/route. For me volume aggravates it as much as (maybe more than) intensity. I.e. sessions doing lots of easy stuff are as bad for it as bouldering - I'm bouldering on it 5 days a week and it's getting better.
abarro81 - on 08 Nov 2012
In reply to abarro81:
Oh, also try stretching out forearms and pecs. Warming up more slowly and thoroughly than normal seems to help too.
Ali - on 08 Nov 2012
In reply to Martin Haworth: Had some issues a few months ago, triggered (I think) by locking off too hard on right arm. Physio said the root cause was actually postural and neck related, stuck some needles in me and gave me a load of theraband exercises to do. Seemed to go away for a bit, but a few weeks ago came back a bit again - to be fair, I haven't been the best at doing the exercises regularly though...

Anyway I figured push ups and general weights training may be the answer to help balance out muscles (as been having a few back issues as well). Only trouble was that's completely messed my wrist up So now I have tweaky elbows and tweaky wrists!
abarro81 - on 08 Nov 2012
In reply to abarro81:
Sorry, should have mentioned this is for golfers'. I had issues on the outside of the elbow previously which were actually related to shoulder issues and were sorted out by theraband exercises for the rotator cuff muscles.
Martin Haworth on 08 Nov 2012
In reply to Martin Haworth: Some very useful relies and links, thanks everyone.
I think the root cause is my kids going to University, that allowed me more time to go climbing, so I've climbed more this year than previous years and probably at a slightly higher grade as well.
I have the problem in both arms but much more in the left than right.
I am doing exercises 2 to 3 times a day, 15 curls slowly lowering my wrist palm down, this doesnt hurt but forearm is fatigued by the end and all the pain completely disappears for a while. Also do 10 arm curls, lowering my forearm slowly,palm down, elbow tucked into my side, this tends to hurt and pull in a way that actually feels good.
Started doing self massage as well this week which also feels good afterwards. The pain is certainly much less than before I started these exercises, but I still get the constant dull aching, particularly when I first wake up.
I will be testing my elbow on some trad routes this weekend but will attempt to keep the intensity a bit lower than usual.
tprebs - on 08 Nov 2012
In reply to Martin Haworth:

Blaming The kids even after they leave home? Will they ever get a break?!
dg123 - on 09 Nov 2012
In reply to Martin Haworth:

I do yoga a couple of times a week and that's cured my hip and elbow.
Crofty - on 09 Nov 2012
In reply to Martin Haworth:
Martin Haworth: Hi Martin, its Jim from Yorkclimbers and I think I have climbed/bouldered alongside you at various venues, Bamford, Spofforth etc. I have had elbow trouble since last year, came back from Lundy and had a hard day at the cliff with Guido. Next day I could barely lift the kettle.
Golfers elbow, anyway, saw physio, exercises, icing,electric pads used. Rested double the amount of time it took to feel OK. By that I mean it felt better after 4 weeks so rested 8 weeks. Started climbing again over winter and got back to a good level, then it blew up again in the spring, too many sessions at Harrogate (blame Guido), but on the outside this time, Tennis elbow, anyway I decided to take summer off (what summer!), but this was good as I did my ML.
Been climbing and bouldering now a couple of months and so far so good, I make sure that I warm up properly with 3 or 4 easy routes no harder than F5, before stepping it up, I also stretch before and after and even ice both elbows (only been my lh one).
I was cautious at first and shyed away from steep or crimpy routes and esp ones with strenuous lock offs, but doing some now and no probs.
In summary, I would advise plenty of rest till it feels normal and possibly see someone to get some excercises, then make sure to do stretching before and after, warming up properly and monitor how it feels.
Was at Harrogate today with Guido and we did 25 routes up to 6b, so there is hope.

Martin Haworth on 09 Nov 2012
In reply to Crofty: Jim, I have had 2 weeks off, doing the exercises and it feels quite a bit better. Massage seems to do some good as well. I plan to start steady climbing again this weekend which I realise may seem a bit early but a lot of feedback is to keep climbing but at a slightly lower intensity for a while. I'll see how it goes for a few weeks and if I feel its not getting better then I will consider a longer break.
Alasdair Fulton - on 09 Nov 2012
In reply to Martin Haworth: I think a "lot" lower intensity rather than "slightly" lower, no?
Martin Haworth on 09 Nov 2012
In reply to Fultonius: I am thinking sensible warm-ups, climbing 2 grades lower than normal and half the usual volume.
Crofty - on 09 Nov 2012
In reply to Martin Haworth: In hindsight, I wonder if I should of perhaps carried on climbing, but at lower grades and perhaps on slabby/juggy routes. However, i would be still waiting to sit my ML, is there no other stuff you want to do Martin that does'nt involve climbing? It's a good excuse to lay off. I have had a couple of breaks from climbing in 22yrs and have come back a bit better for the break.
Martin Haworth on 09 Nov 2012
In reply to Crofty: Normally at this time of year I would be gearing up for the winter season, but I think gripping axes on steep routes probably isnt a great idea. There are plenty of easier winter routes I would enjoy.
Maybe a winter traverse of the Cuillin Ridge might be on the cards this year!
alasdair19 on 11 Nov 2012
In reply to Martin Haworth: be cautious and seek and take professional advice. Good friend developed chronic tendonitis, he doesn't expect ever to recover fully. Took Dave mac best part of 3 years to sort his.
Ciro - on 11 Nov 2012
In reply to Martin Haworth:

Have healed two different cases (first inside of right arm and second outside of left arm) with the eccentric exercises. Keep them up daily for a good four weeks after the pain goes away, otherwise it'll likely come back again a few months down the line - my third case (outside of right arm) I didn't keep them up and that one flares up now and again whereas the first two have never re-occurred.
Robert Durran - on 11 Nov 2012
In reply to Ciro:
> (In reply to Martin Haworth)
> Have healed two different cases with the eccentric exercises.

Dis you start the exercises iummediately or once the pain had stopped or something in between? Did the exercises hurt? If so, how much? I have a case on the outside of an elbow and am desperate to get it sorted.
Ciro - on 12 Nov 2012
In reply to Robert Durran:

Yeah start right away - I've never stopped climbing to rest first.

Enough weight to cause some pain but shouldn't be agony. Three set of ten lowers morning and night, up the weight/increase the length of the lever as and when you feel able.

Keep climbing but stay away from fingery routes while it heals.

So long as you're dilligent it should work.
webbo - on 12 Nov 2012
In reply to Martin Haworth:
Slightly off topic.
I guess you won't be wanting to come and use your old boards, which are now up at a 40 degree angle 12ft wide by 10 ft high.Also beastmaker and weights in case your elbows arn't hurting enough.Have you tried those dumbell exs i.e. negative wrist curls and the ones lowering down to the side.I have just done those and kept climbing and eventually it sorts its self out.
Robert Durran - on 12 Nov 2012
In reply to Ciro:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
> Yeah start right away - I've never stopped climbing to rest first.

I have continued/resumed climbing indoors at reduced volume and grade, avoiding sharp pain.
I have discovered that pain is, remarkably, instantly 80% eliminated by a set of 10 push ups, so do a set after every route or whenever I get pain at other times. Whether this is actually helping to cure the problem long term I have no idea!
Jon73 on 12 Nov 2012 - whois?
You can easily do the eccentric wrist curls by spending about £10-£11 on a Thera-Band FlexBar.

Its basically a rubber bar that you twist to create a force on your wrist that lets you do eccentric wrist curls. There are YouTube videos of how to do it properly.

The eccentric exercises have been tested and alot of people seem to have found a real benefit from doing them. I myself have been using them in additional to other exercises for my own Lateral Epicondilytis and its certainly been helping me a lot.
Baz47 on 12 Nov 2012 -
In reply to Martin Haworth:
I had golfers elbow a few years ago in both elbows. Loads of different kinds of physio and rest did nothing. Eventually I had an operation (£700 privately) which is called a "flexer release" which worked with no return of the problem. The consultant/surgeon said that the flexer needed complete rest and the only way to acheive this was to sever it and let it grow back. I was back climbing in 10 weeks.

Recently, in a conversation with my GP, he said that this was now out of favour as it only had a 45% chance of success.

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