/ Another dodgy elbow thread - bicep tendon (I think)

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Jon Stewart - on 24 Aug 2012
OK, so like a lot people, I've got a dodgy elbow. It's not tennis nor golfers (if I understand them right), it's right in the middle of the front (crease) of the elbow, I think coming from the obvious thick bicep tendon.

Most of the advice around deals with tennis and golfers, such as this (which I understand to be the classic of the genre): http://www.athlon.com.au/articles/r&i_dodgyelbow.pdf

It hurts mainly after climbing (bouldering at bloody Almscliffe particularly...haven't they heard of footholds round there?) when doing stuff like picking up the kettle - it's not too bad while climbing. It's been like this for a few months now, but it's worse now the weather's so awful that the only climbing I'm doing is short boulder sessions, which figures.

Currently, I'm doing a couple of sets of push-ups a day and playing aimlessly with the Powerball. Stretching it a bit too. All of which seems to help, but of course if I go to Almscliffe again I'm back at square one. Thing is, when I don't have a partner and it's not raining, I don't want to rest from climbing and get sh!t and weak, because there's still a chance of getting a decent trad route or two done this year (although I'm not holding my breath).

There's got to be a compromise that'll allow me to keep climbing - it's never excruciating, so I don't think there's major damage done (although I think stuff like Virgin Traverse could change that!). It's a shame there's no crags I consider suitable for soloing round here, as I think that my old Stanage circuit of VS-E1s was really good for keeping in shape without putting the body under stress.

Any comments or advice welcome...I'm expecting "stop climbing" and "read this [article posted above]". What I'd really like is people's experience of this or similar injuries. Ta.
riddle on 24 Aug 2012
In reply to Jon Stewart:

I have a similar injury... stemming from a mtb accident.

My physio tells me the pain in my elbow is nerve/muscle related. There is scar tissue in my Pectoralis major, when this is massaged I can feel some discomfort in my elbow. When he massages the Pollicis muscle (same side) is massaged I can feel the discomfort in the same spot on my elbow.

My physio is using the Graston Technique and has given me some rehab and prehab exercises to do at home. Both have worked wonders for me.

So my advice... go to a specialist and heed their advice.

Good luck
brian watson on 24 Aug 2012
In reply to Jon Stewart:
i have something similar, not golfers, not tennis, same as you manifesting in pain in bicep tendon its complicated as i also get muscle spasms and tightening in my outer forearm, but main pain is the same in the middle front crease, when lifting like your example kettle.
This has been going on for a year, i made it worse by bouldering in font last october (when it was already not good), i have been down the NHS route, physiotherapy which helped but my work in the construction industry doesn't help either, i am currently awaiting a scan.
I have been told i have "font elbow" by other climbers but that name seems to encompass a few different tendon injuries.
My advise if you can afford it ( I can't) would be to see a physio who specialises in climbing injuries,
and be careful not to over do it which is what i have done.
A friend who climbs and is a physio has been trying to help with mine but it seems to me that a physio who specialises and has experienced a lot of climbing injuries would be best.
This is only my personal experience.
edinburgh_man on 24 Aug 2012
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Hi Jon,

I had exactly the same problem you describe. Tendopathy on the bicep tendon. I went to the phsyios at FASIC:


I don't have time now, but if you PM me I'll send you the details of the program I used. Happily it worked amazingly and I'm now completely healed.

You'll be happy to know that the old school advice was stop climbing, rest stretch, ultra sound etc. BUT the most modern advice is that you MUST NOT stop using it. The idea being that the right kind of exercise (eccentric mainly) is essential to stimulate regrowth of degenerated tissue.

brokenbanjo - on 25 Aug 2012
In reply to Jon Stewart:

I have this problem when I start pushing myself and bouldering hard more than twice a week. Essentially when bouldering you are stretching your tendons one way only. I find that doing very slow pressups stretches the tendon the other way, ie dropping down relatively fast but pushin up over 2 - 3 seconds. At that rate I can do 10 - 15 max (I am a weakling), but it does sort the problem. I do 2 reps of 10 - 15 in morning and evening and it sorts it. I've not been to a physio, so if it aggravates your issue, I'm not being held responsible!
krank - on 25 Aug 2012
In reply to Jon Stewart:

I would get over to gymnasticbodies.com they do lots of work on bicep tendons as its vital to have good BT for rings work. There's lots of solid info on there as there is considerably more research in gymnastics training than there is in climbing.
Jon Stewart - on 25 Aug 2012
In reply to all:

Thanks for all the advice guys, I'll sift through and see what I can do on the cheap first, then most probably see a specialist.


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