/ Elbow rehab - postural therapy
I've had mild, chronic pain in the bicep tendons for years really, but it got bad enough this year to do something about it. I'm going to a sports therapist who sees a lot of climbers, and he's giving me stacks of exercises to sort out the usual climbers' hunchback and various muscle imbalances around the shoulder blades and stuff. Overactive upper trapezius, weak something else, scapular winging, etc.
He uses lots of Egoscue Method exercises (https://www.egoscue.com/) which seems to want to get me all nicely balanced up and with proper range of motion where currently some stuff doesn't want to go.
It's a fair bit of effort and cost...the elbow's feeling better, but I'm pretty sure that's much more to do with not climbing/training (just taking it easy atm). I'm hoping that the elbow gets better and I get into a load of habits that keep me from similar problems in future.
What do you reckon about this approach?
I have the book Pain Free and have used the exercises for elbows, shoulders and more recently for hips and wrists but I have never found they resolved anything. Elbows problems I find get better with negative hammer curls. Shoulders tend to require surgery.
I’m yet find out what wrists require.
> Elbows problems I find get better with negative hammer curls.
Yeah I was a bit surprised that he didn't give me something like this to do. He's way more concerned about all the shoulder stuff - he reckons get all those stabilising muscles working better and that'll mean I don't hammer the bicep. So removing the cause of the chronic injury rather than treating it more directly only to have it return again.
I'll read a bit more of Dave Mac's book and probably add in something like you suggest.
I've never heard of egoscue before so I can't comment on that. However I've had golfers elbow on and off for the past ten years. I'm fairly certain that during periods when my shoulder posture is worse I become predisposed to a recurrence of the golfers elbow. However, seeing that some people have terrible posture and don't suffer with any elbow difficulties, it's clearly not a simple causal relationship - there must be some other factors at play which I don't understand.
When my golfers elbow does recur I tend to get back onto the postural stuff straight away. However I find that the pain remains for a while, like there's a lag for the damaged tissues to repair even when the cause of the damage is removed (or reduced). So I would suggest being aware of this time-lag when deciding if your trial of this is helpful for you (or otherwise).
Good luck with it
Cheers. I think the egoscue thing is just packaging some pretty mainstream physiotherapy and calling it a "revolutionary method for chronic pain". The resources are good - very clear videos on how to do the exercises. I'll stick with it for a few more weeks for sure, and just go climbing now it's light after work rather than train indoors on the elbow bashing boards.
Alex Puccio has climbed Heritage, a Carlo Traversi Font 8B+ in Val Bavona, Switzerland. This was Puccio's fifth climb graded 8B+ after previously climbing Jade, The Wheel of Chaos, New Baseline and The Penrose Step.