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6+ months of elbow tendonitis
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By Tom Allen
Jun 28, 2013

I've had tendinitis of both my medial epicondyle and my brachialis in both elbows, though not nearly as bad as you're describing. I'd like to second two things said upthread:

1) Eccentric exercises help. In my experience you have to find the motion that hurts, then do only the lowering portion of that exercise. For medial epicondylitis, I grab a pullup bar in a crimping position, pull down with my arm, then allow the crimp to extend into an open-hand grip and finally push my wrist into extension. I wish I could control the load more carefully for this, but the typical exercises (eccentric wrist curls and pronation with a frying pan) aren't as effective for me. For the brachialis, I do palm-down biceps curls, lowering a dumbbell with one hand, then lifting the weight with both hands, plus a little momentum from my legs. In my experience, the load has to be large enough to hurt a bit: for a while a 10 lb. dumbbell was enough, but as I got stronger it quit working. I got a 15 lb. dumbbell, which worked.

2) Recovery might involve some total rest, but the more important part is the gradual reintroduction of activity. Rest will never get to to a point where you can just pull hard again - you have to start slowly and gradually increase loads.


Definitely check out Julian Saunders regarding eccentrics, and Dave MacLeod on rest and recovery.


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By James Arnold
From Chattanooga
Jun 28, 2013
Chew toyed

A bunch of good posts so far, here's my take after battling wickedly bad elbow problems for 5-6 years...so bad at some points that I couldn't even hold a dry erase pen and write on a whiteboard with one arm...had to learn how to write left handed...

ASTYM. Look it up...

Thera-bar...

Rice bucket....

Use the arm that hurts less...

As mentioned, sleep CORRECTLY!

The hardest thing for me is not getting so far out of shape and de-siked when you are injured that you don't immediately get (re)injured coming back. I try to avoid this by not doing too much of any one thing (sport/boulder/crack) and not very hard climbing. But it's really hard to ratchet back up into the hardest routes after you have done "old person's PT". You have to take a longer viewpoint for this....almost every climber that is really pushing their limits will have hurt fingers/forearms/somethings, so that can "help" to reflect on...


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By thedogfather
From Las Vegas, NV
Jun 28, 2013

One thing I was doing for a while that my be good was to use a 10 lb sledge hammer and with my elbow braced on my leg while sitting to rotate the hammer through 180 degrees, back and forth like a metronome. I don't currently do any extra wrist forearm work but get some antagonist work in once or twice a week i.e. push ups, shoulder work. No one has validated my comments about using glucosemine or other anti-inflammatories but all I can say is since I started my regime I have been tendinitis free for over two years without ever even taking a week off from climbing. Before that I was plagued for over two years and can tell by the pictures taken during that time all had the velcro band firmly tightened below my elbow.


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By Bill Czajkowski
From Albuquerque, NM
Jun 28, 2013
Triple Jeopardy starting from 1/3 of the way up.  No good pro except at this stance and after the upcoming slab.

I further support eccentric contraction therapy, stretching, and maybe massage. Also consider a compression sleeve - they seem to reduce the aggravation during exercise (but I don't wear it while doing the eccentric contractions).


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