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Forearm / Bicep injury
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By John McB
From Minnesota
Jan 15, 2014
Sticking the dyno on Officer Friendly

Hey friends!

I have a question for all of you health gurus. I recently started climbing harder and training more for my college competition season. I've never had a climbing injury before, but one night, after a session of hard / long climbing at the gym, I started having inside elbow pain near my antecubital vein. It's characterized by dull / sharp pain that is often ignore-able. I thought it was climbers elbow from forearm muscles, but one of my friends thought it might be bicep related. Any help? Any training / strengthening I can do to fix this?

Thank you guys so much!


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By Simone M.
Jan 15, 2014
pre-JMT climb

It may be tendinitis of the biceps tendon where it inserts in the elbow. Have you been ramping up your climbing lately? At the time of the injury did you try to support yourself on the injured arm with your elbow lengthening? (look up eccentric contraction online)


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By CMacD
From Boston, MA
Jan 15, 2014

This has helped me somewhat with tendonosis (dull ache) on the inner side of my elbows.
www.rockandice.com/lates-news/elbow-dr-js-dodgy-elbows


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By GhaMby
From Heaven
Jan 15, 2014

CMacD wrote:
This has helped me somewhat with tendonosis (dull ache) on the inner side of my elbows. www.rockandice.com/lates-news/elbow-dr-js-dodgy-elbows



I second this, read through several times.

The only thing that has worked for me is rest, which really blows. The only time I've had elbow injuries is when I'm climbing well.

I do have one of these and I'm not 100% certain that it helps, but it sure feels good after a hard day of climbing: https://www.armaid.com/store/products/44/armaid

If you choose to buy one just get the basic, cheap one, then make a leg strap out of a chalk bag belt or something similar, if you feel that you actually need the strap. . .


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By John McB
From Minnesota
Jan 15, 2014
Sticking the dyno on Officer Friendly

@Simone

Yeah, I have been working alot hard in the last few months on my climbing. I plan on competing with my school at some of our local competitions this spring; so I've been working alot harder and especially trying to climb more. My gym just got a hang board as well, and I feel like that may have contributed to my injury. I don't remember it hurting at the gym that first night, but it started getting irritated about an hour after I had left. It was very sudden and weird. Do eccentric contractions help? I've never lifted or done strength training. Thanks for your help!


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By Simone M.
Jan 16, 2014
pre-JMT climb

Unfortunately you do need to lay of just a little bit (I had this not too long ago), I gave myself a week and still took it easy getting back into climbing for an extra week after that. You can stretch and do a little massage, which helped me the most.

Here's how to stretch the biceps:
www.physioadvisor.com.au/8279650/bicep-stretches-bicep-stret>>>

As far as massage goes… if you flex your injured arm a little you'll feel the tendon go taught above your elbow in the area you described earlier. I massage the length of the tendon that you can feel and rub in little circles, up and down and side to side.

Don't forget to ice it, since tendonitis is an inflammatory problem..

Here's more info on distal biceps tendonitis:
www.wosm.com/index.php/component/content/article/115-biceps->>>

I hope this helps!!!


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By Simone M.
Jan 16, 2014
pre-JMT climb

When you do get back into climbing, be sure to do proper warm ups and really listen to your body. Building up more strength takes time and patience, challenging yourself too fast is how you get hurt… How often have you been lifting and going to the gym?


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By John McB
From Minnesota
Jan 16, 2014
Sticking the dyno on Officer Friendly

Thanks so much! I think stretching will really help. I don't really life at all but I do go to the climbing gym once a day or every two days. My college has a gym on campus so it's supper easy to go too much. I also don't warm up very much, which I know I need to get better at doing. I just get to worked up over our competition season. We've been regional champions for two years and there's alot of pressure on the team to do well again.

What do you think about doing push ups? I also found online that doing bicep strengthening (bicep curls, eccentric curls, etc.) helps. Should I just lay off of doing all kinds of work outs for awhile? I found this article that seemed to suggest doing these exercises.
www.rockandice.com/lates-news/biceps-tendon-tear?A=SearchRes>>>

Thanks again for the help! I appreciate it so much!


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By Peter D.
Jan 16, 2014

John I would recommend you get into to see a PT or athletic trainer and better if they understand climbing - its easy for elbow issues to become chronic problems if not addressed early on. there is a lot going on in a small area and it is easy to think its biceps when it could be a combination of things.


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By John McB
From Minnesota
Jan 29, 2014
Sticking the dyno on Officer Friendly

Hey guys,

Here's an update on my bicep injury. I hope this helps anyone else who has this issue. I stopped climbing for a few days and just took it easy to ensure that my therapy would be effective. After a few days, I started doing eccentric bicep curls (letting the 10 - 15lbs dumbbell down slowly and bringing it back up with my other arm) This hurt some, but after about a week of this, I felt much stronger, more relaxed, and almost no pain. As well, I did eccentric forearm curls (from Dr. J's dodgy elbow article), core workouts, and some shoulder workouts. I also started climbing again during this time. I made sure to keep it pretty chill (5.10 - v2) and not push myself too much.

After that, I started doing some pull ups and full bicep curls. As well, I make sure to warm up properly before I climb and I workout (I think that's the biggest thing!!)

Finally, I stopped using the hangboard at our gym. I've known way to many people get hurt on that thing. I started climbing hard again and I don't have any pain anymore, it's great!! ... Overall, warm up well, listen to your body, and make sure you're doing general fitness exercises that will prevent tendinitis / other sports injuries. Rock on!!


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