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By johnmv
From Reno NV
Aug 1, 2012
I get a very strong sharp pain in my lower forearms when I release grips that I am really pulling hard on... has anyone experienced this? I assume it's some type of inflamation or tendonitis.

Not sure what to do about it other than icing, anti-inflamatories or stop climbing, I massage the area quite often too. It only hurts right after I let go and goes a away shortly after but it is limiting on tough climbs.

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By Brent Apgar
From Out of the Loop
Aug 1, 2012
Me and Spearhead
I was a little confused on the exact location of the pain, I'm assuming that it's closer to the wrist?

How long have you been climbing, have you recently jumped up in the difficulty/intensity of problems you're working?

Does it only hurt immediately after letting go of the hold and doesn't ever bother you at any other time or during any other use of your hands?

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By Dustin Drake
Aug 1, 2012
I had this issue about 2 months after I first started climbing. I assumed it was an imbalance between the extensor and flexor muscles in the forearm but never went to a doctor or anything. I got a metolious grip saver ball and also did reverse wrist curls. It eventually went away.

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By johnmv
From Reno NV
Aug 1, 2012
Hi Brent, I started back climbing last fall (so only about 8-10 months or so, also took some time off in the winter) but had climbed a few years before that and done lots of strength training and such before as well.

The pain is about 4 inches above the wrist, a little closer to the wrist than the elbow. I can't tell if it is the extensor tendons or flexors, almost seems like extensors. Only hurts for a few seconds after I let go. After the fingers go back to their normal extension most pain is gone, although if I keep climbing it gets worse each time of course.

I'm real competitive with myself and always trying to push it to the limit, do mostly bouldering and have a habit of climbing for about 4-5 days in a row then taking off days 3-4 days, due to my job.

Thanks

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By Jake Jones
From Richmond, VA
Aug 1, 2012
Me and the offspring walking back to the car after...
johnmv wrote:
do mostly bouldering and have a habit of climbing for about 4-5 days in a row then taking off days 3-4 days, due to my job. Thanks


When I started working bouldering into my regimen, I had this same exact problem with precisely those symptoms. It is definitely the tendons in your wrist. Climbing hard for 5 consecutive days is very ill-advised. If you're having pain like that every time you climb, and it gets progressively worse, you need to listen to your body and stop. Take a week off to start, then go back on problems below your max. If the pain sets in, take more time off. Trust me, tendon problems are nothing to screw around with- not if you want to climb for any extended period of time. My $.02

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By Brent Apgar
From Out of the Loop
Aug 1, 2012
Me and Spearhead
This is a bit of a SWAG (scientific wild ass guess). I'm suspecting that since you're bumping up in intensity and volume at the same time and you don't have like 5yrs of consistent climbing mileage on your arms/hands:
It's probably the musculotendinous junction in the extensor digitorum muscle group. Basically you're getting inflammation at the point where the extensor muscle belly starts to become tendon.

Any of these types of soft tissue problems are going to happen as your body adapts to the stress of climbing and you become stronger. Pain in the fingers, at the elbow... etc.
Anyhow, about the only thing to do is to back off slightly (could be easier problems, doing routes or climbing fewer days per week) so that the pain isn't so bad it keeps you from climbing and incorporate some soft tissue work into your routine.

This could be as simple and light as just using your thumb to work through the area and loosen it up. Or if you need something a little stronger, I like simply putting my forearm on the floor and kneeling down on it w/ the opposite side knee. Though it may be easier to use the other elbow while sitting. Either way you should be able to apply enough pressure this way that it's more than enough to get the job done.

Usually w/ what you're describing I believe it's better to back off and modify the activity and try to use some self care to work through it than simply stopping climbing all together. If you just stop and do nothing else you're not going to figure out what caused the problem in the first place and you're not guaranteed that the problem will fix itself and be gone when you get back to climbing.

There's my 2cents, good luck working through this.
BA

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By Jake Jones
From Richmond, VA
Aug 1, 2012
Me and the offspring walking back to the car after...
Brent Apgar wrote:
This is a bit of a SWAG (scientific wild ass guess). I'm suspecting that since you're bumping up in intensity and volume at the same time and you don't have like 5yrs of consistent climbing mileage on your arms/hands: It's probably the musculotendinous junction in the extensor digitorum muscle group. Basically you're getting inflammation at the point where the extensor muscle belly starts to become tendon. Any of these types of soft tissue problems are going to happen as your body adapts to the stress of climbing and you become stronger. Pain in the fingers, at the elbow... etc. Anyhow, about the only thing to do is to back off slightly (could be easier problems, doing routes or climbing fewer days per week) so that the pain isn't so bad it keeps you from climbing and incorporate some soft tissue work into your routine. This could be as simple and light as just using your thumb to work through the area and loosen it up. Or if you need something a little stronger, I like simply putting my forearm on the floor and kneeling down on it w/ the opposite side knee. Though it may be easier to use the other elbow while sitting. Either way you should be able to apply enough pressure this way that it's more than enough to get the job done. Usually w/ what you're describing I believe it's better to back off and modify the activity and try to use some self care to work through it than simply stopping climbing all together. If you just stop and do nothing else you're not going to figure out what caused the problem in the first place and you're not guaranteed that the problem will fix itself and be gone when you get back to climbing. There's my 2cents, good luck working through this. BA


Uhh.. this is what I meant to say.^

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By johnmv
From Reno NV
Aug 2, 2012
Thanks guys for the great replies that helped a lot, I think I'll scale back a bit and hopefully should be fine! Climb On!

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By RockinOut
From NY, NY
Aug 2, 2012
Gear
I had something similar.... you have to work opposing muscle groups. Get a strong rubber band like one that holds a lobster claws shut or one that comes on the broccoli stems from the vegetable store put your fingers together inside the rubber band and then try and open your fingers inside the rubber band and hold it there.

Really simple workout but it definitely eliminated the pain and somewhat stiffness. If you think about it you're only working the muscles that close your hand so after a while they get much stronger than the muscles that open your hand. The rubber band is small enough to keep in your pocket so its easy to do at work or school etc.

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By ChristopherAust
From Ohio
Aug 23, 2012
omg
Been there done that. Most of the people that have said they've had it before know what they're talking about. Take a few days off, then do weight lifting to strengthen your forearm muscles. Climb as hard as you want, but not every day back to back would be my advice. I took about two weeks off lifting and got back in it slowly. This was before I started climbing though and was just heavy into weights.

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