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Supplements for tendon health/strength
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Aug 20, 2012
Trying to onsight 12a at Holcomb Valley Pinnacles.
Anyone ever have any luck using a supplement to increase finger tendon strength and rejuvination?


I have heard people say bone marrow is good for tendon health?
SCherry
From San Diego, CA
Joined Jan 28, 2006
521 points
Aug 20, 2012
The West Desert...it's not just for climbing, suck...
Supplements really are not going to be very helpful for increasing tendon strength or recovery time. You would do best to stay in a positive essential amino acid balance and to train properly--which also includes enough rest time, a somewhat individual requirement since each person's connective tissues handles load and recovery differently.

I know that is the boring answer, but hey.
Aerili
From Salt Lake City, UT
Joined Mar 5, 2007
2,506 points
Aug 20, 2012
Trying to onsight 12a at Holcomb Valley Pinnacles.
And by positive essential amino acid balance you are referring to Omega 3 vs Omega 6?

I follow the Paleo Diet with lots of vegetables, nuts, seeds, seafood and pastured meats so I feel like I'm getting my Omega 3's and a balanced diet.

I've always been skeptical of supplements so maybe you're just confirming what I assumed to be right...
SCherry
From San Diego, CA
Joined Jan 28, 2006
521 points
Aug 21, 2012
The West Desert...it's not just for climbing, suck...
SCherry wrote:
And by positive essential amino acid balance you are referring to Omega 3 vs Omega 6?


Omegas are fats, not amino acids. Amino acids are the components of proteins. Essential aminos are the ones required to build muscle and connective tissues. They are found in animal products and eggs, or you can eat certain combinations of plant products to get each end of the chain and thus get a complete protein.

I once took some supplements that were a source of collagen and were supposed to promote tendon and ligament health, but I honestly could not tell if it worked or not so I discontinued it.

Another thing you could try is making your own bone broth.
Aerili
From Salt Lake City, UT
Joined Mar 5, 2007
2,506 points
Aug 21, 2012
Aside from all the usual reasons for why it's very improbable to find and very difficult to create a new chemical which has positive effects on the human body ...
I can guess some reasons why chemicals that successfully induce growth are especially problematic, and especially problematic for climbers.

Stimulus to growth is problematic because accidentally simulating growth of wrong kind of cells could trigger dangerous reactions in surrounding tissues. Accidentally stimulating division/multiplication of cells of the wrong kind or in the wrong place could be really deadly. So if you hear about some newly-found chemical that is actually successful in stimulating growth, I should think you'd want it to first get it really carefully tested by people who really know what they're doing.

Stimulus to growth is problematic for climbers, because there's lots of tendons / muscles all over the body which are normally frequently receiving stimulus for growth (otherwise they would gradually atrophy). So a new chemical which somehow enhances that stimulus will tend to trigger tendon / muscle growth in many places around the body, not just in the fingers.
Climbers have a special word for that sort of growth in many places:
Gaining Weight

(a general reason why what works for weight lifters and body builders might not work for climbers).

So if indeed there is ever some magic chemical that helps climbers, it seems to me unlikely that it will be taken into the body by swallowing.

Ken
kenr
Joined Oct 29, 2010
1,442 points
Aug 21, 2012
Batman Pinnacle
Sure - eye of newt, potion of quack, and a healthy dose of gullibility. Scott O
From California
Joined Mar 30, 2010
26 points
Administrator
Aug 21, 2012
tomato, tomotto, kill mike amato.
as long as it doesn't include puppy dog tails ..... i'm in!

all kidding aside, i just try to ice my fingers for about 15 to 20 minutes at night a few times a week. aerili - any idea of whether this is a good thing or not?
slim
Joined Dec 1, 2004
2,067 points
Aug 21, 2012
Batman Pinnacle
T. Stark wrote:


Potion of quack, right on cue.
Scott O
From California
Joined Mar 30, 2010
26 points
Aug 22, 2012
The West Desert...it's not just for climbing, suck...
slim wrote:
all kidding aside, i just try to ice my fingers for about 15 to 20 minutes at night a few times a week. aerili - any idea of whether this is a good thing or not?

I don't think it will hurt you (unless you frostbite yourself some day!) but I am not sure it actually has any proven benefits. However, I do know runners vouch anecdotally for ice-downs post-running.
Aerili
From Salt Lake City, UT
Joined Mar 5, 2007
2,506 points
Administrator
Aug 22, 2012
tomato, tomotto, kill mike amato.
i mostly do it to try to control the inflamation and keep my fingers from getting too sore. i haven't kept records on it though, so i don't have a good grasp of whether i feel that it is helping or not. slim
Joined Dec 1, 2004
2,067 points
Aug 22, 2012
Bunny pancake
slim wrote:
i mostly do it to try to control the inflamation and keep my fingers from getting too sore. i haven't kept records on it though, so i don't have a good grasp of whether i feel that it is helping or not.


Ice has worked miracles for my tendonitis as well as recovery time. It both reduces inflamation and promote blood flow to tissue that normally sees little blood flow and therefore heals slowly.

Ice and massage. I had tendonitis so bad several years ago I could not get dressed. Any pulling motion (pulling on socks for instance) hurt so bad. After several years of constantly icing, massaging all the time (both promote blood flow nad break up scar tissue) I brealy get it anymore.

I heartily endorse icing as a way to keep climbing hard.
Mike McKinnon
From Golden, CO
Joined Aug 27, 2003
122 points
Aug 22, 2012
Axes glistening in the sun
There are certain anti biotics that will weaken tendons if taken for a period of time. I experienced this when I tore my achilles doing something I've done a million times in my life. The Doctor that repaired the achilles told me that sometimes it just happens. Really? It's not like I'm an overweight couch potato.
It wasn't till an accupuncterist asked me if I had taken anti-biotics for a period of time. I had in order to get out some nasty funk in my sinus cavities. I later confirmed with an ER doc friend.
After surgery I started taking: Cordyceps, Reishi, Siberian Ginseng (Eluethro), and Ashwaghanda. More because they are adaptogens and help with endurance. I didn't want to completely lose endurance during my healing time after surgery as I couldn't run. I figured I'd give it a try. At the time I was 39. The doctor told my I had healed faster than normal and cleared me to run several months earlier than what he initially told me. Anecdotal evidence, but I can't explain it any other way. Some people call it quackery, but thousands of years of herbal medicine can't be wrong all the time. And as far as the endurance goes, I took off on a nervously slow 3 mile trail run. It almost felt like I had never stopped running.
"H"
From Manitou Springs
Joined Feb 13, 2006
59 points
Aug 22, 2012
old 1/4" bolt.
GLUCOSAMINE!!! .........large bottles at Costco. Great stuff. Just be sure you're well hydrated or it isn't as effective. Benjamin Chapman
From Small Town, USA
Joined Jan 2, 2007
13,061 points
Aug 22, 2012
Luke Skyrocker wrote:
Collagen, if the right brand and form, taken properly, and with the right cofactors will work miracles.



More quackery. Collagen is a protein. Prior to any absorption of an oral dosage, it would have been broken down into constituent amino acids. In other words, it gives you nothing that a complete protein isn't already giving you (except for the hole in your wallet from paying 1000x the cost for the equivalent amount of protein).

Further along the same theme...glucosamine/chondrotin doesn't have solid support from the research, despite years of media claims to the contrary. A full discussion is well beyond the scope of time I'm willing to take here, but suffice it to say: Do your own research, read the actual scientific studies, and you will likely be surprised.

IMO, the best thing you can do is eat a healthy diet and seek to improve the blood flow to those tissues. Myriad ways to do that.
Will S
From Joshua Tree
Joined Nov 15, 2006
1,274 points
Aug 22, 2012
Ellingwood Point Summit, Little Bear in the backgr...
I've taken the Costco big bottle glucosamine/msm type stuff (I forget exactly what's in it, and I don't have it in front of me) for minor joint issues.
While I did notice definite improvements while taking - it was after a minor injury, I can't exclusively attribute improvements to the stuff.
Could have just as well been taking the time needed to heal.

A side note, minor pain in finger pulleys from climbing, have seemed to get better and do so quicker with hangboard work (aka physical therapy). During which time I hadn't been taking the glucosamine stuff.
Based on my observations - it may have helped, but may not have, and if it did, it hasn't seemed like a strong enough effect to really justify the cost, or being un-lazy enough to stick to a schedule of downing a pill or 2 a day.
Nate Reno
From Highlands Ranch, CO
Joined Oct 24, 2008
36 points
Aug 22, 2012
Luke Skyrocker wrote:
I don't have to debate, because it has worked miracles for myself and the people I know who have tried it. If someone has a condition or injury that calls for it and they are not willing to try it because it doesn't have a prescription behind it, their loss.



Quoted for posterity and general hilarity. It's got nothing to do with prescription or over the counter, and everything to do with basic science and efficacy. No, you don't have to debate, because frankly there is nothing to debate. You are arguing woo woo anecdotal BS with no studies or trials to cite, no control groups, no comparison basis. I am providing the scientific/medical consensus.

You have no way to know that your anecdotal accounts wouldn't have been exactly the same without taking anything at all. That is one of the purposes of trials with control/placebo groups.

Expensive urine is all the rage these days, and I'm sure the supplements industry thanks you for helping to catapult the propaganda.
Will S
From Joshua Tree
Joined Nov 15, 2006
1,274 points
Aug 22, 2012
Black Dike 12/25/11
Will S wrote:
Quoted for posterity and general hilarity. It's got nothing to do with prescription or over the counter, and everything to do with basic science and efficacy. No, you don't have to debate, because frankly there is nothing to debate. You are arguing woo woo anecdotal BS with no studies or trials to cite, no control groups, no comparison basis. I am providing the scientific/medical consensus. You have no way to know that your anecdotal accounts wouldn't have been exactly the same without taking anything at all. That is one of the purposes of trials with control/placebo groups. Expensive urine is all the rage these days, and I'm sure the supplements industry thanks you for helping to catapult the propaganda.


No pharmaceutical companies being in bed with the FDA and visa versa are all the rage these days.

Fat cat's approving drugs that clearly cause harm to people in clinical studies because 51% of those involved showed some positive result why the the other 49% suffer miserable side effects is all the rage these days. Why profits and fat cats with big heads and giant egos.

Turning huge profits and having god complexes is also all the rage.

Taking care of ones own at the expense of countless others is all the rage these days "survival of the fittest" profits.

Not being able to see the forest though the trees because you head is so swollen is all the rage these days.

Maybe what you suggest is scientifically very true i do not know and i am more than happy to admit so. What i do know is your giant open mind is about as one sided as my clear intolerance of people as closed minded as your self.
APBT1976
Joined Nov 8, 2011
281 points
Aug 22, 2012
Batman Pinnacle
APBT1976 wrote:
No pharmaceutical companies being in bed with the FDA and visa versa are all the rage these days. Fat cat's approving drugs that clearly cause harm to people in clinical studies because 51% of those involved showed some positive result why the the other 49% suffer miserable side effects is all the rage these days. Why profits and fat cats with big heads and giant egos. Turning huge profits and having god complexes is also all the rage. Taking care of ones own at the expense of countless others is all the rage these days "survival of the fittest" profits. Not being able to see the forest though the trees because you head is so swollen is all the rage these days. Maybe what you suggest is scientifically very true i do not know and i am more than happy to admit so. What i do know is your giant open mind is about as one sided as my clear intolerance of people as closed minded as your self.


You should have left it at this.
Scott O
From California
Joined Mar 30, 2010
26 points
Aug 22, 2012
`
Nutriex Lucas P
From Asheville, NC
Joined Aug 21, 2009
919 points
Aug 23, 2012
Trying to onsight 12a at Holcomb Valley Pinnacles.
Nate Reno - I've actually experienced the same thing in regards to hangboard/campus board workouts. They really help pulley tendon injuries once your finger is well enough to start climbing again.

I found this article in the NY Times to be pretty interesting in regards to tendon injuries. I know they are referring to shoulder tendonitis, but I experience much the same thing after almost a dozen pulley injuries over the years.

nytimes.com/2011/03/01/health/...
SCherry
From San Diego, CA
Joined Jan 28, 2006
521 points
Aug 23, 2012
There really should be two separate health care systems. Dana Bartlett
From CT
Joined Nov 18, 2003
963 points
Aug 23, 2012
willie
Gummi Bears....lots and lots of gummi bears! Sisyphus
From Amherst, MA
Joined Dec 31, 2009
71 points
Aug 23, 2012
mountainlion
Tendon strength is improved over time not quickly. So eat a healthy balanced diet, train correctly for your goals, get proper rest/recovery, and prevent injury. If that doesn't work go to your nearest pharmacy and get a tube of vagisil for your sore p%#&@y! Eric Coffman
Joined Jun 22, 2009
817 points
Aug 23, 2012
after the hard stuff, into cruiser hands.
careful with chondrotin.. I was taking it for awhile for a knee injury and it raised my cholesterol 60 points. NickinCO
From colorado
Joined Sep 17, 2010
239 points
Aug 23, 2012
Chillin' at City of Rocks
Sisyphus wrote:
Gummi Bears....lots and lots of gummi bears!


YES!!!

And dark chocolate and red wine has great healing properties!!!
Princess Mia
From Vail
Joined May 22, 2006
422 points
Aug 23, 2012
The West Desert...it's not just for climbing, suck...
Mike McKinnon wrote:
Ice has worked miracles for my tendonitis as well as recovery time. It both reduces inflamation and promote blood flow to tissue that normally sees little blood flow and therefore heals slowly.

Ice does not promote blood flow; rather the opposite.

Icing for an injury is not the same as what slim was asking. Icing an injury has plenty of supporting evidence for efficacy. Icing after a workout "just because" has no real evidence to my knowledge.


Dana wrote:
There really should be two separate health care systems.

One of them being clearly the anonymous anecdotal spray intervention of mountainproject?


Eric Coffman wrote:
Tendon strength is improved over time not quickly.

Not necessarily. Some tendons adapt and remodel as quickly as muscle tissue.




And Nate Reno's use of the words "hangboard" and "physical therapy" referencing each other in the same sentence was a new one to me! Usually I think of hangboarding potentially contributing toward a need for physical therapy...haaa
Aerili
From Salt Lake City, UT
Joined Mar 5, 2007
2,506 points


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