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stupid damn tendons!!
9:13:55 PM
So, i've been climbing for nearly 2 years now (unfortunately mostly indoor) and during this time i have had to take nearly 7 months off from bloody tendon injuries and tendonitis.

It seems whenever i start to climb anywhere near my limits (around 21-22) my hands just completely fall apart. I've blown a tendon in the first knuckle of my middle finger (not sure about the technicalities - i can't afford a physio), had heaps of tendonitis in different knuckles and both my elbows. It's so damn frustrating, everytime i get back to this sort of level after taking time off everything just goes to shit. It's not even recurring injuries - it's something different everytime. Now i've got some weird tendon pain in between the first and second knuckle of my ring finger and i haven't even done anything particularly strenuous. It's not like i was doing some particular move and felt it pop. I was just climbing at my normal level and woke up the next day with this tendon pain. I love climbing, but i just can't handle this shit. It's so frustrating

Is it normal to spend this much time out from different injuries? Or are my tendons just weak as shit? Anyone else with tendons this determined to self destruct? Any solutions or advice? Anything is better than nothing -

10:27:58 PM
I think that the time (2yrs) + the fact that you are pushing your max limit, is a very definite give away
as to why you are suffering tendon problems, the tendons blood supply is much more limited than a
And so they develope strength so much more slowly, the muscles literaly tear them from the anchor
points on the bone, or tear them in other ways, I try to recomend that climbers getting into this game
try and build a pyramid of grades under them, as it not only builds technique, but allows the tendons to
grow with that pyramid, building a perfect balace of experience, technique, and power endurance.
Try to get 100 18's 80 19's 60 20's 40 21's and 20 22's ect, starting at the bottom of the ladder, this will
alow you to grow into it and will allow for more onsights and learning of good technique, with both body
and rope work, believe me it pays off in the end
PS no 18/19/20 with small crimpy stuff, stick to big holds at first or cracks/slabs this will be a huge
gain for you later! BP

10:53:39 PM
As an after thought if you still have any problems, then PM me for a secret formula that I use if any
tendon problems persist, it has helped many climbers to recover and crank, good luck BP.

11:27:42 PM
Check out Rock and Ice issue 156 our own Dr Julian Saunders has an excellent article on elbow tendonitis 100% cure! (if done right) i am suffering with the elbow thing myself. I thought the left was bad but the right is now the clear winner.
11:48:33 PM
I'll check it out. I'm going to need something to read to get my climbing fix while waiting for this current finger injury to bugger off and leave me alone

11:34:46 AM
The hardest thing to do is to back off. Theres unlikely to be any intrinsic reason. You are just overdoing it and the tendons can't catch up with the muscles as per Bomber. Get a plan and stick to it.

12:58:13 PM
I've had tendonitis in both elbows ever since sustained and frequent competitive climbing etc a few years back. Like others have mentioned, read some of Julian Saunders' suggestions tailored for climbers. Personally not much has worked but I still do light exercises to strengthen them and basically do my best to ignor it. Also try palming and climbing as much as possible with an open grip instead of crimping.
4:05:13 PM
In this sport, I'm convinced that staying injury free long term through not pushing things too much is the key ingredient to cranking hard. I'd guess you're trying to crank too hard about 2 years too early. Tendons, etc need time to catch up to faster growing muscles which enjoy far greater circulation. Just wait, work on the other elements, take time to develop the circulatory system at lower grades, something you'll need to advance in higher grades anyway, and only crank at your limit occasionally.

The elbow thread Beefy started contains some recommended reading, tales of woe and advice. For my part, another 12-18 months on, I no longer have any elbow pain...though other parts of my body are beginning to creak with advancing years.

4:31:22 PM
Tendons are buggers to treat once injured, have an unpredictable recovery rate and usually present with complicating factors such as cervical joint problems and neural issues (nerves). Crimping in a gym is a garenteed way of shredding tendons, Been there myself as well as treating others in similar situation. Make ice your friend. iceing along the length of the tendon after training will help.

Chuck Norris
6:19:03 PM
I virtually always have had (apart from recently so touch wood it continues) finger problems. One of the things that turned it around for me was using finger putty (soft or medium) to warm up before climbing and also just as general exercise. I got it in the UK - I'm not sure if you can get it here but its something like in this link
7:53:56 PM
Tendonds are very frustrating. I put my relatively low level of problems with them down to having spent years training on the bluestone bridge at Burnley. The angle is such that you aren't putting huge loads on your fingers, elbows and shoulders. You won't get power but you will build endurance.
When I've had tendon problems (blown middle finger on my left hand, sore elbows, sore right shoulder) I've backed right off for six-eight months. I don't think that there is any substitute for that, as difficult as it is.
Now when I'm climbing, my biggest problem is on the approach with arthritic knees from years of carrying heavy packs. Anyone want to carry my drill and static next time I'm preparing a route?

Edward Sillypants
8:00:22 PM
maybe ... I might even show you how to sbell

> Tendonds ...

correctly , if I can second u on the route and have the dubious honour of having my name in the guide book next to the BIG K ...
8:08:41 PM
Bugger, I did a typho...

Edward Sillypants
8:13:19 PM
Hey , BIG K !!!
Is that you asking about drugs for a trip to Araps ??
Post was signed 'k' ...
8:33:33 PM
On 19/09/2007 Edward Sillypants wrote:
>maybe ... I might even show you how to sbell
>> Tendonds ...
>correctly , if I can second u on the route and have the dubious honour
>of having my name in the guide book next to the BIG K ...
Wouldn't have you with me if I needed something to wipe my bum.

Edward Sillypants
8:40:50 PM
On 19/09/2007 kieranl wrote:
>On 19/09/2007 Edward Sillypants wrote:
>>maybe ... I might even show you how to sbell
>>> Tendonds ...
>>correctly , if I can second u on the route and have the dubious honour
>>of having my name in the guide book next to the BIG K ...
>Wouldn't have you with me if I needed something to wipe my bum.

Hey BIG K ... look just because a few of know you have a pimply botbot doesn't mean I'm going to tell everyone on Chocky !! Look , I have studied dementia (been reading WWs posts)
so if you need a hand down there ... whats a greasy stool between mates, ay ??
8:36:05 AM
On 19/09/2007 steph wrote:
> Also try palming and climbing as much as possible
>with an open grip instead of crimping.
Now here is a man with wisdom, finally! As i have treated many tendons,ligaments and muscle problems, the answer usually lies in an inbalance of muscle strength acting on the many joints of the hand causing excessive tension on some muscles or tendons or joints. Without assessing your strength the usual best practise is to work on your open hand strength which reduces the dominance of the big muscles moving the hand. I usually tape the two joints of each finger (when in the gym) which forces me to use an open hand - always works a treat!!!! When i started climbing a had 3-4months of pain in my tendons then i implemented this strategy and have never had a problem since (this was my first year of climbing and could continuing climbing 21 and 22 in the gym no prob. My advise is keep climbing but manage the problem properly. Rest - haven't got time for that sorry, must climb!

There are 17 messages in this topic.


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