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suckbm

tennis elbow

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if i climb rock/gym for 7 plus days i start to get tennis elbow, soreness on the inside area of my elbow. usually if i take three days off after that it will mostly go away. If i stay away from overhanging routes this is less of a problem but was wondering if specific excersices, taping, supplements, or vitamins can help with this.

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Tennis Elbow

Initial treatment

 

Firstly, reduce the inflammation by using an ice pack and holding on the area of pain for 20-30 minutes 2 to 3 times a day (wrapping a bag of frozen peas in a tea towel is just as effective). Next step is stretching exercises; these are three good ones:

 

Holding the arm straight out in front of you and locking the elbow:

 

1. Starting with the palm face down slowly stretch the hand up until the fingers are at right angles to the forearm. Hold for 1 minute.

 

2. With the palm face down slowly stretch the hand down until the fingers are at right angles to the forearm. Hold for 1 minute.

 

3. With the palm face up slowly stretch the hand down until the fingers are at right angles to the forearm (or as close as you can go). Hold for 1 minute.

 

These exercises will lengthen the forearm muscle fibres and reduce the tension on the tendon thereby allowing the injured area to heal. It is not uncommon the healing process to take 3 months, so follow the exercise regime regularly. When pain is felt during use, rest the arm briefly and commence the stretching exercise. Return to your activity but take frequent breaks.

 

Secondary treatment

 

Oral anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin or ibuprofen are useful for controlling the pain as well as the inflammation. Strapping is another method, placed 1 - 2 inches below the elbow it will support the tendon and reduce the stress on the site where it attaches to the bone. The straps used are similar to the elastic supports used for knee and ankle injuries. Straps should be used in conjunction with the stretching exercises and worn during work and sports.

 

Severe cases

 

In the case of severe damage cortisone injections could be needed and in extreme cases surgery may be the only recourse (less than 3% of patients require surgery). If the damage is this serious professional advice should be sought.

 

 

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most folks tennis elbow complains are of a chronic nature, and inflammation is usually not there, it's a weird neurological issue. so after it's acute, the whole anti-inflammatory treatment doesn't work very well. Taping and braces help sometimes, but don't fix the issue, nor does cortisone injections.

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most folks tennis elbow complains are of a chronic nature, and inflammation is usually not there, it's a weird neurological issue. so after it's acute, the whole anti-inflammatory treatment doesn't work very well. Taping and braces help sometimes, but don't fix the issue, nor does cortisone injections.

 

That's interesting. When I was obsessed with climbing, back when I was around 20 years old, I used to train twice a day, with bouldering, pullups, grippy things, hangs, etc. After a year or so, my left elbow started to hurt. I kept climbing and training, it hurt even more. I quit climbing for a bit, and it hurt even more. And that's when my right elbow started to hurt.

 

I quit climbing much of anything for a year but still no relief. It hurt to drive my car and turn the pages of a book. I tried ice, heat, bracing, stretching. Nothing worked. Then I got an outdoor job doing low-skill landscaping. By the end of the summer, my elbows felt better. After two summers of that, I was 100%. I couldn't do as many pullups, but I was climbing four letter grades harder (and rarely got pumped).

 

I joined a gym in Seattle and the pain began to return. This time I tried deep muscle massage and that helped, but the thing that seemed MOST effective was weight training for muscle groups not as likely to get used on steep rock. I did lots of military press and bench press work at a variety of angles, and lots of shrugs. I worked with dumbells which allowed me to keep my wrists and forearms in their most natural rotations. What makes me think this was effective is that when I neglected to do it, pain and numbness returned, but when I kept up with it, I could train almost as hard as I wanted. I thank Erik Winkelman for suggesting this strategy.

 

The other thing I did was that I trained only a couple of days a week (sometimes three). I felt so much healthier that way. Everybody is different, and I'm no doctor. Don't take this as advice, just some anecdotes about how I solved my problem.

 

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Balance, grasshopper.

 

Who'da thought The Pope was a Zen Master?

 

I got tennis elbow from logging 70 days busting my ass touring one year, while also putting too much weight on my arms because I hadn't perfected my skinnning technique.

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Pope's dead on. Although, not to say you can't get serious inflammation at the lateral epicondyle and relief w/NSAIDS, and RICE...

 

...It's just that the majority of suffers don't have inflammation! Ultrasound hasn't proven an effective treatment either, which is disappointing. Re-training the neuro-muscular patters of the wrist and arm with deep tissue massage and a kinesthetic type brace are the best bets.

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Training opposing muscle goups will help to avoid tennis elbow. e.g. do a few sets of reverse wrist curls with dumbells after the gym. Also wrist pronator excercises (imagine a weight attached to the end of a stick, hold the stick in your hand and rotate your wrist to draw and arc with the weight).

 

This is probably what happened to pope...when he started working out, his opposing muscles got worked and brought things back into balance.

 

Also, stop jerking off.

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7 plus days- Yikes be careful.

I'd say never climb more than three days in a row on plastic.

If you can find a "pronator"- an old tool sold in climbing magizines, years ago, it can help I'm told. VW in Seattle has one.

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mike, looks like you are up to date on literature. as the matter of fact there is a great article in the latest issue of massage journal (publication by AMTA). i'll try to scan and copy it and post here in the next few days, there is no easy answer. in general cortisone or NASIDS don't do squat as far as resolving the issue. neither does rest. from my own experiience the best results are brought by manual therapy combine with neuro- muscular retraining. and a lot of patience.

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Sure your self diagnosis is correct?? Pain on the "inside of the elbow" is not a common complaint with tennis elbow (lateral epicondilitis). That's usually more on the top of your forearm.

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if it's on the inside of the elbow with the palm up, then it's medial epicondylitis, aka golfer's elbow. palm down and it's on top of the elbow, it's lateral aka tennis elbow.

 

if it's medial, it changes things a tad, but not too much. Much more likely a muscle strain than a chronic NMS dysfunction like lateral epicondylitis.

 

either way internet diagnosis is sketchy at best, therefor the treatment suggested should be taken with a grain of salt. seeing an expert in person is you best bet. emphasis on expert. your family doc or run of the mill massage therapist doesn't count as an expert.

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There is a feature story in the latest Rock & ICe regarding recovery from tennis elbow. They recommend a number of excercises to re-train the arm movements. Worth checking out.

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