Elbow pain

Mwelander

New Member
Location
Karlstad Sweden
Hi, I'm just learning the basics of treeclimbing. Two weeks ago I attended a 2 day SRT training (both chest/hand ascender and prussik-only techniques) and since then I've had pain on and off in my right elbow.

I'm in pretty good average shape, I crossfit 3-5 days a week. Since that training though I haven't been able to do pullups, I can do one and then I have pain in that elbow.

So I'm pretty sure I put my right arm under too much load during those two days, and I figured some of you guys probably recognize the problem, I was hoping to find some advice here on healing and rehab.

I have another training (traditional methods /dynamic climbing line) lined up in about 4 weeks and I would hate to have to skip or cancel that.
 

RBJtree

Well-Known Member
Location
Pittsburgh
The elbow is a complex joint. Too complex for me to guess exactly what's wrong with it over the internet or suggest a rehab routine. If a movement hurts, don't do it. Let it heal fully before you beat on it again. Start slow on any new activity working up over a few weeks to full force. Tree climbing burns a lot of calories and might make you stronger, but it's not like other types of exercise. It will work muscles that don't get worked other ways. It can conflict with other types of exercise.
 

rico

Well-Known Member
Location
redwoods
Hi, I'm just learning the basics of treeclimbing. Two weeks ago I attended a 2 day SRT training (both chest/hand ascender and prussik-only techniques) and since then I've had pain on and off in my right elbow.

I'm in pretty good average shape, I crossfit 3-5 days a week. Since that training though I haven't been able to do pullups, I can do one and then I have pain in that elbow.

So I'm pretty sure I put my right arm under too much load during those two days, and I figured some of you guys probably recognize the problem, I was hoping to find some advice here on healing and rehab.

I have another training (traditional methods /dynamic climbing line) lined up in about 4 weeks and I would hate to have to skip or cancel that.
Tree climbing aint Crossfit. You made your body do something it has never done before, and now your elbow is pissed off. Most likely some tendonitis, which can be a real bitch. Does it stop or prevent you from doing things, or does it just hurt when your doing things. Big difference. If its the latter, suck it up, warm it up well before using it, less coffee if possible, follow low inflammation diet as best you can, lots of good fish oil, CBD oil can work wonders on some, don't do what makes it really hurt, lay off the pull-ups for awhile as they can really raise hell with elbow tendo, try ice and heat and determine which works best for you, and give it lots of time. As I said Tendo in the elbow can take many months to clear.. Be patient and good luck.
 
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Merle Nelson

Well-Known Member
Location
SF Bay Area, CA
Welcome to TreeBuzz Mwelander - no direct answers from me. However I do notice that when I have a joint out of proper alignment that limb will be very nearly useless. Get it back into alignment and moments later it will be back to highly effective even if it is still a bit sore for a little while.

One book I highly recommend for understanding the proper alignment of our joints is, Pain Free by Pete Egoscue.

Also our muscles perform tasks for us when they receive a signal from the brain and contract, if the same appendage needs to move is the opposite direction a signal is sent to the opposing muscle to contract. Anytime a muscle stays hard in normal life, or is sore to the touch (short of lactic acid) it is staying engaged. Waking up with a back sore and muscles still tight to the touch is an example of muscles staying, 40%, 50%, 60% etc engaged even when we sleep. Our muscles are not meant to work that way and the body doing it's amazing job of workarounds will find short term solutions for us which will cause more muscle imbalance and joint misalignment.
A book that deals directly with the condition of the muscles and their resulting effects is, Somatics by, Thomas Hanna. Or Martha Peterson has a great website ( essentialsomatics.com ) with youtube vids sharing the same info.

There is a solution for you, good luck on your journey of discovery about how your body works and what you need to do to keep it in good form without cutting into it or masking the valuable feedback it is giving you.
 

Tuebor

Well-Known Member
Location
Here
I was fine climbing SRT from the start five years ago. Decided to try DdRT for a few days last November and immediately hurt my right elbow pulling slack. Still hasn't healed. I commiserate with you.
 

evo

Well-Known Member
Location
My Island, WA
New climbers often over work their bodies, as muscle memory develops the death grip lightens. Could be your hitch is too tight, and you're having to put too much effort tending slack? Could be a thin line, a chest ascender acting as a meaty handle can help. Best thing is to spend more time climbing to figure out the motions which set it off, then change up those motions.

Treatment. I developed tendonitis in a elbow a few years back. It gets set off here and there but initially it was chronic for about 6-8 months, slowly getting better, then set off again (with a quicker turnaround time of a month or two). The shit sucks, and as much as I love Rico the push through it will likely just turn you off from climbing all together as you likely haven't developed the passion yet. Everything else is great advise. Best thing I've found to help is acupuncture. Then a few 15 minute hot cold cycles for 5 minutes off an on. A two part sink works great. Fill one side with hot, and the other with ice water. 5 minutes in cold, five in hot, repeat.. While working the elbow a hand warmer pack bound to the area while climbing helps quite a bit, but be sure to follow it up with cold packs at lunch or after the physical task.
 

Mitch Hoy

Well-Known Member
Location
Rochester
Tendinitis is a serious chronic injury caused by repetitive motion performed with bad kinesthetics. Some people are just naturally more susceptible to it, and if you are (like I am), you have to be vigilant about keeping it under control.
Elbow tendinitis from hitch tending almost ruined my career as a climber. It would get so bad that I couldn’t fully extend my arms to make a cut some days. I was working for a company that said I could only climb one way, with only the gear they gave me, with the knots they approved, so I was forcing my way around trees with a bad combination of hitch cord/knot/rope characteristics. Don’t miss those days. Anyways, when you are able to return to climbing, I would research hitch combinations on this forum first. It is shocking how much of a difference 20 pounds of body weight can make in the the way a combination will react, and the variations of hitch to knot to rope are endless. Or, when you can, buy a mechanical, but don’t dismiss hitch climbing. It is a very versatile tool.
As far as dealing with the tendinitis, I will echo the same that the others have said, diet and care are everything with this disease. Cut out gluten, sugar, lower your sodium, eat raw colorful greens and start drinking smoothies with raw ginger and turmeric in them. Eat meat cuts with bone and joints in them. I know it sounds weird, but I eat a lot of raw red cabbage and it makes a pretty immediate difference in joint pain for me (Just something that I found works for me).
Stretch daily. Stay away from free weights and move to body weight exercise. Lifting destroys your joints, calisthenics builds them. If you are serious about climbing you are going to lose muscle mass, anyways, although it’s possible to bulk up again after years of muscle memory development.
These are some of the ways I keep my tendinitis in check, and it works for me. It also just takes time.
 

DSMc

Well-Known Member
Location
Montana
... Two weeks ago I attended a 2 day SRT training (both chest/hand ascender and prussik-only techniques) and since then I've had pain on and off in my right elbow...

I would be interested to know more on just how the tools and techniques you mentioned were being used and who was doing the teaching.

SRS by its very nature should be using your arms only as auxiliary, most movement energy should be coming from your legs.
 
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NailerB

Active Member
Location
illinois
After 20 yrs in the carpenters my elbows and shoulders are wrecked. Ive had the bad elbow several times, could not straighten out past 70% normal motion. I have had several cortisone shot's put in there and it seemed to speed up the healing process if I did not overdue it while it was healing.
 

TimBr

Official Well Known Greeter
Hi, I'm just learning the basics of treeclimbing. Two weeks ago I attended a 2 day SRT training (both chest/hand ascender and prussik-only techniques) and since then I've had pain on and off in my right elbow.

I'm in pretty good average shape, I crossfit 3-5 days a week. Since that training though I haven't been able to do pullups, I can do one and then I have pain in that elbow.

So I'm pretty sure I put my right arm under too much load during those two days, and I figured some of you guys probably recognize the problem, I was hoping to find some advice here on healing and rehab.

I have another training (traditional methods /dynamic climbing line) lined up in about 4 weeks and I would hate to have to skip or cancel that.

Maybe something like the link I'm about to post would provide some relief?

https://www.amazon.com/Venom-Elbow-...way&sprefix=tennis+elbow+strap,aps,177&sr=8-1

I know you are in Sweden, so you'd have to find a merchant more appropriate for you. Just type in "Tennis elbow straps" or "Golf elbow straps" to find similar products closer to home. I had an acquaintance who could not swing a hammer more than a few times before experiencing pain in the elbow without the elbow strap. The whole elbow wrap item seems to be an extension of the idea. With the elbow strap on, he could swing a hammer all day with no issues. It is relatively cheap, and might not hurt to try one out.

The one I posted a link to gets very high ratings.

Tim
 

Chaplain242

Well-Known Member
For joint issues some physio’s and occ therapists around here are recommending for joint issues that patients flex their joints unweighted for twenty minutes before turning in at night to lubricate the joint. Apparently makes big differences to mobility the next day.

For example to work the knee you would sit on a high chair or table with leg hanging and flex joint.

May be worth a try...
 

Mwelander

New Member
Location
Karlstad Sweden
Tree climbing aint Crossfit. You made your body do something it has never done before, and now your elbow is pissed off. Most likely some tendonitis, which can be a real bitch. Does it stop or prevent you from doing things, or does it just hurt when your doing things. Big difference. If its the latter, suck it up, warm it up well before using it, less coffee if possible, follow low inflammation diet as best you can, lots of good fish oil, CBD oil can work wonders on some, don't do what makes it really hurt, lay off the pull-ups for awhile as they can really raise hell with elbow tendo, try ice and heat and determine which works best for you, and give it lots of time. As I said Tendo in the elbow can take many months to clear.. Be patient and good luck.
It only hurts when using them heavily like pullups and such. Everyday stuff is fine, barely feel anything.
 

Mwelander

New Member
Location
Karlstad Sweden
I would be interested to know more on just how the tools and techniques you mentioned were being used and who was doing the teaching.

SRS by its very nature should be using your arms only as auxiliary, most movement energy should be coming from your legs.
Working with chest and hand ascender was quite easy, but then we did some climbing with only one carabiner and a 5mm Prussik. That thing locks tight on the 11mm rope once loaded (and me being a complete beginner, it loaded down quite a bit). So I think the pain is from standing up straight to first work the Prussik loose in order to slide it upward. Then sitting down a little bit in exhaustion before getting at it again

I know that apart from being tricky to loosen to move, the 5mm Prussik isn't approved in all places since it won't hold for a fall, only careful movements... The Danish instructor said this was an emergency type thing you can use for example if your mechanical equipment fails.
 

DSMc

Well-Known Member
Location
Montana
Moving a too tight prusic can definitely mess up an elbow. If you are using a true prusic; ie, it will have the wraps above and below as mirror images, you can break it loose, once unweighted, by pressing your thumb against the bar that those wraps form.
 

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