January 17, 2023

Climbers Elbow: How to Treat This Rock Climbing Injury?

by Bernice

Rock climbing can take from 500 to 900 calories every hour.

It is an extensive exercise.

The number of calories burned during climbing is not the point of concern.

Climbing can put a lot of strain on muscles and tendons.

Climbers elbow is a common condition that can occur due to stains on the tendons.

We will discuss the details of this condition and how to prevent it.


Table of Contents
Climbers Elbow How to Treat Climbers Elbow
Climbers Elbow How to Treat Climbers Elbow

What Is Climbers Elbow Condition?

Medial Epicondylitis is another name for climbers elbow.

It is also known as inflammation of the tendons of the humerus.

If you are not fond of medical terms, we will explain them in another way.

It is a pain on the inner side of the elbow.

There are several reasons climbers suffer from this pain.

They use their hands or a few fingers to grab an object to carry their entire body.

Using your palm to push the body puts a lot of pressure on the medial tendon.

The flexion and pronation movements are responsible for this condition.

Taking breaks or using a warm water bottle can improve your muscle’s situation by preventing overuse.

Preventing Climber’s Elbow

The climber’s elbow is due to overuse of specific muscles or tendons.

You can prevent overuse when you increase tendon resistance by training them.

You can improve the flexor and extensor muscle strength gradually with strength training.

If you climb without muscle training, it increases the chances of a climber’s elbow.

Stretching and strengthening should be performed for the climber’s elbow

If you are not climbing extensively, you have a good chance of preventing muscle injuries.

You should do two exercises a lot to improve muscle strength.

These exercises are known as forearm flexor stretch and forearm extensor strengthening.

You can do these exercises in your home or gym to improve muscle strength.

Forearm Flexor Stretch

  1. You can start by raising one arm to the level of your face with your palm facing the floor.
  2. You need to bring the other arm below the previous arm and keep the hands in a cross manner.
  3. This setup will allow you to use the force from the lower hand to push the upper hand toward your chest.
  4. It is crucial to continue putting pressure till you feel a stretch in the entire upper forearm.
  5. You need to hold the stretched position for half a minute to two minutes.
  6. You can increase the time gradually to increase the flexor strength.
  7. Doing this for the other arm on the top will strengthen the other arm.

Forearm Extensor Strengthening

People often overestimate the forearm extensor strength.

They believe they have strong extensor muscles.

You can do a test to identify extensor muscle weakness.

You can bring a band designed to train finger muscles.

The blue-colored band can also provide a similar level of difficulty.

You need to put them on your finger and flex your fingers.

It will take a few minutes before you feel the pain in your extensor muscles.

The rapid fatigue is due to the imbalance in the different finger’s strength.

It is essential to repeat these exercises several times a day to increase extensor muscle strength.

How to Treat Climbers Elbow?

The treatment of climbers elbow depends on the muscle condition.

You may only need rest for mild fatigue to the muscles.

The treatment may involve a combination of several methods in mild conditions.

In severe climbers elbow, you may need to see a professional to treat the condition.

This list will help you understand the basic procedures.

  • Use Rest and Ice Packs. In the case of mild fatigue, you may only need some rest to relieve the pain and discomfort in the elbow. If you want to increase the recovery speed, you can put an ice pack on the elbow. It is crucial to observe the skin as ice packs can also irritate it.
  • Use an Elbow Brace for Climbers. If you get skin irritation from the ice packs or they are not effective, you may need to restrict the elbow movement for some time to allow muscle recovery—one type of elbow brace works by preventing elbow movement after injury. A specific type of elbow brace will help you put some pressure on the elbow. These braces can prevent muscle and tendon injury.
  • Sleeping Straight on Your Back. People with climbers elbows can suffer from long-term pain if they sleep on their side. It is due to pressure on the elbow and nearby muscles. You can keep a soft pillow under your head and sleep straight on your bed. You can also get a pillow with a groove. It will prevent you from sleeping on your side. You may need a firm mattress if you are a side sleeper to prevent pressure on your shoulders while sleeping.
  • Use FlexBars for Arms. You can use the flex bars to train your extensor and flexor muscles. This bar does not treat the pain because you can prevent the injury by training with them.
  • Apply Trigger Point Massage. A specific type of massage known as the trigger point massage can relieve pain and inflammation in the muscles. You can ask someone with experience in trigger point massage to massage your forearm to treat pain.
  • Use Lacrosse Ball. Putting pressure on the forearm muscle with the Lacrosse ball can improve muscle healing and treat pain.
  • Use a Foam roller. Rolling the roller with foam on your forearm will improve blood flow and treat muscle pain.
  • Take Supplements for Inflammation. You may search the internet or ask a physician to give you supplements to treat inflammation in your elbow.
  • Get Help From a Medical Professional. If nothing else works, you can go to a physician or a medical specialist to get medical help for the pain and inflammation.

Summary Tips for Treating Climbers Elbow

Climbers elbow can be painful and prevent you from climbing for a long time.

These points can help you with the pain and inflammation of the climber’s elbow.

  • Muscle training and specific exercises can help you prevent this condition.
  • Ice packs and rest are excellent treatment options for mild conditions.
  • Getting help from professionals for taking OTC NSAIDS will treat pain and inflammation.
  • You might have to do rehabilitation exercises if the climber’s elbow prevents you from climbing for a long time.

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About the author 

Bernice

Bernice often jokes that she is better at climbing than walking. With avid parents of climbing, her first encounter with the high vertical rock walls was at the age of one. Her favorite style of climbing is bouldering.

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