Tuesday, 11 August

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Dr 8a

distal bicep tendonosis

Preston Kemp
For about 8 months i have had pain in the inside of my elbow right where the bicep tendon goes into the forearm. It first became pronounced after a 3 day climbing trip during which I bouldered about 8 hours a day with little sleep for 3 days in a row. After that my elbow became rather stiff and painful. I took 2 months off climbing and did physical therapy. The therapist had me do many arm and shoulder exercises every other day with light(5 pound) weights. Since I was not doing any intense activity, my elbow was not hurting much after 2 months. I returned to climbing very slowly, at first only climbing for about 30 minutes on day a week. I added another day after a few weeks of this and slowly started to return to a more intense schedule. I have now worked up to a very structured training schedule of climbing 3 days a week and going in cycles with 4 weeks of mostly hangboarding, 4 weeks of power training, 2 weeks of power endurance, and a week or two of peak performace followed by a rest week before the cycle starts over again. I never climb for more than 2 hours at a time now. The problem is, my elbow pain returned quickly with the reintroduction of steep climbing. Pull ups aggravate it even worse than actual climbing. I recently went to an arm specialist and they diagnosed my problem as tendonosis, a chronic degradation of the distal biceps tendon. It is not inflammatory however the tendon is not repairing itself like it should. I am only 18 and the doctor did ot feel that my tendon was close to breaking, but suggested more rest and physical therapy. I am at a loss for what to do. I do not feel that a complete layoff helped the tendon, or that easy climbing makes it worse. However, I cannot find a therapist or trainer that understands climbing and cannot figure out how to modify my training schedule in order to allow the tendon to heal. I would like to work up to being able to campus board and train one arm pull ups, and have no idea what exercises or amount of climbing (if any) I should do to heal the tendon and then train it to get stronger. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!