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The Top 5 Reasons for Your Tendonitis… Plus 6 SECRET Tips to Reduce Your Risk!

Jun 15, 2021

 Is that burning sensation in your arm holding you back from reaching your peak? Are you feeling constantly sore after your climbing sessions and aren’t sure what the cause is? It is probably tendonitis… but don’t worry! This article will spell out the top 5 reasons you probably are experiencing this and I’ll also provide some secret tips to help prevent this pain in the future!

So let’s get to it!

What is tendonitis? 

When a tendon is irritated enough that it becomes inflamed or swollen. It's different than a ligament because a ligament connects bone to bone whereas tendons connect muscle to bone.

But let me ask you an important question….

Is inflammation good or bad? 

This is extremely important for everyone to understand!

It’s neither good nor bad…. 

But very dependent on the scenario. Inflammation is a normal part of the healing process, yet chronic inflammation can hurt your climbing in the long run. It's a normal part of the healing process. Think of it as Nature's cast. If it's swollen, your body is telling you “hey you need to stop doing what you're doing”.  Listen to your body and then take the next steps. 

What causes tendonitis in climbing?

  • Overuse. During climbing, tension is greater than the tendon can handle, causing inflammation as a response. 

When does tendonitis usually happen?

  • Usually from an increase in climbing intensity beyond what you're normally used to.

Here are 5 instances tendonitis occurs in climbing: 

1). If you have more climbing sessions per week than what you're not normally used to. That can kick up the intensity that you're not ready for and cause tendonitis to develop. 

2). Increasing the duration of climbing sessions which also increases the intensity, could lead to tendonitis. 

3). If you increase the intensity within your climbing session. 

4). If you copy a pro climber’s workout. Usually those workouts are designed specifically for those climbers targeting their weaknesses. 

5). Returning from a long break. A lot of us are staying at home, maybe not climbing as much, but once we get back into our normal routine, definitely ease into it right into it. If you're choosing to stay home and not climb, make sure you ease back into it when you do start climbing again.

Tips for Tendonitis:

  • A proper climbing warm-up. Develop a steady warm-up that you know is preparing your body for the climb that will be great and help reduce injuries and the onset of tendonitis. 
  • Recovery. Getting about 8 hours of sleep per day, and staying on top of nutrition as what we ingest directly affects our climbing performance. The mental state also affects your performance and so does hydration. 
  • Active rest is also key to recovery. Complete rest has been shown to delay the healing process. Active recovery will better your climbing. Sitting and resting, especially with tendonitis will delay healing.  

3 additional Tips For Tendonitis:

  • Nothing changes if nothing changes. That means, you start to develop the symptoms of tendonitis and you feel it, but you don't do anything about it. Listen to your body and the signs that it's trying to tell you, or it potentially could get worse. 
  • Self-treatment. What can you do on your own if you start to develop tendonitis?          

2 things:

  • Myofascial release in the clinic. 
  •  Stretches
  • Seek professional help if tendonitis does not subside in about 2-4 weeks. There are multiple injuries climbing injuries that have a similar presentation to tendonitis that could be more severe. After 4 weeks, tendonitis can develop into tendinosis, which is a way more intensive treatment. The early the injury is addressed, the faster the recovery will be. 


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