Does climbing cause tendinitis?
Climbing can lead to more or less tendinitis. These lesions sometimes fade over time, however, they should not be neglected because the pain can return or settle permanently. To relieve climbing tendonitis and promote healing, take the right steps.
Tendinitis: what is it?
Tendinitis, also known as tendinopathy, is a musculoskeletal condition that presents as lesions or inflammation of the tendon. This fibrous element that connects muscle to bone is particularly flexible and resistant in order to transfer muscle strength and stabilize the joint.
However, repetitive rubbing caused by excessive pressure on the muscle can cause damage or even partial rupture.
Tendinitis is common in climbing due to the efforts required during training and repetitive movements, sometimes done in improper positions. The most common climbing injuries are:
Elbow tendinitis or epithelial inflammation, which is manifested by pain in the side of the elbow when bending or rotating the forearm. This injury is caused by overuse of the muscles of the wrist or fingers.
Finger tendinitis, also called "climber's fingers", is caused by overexertion of the muscles of the fingers when it is necessary to hold a grip.
_ Long biceps tendonitis, which is located in the bend of the elbow. It often occurs after overuse of the biceps in a prolonged flexion position. This often happens during gripping and pressing movements.
Finally, rotator cuff tendinitis is also very common in this sport. It appears after a very intense and very long ("very fast, very difficult") climbing practice.
Our best advice if climbing resumes is to remember to be progressive to allow time for these deep muscles to adapt and avoid issues with fatigue.
Warning signs of tendinitis can appear after physical activity or during a warm-up. This is often pain when your muscles are tightened or contracted, or when pressure is applied to the affected area. You may also experience inflammation, or see edema appear throughout the painful area.
The intensity of the pain varies according to the stage of severity and is:
The first stage: the pain appears at the beginning of the activity and then gradually disappears during the exertion. Unfortunately, many amateur athletes ignore these signs of fatigue and go into stage 2 before taking any action.
Stage 2: Tendinitis appears more intensely from the start of physical activity and worsens over time. You need to adjust your activity temporarily to give your body time to recover.
Stage III: The pain is permanent, felt even at rest and limits activities. At this point, we highly recommend that you consult a health professional for proper treatment.
If repetitive movements during daily activities and sports such as climbing can cause tendinitis, this pathology can be favored by other factors such as age, dehydration, a sedentary lifestyle, certain medications or morphology. In addition, it may happen that the tendon becomes calcified in certain cases of chronic tendinopathy. This is why it is recommended to adopt the correct climbing gestures to avoid overloading the tendons and reduce the risk of developing tendinitis.
How to prevent and relieve tendonitis?
To reduce the risk of developing tendinitis when climbing, you should warm up before your gym session and stretch afterwards. Indeed, warm-ups will make it possible to sensitize the tendons with blood vessels and prepare them for effort.
Take correct postures during your movements and avoid any repetitive movement that damages the tendons. It is also recommended to hydrate regularly during physical activity.
In the case of tendinitis during climbing, temporary rest of the tendon is necessary to reduce pain. Depending on the affected area and the severity of the pain, the recovery time may be longer or less. Therefore, it is advisable to limit activities that can aggravate the condition and to exercise below the pain threshold to avoid maintaining or amplifying the phenomenon of inflammation.
To reduce pain and inflammation, you can also apply an ice pack to the affected area for 15 to 20 minutes.
If the tendinitis persists for a long time, you should consult a doctor, who will prescribe a more effective treatment for you. Sessions with a physical therapist may be recommended to speed recovery and help you regain mobility.