Tendonitis Causes and Avoidance for Rock Climbers

Rock climbers should be aware of the various tendonitis causes that can bring about intense pain in the affected areas of the body. Tendonitis is a condition characterized by the inflammation of tendons. It is very common among rock climbers. If not treated or managed early, this problem can affect a climber’s performance, lead to more serious conditions, or even put the climber’s life at risk while scaling rock formations or artificial walls.

Tendonitis Causes

Overused tendons and performing intense activities repeatedly are two of the main triggers of tendonitis. Since repeated movements and route sequences are very common in rock climbing, a climber can put great pressure on his forearms, shoulders, elbows, and even heels. These areas are prone to tendonitis, not only because they are the ones you use to balance your body, propel yourself upward, or support your weight while climbing, but also because the blood supply for the tendons in these areas tend to be weak. Moreover, if you do not allow your sinews and muscles enough time to rest and recover, your risk of tendon inflammation may become higher. Many climbers develop tendonitis after getting injured in rock climbing accidents simply because they keep on doing strenuous activities as if nothing bad happened.

Tendonitis Symptoms

Pain, swelling, tenderness, and weakness in the arms, elbows, shoulders, heels and ankles are the most common symptoms of tendonitis. If you experience sharp pains in your muscles and joints every time you move or perform a sequence, you may already be suffering from this condition.

Avoiding Tendonitis

To avoid tendonitis, it is vital that you develop your muscle flexibility. Tendonitis and other rock climbing injuries can be prevented if your muscles are strong and have an increased reach and range of movements. You can do this through regular exercise. Before you climb rocks or walls, you also need to do 2 types of exercises to condition your body. First, do some aerobic exercises that will warm up your muscles for the tough activity ahead. Second, perform some exercises specifically designed for rock climbers. These include a few pull-ups, hand and finger exercises, leg kicks and mock climbing movements. Moreover, it is vital that you use the recommended gear and protective apparel designed for rock climbing. Using the proper equipment can minimize the stress in your muscles and tendons, thus help prevent tendonitis.

Tendonitis Care and Management

If you suspect that you already suffer from tendonitis, do not go climbing. You should take a long rest. When you feel sharp pains in specific areas of your body, refrain from using or moving those areas. You should also put ice on the affected area within 24 to 48 hours after you first felt the pains. This will help reduce tendon or muscle inflammation by lessening the swelling and improving blood flow to the affected area. Visit your doctor to have the problematic area examined. You may be given prescription medication for pain. Physical therapy or even surgery may be needed if the pains persist for over two weeks despite taking the prescribed medication.