Got aches and pains? We’ve got Kristen DeStefano, our physical therapist, to the rescue! Today she talks elbow pains, and how to deal with ’em.
The outdoor climbing season is in full swing now, and you’ve been getting after it every week with gym sessions, hang board routines, and campus boarding in between. What you might not realize is these repetitive and high stress movements are a killer on your elbows. When it comes to climbing, whether you are a lifer or a top rope hero (What Kind of Climber Are You?), chances are your elbows are going to start to ache at some point in your career. Don’t worry! You’re not doomed. Here’s what could be going on.
The elbow is a joint made up of the lower part of the humerus and the upper ends of the ulnar and radius, which make up the forearm. Four movements can occur at this joint. They are flexion (bending the elbow), extension (straightening the elbow), supination (turning the palm up), and pronation (turning the palm down). At the lower end of the humerus, you will see two bony prominences on either side. These are called the medial epicondyle (on the inside) and the lateral epicondyle (on the outside). These areas serve as muscle attachment sites, and therefore can be common spots for injury, particularly in climbers.