The act of climbing involves flexing the elbow repeatedly with a fully pronated forearm: The biceps are mechanically disadvantaged due to the pronated position, leading to Brachioradialis and Pronator Teres muscle overload. Possibly irritated the superior radio-ulnar joint as well, but most pain is likely from the overloaded muscles, and this is confirmed by the other activities that later re-aggravated it: arm wrestling, pull-ups and bicep curls.
This should respond well to myo-fascial release, with gentle trigger point release and stretching into elbow extension, supination and wrist and finger extension. For a full injury management protocol for Climbers Elbow see “Treating Climbers Elbow” at www.nicros.com.
CONCLUSION: Weekend warrior at his best: invincible until the day after! The answer is a slower progressive increase in climbing, to give muscles sufficient time for recovery and strength adaptation. Also, during climbing sessions, stretch in between climbs, and repeatedly open the arm out into elbow extension, supination and wrist/finger extension to release tightness and ischaemia from long holds. A strength programme isolating supinator and biceps muscles will also toughen up his arm for future climbing training.
All for now! Hope Christmas and the restive season (hoping it is restful for you..) is shaping up well,
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