• Body: Pain Meds vs Sex
  • Appendectomy and Climbing Training
  • Body: Injury Truths
  • Body: BPA and Waterbottles
  • Body: Bouldering for Bone Density
  • Body: Chronic Injury
  • Body: Bouldering for the Bones
  • Body: Antibiotics and Tendon Damage
  • Back

  • Back: Spinal Fracture
  • Back: Preventing Hunchback
  • Back: Herniated Disc
  • Abdomen

  • Abdomen: Muscle Tear/Hernia
  • Arm

    No items found.


  • Shoulder: Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
  • Shoulder: SLAP Lesion and Cortisone
  • Shoulder: Frozen Shoulder
  • Shoulder: Torn Labrum, SLAP Lesion
  • Shoulder: Separation
  • Shoulder: Pain and Virus
  • Biceps

    No items found.


  • Elbow: Tennis Elbow
  • Elbow: Medial Tendonosis
  • Elbow: Elbow Pain and Dodgy Elbows
  • Elbow: Tendonosis
  • Elbow: Medial Epicondylosis and Taping
  • Elbow: Tingling and Numbness
  • Elbows: Minimizing Fingerboard Injuries
  • Elbow: Medial Epicondyle Tendonosis
  • Elbow: Stress Fracture
  • Elbow: Pain and Hangboarding
  • Wrist

  • Wrist: Klienbock's Disease
  • Wrist: Ruptured Tendon
  • Snap, Crackle, Wrist
  • Wrist: Fractured Scaphoid
  • Wrist: Instability
  • Hand

  • Fingers: Everything You Need to Know About Finger Stress
  • Hands: Dupuytren's Disease (lump in palm)
  • Hands: Numbness and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Fingers

  • Fingers: What To Do with a Ruptured Flexor Digitorum Superficialis
  • Fingers: Everything You Need to Know About Finger Stress
  • Fingers: Hyper-extended
  • Fingers: Cysts and Pain
  • Fingers: Cracked Fingertips
  • Fingers: De Quervain's Tenosynovitis
  • Fingers: NSAID Treatment
  • Fingers: Torn A2 Pulley
  • Fingers: Trigger Thumb Syndrome
  • Fingers: Stiffness, Soreness
  • Fingers: Grip Position and Injury
  • Fingers: Cortisone for Tendon Injuries
  • Fingers: Pinky Finger Pain
  • Fingers: Electrostimulation
  • Hands: Numbness and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Fingers: Taping Truths
  • Fingers: Flappers
  • Fingers: Trigger-Finger Syndrome
  • Fingers: Torn A3 and A4 Pulleys
  • Fingers: Cysts
  • Fingers: Arthritis
  • Fingers: Numbness
  • Fingers: Blown Tendons
  • Leg

  • Leg: Achilles Tendonitis
  • Leg and Knee: Broken Femur and Shattered Kneecap
  • Leg: Pulled Hamstring
  • Leg: Fracture
  • Knee

  • Knee: Rockfall Causes Lump
  • Knee: Chondral Injury of the Lateral Tibial Plateau
  • Leg and Knee: Broken Femur and Shattered Kneecap
  • Knee: Ruptured ACL
  • Knee: Ruptured Ligament and Meniscus
  • Knee: Synovial Cartilage Damage
  • Ankle

  • Ankle: Loud Pop Ankle Roll
  • Feet

  • Feet: Broken Foot
  • Feet: Gout and Pseudogout
  • Feet: Toe Fracture
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    Elbow: Medial Epicondylosis and Taping


    I've had elbow tendonosis for the last year and am finally back to climbing pain free. A physical therapist has told me that weakness in my wrists may be placing greater loads on the elbow tendon, and that taping the wrists before climbing might help. Any thoughts?


    Hmm, not too sure where your therapist is heading with this one. Virtually all the muscles controlling the wrist arise from either side of your elbow, the flexors from the common flexor tendon on the medial side, and extensors from its alter ego on the lateral aspect. Assuming you have medial epicondylosis (see Medicine, No. 156), the muscle usually afflicted is a wrist flexor sporting the handle flexor carpi ulnaris (FCU). Your therapist's explanation, if not his/her understanding of tendonosis, leaves a lot to be desired. In this malady, the muscle is actually too strong and as a result, is damaging the common tendon at the origin of FCU. It is the tendon at the elbow that is too weak, not the muscle, or the tendon at the wrist as it inserts into one of the carpal bones.

    It is possible your PT is referring to laxity (flexibility) in your wrist, and translating this to read instability. The two, however, are by no means linked. Instability is dependent on weakness or loss of motor control, whereas laxity simply means you missed a career performing a triple overhead backbend, your gonads adorning your forehead, while at the same time juggling Oompa Loompahs. At this end of the flexibility spectrum you have a higher propensity for injury (see Ask Dr. J, No. 169), but I would recommend proprioceptive/strength-based exercises rather than prophylactic taping. If ulna carpal instability were the case, you would almost certainly have suffered recurrent pain on the little-finger side of your wrist long before a chronic-overload injury at your elbow.

    Taping for prevention is at best futile, and at worst detrimental. Many PT's love tape. More than a few missed their calling in the bondage industry.

    Taping to protect an existing injury, by restricting its range of motion, can be very helpful, though that, too, can cause problems.
    The wrist, of all articulations, is one of the more likely to suffer from pointless restrictive taping. The narrowest part of your wrist contains 23 tendons, half a dozen major blood vessels, three major nerves and several minor ones, eight bones and a whole bunch of other stuff that is highly dependent on what little space there is. Do you really think compressing all of this will enhance performance? At the very least you will get pumped faster



    Elbows and Wrists: Tendonitis and Tendonisis

    Elbow: Medial Epicondylosis and Taping

    Elbow Pain and Hangboarding

    Elbow Stress Fracture

    Elbow Tendonisis

    Elbow Tingling and Numbness

    Elbow: Minimizing Fingerboarding Injuries

    Wrist Instability and Carpal Tunnel

    Wrist Fracture

    Hands Dupuytren's Disease

    Hand Numbness

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