After refusing to rest on a recent road trip, I started having mild soreness and pain in my brachioradialis (BR). I took two weeks off, and stretched it as you suggest [Ask Dr. J, No. 197 ]. The pain went away and I went back to the gym … the pain came right back. Do I just need more rest? Are the exercises in that column helpful for the BR as well, or just golf/tennis elbow? I could climb through the pain, but I assume that this would be dumb?
—Rpevnick via rockandice.com
Blind obsession is like wearing stilettos—you go places you would not have thought possible. But tragedy is the crack in the pavement, small and
innocuous, waiting to bring you down. Injury is inevitable.
The first rule for avoiding injury is NOT to avoid rest. Strategic resting is when you get stronger. Without it, you will get weaker.
Rest as a sole therapeutic tool, however, is often overrated, especially if you consider your body a performance vehicle—as virtually every climber
should. Climbing is not like taking the dog for a walk. If you “only” climb 5.10, that still puts you in one of the upper echelons of activity levels.
Get a regular tune up, and treat issues when they are just a rattle.
The second rule for avoiding injury is: If you see it coming, initiate evasive action.
Several different injuries can cause pain in the vicinity of brachioradialis, so don’t be fooled into thinking that your pain is emanating from the BR
just because you know the name of that muscle, or because that’s what pops up on the Internet.
Recovery starts with the proper diagnosis.
This article appeared in Rock and Ice issue 201 (April 2012).