15 year old rock climber suffering from carpal tunnel or tendonitis?

by Danny

I have been rock climbing for a little over four months now. After the first couple months I started to develop pain in my wrists.

I thought it would go away and it was just something temporary. I was climbing 5 days a week for about 4-5 hours, which was way too much than I should have been.

A little over a month ago I moved to Hawaii, and haven't been climbing since I left the mainland.

The pain in my wrists started to get worse so I went to see a doctor.

The doctor diagnosed me with carpal tunnel and insisted that i go to physical therapy.

I've been going to therapy for three weeks now.

My wrists don't seem to get better at all. They advise me to rest my wrists as much as possible, take an anti-inflammatory three times a day, wear splints at night, ice three times a day, and stop any or all activities.

Is there anything I can do to accelerate the healing process? Do you have any advice you can give me to stop this?


Joshua Comments:

Hi Danny.

Ahhhh, to be young and living in Hawaii....

Yes, I'm happy to help.

First off, yes, you absolutely did too much climbing too fast. Too much strain on the tendons, not enough recovery time, and I not enough nutritional support.

Now you are dealing with the structural effects of that.

So...maybe you have Carpal Tunnel. Maybe you have Tendonitis. Do you have numbness in the fingers and such?

Please describe all your symptoms in detail.

What you definitely have is a very unhappy ecology in your forearms and hands, muscles too tight, connective tissue shrunk wrapped and constrictive, chronic inflammation and a nervous system that is freaked out that you are going to
hurt yourself even more.


icing 3x/day will not work.
anti-inflammatories every day will not work, and have some negative side effects.

Rest won't work, ultimately.

Wrist splints are good at night to keep your fingers and wrists from curling inward, but only for the short term, not to be relied upon.

Are you doing 'strengthening' exercises as part of your therapy? I hope not. Wasn't rock climbing strengthening??

I could tell you to do lots of things, but I'm just going to have you do two things right now to start with.

For the next 7 days, Ice Dip INTENSIVELY.

As many dips as you can, as often as you can. Try for 50+/day.

And supplement with Magnesium as described on my Kerri's Magnesium Dosage page.

Ok, also increase your protein intake. Maybe you have wear and tear damage that hasn't healed because you don't eat enough protein. Maybe your damage has already healed and you are hurting from the Tendonitis -dynamic- of progressive tightness and pain.

Maybe you never had any damage per se, you just strained the tendons too much, which results in a tendonitis dynamic.

First things first. Hit the inflammation hard with Ice Dipping, drop the pain levels. Then we'll go from there.

Joshua Tucker, B.A., C.M.T.
The Tendonitis Expert

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