Monday, July 27, 2009

Working with Brent Apgar Part II

As anyone who has followed my summer is aware, roughly a month and a half ago I definitely had something appear in my left elbow that hindered serious climbing. It has a history that goes back to May at least. For the past four weeks I have been meeting with Brent Apgar of Synchro Chiropractic and getting the elbow and other areas treated with a pretty painful massage method called the Graston technique. I feel confident in saying that yesterday I had a session at the Spot that clearly indicated that Brent's treatments were having a considerably beneficial result. I did around 20 problems overall including a near flash of a crimpy five minus and several four spots at various angles. Today, my arm feels fine with only negligible soreness and no obvious negative aftereffects from what was a fairly solid session.

I would certainly recommend this treatment along with a dedicated stretching regimen and a careful self-analysis of what went wrong in the first place. My main problem as I see it now was trying to do too much at the same time, training really hard on my home wall and not allowing some time for healing and recuperation, especially during a very busy and stressful semester. This inattention to the obvious cost me six weeks of climbing time which I was able to compensate for only somewhat through trail running and easy climbing. I would advise any climbers who are thinking about having bodywork done but are balking at the expense to consider the psychological and emotional cost of having to take two or more months off to heal and hopefully get back to square one. The monetary investment in physical health is equivalent to say a new rope but infinitely more important and more difficult to get back once damaged

One of the advantages of working with Brent was that he is a dedicated climber and focused on understanding the mechanics and physiology of movement in climbing. We talked for a long time about issues related to climbing movement and its potential for injury and strategies for prevention and healing. He was very open to discussion and straightforward in considering options for getting past the injury. So I am hoping that I can learn from this experience and pass some of this knowledge along to readers who are wondering where to turn. I would add that there is never an easy fix for an overuse injury of any kind and especially not one that may have been months or years in the making.

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