Forum Index » General Lightweight Backpacking Discussion » Sharp elbow pain from trekking poles?


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Joshua S
(joshualee101) - F - M
Sharp elbow pain from trekking poles? on 03/11/2011 17:02:53 MST Print View

During the last few hundred miles of my PCT hike, I developed a sharp pain in my right elbow when I used my trekking poles. I had to discontinue using trekking poles for the remainder of the hike. I figured it was an overuse injury. Almost 1.5 years later, and I still get the pain when I use hiking poles. The pain starts coming on within about 5 minutes. If I push on using poles, the pain can linger for several days. The only time I get this pain is when I use trekking poles. Has anybody else experienced this? Any suggestions what is causing it or how to alleviate it?

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife
Re: Sharp elbow pain from trekking poles? on 03/11/2011 18:03:10 MST Print View

Ulner?

http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00069

Joshua S
(joshualee101) - F - M
Sharp elbow pain from trekking poles? on 03/12/2011 11:57:20 MST Print View

I don't think its the ulnar nerve. I don't get any numbness or tingling when I experience the pain. The pain is localized in the elbow as well.

Zack Karas
(iwillchopyou@hotmail.com) - MLife

Locale: Lake Tahoe
elbow pain on 03/12/2011 12:50:49 MST Print View

I xc ski race and often will get some early season elbow pain with certain poling motions. I think it is a sort of tendinitis and by backing off a bit and massaging the area it's disappears quickly. I think that ignoring the pain significantly delays recovery.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Pole Strap Configuration on 03/12/2011 14:24:26 MST Print View

YOur pole straps need to be used in the same way they are for cross country skiing. GOOGLE "XC pole use" and see what I mean.

You should have your Entire hand coming UP through the strap loop so the strap forms an inverted V in your palm and the web of your thumb.

That way you push off "on the strap" and only have to hold the pole grip very lightly. This RELAXES your forearm muscles and tendons a lot more than constantly gripping the pole.

(Thanks for the photo Franco!)
V
V
V
V

Edited by Danepacker on 03/12/2011 20:39:06 MST.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: Melbourne
pole grip on 03/12/2011 15:18:46 MST Print View

pole grip

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Sharp elbow pain from trekking poles? on 03/12/2011 15:58:52 MST Print View

Have you consulted a physician?

James Lantz
(jameslantz) - F

Locale: North Georgia
"Sharp elbow pain from trekking poles?" on 03/12/2011 19:35:06 MST Print View

Joshua,
What part of your elbow hurts? Is it the dorsal aspect (outside) of elbow or the flexor (inside) aspect? Is it the back of the elbow- olecranon? Is there an area of point tenderness? Specifically, while resting your palm on a flat surface & dosiflexing (raising palm) at the wrist against resistance from the other hand, does the outside of the elbow hurt?

Joshua S
(joshualee101) - F - M
Sharp elbow pain from trekking poles? on 03/17/2011 21:25:03 MDT Print View

James,
The pain comes from the olecranon area, on the back side of my elbow. It feels like it is coming from the ulnar groove. I only feel it if I exercise my triceps in a particular way. Almost like I'm pinching something. I tried lifting my palm with resistance and didn't feel any pain.

I haven't seen a physician as I don't have insurance. It's too bad I didn't see one when I first experienced this pain. I had insurance then.

Edited by joshualee101 on 03/17/2011 21:26:00 MDT.

Brian Dickens
(briand) - F

Locale: Colorado
Tennis Elbow on 03/22/2011 07:58:23 MDT Print View

You should see a doctor. Medical advice on the internet in a forum seems risky.

Anyway. I had similar problems. Mine was diagnosed as tennis elbow.

jeffrey armbruster
(book) - M

Locale: Northern California
elbow pain on 03/22/2011 13:44:25 MDT Print View

I went through something similar with "golfers elbow" I believe they call it--the opposite of tennis elbow; i.e. pain on the inside of the elbows. It took a long time to resolve (a year) and I was told that this was typical. What helped me was doing strengthening excersizes that targeted that area. My gym has a hand gripper that worked great for this; squeezing a ball actually hit the same area. I too nordic ski and use hiking poles; it was one or both of these activities that caught up with me by surprise.
Two years after recovery and I've been golden; it can be done! Now if I can fix my knee...

Brian Dickens
(briand) - F

Locale: Colorado
Sharp elbow pain from trekking poles? on 03/23/2011 08:27:42 MDT Print View

Elbow problems like this are really tough. Mine would get aggrivated by the simplest things. It took about 6 months to get a bit better with exercise and stretching. A Cortizone shot helped a great deal as well. Some people can never rid themselves of tennis elbow.