training despite chronic injuries or pain?

  • Creator
  • #70957

    I will be doing my third round of the MTG group this fall and, this time around, want to figure out how to work with, rather than power my way through, limitations imposed by chronic pain and accumulated wear-and-tear. I’ve been having various forms of outdoor endurance fun for forty years and though I’ve never had a really serious accident, I’ve acquired the typical resume of breaks, tears, bruises, and bumps. The result, in my mid-sixties, is bouts of chronic pain and inflammation along with the physical limitations that go with them.

    I am learning how, given the variablitiy of my present-moment capabilities, to be flexible about my mountain objectives. What I haven’t figured out yet — and what I am hoping to get some guidance on from Steve, Mark, and this group — is how to build a training plan that can accommodate progressive improvement alongside rehab work, be measurable, doesn’t make things worse, and recognizes the limits imposed by old injuries and an aging body. Training as if I am still forty, which I tried for a while, hasn’t really worked out.

  • Participant
    Richard Coburn on #70991

    I’m no coach but thought I’d chime in. Depending on wear and tear and limitations. I’d look at determining the minimum amount of specific hours for whatever your goals are. I’d supplement aerobic work with non weight bearing work like cycling and swimming. Maybe zone 2 work could be uphill hiking instead of running for example.

    Susan on #71007

    Thanks for the input. I have similar issues to Bill. Prior to a recent summit of Mt. Baker, I developed tendonitis in ankle and knee. I switched to indoor cycle classes and swimming while maintaining strength routine 3x per week and 10+mile walks with a light pack.
    It worked – but for future reference it would be good to know some measures:

    1. Does 1 hr of swimming or 1.5 hrs of cycling fully replace the fitness benefits (aerobic capacity, strength….) of incline treadmill or stairclimber for similar times? What would you need to do to ensure you maintain climbing fitness with low impact alternatives?

    2. How much strength might you lose by not doing a fully weighted climb (e.g. with 55lb pack for 90 minutes) – i.e. can weights/ strength routines replace adequately?

    3. For people with similar issues, would be interest to know their opinions on CBD creams/other medications to relieve tendonitis pain.

    Anonymous on #71358

    Hi Susan,
    I struggled with Achilles tendonitis and tendinopathy for more than 18 months as a cause of typical overtraining. I tried every method, from shock waves to more simple self-massage and specific training, but really everything that you can find on the internet. I even checked scientific publications (Pub-Med) about the most relevant treatments. In the end, I went to a physio, and she could solve my problems within 2-3 mounts (visit frequency: once a week or two weeks). Since then, I have been visiting her and also going to a massage therapist frequently. I found this the best way to deal with injuries, and it also works as a precaution. If you train intensively, you need regular rest periods, and recovery sections, but also more active interventions from professionals to support your goals.

    bill on #71368

    Following up on my first post…

    I am used to figuring out and working through injuries and while I think that there is a lot of good information for self-care available, seeing a physical therapist (and possibly a doctor) for a diagnosis and a treatment plan will probably increase the odds of healing. One example: What I assumed was bicep tendonitis turned out to be adhesive capsulitis along with tendonitis in several parts of my shoulder, which required an MRI, a non-surgical procedure and six months of physical therapy to restore most of my range-of-motion and strength. Working with the PT, I got good feedback and modifications to the work I was doing in line with my body’s response to the work; I didn’t have to depend completely on my own assessment, which was often overly optimistic. I hate to admit it but I would not have figured this out on my own.

    Bottom line: dealing with chronic injuries and pain, especially for older athletes, often requires professional help. If the DIY approach is not giving you relief in relatively short order, it is time to have someone with appropriate experience take a look.

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