There are a million and one pages on injuries, their treatment and prevention that are easy to find. What I’m not going to do is act like your physio, writing as if I know how to cure whatever injury you may have. If you have an injury and you don’t know what it is, go and see a professional. In my experience your average GP or physio does not usually have the knowledge base for specific climbing injuries, especially finger injuries. Get in contact with someone who specialises in climbing injuries so you can get proper specialised treatment first time, for the same money. If you are searching for someone like this you can contact me and I should be able to put you in touch with someone.
I have compiled some informative pages for you to have a look at to learn more about common climbing injuries. I would recommend having a look at as many as possible to equip yourself with the knowledge to stay healthy and reduce your risk of injuries in the future. Most climbers only learn about an injury and the causes behind it once they have actually experienced that injury for themselves. This of course is human nature. The phrase “it won’t happen to me” rings in the subconscious when a friend tells you about their injury. You need to have an awareness of your body, the risk and severity of an injury before it happens to you in order to avoid it. Implementation of a balanced climbing program to avoid injury before it happens is particularly effective in preventing chronic injuries or muscle imbalances. Climbers should start to see themselves more and more like athletes and therefore should treat their bodies in the same manner.
A good attitude and mental conditioning is so important for climbers to progress and not regress into the habits that cause repeated mistakes, injury and frustration. You can read as many injury advice pages as you like, but the assimilation of the huge amount of information you gloss over has to be processed, compiled and implemented into your own climbing without overloading your life. Try and take a few major points from multiple reliable sources and actually use them to improve your climbing or avoid injury.
I see too many people who have an understanding of some of these risks but do nothing to help prevent such things happening to them. Or equally annoying, people who feel that the information is too specialist or out of their reach and therefore don’t bother to go and find out more in order to help themselves. The recipe for a good climber not only comprises determination and enthusiasm, but also the knowledge to minimise injury and stay healthy. Prevention is better than cure. Learn how to train with a balanced approach, avoid injury and climb with ease to promote gradual but long term improvement.
Try and relate some of the issues with your own climbing and analyse what you can do in terms of technique, exercise, routine, habits or diet to minimise your risk of injury. Some of the simplest tips can make a big difference to your climbing, do not take a lot of effort to employ and can make a huge difference in the long run. Here are a few good articles on the most common climbing injuries, treatment and exercises to help prevent them in the future to start you off in your eduction:
- A lot covered but a must for key exercises
- Some science and good conclusion
- Research: If you have time skim through the paper for interesting insights
Injuries are the most annoying thing for any climber and if you let them they will dictate your limits. So why not do all you can in educating yourself to minimise the risk of injury and make the most of the time available to you. Be constructive with your efforts. I will talk about the most common mistakes, trends and practices within climbing to help you become a wiser more rounded climber next time. For now enjoy your homework!