It is a great time to be a climber! Rock climbing, sport climbing and bouldering are popular sport disciplines that benefited from the increase number of indoor climbing gyms that opened throughout the country. We have the opportunity to climb and train several times a week regardless of the weather conditions and we don't have to wait until we travel to our favorite climbing spots. The best way to get better at climbing is to climb often and climb more... Right? While this is true, we are seeing an increase in climbing specific injuries as a result of repetitive strain and overuse. With the increased popularity of competitive sport climbing, an increase in injury rate and severity may be expected 1.
The fingers, elbows and shoulders are the most common injuries among climbers. Finger injuries include pulley ruptures, tendinitis, and avulsion fractures. Common elbow injuries include epicondylitis, bursitis and trapped nerves. With regard to shoulder injuries, impingement syndromes, SLAP lesions, rotator cuff tears, and biceps tendon ruptures are common.
Regardless of the the injury, your goal is to protect the area from further injury, facilitate tissue healing and prevent future injury.
It is our job to find strategies to minimize injury while still training at a high level.