May 8, 2013
On April 5th I partially tore the A4 pulley on my left hand on a limestone sport route - of course. There was a physical and small audible pop right upon it happening, and my hand went a little numb. I haven't climbed once since that day and wanted to share with others in what ways I've been attempting to speed up recovery in case there are others out there looking to do the same.
For a month until a week ago I was only sifting and squeezing a gallon size bag of dry rice, contrast hand baths (longer in the warmer water), and taking Traumeel (orally and topically), and rubbing the palm with the other hand. This did seem to help a bit, possibly just mentally. Still doing these things buuut....
Attempting to speed up recovery I visited a hand therapist locally twice in the past week and I've seen a dramatic difference. Each visit costs around $100 :-/. Along with some traditional physical muscle therapy (like the rubbing), the doc is using the below techniques mostly in this order for each visit.
The Dry Needling is fucking weird and he only does it to like 3 spots for a few seconds a time - I usually look away. It doesn't bleed nor does it hurt a lot, but I can feel the needle go into the muscle.
The Arpwave is what really rebuilds the damage I think. With the ARP on (activating my damaged muscles through electrical current) and set to increasing levels each round, he has me crimp on the end of a piece of 2x4 wood in the same way I hurt it - 5 seconds crimping / 5 seconds resting - for 5 rounds. And, amazingly, I can crimp the shit out of it while the muscles are squeaked with electrical current and supporting the tendons. He has to hold the wood from sliding because I'm such a badass.Afterwards when not on the machine, I'm not as strong, but I can feel now it's definitely increasing my strength. Even now as I type it's much stronger a day after my second session.
Anyways, thought it was pretty sweet and worth the money to get back to climbing sooner than later. My goal is to climb by Memorial day weekend for the first time, some easy trad, which will be about 50 days with zero climbing!!
The biggest thing I've heard from previous people with similar injuries - a positive attitude and focus that you WILL get better. Seriously, I've heard this from a lot of people. If anyone has any questions, please feel free to ask me.