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recovering from pulley injuries
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By mountain-nut
From Denver, CO
Aug 10, 2012

I tore two pulleys in my left ring finger, and after lots of rest I think they are finally healed. I climbed earlier today for the first time in months, and although my arms fatigued pretty quickly, I had no pain in my hand.

I would like to try to strengthen my pulleys, and I was wondering how I should go about doing that to try to avoid another pulley injury. I've been thinking about getting a metolius grip saver, but I've heard they break easily, so I was wondering if there is a good alternative.

Right now my plan is to climb once or twice a week for an hour or so at a gym, doing easy routes (5.8's, no bouldering or handboards) to build up strength in my arms and to get my hands use to climbing again. I taped my finger up when I went climbing earlier today to help support the tendon, and Iím wondering if I should continue that for more than a few weeks since I think it might cause my pulleys to under-develop.


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By Finn the Human
From The Land of Ooo
Aug 10, 2012
Mathematical!

I would just climb on easy stuff for a while. Make sure you use all the holds open-handed, no crimping. You can slowly start upping the ante over time, but you don't want to go balls to the walls right off the bat and end up injuring yourself again. If climbing doesn't seem to aggravate it, you might try easing your way into some easy hangboard workouts. I've also heard playing with silly putty can be good rehab for a torn pulley.

In the end, only you know how bad your injury was. Use pain as your guide, and be careful. You may find there are certain holds/moves you just can't do anymore. I tore a pulley in my ring finger several months ago, and while I can climb most things without trouble, I still can't do two finger pockets.


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By Seth Derr
From harrisburg, pa
Aug 10, 2012
Hey there!

I avoid plastic pockets like the plague. I've injured both ring and both middle fingers in the past, still getting over the latest in my right ring finger. Unfortunately the only thing that heals 'em is time. While coping with previous pulley injuries i taped to add support, but with this one pulling the tape off hurt like a mofo so I went without. Not surprisingly i saw no difference in recovery time. Just be careful with it. You have more self control than I do. Not climbing for months sounds torurous.


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By Mark E Dixon
From Sprezzatura, Someday
Aug 10, 2012
Sure, I can belay

www.onlineclimbingcoach.blogspot.com/2012/03/injuries-proble>>>

Hate to sound like David, I don't mind rehashing threads too much, but if you searched the forum you'd find a lot of useful stuff.

Mark


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By mountain-nut
From Denver, CO
Aug 10, 2012

Sorry to re hash this then. I guess all I was wondering is if taping my finger for too long will cause my tendons to under develop as I gain my muscle strength back, and if there's something I can use, maybe the grip saver or something else, to help strengthen my tendons while I'm not climbing. I'll try the silly putty too.

Thanks


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By Mark E Dixon
From Sprezzatura, Someday
Aug 10, 2012
Sure, I can belay

Didn't mean to be overly snarky, but if you review the training and injury forums for the last 12 months I'll bet you'll find some great advice.

As for your specific question about tape. I doubt there is any research addressing this question directly. I recall a study looking at cadaver hands that showed tape did NOT provide any worthwhile support for tendon pulleys and suggested such taping was valueless. In which case it shouldnt interfere with training either.
I'm not in position to look up references right now, but if you PM me ill try to check next week.
Mark


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By Jon Clark
From Philadelphia, PA
Aug 10, 2012
onsight soloing Atman

mountain-nut wrote:
Sorry to re hash this then. I guess all I was wondering is if taping my finger for too long will cause my tendons to under develop as I gain my muscle strength back, and if there's something I can use, maybe the grip saver or something else, to help strengthen my tendons while I'm not climbing. I'll try the silly putty too. Thanks


You said you tore two pulleys. Pulleys aren't tendons, they are ligaments. Not sure if taping will really support the pulley or not, but it can help keep your finger straight and prevent you from crimping as you get back into it.


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