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Recurring Tendon Injuries... Advice??

Original Post
Taylor Spiegelberg · · Lander & Sheridan, Wyoming · Joined May 2012 · Points: 935

Hey all,

The last two years I've had 3 pulley/tendon issues that have required me to take off 1-2 months of climbing each time. Each time, it's been a different finger. I've been climbing for around 6 years and worked my way up to different types of training/climbing. When not injured, I climb consistently throughout the week and hang board 2-3 times. When I feel strong, I've always felt as though my fingers weren't susceptible to injury, yet when these events have happened, it's freak occurrences.

I was curious if anyone else around has had tendon injuries that just wouldn't go away, even when they felt as though they've had strong fingers. I've read that taking ibuprofen over a long period of time can be detrimental to tendons also... I have been taking ibuprofen quite a lot over the last 2 years for other reasons so maybe this is the cause? It's a frustrating issue.. I'm only 24 and want this to stop!

THanks in advance!

David Deville · · Flagstaff, Arizona · Joined Oct 2013 · Points: 70

I used to have similar problems, as well as problems with my wrist. I stopped taking ibuprofen (used to take it a lot for my back), spent a ton of time climbing easier grades, and got religious with the rice bucket. Something about this combination helped and things have been a lot better. Now I'm hyper aware of tweaky positions and I don't go for certain types of moves anymore. I also try really hard to climb open handed; especially in the gym. I don't climb very hard, but I've been able to climb a lot more than I used to.

NCD · · Boulder, CO and anywhere I… · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 55

It could be genetic but what you describe sounds mild like what even normal healthy climbers experience. Any trouble with tenosynovitis/tendonitis also?

I had lots of chronic pulley injuries (like over 5 in less than two years) as well as other overuse injuries and eventually found out from doctors I have hypermobility in my joints. It's developed progressively worse as I got older and I never really realized I had it before.

In the book One Move Too Many, under Who Should We Advise Not to Climb?

"A person with very flexible joints is more likely to develop tenosynovitis in the sheath of the finger flexor tendons. Thin and long fingers are more likely to suffer overuse injuries than short and fat fingers. Hypermobility can also increase the likelihood of overuse injuries."

Taylor Spiegelberg · · Lander & Sheridan, Wyoming · Joined May 2012 · Points: 935

Thanks for the replies. I've read much of One Move Too Many as well and I'm pretty sure I'm just pushing sessions too long. I'm hoping genetics aren't an issue, because that would be a pretty frustrating cap on training. The rice bucket sounds like a good idea as well...

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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