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Strange Hand Pain - Thoughts?


Original Post
CrimpDaddy-WesP · · Houghton, NY · Joined Dec 2015 · Points: 230

About a month and a half ago I made a sort of sideways dyno to a small ledge. I caught the ledge with my left hand and cut feet, so it was pretty much just my left hand taking my whole body weight. Kept climbing. It was near the end of the day. That night I noticed my left hand hurt around the thumb/palm area. It was a tight sort of pain, and it hurt really bad to mantle or push myself up off the ground with my hand. It also hurt to stretch my hand back towards the top of my arm (stretches I normally do to reduce tennis elbow) I pulled some plastic and noticed that it was almost impossible to do a gaston because of the pain, but everything else was fine, or only hurt a tiny bit. Then about 5 days after it started it disappeared. I have been climbing really hard, bouldering hard, doing hard endurance rope stuff in the plastic paradise for the past few weeks. It has come back maybe 2 or 3 times, but never hurt as bad as the first time, only lasts for maybe 4 days, and seems to come around every 1.5 to 2 weeks. Then it will go away. Climbing has both relieved and exacerbated the pain. It seems to be triggered if I awkwardly pinch or grab a box or something, or use my hand in awkward repeated motions. Otherwise, nothing I do seems to have an effect on it. 

I eat healthy, drink water (could def use more) and use my hands at work a lot. Any thoughts? Googling it just produced hand cramp results, not the kind of pain I'm experiencing. 

Thanks guys. 

Michael Lagueux · · San Diego, CA · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 250

Hard to tell without examining it, but palmar fasciitis is pretty common in climbers, and it’s very similar to what you described. Hope you feel better soon! 

Brian Shaffer · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2014 · Points: 40
Michael Lagueux wrote:

Hard to tell without examining it, but palmar fasciitis is pretty common in climbers, and it’s very similar to what you described. Hope you feel better soon! 

This is a good thought, the only issue being that inflammatory connective tissue problems tend to fade slowly over a longer time after the injury, they wouldn't be expected to suddenly stop and start several times over a few weeks. Think sprained ankle or climbers elbow--weeks of slow improvement.

I wonder if you injured some connective tissue in the hand or wrist and you are having entrapment neuropathy. Try the Tinel or Phalen's tests on yourself and see if they illicit a positive sign.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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