Hello everyone. I'm a bit perplexed as to what this pain originating from the A4 pulley on my ring finger means and how bad it actually is.
It doesn't hurt while climbing hard and I'm not sure what I did specifically to irritate it. The A4 does hurt when I do 2 things: 1. when I press on it but only sometimes and the pain is dull. 2. when i bend my finger and press on my first knuckle in an effort to bringing the tip of my finger to its base.
I've been taping lately and it hasn't been getting worse but hasn't been getting better either.
So my questions are this:
Does this sound like an A4 pulley injury?
If so: How bad does it sound? Should I be really worried about it? What kind of holds irritate the A4 pulley? Is taping useful in this situation? What taping method is recommended?
I wonder if I just hit a sharp edge on the pulley and bruised it or something of the sort.
No. I sounds a lot more like you tweaked the DIP joint capsule. The symptoms aren't all that specific but they do fit what you'd experience if you did injure the joint capsule.
Assuming a pulley injury seems to be the go to diagnoses for any finger injury from climbing. I think a lot of climbers have at one time or another sprained joint capsules in their fingers and not known it.
The biggest culprit I see for this type of injury is gym climbing. Smaller pinches and traversing problems on crimps seem to be the 2 biggest aggravating things for this type of injury. Really it comes down to avoiding twisting the involved joint so it gets a chance to heal up.
As always, this is just a guess. You may in fact have an injury that isn't either a sprained DIP or a pulley injury. If in doubt, have a professional take a look. Hope it heals up quick, BA
Brent Apgar From Out of the Loop Joined Oct 20, 2007 176 points
Thanks for your input. It does seem like an odd injury seeing as it doesn't really hurt while climbing and from experience I wouldn't be able to do so with a partially torn or injured pulley. I'll look into DIP joint capsules today and see if this fits my symptoms. Also, i've had some issues with collateral ligaments from twisting fingers or crimping on oddly shaped crimps. Could this be related?
Again, thank you for your input. It always helps getting outside perspective.
Also, i've had some issues with collateral ligaments from twisting fingers or crimping on oddly shaped crimps. Could this be related? Cheers, Lorenzo
It would make sense that if you had stretched, torn, etc a collateral lligament that it would make the joint less stable and potentially put more stress on the joint capsule at that site. Everything is a chain to some extent.
But I don't really have a well developed knowledge of the connective structures of that DIP area. And I sure as hell ain't a doctor or med professional.
Will S From Joshua Tree Joined Nov 15, 2006 1,377 points
I just injued my a4 on my left ring finger last night whilst leading through the crux of the nefarious white route at rnj north.
I didn't hear any pop and there isn't really any swelling today. Just pain that is much less intense than when it first happened. I can't close this finger into a fist without pain/resistance but it doesn't stick out too much. I think I just sprained it.
I'm hoping that it will fix itself in a couple weeks. Anyone have experience with both a minor and major injury to the a4 with some beta on what to expect? What to do to expedite recovery? What not to do? etc?
Jon Zucco From Denver, CO Joined Aug 15, 2008 374 points