Climb Your Way Up and Heal Your Neglected Shoulders: A Guide to Climbing Tendonitis
The purpose of this guide is to provide a simple yet comprehensive resource for climbers with tendonitis. There are many factors involved in the development of tendonitis. These include genetics, age, activity level, nutrition, stress from injury or illness and other health issues such as cancer. All these factors must be taken into consideration when treating tendonitis.
Tendons are very delicate organs and their function depends on them being healthy. If they become damaged, it will affect the rest of the body negatively. Tendons have been known to heal themselves over time but only if there is adequate healing stimulus (training). Training helps to keep tendons strong so that they do not deteriorate further and cause problems later on.
Injuries to tendons can occur at any stage of their healing process. They may start out fine but then deteriorate due to various reasons. For example, tendon injuries could be caused by repetitive strain or trauma to the tissues which are responsible for producing the tissue. Another common reason for tendon injuries is poor rehabilitation following surgery.
Poor rehabilitation results in poor recovery and ultimately leads to worsening of the problem and eventually tendon rupture or degeneration.
Climbing can be a very fun sport for people of all ages. Many tend to start climbing at a young age and continue it into old age as well. However, due to the nature of climbing, many tend to neglect their tendons and muscles. This becomes a bigger problem as people get older.
As humans age, tendons become more prone to damage due to lack of blood flow, tears, over usage, degeneration and many other factors.
While climbing can be very fun and is usually a positive activity, it can also lead to many serious injuries if the proper precautions are not taken. In some cases surgery may be required to fix severe tendon tears or ruptures. The best way to prevent this from happening is to exercise common sense and listen to your body. If you feel pain or an “ickiness” in a joint, stop immediately and apply R.I.C.E protocol.
Climbing antagonist training is a good way to prevent injury and also improve climbing performance. It is a good idea to push your muscles and joints to the limit but always remember to listen to your body. This is very important in preventing injuries from occurring. If you start feeling pain or “ickyness” in a joint then immediately stop the climb and try again another day.
It is better to be safe than sorry.
Common Injuries in Climbers
Tendonitis is a very common injury among climbers. It is a type of overuse injury caused by excessive strain on the tendons. This can lead to pain, swelling, inflammation and a loss of mobility in affected joints. Climbers are more prone to this injury due to over stressing the tiny muscles and tendons in their fingers, hands and arms.
This can be combated by warming up thoroughly before and cooling down after every climbing session. Stretching is also a very important part of climbing recovery.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is another overuse injury found in many climbers. This is caused by excessive vibration and pressure on the median nerve located in the wrist. The combination of improper arm positioning and wrist flexion found in many grips can put excess strain on this nerve. The only way to treat CTS is to stop or change the activity causing it.
It is a good idea to stretch before activities that involve repetitive wrist motions such as rock climbing.
Finger injuries are very common among climbers mainly because their fingers are subjected to high forces and stresses during climbing. These types of injuries range from minor cuts and scrapes to severe tears and ruptures. First and foremost it is important to keep your hands and fingers well padded. It is also important to have good tactile sense within the hand so you know exactly what you are holding on to and how much pressure you are applying.
Tips for Preventing Injuries in Climbers
Warm up thoroughly before and cool down after every climbing session.
Stretch for at least five minutes before and after climbing.
Listen to your body. If you feel pain or “ickyness” in a joint, stop immediately and apply R.I.C.E protocol.
Keep your hands and fingers well padded for protection.
Make sure you have good tactile sense within the hand so you know exactly what you are holding on to and how much pressure you are applying.
It is important to keep your hands clean and free of blisters as well as keep your nails trimmed.
Climb with experienced climbers who know how to protect their hands from injury.
Use climbing tape on any areas of your hands prone to rubbing or getting ripped or torn up.
Use climbing chalk to keep your hands dry and provide a better grip.
Wear gloves when belaying to protect your hands from getting smashed or scraped.
Climb with properly fitting climbing shoes that provide both support and flexibility.
Make sure to buy climbing shoes that are designed for the type of climbing you are doing.
Never wear old or ripped climbing shoes as this can lead to injury.
Be careful when climbing with a partner who is new to climbing and does not know proper footwork techniques.
Use proper footwork when climbing by placing your foot in the proper position on the hold. Never just rely on grabbing holds with your feet as well especially on steep climbs.
Make sure your climbing partners know how to place their feet properly.
Climb down as well as up. Some holds are not comfortable to hang from as well as step on so make sure you secure your footing as you are coming down a climb as well.
Research different climbing hold types and where they are found in nature so you can practice these types of holds and build up your technique on them.
Do not be afraid to use your legs as well as your arms when climbing.
Ensure you have good footwork as well as a solid grip with your feet as well as hands when climbing.
Do not climb when you are too tired or sore. Allow your muscles and joints to recover and stretch them out thoroughly before climbing again.
Keep a steady breathing rhythm as you climb, never hold your breath.
Stretch thoroughly before and after climbing.
Make sure to take a rest day periodically if you are engaging in a lot of climbing in a short period of time.
Don’t forget to hydrate frequently even when doing indoor climbing.
In addition to doing some routes many times, try doing them backwards or even stand on the holds and jump to grab the next hold. This will strengthen your feet and arms as well as improve your spatial awareness.
Well-fitting climbing shoes can be fairly expensive so if you are on a budget or just want to save your money for gear or better routes, you can make your own. There are many different ways that people make their own climbing shoes from hand stitching to duct tape to shoe inserts to even modifying tennis shoes with grip n strips.
Most climbing enthusiasts will tell you that the most important part of your body when it comes to climbing is your mind. The mind has a direct connection to your muscles and fueling it with positive energy will keep you going for the next pitch no matter how tired you are or how much your muscles are burning. There is also a mental game that can be just as important as the physical act of climbing. Knowing and learning different techniques such as visualization, meditation, and relaxation are all very helpful when it comes to your mental game and will keep your mind fresh and ready to tackle that next climb.
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