If you climb for long enough, eventually you will probably experience finger injuries. While having an injured finger is bad enough on its own, finger injuries are often some of the slowest healing tweaks climbers experience.
Ultimately, the reason for this is due to the fact that tendons and finger tendons specifically experience poor blood flow compared to our larger muscle groups. As a result, rehabbing finger injuries should be thought of as an active process that is in large part about encouraging blood flow.
“Blood is what heals injuries. PERIOD.”
“Blood delivers oxygen and nutrients to your cells, while also flushing out toxins and waste. This is vital to the overall health of your body. The catch with finger health is that tendons are not vascularized very well. Blood supply to all tendons (yup, including finger tendons) is quite poor compared to muscles, and since good blood flow is vital to health and healing, injuries that involve the tendons can be significantly delayed if this fact is overlooked.” -Cristina Lizarazo
To give you some ideas about how to promote blood flow and the healing of finger injuries, here’s an article by Cristina Lizarazo of Conquer the Crux in which she outlines some exercises and general life changes that will help keep your fingers healthy.
Way to Promote Healing of Finger Injuries:
- Improve posture
- Chest openers
- Finger stretching
- Mobility exercises
- Heat and ice
- Eat clean
All of these suggestions revolve around ways of increasing blood flow to the fingers. As we said above, healing finger injuries or any injury in an area with limited blood flow is an active process. Adding these exercises and habits into your routine will go a long way towards helping you overcome any finger injuries and get back to climbing.
Additionally, even if you are not currently injured, incorporating these ideas into your training/daily life will also serve as a great form of injury prevention. As we’ve said many times before, it is always better to put the time into preventing injuries before they happen rather than having to invest a great deal of time rehabbing them once the damage has been done.
Full Article: Heal Finger Injuries Faster
(photo courtesy of conquerthecrux.com)
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- Climbing Nutrition – Tendons
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- Review of Pulley Injury Literature