Like it or not, climbing puts a lot of stress on our fingers. Do it for long enough and chances are you will experience some kind of finger injury. While finger injuries can range from severe tendon ruptures to minor tweaks, by far the most common are pulley injuries.
To help explain exactly what pulley injuries are and why they happen, here’s an article by physical therapy student Matt DeStefano from The Climbing Doctor Blog. In his article, DeStefano goes into depth on finger anatomy and why climbers are susceptible to pulley injuries giving you some great background knowledge to help understand what is going on in your fingers.
“Is this to say that you should never crimp, or pull dynamically off of a crimp? No. We all do it. It’s just bringing attention to the forces on your tissues so that you may climb and train with more awareness and hopefully prevent injuries.” – Matt DeStefano
A2 Pulley Injuries:
While DeStafano does talk about all our flexor tendon pulleys, he focuses more specifically on the A2 pulley as this is the most commonly injured. He explains exactly why these pulleys are more prone to injury and the things we do as climbers that puts more strain and load onto the A2.
This article is part 1 of a series on the topic and so it doesn’t focus on injury prevention and rehab. However, click through below to read the full article and then keep an eye out for part 2. After all, if we are going to deal with finger injuries we may as well know what we are talking about.
More from Dr. Jared Vagy:
If you like what you see here from Dr. Vagy, be sure to check out the Injury Prevention Guide he wrote for us. It is full of detailed information and practical advice about how to prevent all kinds of climbing injuries.
Full Article: Pulley Injuries Explained – The Climbing Doctor
(photo courtesy of Matt Pincus | @mpincus87)
Other Articles You Might Like:
- Dr. Jared Vagy: Using a Luggage Scale to Quantify Strength
- TBP 014 :: Physical Therapist Jared Vagy on Injury Prevention and Treatment
- Review of Pulley Injury Literature
- Climber Problems: The A2 Pulley Strain