Pulley injuries happen. It’s unfortunate, but somewhat unavoidable if you climb for long enough.

Not too long ago we shared an article from Dr. Jared Vagys website, The Climbing Doctor, by Doctor of Physical Therapy Matt DeStefano. In this first article, DeStefano went into depth on finger anatomy and the reasons behind why climbers are susceptible to pulley injuries. His goal was to give you some great background knowledge to help understand what is going on in your fingers.

Today, we have Part II in DeStefano’s series on pulley injuries. In this second installment, he goes into much greater depth about the specifics of pulley injuries and how we should be treating them. He even shares treatment information from leaders in the field like Jared Vagy and Esther Smith.

“In Part 2, I’d like to shed some light on pulley injury specifics, including the injury grading system and what tissues/structures are affected, and then I will walk you through what conservative management of a pulley injury looks like. The good news for climbers today is that climbing-specific surgeons, like Dr. Volker Schöffl, now view surgery as a last resort for single pulley injuries, and only recommend it for multiple pulley ruptures.1 I will finish with some injury prevention strategies to keep you all climbing strong and healthy. Read on to learn more!” – Matt DeStefano 

Pulley Injuries Explained Part II

What DeStefano lays out is a comprehensive review of the best climbing specific pulley injury information out there. He is careful to note that it’s still best to work closely with a physical therapist that can oversee your recovery.

However, this disclaimer aside, if you have a pulley injury and are looking for information about whether you are on the correct recovery path, this article is a great place to start.

To give you a better idea of exactly DeStefano covers, here’s a quick outline:

  • Injury specifics and the injury grading system
  • Typical injury timelines
  • Taping technique
  • Advice from Dr. Vagy
  • Advice from Esther Smith

Click through below to read the full article. It’s a long article full of really valuable information.

More From Dr. Jared Vagy

If you like what you see here from Dr. Vagy, be sure to check out his Rock Rehab Pyramid Videos. The videos, which cover shoulder impingement, rotator cuff strain, and neck strain, give you a systematic step-by-step rehabilitation and injury prevention plan. They are designed specifically for climbers so that we can all stop dealing with nagging injuries that just won’t go away.

For more general injury prevention information, also check out Dr. Vagy’s Injury Prevention Guide.  It is full of detailed information and practical advice about how to prevent climbing injuries before they happen.

Full Article: The Climbing Doctor – Pulley Injuries Explained Part II


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(photo courtesy of Matt Pincus | @mpincus87)

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