Climbing Injuries

Whilst traumatic injuries such as falls and equipment malfunctions do occur, the majority of climbing injuries are due to the repetitive elements that climbing involves.

Common Injuries From Climbing

As Sheffield is home to some of the worlds most impressive indoor facilities and sits right next door to the beautiful peak district, we see a lot of climbing injuries here at Sheffield Physiotherapy.

Whilst traumatic injuries such as falls and equipment malfunctions do occur, the majority of climbing injuries are due to the repetitive elements that climbing involves.

During a climb the body works in harmony to hold and move the climber. While the lower body is designed to support weight, the upper body is not. When climbing, the upper body is pushed to it’s limits and must hold almost all of the body’s weight. Climbing injuries therefore often occur in the upper limb.

Sheffield Physiotherapy can diagnose your injury and provide specialist treatment. We can also give you directions on exercises to do at home and information on improving your training regime and preventing further injuries.

Tissue Stress

Muscles and joints have evolved to work with synchronicity and precision. To place the hand on a ledge the spine, scapula, shoulder, elbow, wrist and hand must all work together. This is called a kinetic chain.

When movement is restricted in any area, changes in the kinetic chain begin to happen. This means that the actions in the muscles start an altered chain, involving muscles that are not suitable for the job. As this altered kinetic chain happens again and again, stress in the tissues gets worse. The muscles become over used, over worked and painful. This will not only affect your climbing performance but will cause injury.

Changes in the kinetic structure can be caused by being unable to move a muscle because it is already fully lengthened. Climbers with large muscles will find that large muscles carry more stiffness and tension, which also restricts movement.

How Can Physiotherapy Help Climbing Injuries?

At Sheffield Physiotherapy, we perform a detailed assessment of your body and your kinetic chain. This will allow us to understand why you’re getting pain.

Once we’ve discovered the underlying cause of your pain, we can advise you on how to prevent further injury and begin treatment. Treatment may involve soft tissue therapy, Theraflex, Electrotherapy or acupuncture. After treatment you will not only be able to go back to climbing pain-free, you can return with an improved technique.

How Can I Prevent Climbing Injuries?

  • Its’s important that climbing movements are kept diverse and varies. Those who practice the same routine again and again are more prone to injury.
  • Make sure you do correct stretching and warm up exercises.
  • Gradually introduce changes to your routine rather than diving in head first and over-pushing yourself.

How Can I Help Myself?

  • Take Non Steroidal Anti Inflammatory medication (NSAID).
  • Elevate the area.
  • Rest.
  • Put an ice pack on the area.
  • Give the area a gentle massage
  • Try and gently stretch the joint.
  • Compress the area with a bandage.

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