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General Climbing Discussion

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Is climbing good for your body in the long term?

1:20:20 PM
On 8/05/2014 Cliff wrote:
>JMK wrote Royal Robbins gave up climbing in his early 40's due to finger
>If your point is that Robbins developed "finger arthritis" that he developed
>from climbing... Robbins gave up serious strenuous climbing due to psoriatic
>arthritis, which is unrelated to activity and has a genetic contribution
>as the only known "cause". So, unfortunately, he would likely have gotten
>it even if he never climbed. He probably experienced it over his whole
>body, not just his hands.
>And arguing "I know X climber who still climbs and has no issues"... the
>flaw with this reasoning is that you are unlikely to hear from climbers
>who have significant problems because they are unlikely to climb.
>Its akin to arguing that climbing is safe because all the climbers you
>speak with are alive.

As eloquent as ever Cliff. Finger on the pulse still mate, :)

1:31:42 PM
Cliff you are a real intellect and I bow down to your superior logic. Of course you might have missed the part where I said that I have arthritis in my fingers (it is quite bad and I require meds but I still climb, same with others I also know). Re royal Robbins I was not aware of the nature of his arthritis but he became an equal legend in the kayak community so it must have been tough what with all the other affected areas as you say. Proving my point it is about passion.

Nit pick away genius
2:26:47 PM
I think climbing-specific training will affect things as much as actual climbing. Given that guys like Pete Livesy was a pioneer of climbing-specific training in the UK in the 70s, it didn't really take off until later, so we've not really seen a large number of hard-training climbers get old yet. i.e. if they were 25 in 1982 they're still short of 60.

Just climbing, no training, obviously does not put as much intense force onto very particular body parts, so it's not such a surprise that plenty of people climb for 30 years and have no arthritis ascribed to it. In mountaineering though, there *are* plenty of older climbers who give up due to bad knees, though it's hard to say how much of this was natural and either pounding downhill under heavy packs made it worse, or made no difference.

In the 80s plenty of guys tweaked their elbows and forearms doing lots of chins off a rigid bar or Bachar ladder, and partly this was because they trained hard on these on their 'day off' from actual climbing. So slightly inappropriate training combined with lack of recovery time caused injuries, some of which may flare up in their later lives (if they're still alive).

Now people may train smarter, but they may also train harder and climb harder, creating very specific and intense forces on particular body parts (though mostly fingers and forearms/elbows). But most of those people are under 40, so we won't know for years just how much age, combined with any genetic tendency to arthritis, exacerbates such activity.

Of course arthritis, in whatever form, is not necessarily the only medical problem, and we probably all know older climbers who've been at it 40 years and get pains and tweaks and soreness and whatnot, most probably due to climbing, but not actually arthritis, or anything particularly serious.

Squashing feet into extremely tight rock shoes is a slightly different matter and there does seem to be quite a few people around with mangled feet after years of doing this. Whether that's a problem in old age is, again, yet to be seen for most.

Overall, compared to the general population, climbers are probably medically better off than most. Go sit in the waiting room of a hospital or doctor's office, or spend a week in hospital and you'll get a different appreciation of the medical health of most Australians.

Eduardo Slabofvic
4:00:16 PM
On 8/05/2014 Damo666 wrote:
>pains and tweaks and soreness and whatnot,

Ibuprofen makes me feel young again

Duang Daunk
7:22:13 PM
On 8/05/2014 Eduardo Slabofvic wrote:
>On 8/05/2014 Damo666 wrote:
>>pains and tweaks and soreness and whatnot,
>Ibuprofen makes me feel young again

Before or after the viagra?
11:00:30 AM
There is an old chinese saying, that translates into English as;

"Life is movement, movement brings life" - having been a fitness trainer prior to my current career, I saw the predicament many had got themselves into through years of no activity at all. So my translation was use it or lose it.

This was confirmed for me when I went to a 20 year school reunion and saw alot of my class mates who had done nothing since leaving high school. I look all all my climbing friends, many aged 30 - 50+ and thereare in far better condition than many 20 year younger than them who are less activie.

I have a few aches and pains from training and climbing for 25 years now but otherwise make a mockery of the fitness of many my age. Besides I would go nuts without the outdoors and an active lifestyle.

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There are 26 messages in this topic.


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