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Finger inflamation help
4:38:03 PM
Hi all,

After some advice/diagnosis. Feel free to tell me i'm being a whinny b*tch and that it's all part of climbing, but i'm interested in opinions either way.

I've been climbing probably for coming up to two years now. Up until 3 or 4 months ago I've never had any real injuries or something that a week or two off didn't fix. With only a very minor increase to the amount i'm climbing (say from twice a week to three times a week) over the last 3-4 months I've been getting pretty consistent swelling in the ring fingers on both my hands.

I thought at first it must of been injury, having heard much about pulley injuries etc. But it doesn't really make sense that i'm getting the same problem in both fingers if it was an injury. I had a few weeks of over Christmas and both fingers subsided, only for the swelling to return again upon starting climbing.

This hasn't as of yet really effected my climbing at all in terms of strength and it doesn't really hurt to push/move until I've stopped climbing. It tends to get a bit sore the next day and a few times has swollen up to 'ET wobbly alien finger' levels.

I've taken to strapping it recently, which has helped a little i think. And to using ibuprofen when they swell up. But I'm kind of hoping for something a little more permanent, and that for something that doesn't involve too much rest!



Eduardo Slabofvic
4:52:54 PM
Try putting different fingers in your ring for a while and see if that changes anything
4:58:53 PM
Well you're definitely injuring yourself but it's obviously not too bad yet or you wouldn't recover. You really need to sort it out before it becomes chronic.
It sounds like an overuse injury. The solution may be as simple as varying the style of climbing you do. My guess is that you're doing lots of crimping and fingery bouldering. If so, cutting back on that style, particularly when you're training, could be enough.
You probably should talk to a sports physio or osteo to get a professional opinion on what is happening.

9:28:43 PM
Have u had a pregnancy test?

Does it only happen on hot days?

E. Wells
9:41:03 PM
Bury a goats horn in your garden and follow Edwardo's advice also.

10:25:34 PM
On 11/03/2013 llewg wrote:
> With only a very minor increase to the amount i'm
>climbing (say from twice a week to three times a week) over the last 3-4
>months I've been getting pretty consistent swelling in the ring fingers
>on both my hands.

On a more serious note, going from two outings/sessions per week to three is not a "very minor increase". It's actually an increase of 50%. Something to think about.
Warming up your hands before you start climbing: some flexion and contraction not under load and a bit of friction and massage might help.

11:30:08 PM
Stop crimping, open hand only. Swelling of the knuckles without an acute pain is usually start of osteo arthritis. I have it. Some people are more pre- disposed. See an expert for warm up techniques now before it gets too advanced. Usually this is after years and the body lays down bone to stabilize the joint. You are likely at the synovial fluid leak point. Start taking glucosamine every day for the rest of your life. Ps you don't have to be old to get this - mid 20 's would do.
8:54:22 AM
jeez. That all seems terribly morbid. I think I liked the first few answers better.

Guess i'll take myself off to a physio then.
lost tazmaniac
9:15:35 AM
Realise that taping will only assist in the reminding you that your fingers are injured. They do 'restrict' the finger from swelling up and allowing the tendons to 'sit' in the right place.. so if you leaving the tape on (all day) and taking anti-inflams there may some benefit .. (see your local specialist). I've tried many the creams, the prescription quartizone one, so far is the best. Best advice reduce gym work and go outdoors more.. (is nt that why we go to the Gym in the first place?.. to stay fit for outdoors) reduce your crimping and repeating the same 'hard moves' which inevitably will result in more damage..
9:55:08 AM
Yeah i'd realised the limitations of tape. I think more than anything it just physical stopped me closed crimping. Arthritis at 25 sounds lame.

Try to get outdoors as much as I can - but there's just no way i'm getting there during the week.

Booked myself into a hand physio for tomorrow so I guess we'll see.

E. Wells
8:33:24 PM
I had arthritis in my knuckles at that age and I hadnt started climbing!
10:54:09 AM
If anyone cares: physio doesn't think arthritis, more likely to be strained tendons that I haven't let heal properly - which apparently takes 6-8 weeks?

Xrays tomorrow to check for anything else.

She reckons I could keep climbing on it, if I really wanted, but to strap the ring finger to the pinky so that it's really quite difficult to use - and thus reducing the amount i'm levering on it.
2:25:41 PM
My ring fingers have always been far weaker than the others and I have had problems with both, namely a2 pulley tendon problems which it sounds like you might have. Dave MacLeod has a great blog about climbing through such injuries, when you can and when you cant etc, check it out Http:// . If its swollen don't climb is the basic answer, if you return and the swelling comes back you have returned too soon, stop again. 4 weeks usually does it but there is no strict rule. Anti inflamatories don't help, swelling increases blood supply to the injured area and assists healing, leave it be. Tendons always feel better under load so the fact that it feels fine when climbing and only gets sore afterwards is un surprising: it doesn't mean it's ok to climb on. When you do return climb low angle stuff well below your limit in complete control and you will limit your risk of re injuring yourself, typically injury comes from sudden loads like slipping a foot or dynoing to crimps etc. Taping takes about 10% of the load off your tendons when pulling staticky but won't save you if you shock load them. Take a break then take it easy is my usual approach when my ring fingers crap out.

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