Fingers in climbing how to get out of it?
The hands, especially the fingers, are often injured while climbing. In fact, some practices damage your fingers. Why do these injuries appear and how to avoid them? What are the most common lesions? Are our fingers made for climbing?
Taking care of your fingers on a daily basis: a rule of thumb
What advice should you follow to keep your fingers healthy when climbing regularly?
Protection of the skin, in particular at the level of friction areas (the core of the last phalanges, on the side of the knuckles of the fingers, etc.). So we recommend moisturizing these skin areas with specific creams. We sometimes hear that the skin needs to be "strengthened" to become more resistant. This is true, but if the skin becomes more "horny" it will also eventually be more brittle and less resistant to friction. Small cracks can appear afterward, and the skin appears "raw" facilitating inflammation and an unpleasant burning sensation. So the skin must be properly resistant and hydrated.
Protection of joints and tendons. Through the practice of climbing, the joints and tendons tend to thicken and lose their flexibility. For this, massage your fingers at least 3 times a week for 10 minutes. It will facilitate recovery after the micro-traumas you experienced during your climbing sessions! Also tighten the flexor muscles of the fingers.
Roller protection. Pulleys are types of fibrous tunnels that the tendons of the muscles of the fingers pass through. They are widely used in climbing. The string, under high pressure, pulls these famous pulleys. Once again, we recommend massaging your fingers, insisting on the front of the 1st and 2nd phalanges! Feel free to press "a little" firmly. The massage should not be too superficial. The ring finger (fourth finger) is more fragile, massage it longer!
In all, a regular massage of the fingers with a certain moisturizing cream allows you to preserve the skin, joints, tendons and rollers! 10 minutes of regular massage (at least 3 times a week) will save you several months of complete hiatus from climbing!
After each session, immerse your hands alternately in hot and cold water (2/2 minutes) to help evacuate cellular waste.
The three most common climbing injuries are tendinopathy, partial pulley rupture, and total pulley rupture.
Finger flexor tendinopathy is pain in the tendons at the front of each finger. They are the ones who make it possible to tighten their grip. If they get too stressed when they climb, they tend to grow and rub their sheath excessively. Sometimes the structure of the tendon itself is damaged. This will result in localized inflammation that may persist if you continue to climb.
A partial pulley fracture is also a very common injury among climbers. Under the pressure of the tendon, certain fibers of the pulley are torn. So there is a partial tearing of the structural elements. Total rest 4-6 weeks with gentle gradual healing and specific ligation of the injured finger enough to heal! Learn to listen to your pain and take it into account. Many climbers ignore these small injuries and pick them up very quickly and with great difficulty. Small wounds become large wounds.
Total pulley failure. In this case, the climber feels a clear and frank click of his finger. The fibrous tunnel (the pulley) breaks completely and so the tendon is no longer pressed against the bone at all. This becomes prominent and visible under the skin when a person bends their finger. Only surgery can repair the damage! But it will then be necessary to count at least 3 months of total cessation.
To avoid these injuries, warm up adequately and avoid overly regular use of arched handles! It is necessary to change the type of sockets as often as possible. Vary and differ! elongated semi-arched handles, pliers, etc. Also avoid overusing the handles with one or two fingers which are very painful, especially for the ring finger.
Should you tie your fingers for prevention?
The question is moot.
If you are prone to repetitive injuries to one or more fingers in particular, it may be beneficial to tie them up systematically to protect these structures.
On the other hand, if you are not infected, the answer will be less clear. This also leads us to another question: Are our fingers designed to climb for several hours in a row? Even if this is true, we are descended from monkeys, our fingers haven't acted like this for a long time! The anatomical structures of the fingers are actually very thin and therefore may not be strong enough to withstand such pressures.
Protective tape on the most affected fingers (ring finger, middle finger, and index finger) can be interesting if you train at a high intensity.
One thing is for sure, listen to and respect your body by setting rest times between sessions. Stay progressive, don't climb too much at once!