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Forearm pop
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BoulderDude


Sep 8, 2010, 11:49 AM
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Forearm pop
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Hi Everyone,

This is my first real injury of any kind. I injured myself this past Sunday while bouldering. Researching online, it appears I have a "flexor unit strain"-I basically tweaked my left ringer finger open hand crimping down on a 3 finger hold..felt a POP in my forearm and I released and came down on the mat. Ring finger and tendon connecting feel weak. I'm quite certain I can attribute this to overzealous fingerboard/hangboard training in conjunction with hard climbing.

I'm wondering if you have any suggestions for recovery? I'm planning on taking the next 2 weeks off and work on overall conditioning and slowly work back into it with active recovery and light bouldering. I'm currently gently squeezing a foam ball so as to not to increase blood circulation.

Any thoughts would be great appreciated!


gmggg


Sep 8, 2010, 11:56 AM
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Re: [BoulderDude] Forearm pop [In reply to]
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BoulderDude wrote:
Hi Everyone,

This is my first real injury of any kind. I injured myself this past Sunday while bouldering. Researching online, it appears I have a "flexor unit strain"-I basically tweaked my left ringer finger open hand crimping down on a 3 finger hold..felt a POP in my forearm and I released and came down on the mat. Ring finger and tendon connecting feel weak. I'm quite certain I can attribute this to overzealous fingerboard/hangboard training in conjunction with hard climbing.

I'm wondering if you have any suggestions for recovery? I'm planning on taking the next 2 weeks off and work on overall conditioning and slowly work back into it with active recovery and light bouldering. I'm currently gently squeezing a foam ball so as to not to increase blood circulation.

Any thoughts would be great appreciated!

I feel your pain. This exact injury happened to me about 12 hours ago in a two finger pocket.

If you do a search here there is some really great advice from onceahardman et. al.

General consensus seems to be that you should rest 2 weeks, evaluate your strength/pain levels and then continue resting if needed. In the meantime you should not stretch or exercise the fingers. Active range of motion (no splinting and some light opening and closing of the hand) is OK and/or suggested. I guess I'd get rid of the foam ball depending on the amount of resistance it provides.

Good luck to you, and good luck to me.


redlude97


Sep 8, 2010, 11:57 AM
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Re: [BoulderDude] Forearm pop [In reply to]
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BoulderDude wrote:
Hi Everyone,

This is my first real injury of any kind. I injured myself this past Sunday while bouldering. Researching online, it appears I have a "flexor unit strain"-I basically tweaked my left ringer finger open hand crimping down on a 3 finger hold..felt a POP in my forearm and I released and came down on the mat. Ring finger and tendon connecting feel weak. I'm quite certain I can attribute this to overzealous fingerboard/hangboard training in conjunction with hard climbing.

I'm wondering if you have any suggestions for recovery? I'm planning on taking the next 2 weeks months off and work on overall conditioning and slowly work back into it with active recovery and light bouldering. I'm currently gently squeezing a foam ball so as to not to increase blood circulation.

Any thoughts would be great appreciated!
There you go.


BoulderDude


Sep 8, 2010, 11:58 AM
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Re: [gmggg] Forearm pop [In reply to]
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Thanks for your reply, gmggg.

This is quite depressing since the outdoor season is approaching, but on the positive side, I look forward to working on overall conditioning and rest.

I'll ditch the foam ball for now and take your advice. Cheers to a speedy recovery.


gmggg


Sep 8, 2010, 12:06 PM
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Re: [BoulderDude] Forearm pop [In reply to]
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BoulderDude wrote:
Thanks for your reply, gmggg.

This is quite depressing since the outdoor season is approaching, but on the positive side, I look forward to working on overall conditioning and rest.

I'll ditch the foam ball for now and take your advice. Cheers to a speedy recovery.

Tell me about it. The weather has finally started to turn towards awesome, I have some really cool new holds to test, and some cool trips had begun to materialize. Oh well...

I guess it's time to buckle down and fine tune my front levers and other party tricks. And Redlude is right, from my limitied research I see that 8 weeks+ is a legitimate possibility.


BoulderDude


Sep 8, 2010, 12:09 PM
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Re: [BoulderDude] Forearm pop [In reply to]
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Thanks, Redlude. Damn, that's -really- depressing now! Oh well, I'd rather be healthy then stuck with a nagging injury.

Do you have any guidance as to how I can guage the appropriate time? After a month, if it feels strong, should I continue resting or maybe -very- light top roping?


redlude97


Sep 8, 2010, 1:17 PM
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BoulderDude wrote:
Thanks, Redlude. Damn, that's -really- depressing now! Oh well, I'd rather be healthy then stuck with a nagging injury.

Do you have any guidance as to how I can guage the appropriate time? After a month, if it feels strong, should I continue resting or maybe -very- light top roping?
The correct thing to do is to wait at least 1 month regardless of how it feels, then if it feels completely normal, wait another 2 weeks, then proceed from there slowly. I've got multiple finger injuries which I came back from too early and are still nagging years later.


Snow33445


Sep 8, 2010, 2:01 PM
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Re: [BoulderDude] Forearm pop [In reply to]
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I had the same "pop" in my forearm 3 weeks ago when I was pulling in a two finger pocket. Went to a hand specialist to see what exactly happened, and it turns out I partially tore the tendon way up in my forearm that's connected to my ring finger.

Doc said to not use the hand for at least 5 weeks, then try to weight it, and it should be healed in 3-6 months. Tendon injuries are the worst!


onceahardman


Sep 8, 2010, 3:10 PM
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In reply to:
If you do a search here there is some really great advice from onceahardman et. al.

Why, thank you.

If the OP looks at the old Gray's Anatomy drawing here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/...rum_profundus_muscle

He'd see that the muscle belly leading to the 4th (ring) finger is the shortest one. (It's the tendon with the writing on it, saying "flexor digitorum profundus"). That also makes it the weakest. I'm pretty sure it's the most frequently injured when crimping, or pocket climbing, at least based on what I've seen.

It should heal up just fine. Keep it moving, daily. As the pain eases, begin gentle resistance, like with putty or a soft rubber ball. Ice is fine, but if it was me, I'd avoid the ibu. I think 4-6 months is probably pretty conservative. I think 6-8 weeks should see you back in good repair, unless you really tore the crap out of it. If you felt it a little, and stopped climbing so as to minimize the damage, the recovery should be shorter.


REAL


Sep 8, 2010, 5:55 PM
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Re: [onceahardman] Forearm pop [In reply to]
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Dang, I think I may have done this too. :-( It hurts when I pick up the bag of dog food still; does that sound about right? Mine didn't quite "pop" but it surely was close to that.


BoulderDude


Sep 9, 2010, 6:22 AM
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Thank you all for your thoughts! Cheers to a speedy recovery for all!


gmggg


Sep 9, 2010, 7:10 AM
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Re: [onceahardman] Forearm pop [In reply to]
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onceahardman wrote:
In reply to:
If you do a search here there is some really great advice from onceahardman et. al.

Why, thank you.

If the OP looks at the old Gray's Anatomy drawing here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/...rum_profundus_muscle

He'd see that the muscle belly leading to the 4th (ring) finger is the shortest one. (It's the tendon with the writing on it, saying "flexor digitorum profundus"). That also makes it the weakest. I'm pretty sure it's the most frequently injured when crimping, or pocket climbing, at least based on what I've seen.

It should heal up just fine. Keep it moving, daily. As the pain eases, begin gentle resistance, like with putty or a soft rubber ball. Ice is fine, but if it was me, I'd avoid the ibu. I think 4-6 months is probably pretty conservative. I think 6-8 weeks should see you back in good repair, unless you really tore the crap out of it. If you felt it a little, and stopped climbing so as to minimize the damage, the recovery should be shorter.

You're welcome, your thank yous are well deserved.

I was wondering two things, I've read that the profundus muscle belly being smaller than the others contributes to this injury from a few sources aside from yourself. How does that weakness come into play for the actual tear? Are there fewer muscle fibers connecting to the tendons? Is the tear location usually at the connection point between tendon and muscle or does it vary greatly?


(This post was edited by gmggg on Sep 9, 2010, 7:10 AM)


onceahardman


Sep 9, 2010, 7:45 AM
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Good questions.

A weaker muscle/tendon would be expected to have a lower tensile strength than a stronger one. You would not expect a little teeny winch to have a big strong cable (or vice versa). Muscle and tendon are spoken of as though they were different things, but they are really two parts of the same thing.

The musculotendinous junction is a common location for injuries, so it is presumed to be a weak point.


gmggg


Sep 9, 2010, 12:10 PM
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onceahardman wrote:
Good questions.

A weaker muscle/tendon would be expected to have a lower tensile strength than a stronger one. You would not expect a little teeny winch to have a big strong cable (or vice versa). Muscle and tendon are spoken of as though they were different things, but they are really two parts of the same thing.

The musculotendinous junction is a common location for injuries, so it is presumed to be a weak point.

Makes sense. Thanks!

I was just having trouble reconciling the Gray's drawings with some cadaver pictures from the web and my own limited understanding of what the actual materials were composed of (collagen and muscle cells).

The phrase "musculotendinous junction" and a quick google answer all my questions as to how the cells join.


jbro_135


Sep 13, 2010, 10:22 AM
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Re: [gmggg] Forearm pop [In reply to]
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I had the same injury happen to me two days ago, but I think mine is very mild. I had some pain so I immediately stopped climbing, and now a couple of days later I can climb on it with no pain as long as I don't attempt to crimp anything. Is it ok to continue climbing if I have no pain or should I stay off the rock for a while regardless? The season is winding down here now so I don't want to two time off if I don't have to


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