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Unkown Finger Injury - HELP!
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nesta208


Feb 28, 2011, 9:50 AM
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Unkown Finger Injury - HELP!
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I have been struggling with a finger injury on my right pointer finger for about 3 months now. It rarely hurts when actually climbing but I figure thats probably where its coming from. The pain is most noticeable when I bump the finger on the middle finger side pushing it outward. It doesn't take much, just bumping it on pack or desk causes a sharp shooting pain on the inside (middle finger side) of the knuckle. I have had some swelling and some noticeable loss of ROM. Icing and massaging has seemed to help but it isn't going away. One thing that helps with the ROM is pulling the finger outward. It causes a sort of "crackling" in the knuckle and instantly allows me to close my finger much further. Everything I've read has indicated its a collateral ligament injury but buddy taping hasn't helped much and the injury isn't healing. Any thoughts, suggestions, or comments would be greatly appreciated.


seckardt


Feb 28, 2011, 10:23 AM
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Re: [nesta208] Unkown Finger Injury - HELP! [In reply to]
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I think you have some ligament injury, it have to with the soft tissue, that why you're feeling some craking, I adivse you to go to and orthopedic or some specialist in hand injuries. it can be something really bad.


viciado


Mar 3, 2011, 9:53 AM
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Re: [nesta208] Unkown Finger Injury - HELP! [In reply to]
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Nesta,

You don't really want to hear this (statistically speaking, you will not likely do it), but here goes:

you need to give your finger a rest and let it heal.

You also should let a medical professional take a look at it rather than listening to internet advice.

Good luck.


eswanson


Mar 3, 2011, 1:17 PM
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Re: [nesta208] Unkown Finger Injury - HELP! [In reply to]
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It definitely sounds like what I had, and I had a collateral ligament injury. I went to a hand specialist, and to test it they basically pull it to one side to see if it hurts (and it does). I went for weeks where I was terrified to use that hand for anything: it hurt to put it in my pocket, to towel off after a shower, etc.
I'll tell you what the specialist told me: somewhat loosely tape the tip of your pointer finger to the tip of your middle finger. This helps protect the pointer finger from being pushed outward, as the middle finger will take the hit in most if not all cases. Taping it too tightly can make it hurt worse, though. Do this for 3 weeks AT ALL TIMES (sleeping, eating, going out, studying, whatever), then no tape for a week. All the while, make sure to keep active ROM (don't force it with the other hand, just go as far as you can naturally).
Something I learned elsewhere was to use hot hand baths in addition to cold ones. Soaking my hands in water as hot as I can stand really helps loosen up the fingers. Dr. J also recommends some stretches on his website (drjuliansaunders.com) that seem to help, but only do them when your fingers are warm.
This all seemed to help, but to be honest it's been over a year and a half since the injury and I still am careful with that finger, although gradually less so.
On that note, it did not really negatively affect my climbing. What it DID do was teach me not to crimp as much and to warm up properly. Now I open-hand my way up 5.11s after traversing a route a few times, as opposed to crimping up 5.10s as my first climb. I have even done the occasional mono hold with the injured finger. The doctor said ligaments take a LONG time to heal, and that anything that does not cause pain is acceptable. Pain is the ligament getting reinjured - stop if it hurts! If not, then climb on, and be patient. Maybe take a couple weeks to focus on something else, let your fingers really rest, then come back and build back up.


nesta208


Mar 10, 2011, 12:53 PM
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Re: [eswanson] Unkown Finger Injury - HELP! [In reply to]
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Thank for the advise guys. After buddy taping the finger for a few weeks, not climbing, and lots of ice and hot water it feels almost 100%. One thing to note is that after about a week of poking, pulling, and massaging I started to loose my ROM and the finger seemed to be getting worse. It began to hurt when I would try to close my finger all the way and got to the point of not being able to close it. So I stopped messing with the finger and started warming the finger up with hot water and then working the ROM for awhile and it did wonders! Within two days of starting to do this I got my full ROM back and within five days the pain is gone. I am going to stick to climbing easy stuff for awhile (my endurance could use some work anyways) and I'll keep everyone posted.


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