Forums: Climbing Information: Injury Treatment and Prevention:
Beginner Finger Pain/Soreness
RSS FeedRSS Feeds for Injury Treatment and Prevention

Premier Sponsor:

 


Blandge


Dec 25, 2012, 10:26 PM
Post #1 of 7 (2098 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Dec 25, 2012
Posts: 3

Beginner Finger Pain/Soreness
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I just started climbing about 2 weeks ago, and have been climbing on a cycle of 2 days on, 2 days off. Since then, I've had soreness in my ring fingers and one middle finger. The pain is located on the joints ONLY, and is relatively mild such that it doesn't effect my ability to use my fingers. However, when I climb, the pain goes away (or at least I don't notice it). Because of this, I haven't slowed down my climbing much, because it doesn't effect my performance, and the pain isn't really getting worse.

I assume it's common to experience finger pain when you first start to climb, but I am wondering whether the best course of action is to take it easy, or cease climbing completely until the pain goes away. At the moment the pain is doesn't bother me, but I'd hate for it to turn into a crippling injury. I've taken as much as 3 days off, but the finger pain did not disappear. My girlfriend has gone climbing the exact same amount of times that I have (We've gone together each time), and has no finger/joint pain.

Edit: As requested, I've been climbing indoors at a local climbing gym. I've done a good mix of top roping and bouldering primarily at the 5.7-5.8 and V0-V1 levels with overhanging routes peppered in occasionally.

Thanks!


(This post was edited by Blandge on Dec 25, 2012, 11:07 PM)


crackmeup


Dec 25, 2012, 10:44 PM
Post #2 of 7 (2088 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 23, 2006
Posts: 146

Re: [Blandge] Beginner Finger Pain/Soreness [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

It's not that common to experience finger pain when you start climbing. Most people experience muscle soreness, particularly in their forearms. You're probably climbing too much and/or too hard. It will take a long time for your fingers pulleys and tendons to adjust to the rigors of climbing. At this point you should not be climbing two days in a row, your main goal should be to develop technique. I don't have enough information, but if I had to guess I'd say that you are probably overgripping holds. If you are just starting, you should be climbing mostly vertical routes with big holds and focusing on initiating movement with your feet. If you're straining your fingers at this stage you're probably doing something wrong. In that case, no amount of rest will fix it if you keep making the same mistakes when you go back to the wall.

There is no point in comparing yourself with your girlfriend, everyone is different. I'm not going to give you any medical advice (and you shouldn't take any from a stranger on the internet). If climbing less and improving your technique doesn't work, you should see a doctor.

Also, you'll probably get more useful advice if you can describe the type of climbing you're doing. Are you bouldering? Do you climb indoors or outdoors? What types of routes / problems do you climb?


Blandge


Dec 25, 2012, 11:08 PM
Post #3 of 7 (2082 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Dec 25, 2012
Posts: 3

Re: [crackmeup] Beginner Finger Pain/Soreness [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Thanks for the input.

I've been climbing indoors at a local climbing gym. I've done a good mix of top roping and bouldering primarily at the 5.7-5.8 and V0-V1 levels with overhanging routes peppered in occasionally.


shotwell


Dec 26, 2012, 7:55 AM
Post #4 of 7 (2052 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jan 5, 2009
Posts: 366

Re: [Blandge] Beginner Finger Pain/Soreness [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Blandge wrote:
I just started climbing about 2 weeks ago, and have been climbing on a cycle of 2 days on, 2 days off. Since then, I've had soreness in my ring fingers and one middle finger. The pain is located on the joints ONLY, and is relatively mild such that it doesn't effect my ability to use my fingers. However, when I climb, the pain goes away (or at least I don't notice it). Because of this, I haven't slowed down my climbing much, because it doesn't effect my performance, and the pain isn't really getting worse.

I assume it's common to experience finger pain when you first start to climb, but I am wondering whether the best course of action is to take it easy, or cease climbing completely until the pain goes away. At the moment the pain is doesn't bother me, but I'd hate for it to turn into a crippling injury. I've taken as much as 3 days off, but the finger pain did not disappear. My girlfriend has gone climbing the exact same amount of times that I have (We've gone together each time), and has no finger/joint pain.

Edit: As requested, I've been climbing indoors at a local climbing gym. I've done a good mix of top roping and bouldering primarily at the 5.7-5.8 and V0-V1 levels with overhanging routes peppered in occasionally.

Thanks!

You'll need to describe your pain better for anyone to actually tell you what is up. Is this joint pain or pain of the skin over the joints? Can you close your fingers all the way? Any specific fingers or joints that are bothering you?


Blandge


Dec 26, 2012, 11:57 AM
Post #5 of 7 (2026 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Dec 25, 2012
Posts: 3

Re: [shotwell] Beginner Finger Pain/Soreness [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I'll try to explain the pain in more depth, but I'm not familiar with the technical or medical terms, so I apologize if my descriptions are somewhat confusing. Currently, the soreness is just a minor annoyance, but I definitely don't want it to worsen.

On both of my ring fingers and my middle finger, the joint closest to the tip of the finger hurts very slightly when it is bent back or curled in, and it hurts a bit more if pressure is applied to the underside of the finger (when I place my hand flat on a table, it is the side closest to the table). The leads me to believe that it may be caused by crimping. The pain appears to be below the skin (tendon or something), but not inside the joint and/or bone.


On my right ring finger the second joint hurts ever so slightly when I bend my finger all the way, and when I squeeze the sides of the finger (but not when I squeeze the top and button of the joint). The pain appears to be centralized around the left side of my right ring finger, but again, not inside the joint or bone.

I feel like it might be important to note that if I take any of these fingers in my other hand and curl them in as far as they will go, there is zero pain. However, if I curl them in by making a fist, there is a slight pain. This leads me to believe that it may be a tendon issue, rather than ligaments or pulleys.

Let me know if I need to explain anything better.


shotwell


Dec 26, 2012, 12:35 PM
Post #6 of 7 (2018 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jan 5, 2009
Posts: 366

Re: [Blandge] Beginner Finger Pain/Soreness [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Blandge wrote:
I'll try to explain the pain in more depth, but I'm not familiar with the technical or medical terms, so I apologize if my descriptions are somewhat confusing. Currently, the soreness is just a minor annoyance, but I definitely don't want it to worsen.

On both of my ring fingers and my middle finger, the joint closest to the tip of the finger hurts very slightly when it is bent back or curled in, and it hurts a bit more if pressure is applied to the underside of the finger (when I place my hand flat on a table, it is the side closest to the table). The leads me to believe that it may be caused by crimping. The pain appears to be below the skin (tendon or something), but not inside the joint and/or bone.


On my right ring finger the second joint hurts ever so slightly when I bend my finger all the way, and when I squeeze the sides of the finger (but not when I squeeze the top and button of the joint). The pain appears to be centralized around the left side of my right ring finger, but again, not inside the joint or bone.

I feel like it might be important to note that if I take any of these fingers in my other hand and curl them in as far as they will go, there is zero pain. However, if I curl them in by making a fist, there is a slight pain. This leads me to believe that it may be a tendon issue, rather than ligaments or pulleys.

Let me know if I need to explain anything better.

Could just be some tissue soreness from hitting holds hard. Keep an eye on it and see a doctor if it gets worse. Think about avoiding crimping; it really isn't necessary at the grades you're climbing.


onceahardman


Dec 26, 2012, 3:08 PM
Post #7 of 7 (2003 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Aug 3, 2007
Posts: 2473

Re: [Blandge] Beginner Finger Pain/Soreness [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

First, shotwell is right, avoid crimping. Learn to use and trust the open grip, it is the biomechanically smarter way to hang on.

Next, you are exceeding the tensile strength of your connective tissue. The forces you are applying are too high. If you use your feet better, you can decrease the force on your fingers.

There is no formal protocol for how many days a beginner can climb in a row without consequence to one's connective tissue. Let pain be your guide. You have pain; you have overdone it. Relative rest is indicated. Stop climbing on indoor holds, but keep your fingers moving. Active motion (AROM) is better than passive (PROM). Passive is better than immobility (splinting or casting) in general. Make a fist, then spread your fingers, sets of 30 or more, many sets daily.

Indoor climbing places enormous tensile forces on tissues which are ill-equipped to handle it, especially if your connective tissue is not conditioned to it. Go climbing outdoors. It's way more fun, and easier on your connective tissue.

Notice I have not spent a lot of time on specific anatomy. It almost certainly does not matter much what structure(s) is/are involved, the treatment will be similar.

Your hands need to last the rest of your life, whether or not you continue climbing. Take care of them..


Forums : Climbing Information : Injury Treatment and Prevention

 


Search for (options)

Log In:

Username:
Password: Remember me:

Go Register
Go Lost Password?
$8.96 (10% off)
$15.26 (10% off)
$107.06 (10% off)
$49.46 (10% off)



Follow us on Twiter Become a Fan on Facebook