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Pully injury rehab
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granite_grrl


Mar 4, 2013, 6:43 AM
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Pully injury rehab
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So last summer I hurt my A4 pulley. No pop, but it it hurt....and after taking a few weeks off I just kept climbing on it (hey, it was only July!), but it meant I couldn't project anything or really get on anything particularly hard for me.

Anyway, winter comes and I have taken almost 3 months off of rock climbing (though I have been ice climbing). My finger still hurts, not as much as before (but more than I like). I have started light climbing on a home wall keeping things fairly juggy. I have also started super light finger boarding (using the biggest holds, keeping things open handed, taking off weight).

The finger has started feeling a better since getting back on the rockplastic, but hopefully that's not just my imagination. Just wondering how other people come back from a finger injury, how slow they take it, etc.


Partner cracklover


Mar 4, 2013, 11:05 AM
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Re: [granite_grrl] Pully injury rehab [In reply to]
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granite_grrl wrote:
So last summer I hurt my A4 pulley. No pop, but it it hurt....and after taking a few weeks off I just kept climbing on it (hey, it was only July!), but it meant I couldn't project anything or really get on anything particularly hard for me.

Anyway, winter comes and I have taken almost 3 months off of rock climbing (though I have been ice climbing). My finger still hurts, not as much as before (but more than I like). I have started light climbing on a home wall keeping things fairly juggy. I have also started super light finger boarding (using the biggest holds, keeping things open handed, taking off weight).

The finger has started feeling a better since getting back on the rockplastic, but hopefully that's not just my imagination. Just wondering how other people come back from a finger injury, how slow they take it, etc.

My first pulley injury sounds a lot like yours (it was a partial tear). I'm not sure if my method of rehabbing and getting back into it was the best, since I didn't know shit at the time. My second pulley injury (a full rupture of one pulley, and partial tear of the next pulley down) was more severe, but to be honest, I think the way to handle either of them is the same.

OAHM is the expert in these matters, and his advice worked for me:

In reply to:
Pain at rest is a reliable indicator of acute inflammation. Pain which comes on with very minor forces can still be an indicator of acute inflammation, but is less reliable

In reply to:
when you have no pain at rest, you can start ROM. Try AROM. If AROM is painful, back off. Try PROM. If that is still painful, Continue resting.

When you have full, pain free AROM, start gentle tensile loading. Be careful you do not do this too aggressively. You do not want to make it worse, and return to an earlier inflammatory stage, characterized by pain at rest, or pain with AROM. It's OK if it hurts a bit with the loading, as long as the pain does not remain worse as a result of that loading.

Continue to prgress the intensity of the loading exercises, as long as you can do so without making it worse. remembering you need rest between sessions.

The only thing I would add to that is that as I was putting more an more load on my fingers, I did two things:

1 - Absolutely do not crimp. Go open hand, and if that doesn't work, fall off. Crimping is incredibly hard on the pulleys, and especially as your pulley(s) are still healing, you do *not* want to put any more stress on them than necessary.

2 - H-Tape to support your recovering pulley. Even with open-hand, you'll still put some force on that pulley. H-Taping is the best method I've found to keep the pulley happy as you slowly start climbing again.

Dunno if that helps. Happy to answer any other questions that come up.

Good luck!

GO


mr.tastycakes


Mar 6, 2013, 4:31 PM
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Re: [granite_grrl] Pully injury rehab [In reply to]
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I've never truly injured an A4 pulley, but have more experience than I'd like with A2's....

I keep a climbing log, and I know that it usually takes me about 3-4 months to get back to full strength...which I'd define as doing a boulder problem at my previous max that involves hard crimping with the previously injured hand.

One big issue with the recovery is that, eventually, you need to build up your crimp strength again, and it's impossible to precisely control the loads in real climbing situations.

Last time I hurt a pulley I cut off a 5 inch length of 2x4, drilled a hole through it, threaded it with a bit of cord, and hung small weights off of it. I would pinch/crimp the piece of wood, and increase the weight over time, 2-5 pounds a week or so. Simple progressive training. If you're pinching across the wide side of the block, it's easier on the pulleys, and vice versa for the narrow side.

By the time I was hanging 25-30 pounds off the block with the narrow pinch grip, I moved on to doing crimp hangs on the hangboard with my feet on (a pulley to take away weight would be more precise and, therefore, better). I would let my COG sag further and further away from the wall with each passing week until I could hang bodyweight again. By this point I was integrating full-on crimping back into my climbing.

Good luck. If you decide to try the weighted 2x4 blocks, I'd love to get some feedback regarding your experience with it. I haven't heard of anybody else doing it, but I thought it was a nice rehab tool and would like some confirmation that I'm not crazy.


johnwesely


Mar 6, 2013, 5:59 PM
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Re: [granite_grrl] Pully injury rehab [In reply to]
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It won't feel better until you start climbing on it. Start slow; be progressive. In my experience, pulleys don't heal much, if at all, during time off.


(This post was edited by johnwesely on Mar 6, 2013, 5:59 PM)


granite_grrl


Mar 13, 2013, 9:46 AM
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Re: [johnwesely] Pully injury rehab [In reply to]
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Sounds like I'm on the right track with light climbing, etc.

Update - was in TN this past weekend for my first days back on real rock this year. Only time I felt any pain was getting on small cruxy holds. I didn't get on routes at my limit but they were still fairly hard for me routes so I'm feeling pretty awesome about my recovery and this upcoming season.


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