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More on finger injuries in climbing

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As a chronic sufferer of finger injuries, I’ve sought out the most effective ways of preventing injury while climbing. While I’ve read in numerous books about stretching the fingers and forearms, not much discussion has gone into the stretching of individual fingers. Most climbing training books advise to stretch the fingers as a group.

From my own personal, non-scientific studies over the past six months or so, I’ve found that stretching each finger individually has demonstrated noticeable gains. By gains I’m referring to faster recovery from aches and pains and lack of new injuries.

My actual routine (in addition to all other warm-up and training for climbing) involves stretching each individual finger on both hands three times a day. Every day. I take each finger, pull it back, and hold for approximately ten seconds. I then do three sets of these three times a day. Most climbers will probably not have to go to this much effort. But for those of us who have been hampered by finger injuries, this type of prevention may just be the ticket.

I’d be interested in hearing about anyone else’s struggles with finger injuries and its prevention. Please send me an email or preferably, comment below.

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6 Comments

  1. I’ve recently began climbing and one thing I do for my fingers is ice them after I climb. It prevents swelling of the joints. For me, it seems to work as a method for quick recovery from finger-joint stress.

  2. I’ve found this to work well myself. I only tend to ice after a particularly hard session at the gym versus outside. I think climbing in the gym always stresses the tendons much more than climbing outside simply due to the fact that the typical climber is getting many more climbs in over a much shorter time period.

  3. what books ahve you read i am doing a rescearch paper and am trying some good books for evedents

  4. I have gotten into a habit of always bending individual fingers back carefully. I do it while watching movies, reading news, sitting visiting, whatever. It has become subconscious behaviour for me, like people who chew their nails or twirl their hair. I have fewer sore fingers than I used to have, though this might simply be that I have been climbing longer and just have stronger fingers.

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