Are you a new climber? Have you experienced any Climbing Injuries?
Recently taken to the boulders and ropes? Surely that’s not all however, you wouldn’t have ended up here at this post if it was would you! You are injured! Or at least worried you might be heading that way or are but aren’t 100% sure. So there are plenty of reasons why you might be here in this position. But one I reckon to be the most likely. You just LOVE climbing soooo much right now!
Now there is definitely nothing wrong with that, but it does unfortunately come with one little issue. It means you are very likely to be climbing as much as you can possibly fit into your free time! Sounding familiar? I thought so! You know how I know? Because I did it too! As have loads of my prior and current clients and friends! Almost every climber I know in fact has been through this exact vicious cycle of finding climbing, falling head over heels (usually literally) for it and then developing climbing injuries within the following year. So for me (and maybe you too) the obvious question was “Why does this happen?”. I found myself asking this sometime after becoming an Osteopath and wanting to answer it. I also conveniently happened to love treating climbers (because you guys are great!) and their injuries, because those are super interesting!
So what did I find out?
I came to realise that there are several routes to injury. Most commonly these below:
- Being in the way of danger, awkward fall, foot slipping, full crimping, stepping into traffic while staring at your mobile etc.
- Susceptibility a multifactorial observation, can be due to conditions e.g. hot greasy holds/walls, climbing in the wet, mud on your shoes, sandy holds or spinning holds etc.
- Pre-disposition again multifactorial, can be due to lack of recovery from last session, poor recovery capability due to lack of sleep, poor diet or over-stressed, training while still injured (not something necessarily to avoid but definitely to be managed).
- Are you strong enough? Do not under-estimate how important being strong actually is! As I like to say; “you can’t go wrong with being strong”!
- Equally, if you are strong enough and if you are training super hard, are you mitigating the negative effects of training this hard in your down time? Or are you “athletically weak”? Are you taking rest sessions? Are you taking time to look at training technique as well as your strength?
- Which brings us nicely to POOR TECHNIQUE! Probably the single number 1 contributor to climbing injuries as it basically pre-disposes you to many of these other routes mentioned above.
So what can you do about these routes to injury?
Train smarter. Get the Crimp’d app or a climbing coach, test yourself/ get assessed, understand your weaknesses and train them. Don’t just train your strengths. This allows you to train smart as well as hard (and also slightly less hard) for the same gains! Bring me a video of you climbing something and I can give you feedback (aside from being an Osteopath I have also been a climbing coach and instructor in my time).Get stronger. If you have not got that much strength either from lack of previous physical activity or from a long period off. Take the time to do some supportive training.
What to do
A few press-ups, planks and sit ups on the regular will make a hell of a difference. Not only to your progress but also in preventing you from picking up an injury that will spoil your fun (and progress) along the way.Climb wiser! If you are tempted to go for that “one last try” but you already know you are powered out and it has just started spitting rain. Just don’t! That boulder/cliff isn’t going anywhere, come back for it (great excuse for another trip if nothing else!). If it is an indoor route and it’s re-set day tomorrow, don’t worry about it, they’ll set you your new favourite route at your grade to get obsessed with and the one you missed will soon be forgotten! If you see spinning holds do yourself and everyone else a favour and report them to the staff! Finally if you’re outdoors, take a little car matt or a towel with you to clean those stickies off before you step onto the wall. Don’t underestimate the down time.
Remember to rest!
Taking time off to let you body recover especially including not only rest but also getting in good nutrition and ample quality sleep is SO important to help recovery and reduce injury risk. Respect the technique! Always train your technique in every session even if you are focused on power or dynos or whatever make sure you are really critical of how you are performing whatever it is you are performing and be mindful of the mistakes you make. Then LEARN from them!
Respect these 5 golden rules and you will hopefully never need to stumble across a post like this again! If this info is all too little too late because you are already injured. Then don’t hesitate, book in now, And come let me help you learn how to fix your climbing injuries and stay fixed!
Dr Nick out! (insert metaphorical mic drop here)
Dr Nick Foulds – Osteopath .
Dr Nick works at our
Brisbane City Clinic – Tuesday and Thursday
New Farm Clinics – Monday, Wednesday and Friday.