/ Preventing Pulley Injuries

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mmmhumous on 12 Jan 2013
I seem to be prone to A2 pulley injuries on my ring and middle fingers. After my first one (shock loaded by falling on to a full crimp) I now tape up, and am trying to avoid crimping in favour of climbing open handed s much as possible. I recently tweaked one due to not warming up enough (did a few diffs-severes, then jumped on a crimpy boulder problem).

Any tips on how to warm up (quickly) to prevent pulley injuries? Does the massage technique used to rehabilitate them work? (i.e. rubbing in the direction of the tendon).
3 Names - on 12 Jan 2013
In reply to mmmhumous:

Surely someone who has red pointed 9b should know how to deal with this stuff?
gingerwolf - on 13 Jan 2013
In reply to mmmhumous:
see here: http://thomasbondphysio.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/hand-and-finger-exercises.html

and here: http://thomasbondphysio.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/pulley-injuries.html

Warm ups should not be rushed, otherwise you're not warming up properly

And taping to prevent A2 pulley tears has been shown not to work as the loading is too high on the tendons

Deep tissue frictions (what your referring to) do work in rehab, but only after the acute inflammation has subsided and you have full range of movement back - and normally I'd only recommend it for chronic condition
nniff - on 13 Jan 2013
In reply to gingerwolf:
> (In reply to mmmhumous)
>


IMHO and after living with dodgy tendon pulleys since 1982, preventative taping works. I know the purists say otherwise, but lucky them. They should try living with my fingers and see how that feels. It won't prevent a tear, but it does raise the threshold of injury for me - and that is invaluable and a day to day basis (well, week to week actually).

I tape both ring fingers habitually and any other that feels vulnerable. I warm up carefully (indoor) and also use an Eggserciser before that. Warming up needs one more route than seems enough.

Only use real non-stretch, high adhesive tape (Strappal is the only one worth the money as far as I am concerned).

Don't pull hard on things that feel like they're going to twang a tendon - it's only a route and there are thousands of them. You've only got one set of fingers. I haven't really wrecked a tendon for years now.....
gingerwolf - on 13 Jan 2013
In reply to nniff: I'm not a purist, I was merely saying the research evidence says it doesn't work anatomically

But there is no reason to say the placebo affect doesn't work, or that taping can increase the proprioceptive input from that finger, making you more aware of it, therefore putting it into less stressful positions

just sharing my view on what I've read
nniff - on 13 Jan 2013
In reply to gingerwolf:

It's difficult to apply the term 'placebo' to something that is clearly physically present and I'd suggest that that term is not useful in this context.

However, the addition an external cue to proprioception is probably directly relevant in that excessive strain may well be detectable more readily than would otherwise be the case. I have no issue with that - in fact it's probably why I dismiss tape with any stretch at all as being worthless and the same for tape with poor adhesive that will allow some movement.

With regard to the anatomic component - I think that's open to debate, but anyone who wishes to debate it can leave my fingers out of any empirical investigation that they may wish to pursue! My fingers certainly feel stronger and less vulnerable with tape support. If you accept the proprioception element, then removal of the cue should make the finger feel stronger. If the opposite is the case, then it suggests that the physical contribution is significant (as in 'relevant' rather than 'substantial').

The upshot of it is, after 30 years of personal experimentation, I have an answer that works for me. I do know that if I ignore the lessons learned over the years, the outcome is depressingly predictable. I also know that my arms have more than enough strength to tweak a pulley and that some form of intervention is advisable in my case.

Murd on 13 Jan 2013
In reply to mmmhumous: I would imagine it'snot to hard to tweak something when working V15
mmmhumous on 13 Jan 2013
In reply to gingerwolf and nniff: Thanks both, sounds like I could probaly do with a stress ball or grip master, for when I don't have time to warm up slowly.

3 Names - on 14 Jan 2013
In reply to nniff:

Hang on you've had this problem for 30years, yet you claim your method of dealing with it works?
nniff - on 14 Jan 2013
In reply to Vince McNally:
> (In reply to nniff)
>
> Hang on you've had this problem for 30years, yet you claim your method of dealing with it works?

I first damaged a tendon in 1982 and had recurrent problems for years. I started taping in about 1997, at which point things improved substantially, but a clear correlation emerged between not-taping and injury. After a while, I put two and two together and recognised that preventative taping helped me. I haven't had a significant injury to either of the two main problem fingers (the ones that I tape) since about 2000. Ergo, I've had this problem for 30 years and I am confident that my method works for me.

Other interventions have been woefully ineffective, including contributions from hand/wrist orthopaedic surgeons and prolonged treatment by specialist hand physios.

You may of course dismiss my approach as bunkum, but on the basis that I've tried pretty much everything bar acupuncture, you're going to have to come up with a storming argument that is directly relevant to me to get me to abandon my regime in favour of something else.

It may well be that there are alternatives that suit others better and they are of course welcome to adopt them.
3 Names - on 14 Jan 2013
In reply to nniff:

No I think your right it probably is Bunkum

But hey some people just love finger tape
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nniff - on 14 Jan 2013
In reply to Vince McNally:
> (In reply to nniff)
>
> No I think your right it probably is Bunkum
>
> But hey some people just love finger tape

That's fine, albeit not too well-reasoned.

Am I to understand that you have an alternative approach that I haven't tried (and isn't accupuncture)? Do tell, but it needs to be better than something that's worked for me the past 15 or so years.




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