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Topic - Finger joint injury - weakness/stiffness

Vulgar_Monkey - on 27 Jan 2013

So, I was hoping for a little advice on a recurrent injury that I can't shift.

First the background stuff. Been climbing for 18 months, probably 15 to 20 hours a week. Before christmas I was pushing my grades a bit and was around 6c wall climbing and maybe v4 bouldering (currently cracking on with a v5 roof section). A lot of these were pretty exclusively crimpy stuff, unsurprisingly.

Now, I did notice a lot of weakness and aching in the first and second joints of each middle finger. This was typically followed by stiffness and limited range of motion the day after, and also sensitivity to pranging it on things. In particular sideways torquing motions really hurt it, like carrying plates, picking up a laptop, things like that.

So I stop climbing for a couple of months. Truth be told, this was because of study commitments and xmas rather than the injury, but it was a good excuse to get some healing time in. However, I've just returned to climbing, having thought I felt better, and the same injury has reappeared almost immediately.

This actually concerns me more than the injury itself. Due to general inactivity lessening my fitness a little (and also my shoes desperately needing replacement)I havent even been climbing especially hard grades. Doesnt seem to matter though. As well as stiff and achey I actually cant get much power through the fingers now, and have to overlock everything with my thumb to compensate.

So, aside from strapping up with tape (which is of limited help at best), what do you suggest? If not advice with preventative measures, could anyone at least take a guess at what is going on? I'm assuming some sort of pulley or tendon injury rather than osteoarthritis, hopefully, but a bit more understanding of it would make me feel better. A bit, anyway.
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