/ Finger Injury advice

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Scarab9 - on 16 Sep 2016

Happy Friday folks,

finally starting to get into regular climbing again after a couple of years of barely anything. Aaaaand a finger injury I picked up from a non climbing activity back in July is giving me problems.

I did it on holiday, can't remember how, might have been the mosh pit, might have been picking up the kids. I didn't notice at the time but woke up next day with some pain.

Injury is to my middle and ring fingers, below the biggest knuckle (wait...what's above and below for fingers?! the finger tip side of the big knuckle). Most of the time I don't feel anything but then quite randomly some movement will cause some mild pain. To describe I'd say it felt like pain in the bone but I expect it's tendons really, it's certainly where they attach so would make sense.

So it's 2 months on and keeps giving me pain. I ride a motorbike and commute every day so holding the throttle sometimes antagonizes it. I also recently climbed a couple of times and found It occasionally giving pain, increasingly so towards the end fo the session. I taped the two fingers together either side of the knuckle more so I wouldn't accidentally pull too hard on one or twist them into a weird shape which helped.

I'm not climbing hard, it's just for enjoyment and general fitness at the moment and predominantly it's going to be indoors for a while (which I think is worse as it's generally more fingery than low grate outdoor...).
I'd like to continue with my return to climbing but am worried I might do more damage.

I'm planning on doing the old cold then hot treatment after any wall visits but was wondering, as I'm tweaking them randomly during the day normally, would it be wise to tape up or strap them generally for a few weeks to try and give them a rest?
Anything else I folks would suggest?

(just realised it'll be bloody awkward to get a motorbike glove on if they're strapped but I can always take it off for that)

edit- we can add 'picking up a full kettle' to the list of random things that hurt. sidewaysey twist fromt he weight got me.
Post edited at 16:24
SenzuBean - on 16 Sep 2016
In reply to Scarab9:

Daily exercises/physio is your best bet. Tendons don't have a direct blood supply, and receive it through diffusion - general exercise of the surrounding muscle tissue regularly (5 times a day or more) will help this happen quicker.
Secondly the healing of the tendons, if just left to rest - will not be very strong, as the tissue won't have been exposed to stress during growth. And when it does get that stress, it will not be able to stretch, because it'll probably be closer to being amorphous, rather than laminar (or thereabouts), and tendon tissue may have grown over weaker strands that weren't picked off with light exercise.
Yet another thing that goes against conventional wisdom is that the longer you've left an injury, the less your body knows it's there. That's hypothesized to be how chronic injuries occur - the inflammation response triggers healing, but if the inflammation response goes away over time, then no further healing occurs. So you want to be trying to trigger the inflammation response, to trigger healing.

I don't know which exercises exactly you'd want to do, but antagonist exercises (e.g. powerfingers type stuff), and light climbing (to the point of pain, but not past) as often as possible - would be the type of thing necessary.

source: garbled recollection from Make or Break, various internet readings, personal experience
Scarab9 - on 16 Sep 2016
In reply to SenzuBean:

thanks for that, very informative and different from I expect I'd have got from anywhere else or from the GP (as friends advised I go to), knew I was right to post

Also puts my mind at ease somewhat too, I was worried a bit I might get told "DON'T CLIMB WHATEVER YOU DO!"
alx - on 16 Sep 2016
In reply to Scarab9:
Sounds like finger cruciate ligament strain. Twisting or side loading seems to set the thing off.

Not much you can do, oddly enough I found sloper holds aggregated this but crimping doesn't not. Could be due to the loading stresses. Might be worth exploring when your at the wall next.

Keep climbing, keep your fingers being used, rest and avoid spicy or fatty foods.
jsmcfarland - on 16 Sep 2016
In reply to alx:

Why spicy foods? Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory
alx - on 16 Sep 2016
In reply to jsmcfarland:

I too often no longer can tell when I am taking the piss or not

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