Rock climbing is an intense, full-body workout. Climbers use their entire body to move from hold to hold while scaling a pitch. The sport requires power, strength, flexibility and proper technique. Because of this, rock climbers are actually more likely to injure themselves than other athletes. Hand and wrist injuries from overuse are the most common, but climbers frequently suffer from knee and shoulder overuse because of the high torque movements common in both lead climbing and bouldering. On top of that, traumatic falls are always a concern. One miscalculated move could result in a devastatingly dangerous drop.
Even a seemingly small injury centralized to just one part of the body can begin to worsen over time if left alone. Eventually, this injury could even sideline a climber and affect their overall health. Physical therapy in Napa County, CA can help climbers to increase their endurance level, reduce pain and prevent future injuries.
Common climbing injuries
Physical therapists tend to see the following injuries in climbers:
- Shoulder impingement: This is the most common injury, but it’s also the most preventable. Ignoring the pain will affect your ability to lift the arms over the head, which could prevent you from being able to climb. Rest is the best way to heal an injured rotator cuff or bicipital tendon. A physical therapist may recommend incorporating weights into your strength training workout to improve stability in the shoulders and strengthen the rotator cuff.
- Shoulder labral damage: Shoulder labral damage occurs from overuse of the bicep tendon or when the shoulder is forced into an awkward reaching back motion—both common occurrences in climbing. The injury can become a serious issue if it continues untreated for too long.
- Knee pain: Novice climbers are frequently sidelined by lateral and posterior knee pain. Usually, this is seen with frequent falls, inflexibility or poor technique. The excessive force on the knees can cause a dislocated patella, especially when bouldering.
How physical therapy can help
Physical therapy shouldn’t be limited to just when an athlete is injured. Instead, regular physical therapy appointments should be incorporated into your regular training routine. A physical therapist can identify any existing weakness, improve range of motion and mobility, alleviate existing pain and recommend techniques to prevent future injuries. They may suggest incorporating a warm-up routine before clipping in to increase the body’s core temperature, which will help prepare the physiological systems.
Additional targeted exercises can also help prevent any new injuries and alleviate the pain of existing ones. For example, a physical therapist may recommend isolation exercises to address a weak rotator cuff or an especially tight shoulder. The plan could also include range of motion exercises to improve mobility.
Improve your climb with physical therapy in Napa County, CA
Are you struggling with climbing related pain or injuries? Then call Focus Forward Wellness & Physical Therapy today. Our team of expert physical therapist has years of experience in helping enthusiasts of both sport and traditional climbing improve their mobility and prevent future injuries. Call us today to learn more!
Categorised in: Physical Therapy
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