“I’m currently experiencing my first climbing injury, I’ve hurt my ring finger pulley (A2). Luckily it’s on my left hand and I’m right handed. It’s pretty painful to touch and hard to make a fist, but it’s not very serious. I did it by slipping off a honeycomb hold, but I think the real problem was that I didn’t warm my fingers up properly.”
I wrote that down the evening that I hurt my finger back in November, at the time it felt like the end of the world, but in reality it was just a little strain! Luckily for me, my partner (A Boy Who Climbs) is both a climber and sport therapist, so combining his anatomical knowledge and personal experience of a few finger injuries himself, he instructed me on what to do to.
Firstly when we got home I made sure to ice it. A bunch of frozen peas will do the trick but Marcus has this nifty little Torex finger sleeve that I used. For a few days I took Ibuprofen to help reduce any swelling too, I guess this is optional for a minor tweak but at the time I felt it was better to be safe than sorry. Also I didn’t climb for a few days, and when I did get back on the wall I taped my finger for a bit of support, mainly mentally. There’s something about seeing some tape on your fingers that makes you feel a tad safer. Even after a week it was still a little achy on certain holds or moves, so I either held the hold differently, skipped it, or tried something else.
Overall it took about two weeks to stop hurting completely and get back to normal, nothing too drastic.This small hiccup has taught me to warm up my digits properly. Some of the ways I like to get my hands acclimated before climbing are by making fists, gentle stretching and massaging before beginning on larger holds, and working up to the gnarly crimps.
At the end of the day it’s all just common sense, you know yourself and own body best, so listen to it.
There are some links to helpful information on pulleys and taping below: