Although the palm is extremely complex, with many intrinsic muscles and tendons, climbing injuries affecting this area are relatively few. This article focuses on a few common injuries and best practice for treatment.
Cramps can strike anywhere, anytime but is there a way to avoid or minimise them without falling for a snake oil cure?
This is an updated version of probably the most widely read article in climbing media history! Why? Because if you’re excited about climbing, chances are you will at some point try a little too hard for a little too long and your elbows wont like it one little bit.
It’s all about appendages in this issue; pulley rupture, torn flexor tendons in the forearm from pocket pulling, and damaged toe tendons from a bad landing while bouldering.
In this article hear firsthand from Dr Julian as he talks through the ins and outs of climbing related elbow injury and rehabilitation.
Diagnosing a wrist fracture is not as easy as ordering an x-ray – some of them simply don’t show up! And just how do you return to form after having your breast-bone cut in half to fix a leaky heart valve? Good question!!
Heard a pop in your ankle while high-stepping? That would probably be the peroneal retinaculum snapping! Is bouldering bad for low back pain? That depends on how high you go!
Do PRP injections work for, well, anything at all? Unlikely. Rather, have a read of Issue 223 and do the work required to get your elbow tendons in order. What if your elbows are just plainly breaking down? Surgery? Retirement? Dr J answers the big questions.
Why do bunions form and what can a climber do? Cut holes in your shoes! And will climbing in freezing conditions make you more fit?
Shoulder dislocation for a climber is akin to a porn star with a fractured penis – BAD! Assemble your rehab team with care and consideration. How about finger numbness from whacking a nerve? It’s certainly possible.
Another broken talus! So if it all goes south, is an ankle replacement a good option? And what to do if your toe is throbbing as if to the beat of a Zulu drum.
Can you climb with a pulley injury that goes ‘pop’? That depends on your definition of climbing? How about a meniscus tear in the knee? No thanks, I’d rather not.
Will breaking the neck of the talus bone in your ankle lead to it dying (avascular necrosis)? Probably not, but maybe yes. Pregnant?? Best have a read before you take that trip to Bishop.
Neck pain or lumbar pain from a disc bulge, not to mention all the pain referral, can take the gloss of life. Will Vitamin C help, Red Bull’s? Surgery?
De Quervain’s tenosynovitis in a climber from brushing too much, a neck disc bulge versus inversion boots, and a toe fungus versus everything you can throw at it this side of an axe.
Icing as a therapeutic intervention is no longer in the building. That said, it will take a good 20 years for everyone to realize. Dr J also talks about a rice bucket protocol that’s meant to cure all your forearm ailments.
You know what? If you climb long enough you will get osteoarthritis in your fingers. Period. And Will Alpha Brain help your climbing? If it does nothing else, it will make you climber harder.
In this issue we look at how a ruptured bicep insertion can result in elbow pain, and how electro gimmickry for blood perfusion will only bleed you of money.
Tennis elbow. Bugger! Read here, but for more info read Dodgie Elbows Revisited, Ask Dr J (201) and check out the Frying Pan protocol in the videos section. Golly gosh, and then there is the Voddoo floss band for elbow tendonosis, and compression garments to make the legs of an old man jealous.
Ever heard a loud crack come from your knee while heel hooking? Read on! We also take a look at why one shoulder blade might be winging more than a run-a-way frisby, and how dislocating your collar bone from the sternum can be a right piss off. Unless, of course, your rescuer is smokin’ hot!
Nerve tension, stressed out fingers, and shoulder blade pain.
Can you climb on an osteochondral fracture before the doctor says? NO! How about blunt trauma to the inside of your knee? Possibly, possibly not. Dodgie Elbow? For sure, if you’re doing the right exercises (check out Dodgy Elbows [issue 156], and the more recent update, Dodgy Elbows Revisited [issue 223]).
Sore finger joints, sore shoulder joints and a sore knee joint. – These are the days of our lives!
How about using a frying pan to fix your tennis elbow? Dr J gives you the “how to”. Also, some simple stretches to help with carpal tunnel syndrome and a strained brachioradialis.
Is a swollen tackle box a hydrocele (swollen scrotum), varicocele (dodgy veins), spermatocele (a school of wayward swimmers) and or a tumors (badness)? Is a hose clamp better than tape for supplementing the strength of a strained pulley? How long should a wrist injury like a TFCC strain be immobilized for? Such great questions in this episode of Ask Dr J.
Is pain in the base of your thumb arthritis? Maybe. Is bilateral shoulder pain rotator cuff tendonosis? Probably, but the ‘maybe not’ side of the argument definitely warrants further investigation. Oh, and another dude with elbow tendonosis resulting from shear exuberant enthusiasm. Also check out Dodgy Elbows [issue 156], and the more recent update, Dodgy Elbows Revisited [issue 223].
A hysterical aversion to even the lowest end of the pain spectrum is driving the tsunami of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug abuse. Is it an egg laid by the pharmaceutical giants? In other news, a climber suffers a labral tear in his shoulder, and a young lass poses the question of whether to get her ankle fused following a horrid break and eight surgeries.
The long run on wrist injuries continues in this installment of Ask Dr J – a TFCC tear, a pinch of bone necrosis and a surgeon who shall here after be referred to as Captain Tactless. Let me say this straight – injectable therapies like PRP injections for anything at all is about as therapeutically effective as Joan Rivers would be as Secretary Of State. For elbow tendonosis try an eccentric weight program (Dodgy Elbows [issue 156], and the more recent update, Dodgy Elbows Revisited [issue 223]).
Looking down the barrel of a third operation to repair ligament and triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFCC) damage in your wrist is a solid reason to question your choice of sports. Additionally, we take a squiz at the pitfalls of caffeine withdrawal. Here’s an idea – don’t stop!
Opioid pain medication can knock your testosterone levels to somewhere south of your ankles. So does taking testosterone supplements affect your climbing? Oh, and here’s a surprise, another elbow with medial epicondylosis. How about surgery for that? Also check out Dodgy Elbows [issue 156], and the more recent update, Dodgy Elbows Revisited [issue 223].
Crimping is associated with pulley injuries. Slopers are associated with wrist injuries, namely damage to that pesky little thing called the triangular fibrocartilage complex, or TFCC for short. Our second question is from . dude who ruptured a finger tendon. Holy leaping short-arses, Batman! Yes Robin, you heard me. Ruptured. Finger. Tendon. Can’t say I have ever seen one in real life.
I’m pretty sure Molly has a crush on me. This is the second time she has written in, although this time it is about a chondral fracture in her knee from a bouldering fall rather than the last time when she had to grab her bum because she tore her hamstring insertion. Palm pain from pocket pulling? It’s probably a lumbrical tear, and yet another practical use for the Dr J Test.
Having dislocated an ankle while bouldering, Dr J can empathize. Will it ever be normal? No. Like sands through the hour glass, we discuss elbow tendonosis yet again. Also check out Dodgy Elbows [issue 156], and the more recent update, Dodgy Elbows Revisited [issue 223].
In this issue Dr J takes a look at cartilage damage in the wrist (triangular fibrocartilage complex, or TFCC for short), the real and potential dilemmas of being struck by rock-fall, and how an enormous man called Gatito, meaning kitten, is the very definition of why a smashed ankle doesn’t necessarily need to hold you back.
How to break your back and not become a marshmallow.
Does hypermobility lead to tendonosis? No, that’s a croc of shit. Read on. Have a look at Dodgy Elbows [issue 156], and the more recent update, Dodgy Elbows Revisited [issue 223] for an in depth look at elbow tendonosis rehab. And we look at yet another story of “ You will never climb again”. I mean, really, people climb with no legs, this guy only has a bit of his patella missing.
Dr J, having suffered the ignominy of a blown hammy en route, looks at how best to approach rehab and your return to climbing. Broken Finger? Yep had one of them as well.
There are actually people who don’t use chalk. It true, no joke. And they climb HARD! So if chalk is messing with your skin, simples, don’t use it. We also take a look at what could be the cause of lumps forming on your fingers.
ACL rehab and when you can return to climbing is first cab off the rank in this Ask Dr J column. After that we head north to the shoulder and discuss how to approach a SLAP lesion (a type of cartilage tear), and what to do when your bicep tendon pulls anchor and sails down to your elbow.
Why do some climbers look like the Hunchback of Notre Dame? Can you climb with herniated discs in your back, and is banging your head in a car door more therapeutic than spinal surgery? What happens when an A2 pulley passes through the Land of Overtraining? This and other fantastical anecdotes in the Book Of Dr J.
Could dragging your scrotum on the ground help you avoid injury? Yes! Swollen fingers; how zee Germans helped advance our understanding of radial nerve impingement in the forearm; and what not to do in politics and war (namely shaving the sides of your mustachio).
Does being told that you should give up climbing actually mean you should give up climbing? Of course not, you silly dill-brain. That just means you ask someone else! Dr J discusses ripped abdominals, trigger happy thumb (not so happy), and what is the Dr J Test?
In this issue Dr J looks at the causes of Pseudogout (as opposed to Gout) and how little you can do for it, getting back into the swing of things after a full knee reconstruction, and why Levaquin, an antibiotic from the fluroquinolone family come with an FDA Black Box warning for tendon pathologies.
Read all about it – Broken toes that don’t heal and why supplements probably wont help, electrical modalities that don’t work (aside from vibrators), and why cortisone is the new cocaine – get your copy right here, right now.
Pinky pain that makes no sense, biceps tendonosis and, yet again, that dreaded lurgy – elbow tendonosis (also covered in Dodgy Elbows [issue 156], and the more recent update, Dodgy Elbows Revisited [issue 223]).
Is H-taping the new way forward for protecting pulley injuries in climbers? And exactly how does chopping a finger off affect your rock climbing? Dr J ponders all the big topics in this update of ASK Dr J.
Frozen shoulder (adhesive capsulitis) is like a bad relationship: painful, too long and, for the avid rockateer, soul destroying; what to do? Though not common in climbers, how does one solve the rather recalcitrant carpal tunnel syndrome? And we look at a rather tricky case of elbow tendonosis (also covered in Dodgy Elbows [issue 156], and the more recent update, Dodgy Elbows Revisited [issue 223]).
Ever heard of a condition called Trigger Finger (not the George Bush variety)? It will cause your finger to lock into your palm. Dr J also looks at what to do with AC joint separation (AKA shoulder separation), climbers and pulley injuries (A2, A3 and A4), and cartilage (labrum) damage in the shoulder.
This column shed light on that dreaded painful elbow (medial epicondylosis), stress fractures in the ulna bone of the forearm, and what to do with a dislocated biceps tendon. For a more comprehensive look at elbow tendonosis, refer to the articles titled Dodgy Elbows (issue 156), and the more recent update, Dodgy Elbows Revisited (issue 223).
Dr J looks at some possible answers for why a finger joint has become inflamed and sore; and what is that lump that has formed in your finger?
This month Dr J explains how an itty bitty virus can cause debilitating shoulder pain, and how riding a bike can make your little finger go numb. As well, Dr J looks at one of the more common climbing injuries that can cause palm and/or forearm pain and puts forth the Dr J Test for diagnosing this injury.
Dr J has a squiz at swelling around the wrist (De Quervain’s tenosynovitis), wrist instability and triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFCC) tears.
In this column we ponder the topic of who has higher bone density, boulderers versus climbers, a case of elbow tendonosis, and whether drinking from your plastic water bottle is making your sperm swim in circles.
Does stretching achieve anything more than improve your bedroom repertoire? As well, that age old problem of belayer’s neck
Dr J looks at the possible causes of neck pain and finger numbness (thoracic outlet syndrome, cervical disc bulge), and how the Viking genome causes those pesky lumps in your palm (Dupuytren’s contracture).