Anyone who has watched the film Vertical Limit knows that rock climbing is anything, but a piece of cake. It takes skill and strength to climb up a steep, sharp vertical cliff. Having a body like Arnold Schwarzenegger won’t help you climbing up. You need a flexible body with real strength, especially in your joint areas. Most injuries that occur during rock climbing happen more due to straining your muscles and joints rather than accidents.
Here’s a list of injuries that could happen to you during a mountain climbing.
Your wrist is very important in securing your grip when climbing up a rock facade. The muscles that control your wrist are also quite small compared to other muscle groups that are used in climbing. The key is to take as much weight as possible with your legs instead of relying on your muscles of your wrists to take the weight. It is also very important to warm up before you begin climbing as to not injure a cold muscle. Another key to not injuring your wrist, as well as other muscle groups is to gradually increase the intensity of your climbing and to not over use your muscles which can cause a repetitive strain injury.
The elbow is another essential joint when you are climbing. It adds a lot of maneuverability to your efforts. Often you may injure yourself due to an imbalance between your wrist flexors and extenders. If you ignore this imbalance you may end up with a repetitive strain injury. This is another reason why it is important to gradually increase the intensity and length of your climb.
Of all the joints, none have more range of motion than the shoulder joint. This also means that it can be easily subjected to over straining. Here are a few reasons it could happen to you while climbing.
- Lack of mobility in your upper thoracic spine and cervical spine area.
- Muscle imbalances in the rotator cuff.
- Muscles imbalance in the chest and back.
During climbing, you are constantly craning your neck up to find the next crack to get a grip. You will do this so often that you won’t realize until you feel an ache and stiffing of your neck. The best way to avoid it is to flex your neck by bringing it to your chest and back to its neutral position. Do this every day at least 10 times, so your neck will get used to strains of rock climbing.
A mistake many climbers make is to ignore their back muscles. Climbing is a full body workout so be sure to stretch and strengthen your back muscles for this type of an activity. Ensure during your training, you just don’t focus on your core, but your back muscles as well.
The best way to prevent injuries is to take a rest. It is also important that you take rest during your rock climbing activities. A quick rest allows your muscles to relax and regain strength.
Tendon injuries can easily occur if you push your muscles beyond your limit. Whatever you do, don’t try to tough out the situation. This will only make the tendon injury worse.
With any nagging injury from climbing be sure to rest. If your injury continues to bother you after a week perhaps you should visit your physical therapist or rehabilitation therapist to help guide you through a treatment plan for the injury.