Tuesday, March 31, 2009


     Last Sunday (the 29th) I drove down to the Citadel to try and climb The Main Event (v12). The weather was not perfect, it was sprinkling rain and the humidity was high, but the rock was dry and I was determined to give it a good try. The Main Event starts on two good crimpers under a roof. After a long move to a miserable left hand crimper (now sporting two layers of spray paint), a high right foot, and a big double handed move to the top slopers, you have to hold a big swing. I managed to fall twice after failing to hold this swing. I was so psyched! Unfortunately, my excitement about the possibility of ticking the last problem on my list caused my worst climbing related injury to date. After a couple more failed attempts I felt a pop in my right ring finger. Instant pain. I immediately knew there would be no send, no more climbing today, and possibly no climbing for a while. "Shit!"
     I have put a couple of hours of research into it now and from what I understand I have a flexor unit strain. These injuries occur most commonly in the ring finger, and then most often while gripping holds with three fingers in the open-handed position (as I was). A flexor unit strain is a strain to a flexor tendon, not a pulley, and, in comparison to pulley injuries, there is little literature on the subject. The best source I've found is an article by Dave MacLeod. In it Dave provides some criteria for self-diagnosis of finger injuries as well as treatments for them. Here is a link to article: Finger Injuries.
     Right now I am just laying low, doing lots of abs, pull-ups, push-ups, running, and working out in the gym. I'm going to give my finger a week or two and go from there. If you have any advice about or experience with finger injuries I would love to hear it.

Trying to stay positive,



  1. That sux man...
    Just think though, its spring and its hot..
    Let that thing chill.
    Sometimes a break is good, even if its forced.
    You'll be good to go come CO time!


  2. Yea bummer man..
    I've always found it best to continue climbing.. but take it real easy. Only jugs. Route climbing at the center could be productive?
    Good luck!
    Daniels in town next week. Gonna take some trips to the obed for a few days. Go check out James' problem at the canoe hole.
    Hope to see you out!


  3. Your fucking finger better yet? God Dammit.

  4. yeah. after the swelling subsides the best thing you can do (in my experience at least) is start pulling on jugs and/or doing long 'routes' on a campus board using a foot stool to take most of the weight off. the reason i advocate active rehab is twofold: 1) not doing anything for a few months or so weakens all your other climbing muscles so when you do start pulling again the 'system' as a whole is softer. with a weak system comes extra pressure on links. with extra pressure comes a chance for reinjury. 2) tendons and pulleys get awful bloodflow. light exercise increases bloodflow, which helps them heal faster.

    so yeah. as soon as you kill the swelling get back on those digits. slight discomfort is fine, but if it starts to hurt be sure to back off.

    not a doctor,

  5. Now you can vicariously live through others via the climbing blog network.

    Its either that or heckle Tom constantly while he climbs at the vol wall.