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Hand, Wrist, and Elbow Problems That Could Be Affecting Your Rock Climbing

For everyone, our hands and elbows are essential in our everyday lives. Think about how many times a day you use your hands. They are required for nearly every movement. For rock climbers, your hands are a key tool you need to make it to the top of the wall.

Some of the most common issues of the elbow, wrist, and hand, that will affect your climbing are:

  • Tennis Elbow
  • Carpal Tunnel
  • De Quervain’s tendonitis

What symptoms indicate these conditions?

Tennis Elbow:

If you are living with this condition, you may complain of pain on the outer aspect of your elbow. It can be especially painful when gripping things, such as the handles when climbing, or lifting things. Despite the name, this pain is often caused by activities other than tennis. Rarely is there one particular injury or incident that causes this pain. More than likely, repetitive activity or overuse of the muscles that life the wrist up, are the primary causes for tennis elbow.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:

This is the result of the compression of a nerve as it goes through your wrist. This compression can occur as a result of repetitive hand/wrist use, inflammation at the wrist, swelling, altered wrist shape of mobility after trauma to the wrist, and sometimes it just comes on for unknown reasons. The compressed nerve will produce symptoms of pain, tingling and/or numbness in your hand, thumb, index, and middle fingers. There may also be weakness in your hand and thumb. Those with carpal tunnel syndrome often complain of clumsiness of their hands, difficulty gripping, and they drop things more frequently. You can see how this can disrupt you climbing.

De Quervain’s tendonitis:

This is inflammation of two of your tendons that control your thumb. The result is pain along the base of the back side of the thumb and along the thumb side of the wrist. There may also be swelling along those areas. This condition is also caused by repetitive movements and overuse such as texting and typing on a handheld device and even bottle-feeding babies.

At Loudoun Sports Therapy Center, we will schedule you for a full evaluation with one of our expert physical therapists. During that evaluation, you will learn more about what factors are contributing to your symptoms, how to manage the pain, what activities to avoid of modify, and how to go about treating your condition in order to help you regain your normal hand and arm use.

Call LSTC today at 703-450-4300, to schedule your evaluation!

For more information of how physical therapy can help, CLICK HERE!


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