Off The Wall

July 08, 2014 // Tagged in: climbing

I (not so) recently self-diagnosed myself with an A2-Pulley injury. It's the most common injury for rock climbers, and most commonly occurs in rock climbers. An A2-Pulley is the fibrous soft tissue that wraps all the way around your finger, binding your tendon close to the bone. It keeps your tendon laying against the bone instead of "bow-stringing" when your finger bends. Think of your tendon like a string tied to the end of your finger and your elbow, and what would happen if you bent your finger. Now, imagine putting a rubber band around each segment of your finger, with the string inside.

I'm fairly sure, from reading about this very common injury, that I got a minor tear in mine, from overuse and strain. I don't believe, because of low pain and swelling levels, that I got a full rupture - which could require surgury to heal.

This has kept me off the climbing wall for a month now, and I'm pretty bummed about it. Climbing is my favorite hobby and method of exercise, and I was making progress - starting to be able to flash V4 boulder problems, and project on V5s, and I was flasing 5.10 lead routes, and projecting 5.11s. Now, I think I'm going to drop one or two grades, and have to spend quite some time rebuilding.

I still feel the pain in my finger whenenver I do pullups (rarely - trying to let it heal) or climb (I went once after 3 weeks completely off, and took it easy). It feels like because there's still pain, it isn't healing, but it's possible it's just weakened, not quite all the way healed, or maybe even scar tissue pain. I really don't know.

I'm going to start working my way back soon, and if the pain comes back, I'll see a doctor. I'm trying to take care of myself and not make it worse, but I'm afraid that I'm not doing enough, or resting enough, to heal it, and that I'll end up having to take even more time off climbing.