Learning more about finger injuries. Yay!

With only four (now three) days left in Joe’s Valley, the heat is on. We had allotted one day per each area (Left fork, Right fork, New Joe’s, and Dairy canyon). Today was supposed to be my day to circuit New Joe’s in a last-ditch attempt to send everything we hadn’t been on yet. We headed to the Nerve Damage boulder first and I started climbing an easy V1 when I noticed pain in my left ring-finger’s A4. It was bad enough that my normally-stubborn refusal to acknowledge weakness conceded to the wisdom of not risking injuring myself any worse, and I hopped down. There’s no reason my impatience should exacerbate the situation. A real injury could end our road trip. So, what to do?


Luckily there are some really quality articles for someone in my position. And if you rock climb, you’ve probably had pulley issues. So here are some excellent articles to peruse:

1) How to heal as quickly as possible.
-Short and simple, easy to read, by a rock climbing couple who have personal experience with injuries

2) Pulley Injuries Article by Dave MacLeod, the author of the awesome “9 out of 10 climbers make the same mistakes”
-Slightly more extensive, with a little more Science behind it

3) Injury Management and Prevention
Longer article written by climbing coach Robin O’Leary and top physiotherapist Nina Leonfellner

My mildly-educated guess based on what I’ve read is that it’s nothing serious, just a partial tear of the A4 pulley tendon which I bet is from the strange two-tiered two-finger crimp on Black Sea V8. No biggie.

Based on the cumulative advice of these articles, my game plan is to REST (1-2 weeks until the pain subsides), ICE (putting my hands in the creek 2x day for 30 minutes), MASSAGE (once it stops hurting next week, begin a practice of massaging my fingers multiple times a day), and EXERCISE (refer to these rehab exercises from article #3).

Feel free to share more ideas/articles in the comments below!

One thought on “Learning more about finger injuries. Yay!”

  1. Putty buddy! I picked up some super low density power putty from REI for 8 bucks and started squeezing it 11 days post pop (deemed DPP. By me). Almost immediate strength gains (noticeable increase in pressure I can apply to my thumb in two days). Now I’m just gonna spray about how psyched I am for my rehab: started climbing 16 DPP (5.8 max), and 23 DPP (today!) I bouldered mega hard with no pain. Listen to Doctor D,


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