Common Climbing Finger Injuries

July 15, 2019

Sheffield is close to some fantastic climbing spots. Unfortunately we also often treat climbers. This article provides some information for climbers to help identify and manage the common finger problems we treat.

Climbing finger injuries are a frequent occurrence and often involve the A2 pulley, which is a group of fibres that form a tunnel for the tendons to travel through. The pulley functions to keep the tendons close to the bone and stop them bowstringing away. The A2 pulley is located in the mid section of each finger, and is the one that is most prone to injury in climbers because it takes a lot of force through it.

The injury can occur either as an acute incident, such as a slip while crimping, or a build up of repetitive activity over time. In acute cases the climber may feel immediate pain and experience localised swelling in the region. In cases of a gradual build up, the pain may build from a slight feeling of discomfort and progress to be more painful over time.

Symptoms in this type of injury include pain and swelling at the base of the finger, and bowstringing, as the tendon fails to be held against the bone. If bowstringing occurs a full rupture may have occurred. The strength of the finger is normally unaffected, unless there has been a rupture of the tendons.

Treatment of a finger pulley depends largely on the severity of the injury. A surgical repair is often advised following a complete pulley rupture. You may need a scan to determine whether this has occurred or not. More mild sprains will normally heal with conservative management.

Physiotherapy treatment will normally include RICE in the initial stages (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation), eccentric strengthening exercises, activity advice and taping.

Downloadable Resources


Stay up to date with our regular advice articles and latest news

Share this Post

Our team are ready and waiting to assist with your recovery.

Doctor holding patient's shoulders

Contact Us

Request A Callback
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
close mark
Gift Card | White House Clinic

White House Clinic Gift Card

Treat someone special to a pain-free 2024! To purchase a gift card, fill out the form below and we will let you know the next steps.

Full Name*

By clicking Submit, you agree to our Terms & Privacy Policy.

Thank you, we will be in touch!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.