Rock Climbing Clinic

Rock climbing is a popular hobby for people of all ages in and around Sheffield. It is a sport that is gaining popularity and is likely to continue to do so due to its inclusion in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and the fact that the female world bouldering champion (Shauna Coxsey) lives and trains in Sheffield.

Its proximity to the Peak District means that climbers in Sheffield can access outdoor climbing areas such as Stanage Edge within 30 minutes’ drive. Couple that with the fact that Sheffield has four indoor climbing walls, it is a sport that can be enjoyed all year round regardless of the weather! Unfortunately due to the strenuous nature of climbing, injuries can occur. Here are three common climbing injuries;

  1. Finger pulley tear – An acute injury that can occur when pulling up on a climbing hold. An audible pop can sometimes be heard and pain is usually felt immediately at the base of one of your fingers.

  2. Golfers/Tennis elbow - Often a condition that develops slowly. Pain can be felt on the inside or outside of the elbow and can be commonly caused by muscle imbalance or incorrect climbing technique.

  3. Shoulder impingement - Can occur acutely or develop slowly. Pain is felt at the front of the shoulder and often occurs on movements which involve lifting the arm out to the side. Common in climbers due to the repetitive nature of certain movements in climbing.

Our physiotherapist James has a specialist interest in climbing injuries. He is a keen climber himself, climbing 3-4 times a week either indoors or out depending on the weather! He climbs up to font 7B outdoors. He attended the Climbing Injuries Symposium in 2016 and 2018. His knowledge of how to treat climbing injuries plus his understanding of the biomechanics of climbing means that he’ll be able to assess and treat your issue and get you back climbing asap.

Here are James’s TOP TIPS to stay injury free when climbing:

  1. Work on your flexibility – not only will this improve your climbing ability it will decrease your chances of pulls and strains.

  2. Strengthen your opposition (antagonistic) muscles -Exercises such as press ups and shoulder press will help to strengthen the muscles that aren’t used during climbing, to help prevent muscle imbalance.

  3. Warm up! – common advice in any sport, but especially important in climbing due to the high levels of strain going through your fingers, elbows and shoulders.

Happy Climbing!

Go back to our sports injuries page.

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