Mend Physical Therapy Blog and Injury Information

Finger Pain in Rock Climbers

January 28, 2022

Fingers are the most commonly injured body part in climbers. Pain to the fingers can be generated by several different structures, making proper diagnosis particularly important for treatment. The most common diagnoses causing finger pain are pulley sprains, flexor tendon injuries, interphalangeal joint irritation, extensor mechanism injuries, and soft tissue injuries.

Many factors affect the prevalence and significance of finger pain. Previous injury to the fingers makes it 6 times more likely you will have a future finger injury. Pain in the fingers tends to be recurrent, with some studies showing a 35% reoccurrence rate for overuse injuries.

The Mend Method: through thorough questioning and physical examination, the rock climbing specialists at Mend can properly diagnose the cause of finger pain.

1.     A detailed analysis of pain patterns and aggravating movements gives insight into the pain generator.

2.     Physical examination and testing can confirm the proper diagnosis.

3.     Objective, measurable testing shows your current level of function and strength.

4.     Next, your therapist will work with you to create a treatment plan specific to your diagnosis, current level of function, climbing goals, and experience level.

5.     Finally, manual therapy and proper exercise progression allows you to return to climbing, often with new insights into training and future injury prevention. 

To get a proper diagnosis and treatment you want to work with a practitioner who has experience and expertise in treating the unique conditions that come from rock climbing. The doctors of physical therapy at Mend have over 12 years of experience treating climbers in the Boulder region, working with some of the area’s top athletes. Schedule a free consultation to experience the higher quality of care you get with an out of network physical therapist.