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Sport Specific > Climbing-Rock > Finger Tendons

Finger Tendon Injuries

Q: What Is the Best Way to Handle Sore or Strained Finger Tendons?

A. It depends somewhat on how you strained them and how long they have been hurting. If you feel a little bit of tenderness, rest the affected fingers a few days and then return to activity. If it's more severe than that, say from a crimpy climb that was beyond your level which caused a sudden pull or pop, then you could have a much longer recovery time in front of you. The best way is to make sure you are not overtraining in the first place. But as a rule of thumb, if you think you have strained your finger tendons, make sure that you 1) rest the fingers, 2) apply ice, NOT heat, to reduce swelling, 3) take some ibuprofen or other anti-inflammatory medication also to help reduce swelling, and 4) try wrapping the affected finger with athletic tape. You could do this several ways: splint with a solid object (chopsticks, pencils, or buy a finger splint at the drugstore) or splint it to another finger. Try climbing with your fingers taped, and climb on juggy holds rather than crimpy holds, to allow your tendons to fully recovery. However, as much as possible, try to climb without taping; true, taping adds support to your fingers, but just like lifting belts, if you come to rely on them, you'll actually WEAKEN the structures you are trying to strengthen.


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