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climbing on a stiff knuckle?
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milesenoell


Feb 11, 2009, 3:40 PM
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climbing on a stiff knuckle?
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I am curious about whether I need to wait until a stiff knuckle has full range of motion to climb or if I can climb while it heals.

I was an outdoor-only climber in an area that offered lots of cracks for jamming for about two years until recently becoming an indoor-only climber (woody) and have recently noticed that my middle finger's PIP knuckle was stiff. I didn't notice any injury and it's only very mildly sore when I prod it, so it seems pretty minor, but it is staying stiff even between taking 3-4 days at a time off. The joint capsule is a very mildly swollen and I've got 95-ish percent range of motion (full extension, but if I try to make 'karate knuckles' with fingers closed and hand open I can't quite touch the finger-tip to my palm) and full strength but I don't want to aggravate it into becoming a real injury if I can avoid it.

Is this ignorable?

(edited 'cause I can't use tab to indent and my spaces didn't show up)


(This post was edited by milesenoell on Feb 11, 2009, 3:43 PM)


johnwesely


Feb 11, 2009, 3:56 PM
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Re: [milesenoell] climbing on a stiff knuckle? [In reply to]
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I would stay off for two weeks and see if it gets better. If not go see a doctor.


ryanb


Feb 11, 2009, 4:04 PM
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Re: [milesenoell] climbing on a stiff knuckle? [In reply to]
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I think lots of climbers climb on stiff knuckles. I have them (I can't touch any of my fingers to my palms when i make what you call "karate knuckles") and i climb on them. I would stay hydrated (to keep joints lubed) and pay special attention to warming up...if it starts to get worse stop.


milesenoell


Feb 11, 2009, 6:36 PM
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Re: [ryanb] climbing on a stiff knuckle? [In reply to]
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any advice on good ways to warm up that knuckle? easy routes for the first 15 minutes or something more specific?


johnwesely


Feb 11, 2009, 6:46 PM
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Re: [milesenoell] climbing on a stiff knuckle? [In reply to]
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I am a pretty firm believer in theraputty.


milesenoell


Feb 11, 2009, 6:58 PM
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Re: [johnwesely] climbing on a stiff knuckle? [In reply to]
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so work with some putty for a while (15 minutes?) before jumping on the wall?


Partner angry


Feb 11, 2009, 7:02 PM
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Re: [milesenoell] climbing on a stiff knuckle? [In reply to]
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Did someone say mooseknuckle?


milesenoell


Feb 11, 2009, 7:07 PM
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mooseknuckle and camel toe got moved to another forum. damn mods.


johnwesely


Feb 11, 2009, 7:11 PM
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Re: [milesenoell] climbing on a stiff knuckle? [In reply to]
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work with it whenever you can. especially before jumping on the wall.


Partner angry


Feb 11, 2009, 7:18 PM
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Re: [milesenoell] climbing on a stiff knuckle? [In reply to]
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I actually have something like this. It's a stiff big toe. It's hurt for about 2 months. Never enough to affect my climbing, I actually feel it when I'm walking around more. It does hurt to grab an take it through ROM, so I avoid that usually.

Probably arthritis from shoes and cracks. I think it'll go away if I ignore it.


milesenoell


Feb 11, 2009, 7:46 PM
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yeah, but you're about to spend six weeks not doing anything to bother it. I'm hoping to still climb.


Partner angry


Feb 11, 2009, 7:58 PM
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Re: [milesenoell] climbing on a stiff knuckle? [In reply to]
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I got 7 pitches in yesterday.


milesenoell


Feb 11, 2009, 8:01 PM
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Re: [angry] climbing on a stiff knuckle? [In reply to]
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give me some cracks and I'd be a happy man, but over here in Fiji I'm stuck climbing a stupid woody that doesn't give my finger much of a break.


Partner angry


Feb 11, 2009, 8:09 PM
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Re: [milesenoell] climbing on a stiff knuckle? [In reply to]
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put the rungs really close together and turn it sideways.


nnowinowski


Feb 11, 2009, 9:03 PM
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Re: [angry] climbing on a stiff knuckle? [In reply to]
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the big toe can be a nasty one. Sometimes a collapsing arch will make it worse and aftermarket insole will do wonders, that and tape it like a finger, or with a toe seperator.
In reply to:


Partner angry


Feb 11, 2009, 9:18 PM
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Re: [nnowinowski] climbing on a stiff knuckle? [In reply to]
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nnowinowski wrote:
the big toe can be a nasty one. Sometimes a collapsing arch will make it worse and aftermarket insole will do wonders, that and tape it like a finger, or with a toe seperator.

Or maybe we can go climb some offwidths?


nnowinowski


Feb 11, 2009, 9:50 PM
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Re: [angry] climbing on a stiff knuckle? [In reply to]
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word. i hear you are on a sport climbing hiatus. I'm still psyched to learn the dark arts.


nnowinowski


Feb 11, 2009, 9:58 PM
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Re: [angry] climbing on a stiff knuckle? [In reply to]
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and the only thing that i've found effective for pulley injury healing is contrast baths - two double shot glasses one with ice water the other with hot water. Ice till numb then hot water and pain - by the third time there should be so much circulation that it doesn't really hurt. Twice a day maybe. That shi+ works.


milesenoell


Feb 12, 2009, 12:27 PM
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Re: [nnowinowski] climbing on a stiff knuckle? [In reply to]
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Is a stiff knuckle but only very little pain or swelling consistent with a pulley injury? I've never had a finger injury from anything other than twisting and hanging from fingertip jams so I'm not all that up on my injury diagnosis. And actually now that I think about it, I never knew what was injured then either.

(edited cuz eye cant spel)


(This post was edited by milesenoell on Feb 12, 2009, 12:29 PM)


onceahardman


Feb 12, 2009, 12:49 PM
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Re: [milesenoell] climbing on a stiff knuckle? [In reply to]
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Hi miles...how's life in the Third World? Any ill effects from the ankle injury we worked on a while back?

Above, you said:

In reply to:
The joint capsule is a very mildly swollen

By definition, this part of your injury is capsulitis, aka synovitis.

When an injured, inflamed synovium heals, it shrinks, and sometimes gets a little sticky, limiting motion. This condition (most famous in the shoulder as "frozen shoulder") is called "adhesive capsulitis."

ROM, very gentle stretching (making sure you are not increasing the inflammation), and of course, not continuing to put the same forces on the same structures is indicated.

* the italicised portion above is sometimes, horrifyingly, called "rest".


milesenoell


Feb 12, 2009, 4:07 PM
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Re: [onceahardman] climbing on a stiff knuckle? [In reply to]
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Hey there Hardman. Things here are going well, the ankle has lost some ROM but is getting strong enough to jog down the street to catch the buses that leave early. I'm planning on having the big screw taken out sometime soon, but just haven't worked it in yet, so hopefully that will get me back some mobility in the up/down plane. I'm still doing one legged stands (occasionally) and now I can do blind stands on the injured ankle for about a minute and a half, and with eyes open over 10 minutes. Thanks again for all your help getting me back up and about.

As for the finger and my synovitis, how much rest are we talking about here? I've taken off about a week as of now, and 3-4 days between the last couple of (short) climbing days, and I can see that I'm getting more flex out of the joint, but it isn't quite fully back to normal.

Is climbing with the finger extended an option?


(This post was edited by milesenoell on Feb 14, 2009, 2:32 PM)


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