As many of you know, I am addicted to rock climbing. It’s a healthy addiction in this case, I promise! I recently returned from another stellar climbing trip to Red Rock Canyon, just outside Las Vegas. Pictured above on her first 12a redpoint (at the Sunny and Steep crag in Calico Basin) is my good friend and climbing queen, Kim Richards. Many of the 30-40-somethings in my climbing circle, me included, train on “plastic” at the local gyms 3 to 6 days a week. How do we do it without getting injured, you may ask. Our secret is really no secret at all: regular chiropractic and myofascial release body work (massage, ART, Graston).
Quoting a respected physical therapist in SF, Kelly Starrett, “All human beings should be able to perform basic maintenance on themselves.” Regular practice of your own home care like self-massage, heat/ice, and a thorough stretching routine, is the second secret to prevent overuse injuries in climbing.
The ways that we choose to take good care of our bodies go a long way in preventing overuse and ALSO traumatic muscle/tendon/ligament injuries. When muscles/tendons/ligaments are free of scar tissue and chronic inflammation then they respond to repeated loads—-like gripping tiny crimpers on an overhang—-with resiliency and an innate elasticity. That means lower chances of getting a tendon rupture in your finger, rotator cuff tear, or tendinitis in your elbow.
If you’re a climbing addict like me, you want to preserve your longevity in this sport. Many of my friends are getting stronger and becoming more capable technical climbers as they are getting older—into their 40’s and 50’s. I don’t know a single one of them who doesn’t have regular body therapy of some kind. I’m lucky because I get to use my own Graston instruments to work out tensions and adhesions in my forearms and hands at least once a week! I’m an advocate of weekly to monthly spinal adjustments, massage (specific and general), and acupuncture. Believe me, I’m a busy woman, and I wouldn’t take the time for these treatments if they didn’t work so darn well. Climb on!
See more pictures from Red Rocks on our Facebook page!