Saturday, November 6, 2010

I have no injury but fell and broke my leg.

All the injuries I worked, shoulders, fingers and son on. I have no pain and climbing was coming along nicely until.

Yes, I took a practice fall and the gear popped and I hit a ledge. I broke right fibula. A clean break and it was high enough. I did not need a caste. I physiotherapied right away and became ambulatory. What took longest are internal injuries; hematoma and stiff back and range of motion.

I ended up with sizable balls of hematoma in my right button and shin. Ligament injury in my shin and swelling prevented good blood circulation. Long story short, I was climbing in 3 weeks with broken leg. What I found with broken fibula was that it got stronger and bonded soon enough. It was not strong enough to absorb shocks. Jumps from top of bouldering did not sit well.

I became ambulatory in days but whole recovery took ten weeks. I am still working on range of motion. Good news is that I become more conservative and safe. I am working on balance more as result.

For a change, I will be working with other climbers injuries. Yay

Monday, June 14, 2010

New Chapter

Having experimented and gone wrong ways many times, I feel I have a clue. I will write about various typical injuries and what I had to do to remedy....


First off, I am free of injuries first time in a long while. I have many happy news to share..

Improvements in techniques and better foot work and whole a lot of fixing bad habits... They resulted in pain free climbing plus I feel I will be breaking into next grade. I am going to Yosemite with friends after a long while because I could not think of facing these injuries.

My left side came back. Knees are doing really well. Fingers are free of pain or swelling. Toes are doing great. And the left shoulder is happy.

Again, a lot of my injuries are from bad habits and it is hard to kick them off.

Whenever I had time, I am always standing on one foot and doing balance acts writing alphabets or whatever is fun. I try not to sit too long and try to move about. It helps me recycle lower back, pelvis and knee.

Always find neutral lower back using muscles. Much of my issues are from sitting around too long.

Recycling toes and using smaller toes in climbing with proper shoe fit did wonders. Also doing opposition toe exercises keeps them pain free.

Regarding fingers, also recycle them. Use smaller fingers and use thumbs every chance you get. Using your thumb separates you from 90% of climbers..

My shoulder, yes, I had two orthopedists go head to head and see who comes on top. One, they are not perfect and one especially was sloppy. Good education. I thought of going under knife to remedy the shoulder dislocation. It turns out it is not the cause of the impingement. I need to exercise and improve my shoulder curvature and lots of opposition muscle training to compensate climbing.

So, I decided to live with a small tear in anterior labrum of the left shoulder and start building back muscles gradually with good balance. So far, touch wood but it has been great.

So psyched.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Shoulder update

My shoulder is doing better. I am still seeking medical help. No surgery yet. I learned much about how doctors are and my condition. American doctors do not have time for patients. Well, given that is the fact, I am studying as much and using them to get educated. Here is how it goes. I go and see 4 doctors and that would be equal to 4 times 15 minutes. It is equal to 60 minutes of consulting and education time. Perhaps that is little over the top. I am definitely seeing 2nd doctor. First one was holier than thou. He was well balanced and experienced except he decided to give me cortisone shot. I don't know if it did much good.

The diagnosis is anterior labrum tear, possible SLAP. MRI normal does not give much. Even MRI with contrast does not give. Only sure is to cut and insert a camera. It is normal and typical to make the repair; shaving loose pieces and sewing torn pieces possibly with anchors. However, during the recovery, you can't move bicep as it will re-tear sewn labrum. That could last 3 to 4 weeks. Then 3 months to recovery. So it boils down to doctors with good sewing skill and good full recovery records.

My left shoulder is getting better just by strength training with small muscles around shoulders. I wear 2 pound weight belts around wrists. That did it. It needs to be small weight as anything heavier will engage larger muscles like bicept or tricept. It took me awhile to figure this out. I figured if muscles hold things better instead having the arm hang by ligaments. Shoulder instability is not physical condition per say but sort of quasi pain awareness. Only problem is that it brings atrophy as you don't want to use that shoulder.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Shoulder Impingement - Part 1

Going back to Evan deSzoeke article, it is well said.

A more experienced climber will have a better understanding of ways to position their body and feet to minimize the use of their arms. This will improve endurance due to the arms's natural tendency to fatigue faster than the trunk and legs. The primary upper extremity muscles used for more technical climbing include wrist extensors and flexors, elbow flexors (including brachioradialis, biceps brachii, and brachialis), posterior deltoid, latissimus dorsi, and scapular stabilizers.

I may be looking at either subacromial impingement or labral tears or both. Check out shoulder injuries of his article. Argh, figure 1 look just like the move I made.

Shoulder Impingement

Yes, it happened. It is different from what I thought. I had a bad ski accident a few years ago and dislocated my left shoulder. This impingement happened as a result of instable/unstable shoulder. Shoulder is the most wonderous joint of your body. It is held in space perfectly balanced to provide amazing degree of freedom.

I thought it is like normal shoulder pain I know. Now I know shoulder impingement is result of over-use and inflamed tendons and such. It is more like random pain here and there as the nerve gets pinched. It feels like burning, hot, upper arm, in the elbow, in the fingers. It is strange kind of pain where you can't pin point.

I did V5 and dyno on left hand reaching overhead. I put my weight on that shoulder after wide gaston. Well, it felt weird and I sat nursing it.

That night, I have this pain in the socket and elbow. I had shoulder pain before but this is different. It is like hot wire running through my arm. Shortening this story, after a visit to an orthopedic doctor and two shots of cortisone on my left shoulder. They give these shots as a way to prevent further nerve damage. There are two basic problems. One, those shots hurt for two days, just mild pain but present. Two, the shoulder is doing its own thing to settle back. On the third day, it feels good. I am doing rehab exercises.

Climbing wise, I know is that I am doing something wrong. I put too much stresses on same joints in same fashion repeatedly. The big question is how to recycle things; hands, feet, arms and shoulders. My trouble is I keep the same grips instead of switching and using different positions including getting used to utilize as little force as possible.

Spread tension; body tension but it means positioning one's body to reduce stress on feet and hands same way over and over again.

Rehabilitation! I am doing scapular stabilization first and doing no weight ROM exercises. ROM stands for Range Of Movement. Without using weight, one needs to stretch these tiny muscles and maintain or increase ROM. Once, I am warmed up and I am exercising general opposing muscles.

One thing one needs to be careful with is to exercise these shoulder muscles, one needs not to exceed 2 or 3 pounds weight. It is better to do free weight than elastic.

Despite of opposing muscle training, I neglected pectoral muscles and MD Peter Re of the Sports Medicine, the good doctor mentioned about my shoulder curvature. I suppose it tightens and makes you prone to shoulder problems. I remember pain around scapula, aka shoulder blade a few weeks ago. Listening to one's pain is an art.

Check this gem of article by Griffith.

Be well.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Line and Flag Exercises from Self Coach Climber

I have a small number of friends getting into exercises and training from the book; Self Coach Climber, aka SCC. I have been doing the same side traverse and it helped me break into consistent onsights of V3+. I am working to perfect the line and flag exercises. Here is my response to a friend.

So, I did 6 of line and 6 of flag exercises. It felt awkward. I had to backstep more aggressively and different muscles are sore; deltoid, lat and scapula; mostly upper shoulder. This explains why I could not do them before because I started doing shoulder recovery exercises only about a month ago and my shoulder muscles are getting stronger. I just could not rely on my unstable left shoulder.

It means there are different muscle groups I need to develop. We are supposed to pivot but with these small footholds, we can't. I had to do many more foot adjustments to make it happen.

Like my success with the same side traverse exercise, I was forcing my pivoting without good awareness of where my COG is and I had my hand not adjusting to pivoting. This caused two problems; back ache and hand pain. You need to grab holds differently from normal climbing routine. Like Gaston or layback, or just don't wrap your fingers.

What is important is if you can produce high quality moves. Quantity does not matter so much at the beginning. Don't think it is a failure if you could not finish the whole wall. Just do what you can do with sections of the wall.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Massage - Accelerated Rest

I freeze my hands from time to time when I have injured fingers. Dave McCleod calls it freeze therapy. It works marvelously except 30 minutes of finger in ice bucket is a kind of hard. See his video

I have been massaging my hands, forearms and feet. The result is amazing. It takes stiffness out and increases range of motion. It feels amazing especially after a good night sleep.

You need to use oil. Nothing special just vegetable oil. Dry massage does not work.

I like to have a towel and a pail of warm water. Search self massage in YouTube. Basically you warm the part by rubbing, working it with a combination of thumb, side of your hand or a stick. You work any soreness out. The session should last good amount of time. Wash yourself and wipe off excessive oil. Having oil on you is not all that bad as your skin seems to absorb it.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Toe pain and prevention

Revisited: Be gentle with your toes and massage and stretch your toes especially big one every day.

I was having toe problems until I saw Adam Ondra's climbing video. I realized how I was killing my big toe. Everybody climbs with their favorite digit; big toe. I don't know how long but using big toe is drilled into me. After climbing sessions, my big toes are hurting. So much so I would have hot flash in my feet when nerves get blocked. So I must be doing something wrong. I was looking for a solution because my foot techniques wont' improve with pain.

So back to what Adam does, he looks sloppy. He does not use big toe unless he has to. In fact, he frictions where I would use my bt, big toe. It is interesting to watch his videos just his feet. Fascinating.

So, I did what he does. Use metatasal, that is, use parts of your foot not the first two digits of your toes. How do you do this? With care! Use rest of your foot instead of just the same big toe.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Cool sites; rehab and injury

I have no upper body problems at the moment but I am beginning to have lower body problems; hip, knee and foot. I am using lower body to initiate moves and am straining them without proper stretches or techinques.

I have tender spots around the hip.

Tensor fasciae latae or IT band related issues by sportsinjuryclinic

Exercise 1

Exercise 2