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Three Injury Prevention and Recovery Techniques

Three Injury Prevention and Recovery Techniques

  • Posted by Kaleigh
  • On May 18, 2020
  • Comments

Recovery and injury prevention are just as important as having titanium fingers and a Buddha-like mind. Due to climbing’s repetitive nature, it’s common for muscles to become tight (hypertonic) and overdeveloped, which can cause pain, negatively affect your range of motion and lessen your ability to activate certain muscles.

These three recovery techniques and treatments are fantastic ways to improve your overall climbing performance and to help ensure you don’t get injured while pulling hard. Each one has a specific purpose and effect for specific conditions, so be sure not to use all of them for the same injuries or types of prevention.

FOAM ROLLING

This is commonly used as a recovery tool in the form of self-myofascial release through compression, which helps break up adhesions within the muscle or between the fascia and muscle. Foam rolling might also improve range of motion not by just breaking up “knots” but through stimulating the central nervous system. The effects include improved circulation, relaxation of the nervous system, reduction of stress hormones, improved pain tolerance and relaxed muscles.

CUPPING

Cupping is an ancient form of alternative medicine believed to originate in China and works through decompression. Cupping can be used to break up adhesions between the muscles and fascia; therefore, increasing tissue mobility. There is limited evidence of cupping’s effects or how it actually works, but it still may be another tool to consider because it helps draw fluid and circulation to a problem area, which aids in healing and helps release toxins.

DRY NEEDLING

This is an effective technique for immediate and short-term pain relief for certain musculoskeletal conditions. Specifically, dry needling is showing evidence of pain relief for myofascial pain, especially if associated with myofascial trigger points – the tender “knots” we feel within the muscles. Clinically, I also observe improvement in strength of the affected muscle after treatment. These trigger points are usually the result of repetitive stress. When left unchecked, they become “active”, causing pain that limits range of motion and inhibits muscles. Let’s face it: if you’re training/climbing often and hard, you likely have trigger points to some degree!

So, which one is best for you? Well, it all comes down to specifics of the condition and the outcome you’re trying to achieve. Choose the BEST tool for the job, as I like to say.

If you have trigger points, then dry needling and self-trigger-point release with a massage ball may be the most beneficial. If there is hypertonicity in the muscle, then foam rolling may be the best choice. In cases where the soft tissue feels “restricted” and lacks mobility, then cupping or a type of massage that “lifts” and separates may be more warranted.

If you’re looking for more information on recovery techniques, or want to explore cupping and needling, then schedule an appointment with Adam or I of Rogue Rehab, which is upstairs in the O.G. We’d love to talk more about these techniques and help discover the best option for you!

BY ZACK DICRISTINO, MSPT, OCS, SCS
USA CLIMBING TEAM LEAD PHYSICAL THERAPIST
& PHYSICAL THERAPIST AT ROGUE REHABILITATION