Body

  • Rock Climbing Injury: Body: Pain Meds vs Sex
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Appendectomy and Climbing Training
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Body: Injury Truths
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Body: BPA and Waterbottles
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Body: Bouldering for Bone Density
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Body: Chronic Injury
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Body: Bouldering for the Bones
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Body: Antibiotics and Tendon Damage
  • Back

  • Rock Climbing Injury: Back: Spinal Fracture
  • Back: Preventing Hunchback
  • Back: Herniated Disc
  • Abdomen

  • Rock Climbing Injury: Abdomen: Muscle Tear/Hernia
  • Arm

    No items found.

    Shoulder

  • Rock Climbing Injury: Shoulder: Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Shoulder: SLAP Lesion and Cortisone
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Shoulder: Frozen Shoulder
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Shoulder: Torn Labrum, SLAP Lesion
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Shoulder: Separation
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Shoulder: Pain and Virus
  • Biceps

    No items found.

    Elbow

  • Rock Climbing Injury: Elbow: Tennis Elbow
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Elbow: Medial Tendonosis
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Elbow: Elbow Pain and Dodgy Elbows
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Elbow: Tendonosis
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Elbow: Medial Epicondylosis and Taping
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Elbow: Tingling and Numbness
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Elbows: Minimizing Fingerboard Injuries
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Elbow: Medial Epicondyle Tendonosis
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Elbow: Stress Fracture
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Elbow: Pain and Hangboarding
  • Wrist

  • Rock Climbing Injury: Wrist: Klienbock's Disease
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Wrist: Ruptured Tendon
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Snap, Crackle, Wrist
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Wrist: Fractured Scaphoid
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Wrist: Instability
  • Hand

  • Rock Climbing Injury: Fingers: Everything You Need to Know About Finger Stress
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Hands: Dupuytren's Disease (lump in palm)
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Hands: Numbness and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Fingers

  • Rock Climbing Injury: Fingers: What To Do with a Ruptured Flexor Digitorum Superficialis
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Fingers: Everything You Need to Know About Finger Stress
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Fingers: Hyper-extended
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Fingers: Cysts and Pain
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Fingers: Cracked Fingertips
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Fingers: De Quervain's Tenosynovitis
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Fingers: NSAID Treatment
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Fingers: Torn A2 Pulley
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Fingers: Trigger Thumb Syndrome
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Fingers: Stiffness, Soreness
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Fingers: Grip Position and Injury
  • Rock Climbing Injury:Fingers: Cortisone for Tendon Injuries
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Fingers: Pinky Finger Pain
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Fingers: Electrostimulation
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Hands: Numbness and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Fingers: Taping Truths
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Fingers: Flappers
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Fingers: Trigger-Finger Syndrome
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Fingers: Torn A3 and A4 Pulleys
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Fingers: Cysts
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Fingers: Arthritis
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Fingers: Numbness
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Fingers: Blown Tendons
  • Leg

  • Rock Climbing Injury: Leg: Achilles Tendonitis
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Leg and Knee: Broken Femur and Shattered Kneecap
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Leg: Pulled Hamstring
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Leg: Fracture
  • Knee

  • Rock Climbing Injury: Knee: Rockfall Causes Lump
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Knee: Chondral Injury of the Lateral Tibial Plateau
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Leg and Knee: Broken Femur and Shattered Kneecap
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Knee: Ruptured ACL
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Knee: Ruptured Ligament and Meniscus
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Knee: Synovial Cartilage Damage
  • Ankle

  • America's Best Climbing Area: Red River Gorge
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Ankle: Loud Pop Ankle Roll
  • Feet

  • Rock Climbing Injury: Feet: Broken Foot
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Feet: Gout and Pseudogout
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Feet: Toe Fracture
  •  
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    Rock Climbing Injury: Body: Bouldering for Bone Density

    12-Apr-2010
    By

    I heard that bouldering increases bone density in a climber's hands, while climbing routes does not. Is that true? Also, what is the significance of increased bone density?

    Pat Bagley, Weston, Massachusetts

    My inner child is coughing. The issue of bone-strength adaptation is a little more complex than that. For starters, there are no studies looking at this specific issue, so it is theoretical with regard to scampering on rocks, whatever your penchant, bouldering or routes.

    I assume you are talking about bone strength, which is both bone mineral density (BMD) and bone size (BS), i.e. wall thickness, cavity size and total area, among other parameters.

    The crux of your question involves five variables: high-intensity exercise versus more endurance-based activity (bouldering and route climbing, respectively), the two aforementioned indices of bone strength, and time. Any adaptation is specific to the amount of load at the site in question.

    Current research suggests that high load and low repetition will increase BMD, as well as bone size, faster than endurance-based activity in the relative short term.

    Route climbing does not really fit into the endurance category, but rather somewhere in the middle of the power-endurance continuum. As such, you could argue that bouldering, which is positioned at the far end, produces greater gains in bone strength in the short term due to its higher intensity and greater rest period between bouts.

    Recent studies illustrate cortical hypertrophy (bigger bones) in climbers, but since many comp climbers use bouldering as a training medium, and this was not a control parameter, this is not a definitive result. I suggest that if bouldering and route climbing were separated, boulderers would show more bone adaptation than climbers of a similar standard who did not train finger power. But it's a Paris Hilton study a no-brainer complete with hair splitting.

    Most of this is really only pertinent for post menopausal women, since bone strength, BMD and bone mass are not especially significant for the average climber other than a curious footnote.

    To answer your question: Yes, you will have stronger bones in your fingers, and to a lesser extent in your arms, if you boulder a lot. More so than for route climbing. If you drink a lot of cola this may be negated, however, since cola is known to reduce BMD!

     

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    Body: Injury Truths

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    Body: Chronic Injury

    Body: Antibiotics and Tendon Damage

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