• Broken Hand
  • NSAIDS: To Use or Not to Use
  • Hydrocele, Spermatocele and Strained Groin
  • Hand: Arthritis
  • Open-Heart Surgery
  • Osteopenia and Increasing Bone Density
  • Body: Pain Meds vs Sex
  • Appendectomy and Climbing Training
  • Body: Injury Truths
  • Body: BPA and Waterbottles
  • Body: Bouldering for Bone Density
  • Body: Chronic Injury
  • Body: Bouldering for the Bones
  • Body: Antibiotics and Tendon Damage
  • Back

  • Lumbar Bone Spurs
  • Options for Disc Herniation
  • Back: Spinal Fracture
  • Back: Preventing Hunchback
  • Back: Herniated Disc
  • Abdomen

  • Abdomen: Muscle Tear/Hernia
  • Arm

    No items found.


  • Thoracic Musculature Tightness
  • Chronic Posterior Shoulder Pain
  • Supraspinatus and Labral Tears
  • Chronic Shoulder Pain
  • Shoulder Replacement
  • Shoulder Pain
  • Exploding Shoulder
  • Shoulder: Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
  • Shoulder: SLAP Lesion and Cortisone
  • Shoulder: Frozen Shoulder
  • Shoulder: Torn Labrum, SLAP Lesion
  • Shoulder: Separation
  • Shoulder: Pain and Virus
  • Biceps

  • Bursting Biceps
  • Elbow

  • Golfer's Elbow
  • Elbow: Brachioradialis Pain
  • Tennis Elbow
  • Medial Epicondylosis Tendonitis
  • Dodgy Elbows Revisited
  • Synovial Chips
  • Quack Elbow Treatments to Avoid
  • Elbow Pain and Cortisone Use
  • Do Compression Sleeves Work?
  • Elbow: Tennis Elbow
  • Elbow: Medial Tendonosis
  • Elbow Pain and Dodgy Elbows
  • Elbow: Tendonosis
  • Elbow: Medial Epicondylosis and Taping
  • Elbow: Tingling and Numbness
  • Elbows: Minimizing Fingerboard Injuries
  • Elbow: Medial Epicondyle Tendonosis
  • Elbow: Stress Fracture
  • Elbow: Pain and Hangboarding
  • Wrist

  • TFCC Tear
  • Wrist Pain From Cleaning Routes
  • Wrist: Klienbock's Disease
  • Wrist: Ruptured Tendon
  • Snap, Crackle, Wrist
  • Wrist: Fractured Scaphoid
  • Wrist: Instability
  • Hand

  • Broken Hand
  • Hand: Hook of the Hamate Fracture
  • Fingers: Everything You Need to Know About Finger Stress
  • Hands: Dupuytren's Disease (lump in palm)
  • Hands: Numbness and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Fingers

  • Swollen Right Index Finger
  • Pinky Numbness
  • Avulsion Fracture
  • Hand: Arthritis
  • Finger Numbness
  • Fourth Metacarpal Break
  • First Pulley Strain
  • Freezing Fingers Today, Benefit Tomorrow?
  • Cysts in Fingers
  • Ruptured Finger Pulley
  • Major Finger Pain
  • Fingers: What To Do with a Ruptured Flexor Digitorum Superficialis
  • Fingers: Everything You Need to Know About Finger Stress
  • Fingers: Hyper-extended
  • Fingers: Cysts and Pain
  • Fingers: Cracked Fingertips
  • Fingers: De Quervain's Tenosynovitis
  • Fingers: NSAID Treatment
  • Fingers: Torn A2 Pulley
  • Fingers: Trigger Thumb Syndrome
  • Fingers: Stiffness, Soreness
  • Fingers: Grip Position and Injury
  • Fingers: Cortisone for Tendon Injuries
  • Fingers: Pinky Finger Pain
  • Fingers: Electrostimulation
  • Hands: Numbness and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Fingers: Taping Truths
  • Fingers: Flappers
  • Fingers: Trigger-Finger Syndrome
  • Fingers: Torn A3 and A4 Pulleys
  • Fingers: Cysts
  • Fingers: Arthritis
  • Fingers: Numbness
  • Fingers: Blown Tendons
  • Leg

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

  • Outside Knee Pain: Tibiofibular Joint
  • MCL Injury
  • Blown Knees
  • Knee Tendonitis after Ankle Fusion
  • Meniscal Tear on a Drop Knee
  • Knee: Rockfall Causes Lump
  • Knee: Chondral Injury of the Lateral Tibial Plateau
  • Leg and Knee: Broken Femur and Shattered Kneecap
  • Knee: Ruptured ACL
  • Knee: Ruptured Ligament and Meniscus
  • Knee: Synovial Cartilage Damage
  • Ankle

  • Osteochondral Talus Fracture
  • Knee Tendonitis after Ankle Fusion
  • Snapped ankle tendon
  • Possible Death of the Talus Bone
  • Broken Talus Bone
  • Ankle: Loud Pop Ankle Roll
  • Feet

  • Bunions
  • Dr. J Attacks Fungal Toenails
  • Feet: Broken Foot
  • Feet: Gout and Pseudogout
  • Feet: Toe Fracture
  • Video Spotlight
    Rooftown Vol. 2 - Featuring the Bouldering Exploits of Matt Gentile
    Rooftown Vol. 2 - Featuring the Bouldering Exploits of Matt Gentile
    Whipper of the Month
    Weekend Whipper: Alastair McDowell's Los Indignados (M7) Screamer
    Weekend Whipper: Alastair McDowell's Los Indignados (M7) Screamer

    Shoulder Pain


    I’ve been climbing for a year and a half and am leading up to 5.11a. Last winter I started using a hangboard for hangs, pull ups and working toward front levers. I’ve never had pain while climbing or pulling down, but it hurts when I raise my arm to the side above shoulder level with my palm turned up, and I get some pain with internal rotation exercises. A physical therapist and an orthopedic both thought I had no real injuries. I reckoned it was no big deal at first and kept climbing for weeks, until one day following a strenuous session I got a very sharp pain in my shoulder while resting after a boulder problem. Then I couldn’t raise my arm over my head for a few days. Do I need to wait until the pain is gone to climb? Or should I try to ease back into it after a week or two?

    PF, Rock And Ice Forum

    Timing is a major determinant of success when trying to manage injuries. Yours is a little off.

    I dare say you didn’t see the PT or the ortho when you couldn’t lift your arm, but rather when there was minor discomfort. This makes diagnosis more difficult. I often tell patients to get out there and piss the injury off so that I have something to look at. History alone, as in mechanism of injury and pain pattern, will often only get you so far down the diagnostic highway.

    At one and half years old your climbing life is but a fledgling and, like all fledglings, ignorance is bliss. You, however, seem to be arriving a little quicker than most in that you’re sensitive to the dangers that abound. Tissues do break, elbows are not invincible, shoulders are no longer just the joints that get your hands to the goodies on the top shelf.

    I would say you have a healthy sense of alarm, although you are not sure what to do with it. Most avid climbers, amateur or professional, will tell you that the trick to enjoying the sport and improving is not so much about avoiding injuries—that is nigh impossible—but managing them such that they recover. Sometimes that means outright rest. Kick back, enjoy the finer pleasures in life. Leer at your hottie, discreetly throw golf balls onto the local 18th green and watch the anarchy unfold, or take some kids climbing.

    Most of the time, though, you can do something. Be intuitive. A little sub-max experimentation will go a long way toward letting you know what you can and can’t do. The key word here is “sub-max!”

    As a fledgling climber, training for front levers is not the best way for you to improve and, unless you have a long history of training upper-body power, I’d say it is just behind robbing the mafia in terms of asking for an injury. Please read the last 20 issues of Training in Rock and Ice. If you still want to train front levers, it is probably because you didn’t pay for the magazines. I suggest getting a coach, since people generally only listen when they pay for the advice.

    I would go back to climbing now if you’ve been able to lift your arm for the last week without too much pain. Chances are you will not be world champion anyway and, given that, there’s no hurry—or reason to train front levers. Go slow.


    This article was published in Rock and Ice 222 (November 2014).

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