Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Brands

Injuries and Medical Advice

Body: Injury Truths

Is it possible to climb all the time and not get injured?

Lock Icon

Become a member to unlock this story and receive other great perks.

Already have an Outside Account? Sign in

Outside+ Logo

All-Access
Intro Offer
$3.99 / month*

  • A $500 value with 25+ benefits including:
  • Access to all member-only content on all 17 publications in the Outside network like Rock and Ice, Climbing, Outside, Backpacker, Trail Runner and more
  • Annual subscription to Climbing magazine.
  • Annual gear guides for climbing, camping, skiing, cycling, and more
  • Gaia GPS Premium with hundreds of maps and global trail recommendations, a $39.99 value
  • Outside Learn, our new online education hub loaded with more than 2,000 videos across 450 lessons including 6 Weeks to Stronger Fingers and Strength Training for Injury Prevention
  • Premium access to Outside TV and 1,000+ hours of exclusive shows
  • Annual subscription to Outside magazine
Join Outside+

*Outside memberships are billed annually. Print subscriptions available to U.S. residents only. You may cancel your membership at anytime, but no refunds will be issued for payments already made. Upon cancellation, you will have access to your membership through the end of your paid year. More Details

Is it possible to climb all the time and not get injured?

Andrew Bisharat, Carbondale, Colorado

Nope, I don’t believe so! The fact that climbers have arms resembling sculpted titanium rods is a good indication of the stresses they endure. Hanging onto a cliff, not infrequently risking a perfectly good set of ankles, is a great way to generate strength. It is also a great way to self-combust. Eye-popping, tendon-ripping and, at times, bone-fracturing feats of power are for some climbers just party tricks. Fear is the catalyst of physiologic mayhem. The flip side of the coin is where pain becomes background noise only, and every contractile tissue available moves you upward an inch at a time. Tap into this dark well of strength often enough, and you learn to do it without the adrenalin. You naively reset the many cerebral and physiological emergency brakes until they are barely a hindrance. The strange thing is that climbers are always surprised when something snaps.

RELATED ARTICLES

Body: BPA and Waterbottles

Body: Bone Density

Body: Steroids and Bone Density

Body: Chronic Injury

Body: Antibiotics and Tendon Damage