Risk factors of hand climbing-related injuries.
- Sports Medicine Research Laboratory
This study aimed to investigate the protective mechanisms or risk factors that can be related to the occurrence of hand climbing-related injuries (CRIH ). CRIH (tendon, pulley, muscle, and joint injuries) were retrospectively screened in 528 adult climbers. The questionnaire contained anthropometric items (e.g., body mass index - BMI), as well as items regarding climbing and basic training activities (warm-up, cool-down and session durations, number of session per week, hydration, practice level, climbing surface, and duration of the cardiovascular training). Higher skilled climbers and climbers with BMI above 21 kg/m(2) were more likely to have experienced CRIH (P < 0.01). Climbers with BMI above 20 kg/m(2) were more likely to have tendon injuries while those with a BMI above 21 kg/m(2) were more likely to have pulley injuries (P < 0.01). Skilled climbers, who climb more difficult routes, may use smaller grip size and a reduced number of fingers. Higher BMI will require a higher force to climb. Both high level and elevated BMI may increase the demands to the hands and fingers leading to CRIH . These risk factors are difficult to address as we cannot recommend the climbers to climb easier routes and decrease their BMI below 20 kg/m(2) .