Wednesday, 14 November 2012

BMC Climbing Injuries Symposium 2012

So I returned from the hectic yet informative weekend at the Showroom Cinema in Sheffield in one piece!

Now that I have had time to reflect and digest all the information taken in, I'm now (hopefully) ready to give you some nuggets of useful information taken from the weekend.

The weekend consisted of fantastic talks from speakers such as Volker (German Orthopaedic surgeon and medic from the German National Team) and Isa Schoffl (Paediatrician and finger expert), Audry Morrison (Nutritionist), Waqar Bhatti (Consultant Radiologist), Stewart Watson and Charlie McCall (Physiotherapists), Tim Budd (Sports and Remedial Massage Therapist), Gary Gibson and Robert Bradshaw-Hilditch (Podiatrists).
Waqar ultrasounding fingers and exploring the movement of tendons within the joint space

 Lectures ranged from common shoulder injuries: both conservative and surgical management to soft tissue therapy and hydration.

The biggest things I took out of it for impacting my future practice were:
With regards to movement on rock:
  • To assess a climber, assess them climbing
  • Balance is the key to provide locomotion
  • Mistakes in climbing techniques cause ineffieciencies
  • Reduce the load on passive structures, and train actively for this
  • To move each body part in order, starting at the feet and move upwards - not forgetting hip position
  • Use both hands when moving - one can be used in a stabilising fashion when other limbs are being moved
  • Don't compete when training - it's supposed to be a safe environment!
  • Climbing technique issues won't become apparent until the climber is climbing at their limit
Klauss explaining the effect of stretching on muscles using sweet snakes to demonstrate

With shoulder injuries:
  • Surgical decision is based on biological age of the muscles, not of the chorological age of the patient
  • Long head of biceps adds approx 5-7% of your overall over-head strength
  • A SLAP tear can be caused from chronic repeated twisting of the biceps tendon from repeated shoulder extension, abduction and forearm pronation
  • Scapulohumeral rhythym should be approximately 2:1, whereas in climbers, research has found, it is in the region of 3.7:1
  • When assessing the shoulder, look proximally to distally to identify whether the issue is coming from the shoulder, or more proximally from the spine
  • Any rehab needs to be functional, but also broken down into smaller component parts
With climbing related statistics:
  • to use the UIAA MedCom table to convert climbing grades to be comparable to other studies
  • that climbing has a very low injury rate per 1000 hours of sport, as rugby = approx 260, climbing = 3.1 or less
  • of 604 injuries in climbers, 122 were pulley injuries (20%)
Gary and Rob's preliminary data on the forces exerted through a climber's foot - notice alot goes through the first ray, which can cause problems with the foot arch

Other information found:
  • Balled theraband is good for rehabilitation of a finger injury/operation
  • Fascia adds muscle power through the matrix of fascia
  • 168 hours in a week - seeing a physio for 1 hour is  less than 1% of your week - learn to self manage your diagnosis
  • Inflammation is an integral part of the healing process - only need to do something about it if it is out of control
  • That very often, the visible sign of an injury can be just the tip of the iceberg for what lies beneath the surface
  • To try and modify climbing style/technique/behaviour rather than stop climbing altogether due to an injury
  • Finally - if you have a problem/injury and your not sure what to do, go and see an expert!
From this, the next stage for myself, personally, is create a legible record of the notes I made from this symposium, endeavor to get my work published, and keep learning all I can!
For any information on what I have talked about on here, don't hesitate to ask - it's all about sharing of information and preventing injuries!

I leave you with the sound of an A2 pulley tendon tear, and the audience's reaction at the symposium! 

Further reading: "One Move Too Many" by Hochholzer and Schoffl for the climbing injuries bible
"Waterlogged" by Tim Noakes for more on hydration and overhydration
"Anatomy Trains" by Tim Myers for more on fascia