Climbing Medicine

How can climbers avoid poison ivy?

by Tom Markiewicz on June 28, 2007

The scourge of many climbers, poison ivy is often a mystery to us. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve witnessed several climbers arguing amongst themselves at the crag over what is or what is not poison ivy. Three leaves someone says. Well, look around, every damn plant here has three leaves! To add […]

Rock climbing not linked to arthritis

by Tom Markiewicz on November 13, 2006

A University of Tennessee study has shown that rock climbing does not increase the risk of osteoarthritis in the hands and fingers (Forbes). This is good news for climbers because even if the reverse were true and climbing did cause arthritis, we wouldn’t stop climbing anyway… The researchers compared 27 rock climbers and 35 non-climbers […]

Indoor climbing considered safer than soccer

by Tom Markiewicz on October 8, 2006

A recent study found that indoor rock climbing has a low risk of injury and is 10 times safer than soccer. The study was published by the quarterly medical journal Wilderness and Environmental Medicine (PDF) by the Wilderness Medical Society. From the, The study by German researchers was based on the rates and types […]

More on finger injuries in climbing

by Tom Markiewicz on January 24, 2005

As a chronic sufferer of finger injuries, I’ve sought out the most effective ways of preventing injury while climbing. While I’ve read in numerous books about stretching the fingers and forearms, not much discussion has gone into the stretching of individual fingers. Most climbing training books advise to stretch the fingers as a group. From […]

Hand Injuries in Rock Climbing

by Tom Markiewicz on January 23, 2005

As a climber who has repeatedly suffered from finger and shoulder injuries, I’m always on the lookout for informative articles that allow me to understand the physiology of the body systems climbers are always pushing to the limits. It’s rare to find sport-specific information on hand and finger injuries. So, I was especially pleased when […]