Injury Prevention and Management Practices Amongst Indoor Sports Climbers
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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The aim of this study was to help establish whether further ‘injury’ familiarization was needed amongst the climbing population and the ‘medical’ profession, and whether this familiarization was primarily general awareness, treatment, or prevention that needed to be advanced through education. One hundred and twelve questionnaires were distributed between November 2013 and January 2014. Forty-nine questionnaires were emailed to climbers, and 63 were handed directly to climbers at three different indoor climbing/bouldering walls in Bristol and Cardiff. The criteria for selecting participants were that climbers had to be aged 18 years or over, and also have at least two years of climbing experience. The key component of the questionnaire then sought information from the participants on types of injuries along with treatment and preventative strategies commonly used. A total of 67 questionnaires were completed. Sixty percent of all participants had sustained an injury in the last two years. The total number of distinct injuries recorded was 91. Overuse injuries accounted for 59% of all injuries, whereas traumatic injuries accounted for 41%. Fingers, elbows and shoulders were the most common injury sites. The most prevalent distinct injury was the A2 pulley, occurring in 15% of all diagnosed injuries. Most participants reported receiving informal advice regarding treatments (21%) and preventative strategies (32%) from fellow climbers. The most common advice regarding treatment was rest (24%). Warm ups (24%) was reported as the most effective preventative measure in this study. Elite climbers with climbing experience of over ten years who climb more than twice a week, are at higher risk of injury. With the repetitive nature of the average age that a climber suffered from injuries such as A2 pulley injury has decreased by 20 years in the past decade. Effective treatments and preventative advice for injuries has come from medical professionals, demonstrating that the attitude of climbers needs to change. Giving climbers and medical professionals a chance to gain a greater understand of climbing injuries will help them work together to reduce rates and develop interventions that work most effectively. Although some symposiums have been running since 2010, they need to become more regular and at different venues around the country. Future research into effectiveness of new treatment and preventative interventions as well as investigating the psychological mind of a rock climber is warranted.
DEGREE OF BACHELOR OF SCIENCE (HONOURS) SPORT CONDITIONING, REHABILITATION AND MASSAGE
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