Reaching for the Top: Sport Climbing Without Back Pain

Reaching for the Top: Sport Climbing Without Back Pain

Mountain climbing can be an exhilarating and rewarding sport. What used to be a simple activity of getting to the mountain top has now become a great challenge, or an obsession to most nature trippers, as well as to a number of sports enthusiasts. It has become a sports craze for a lot of people all over the world. While others do it as an engaging diversion from the rigors of daily work and home routines, those who are obsessed with it are compelled to master one discipline of mountain climbing to another. There’s just no stopping them in their pursuit of skill and mastery.

Many people think that falling is the biggest danger, especially if one has not tried climbing before. While it is true that falling is a risk, the availability of modern climbing equipments and gadgets make falling one of the least likely accidents to happen.

In fact, more mountain climbers are prone to common injuries such as pulled muscle, sprain, strain, hip and back pain. Some even die, either due to these injuries or caused by climbing-related and weather-related accidents such as avalanches which happen in most mountain ranges. These can be avoided by strengthening the muscles as well as by being aware about nature conditions of the place.

As a climber, it is important to develop fitness, strength and flexibility to reduce the risk of low back pain and other injuries. It will also help improve your climbing skills. The more you climb and the higher you get, the more prone you are to injuries. The ability to maintain uniform muscle balance in the forearms, upper arms, and shoulders prevents overuse injuries. It is possible that you will have overly developed back muscles and under-developed rotator cuff muscles which may cause shoulder injuries. On the other hand, over-developed flexors of the forearms and wrist together with under-developed extensor muscles may result to elbow injuries. To avoid back-pain and other climbing-related injuries, an effective Pilates cross-training routine is developed to boost abdominals, hips, and back strength. This program can also improve flexibility, restore over-all muscle balance, strengthening non-climbing muscles, and stretching climbing muscles.

Pilates is a physical fitness program developed by Joseph Pilates based on a method called Contrology.  This method makes use of the mind to control the muscles. According to Pilates, this method is not just a collection of exercises but a program developed and refined through the years based on the principles of Centering, Concentration, Control, Precision, Breathing, and Flowing Movement. Pilates method focuses on the core postural muscles responsible for keeping the body balanced as it provides support for the spine. It develops awareness of breath and alignment of the spine, strengthening the deep torso muscles, which are very helpful in back pain relief and prevention of back injuries.

Although falling may not be the most common occurrence for climbers, it is not being ruled out. It can still happen and proper precautions are necessary. Falls are more likely when you are tired, dehydrated and exposed to extreme temperatures. These situations make for bad coordination, muscle fatigue, and poor judgment.

Injuries not only cause pain but can also limit your movement. Treatments may vary depending on the severity of the injury. Medications such as muscle relaxants and anti-inflammatory drugs can somehow alleviate pain, although it is highly advisable to find a Chiropractor who will examine you and properly prescribe a good treatment regimen to follow. Maintaining a healthy diet, ideal body weight, lifting objects with your legs and using lower-back support when you sit can help prevent back pain and injuries. Always consult professional chiropractic providers for advice regarding proper medication and treatment.