American Ninja Warrior or Not, Rock Climbing Rocks Your Health

By Sara Butler

Chiropractic for Rock Climbers

If you’re anything like me, then you’ve sat comfortably on your couch and watched people work their impossibly fit butts off on American Ninja Warrior. As a somewhat unofficial expert on the show (meaning I’ve logged a lot of hours binge-watching on Netflix), I’ve noticed a common thread: The best performers are people with a rock climbing background.

I have trouble completing just one pull-up at the gym, so I admire the upper body strength and control of rock climbers. And with this sport’s rise in popularity both indoors and outdoors, it seems many people are trying their hands at it. That’s awesome! I mean, we all know how important core and upper body strength is to proper posture and spinal health! But as awesome as rock climbing is for you, it also has its drawbacks -- namely, overuse injuries.

At The Joint Chiropractic, you know we care about your health and want to help you support your health goals, both big and small. Maybe you’re not looking to compete in American Ninja Warrior, but if rock climbing is your jam, then these tips will help to keep you from getting between a rock and a hard place as you climb your way to victory.

Overuse Injuries: The Basics

Overuse injuries are something you may hear frequently coming from the mouths of chiropractors at The Joint. That’s because it’s not just sports activities that cause overuse injuries -- you can get one just sitting at your desk, typing away at your computer! Of course, that’s not nearly as satisfying as conquering El Capitan, but the point is that when you perform the same movement or activity repeatedly, then you’re at risk for an overuse injury.

To prevent overuse injuries, chiropractors suggest:

  • Identifying the cause - To treat the injury properly, first identify what activity is causing it. The good news is that the chiropractors at The Joint make great detectives!
  • Cross-training - If you rock climb, then you may want to throw a little yoga into your routine to help reduce muscle tension and increase flexibility.
  • Working on balance - If you have tight muscles, work to stretch them. If you have weak muscles, work to strengthen them. Balance is crucial to avoiding overuse injuries.
  • Participating in other activities - Rock climbing is awesome, but it shouldn’t be your only activity. Alternate with other activities to help you achieve the aforementioned balance.
  • Rest - Even the sherpas on Mount Everest have days off. You need time to let your body heal and recuperate.
  • Learn to manage inflammation - Working with your chiropractor to help find relief from overuse injuries is key, but so is learning to manage your pain with good, old-fashioned ice and heat.

See Your Chiropractor!

Overuse injuries may not be apparent at first. In fact, a series of small, unhealed injuries can accumulate over time and one day leave you feeling as if you got beaten up in the night by an American Ninja Warrior. Those small traumas will eventually weaken you and impact how efficiently you move -- both on and off the rock face.

Luckily, you have a secret weapon -- the chiropractors at The Joint! See a doctor of chiropractic regularly to help you heal and keep you moving without pain or restriction. When you conquer the mountain of health and wellness, the sky is literally the limit!

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