The purpose of this collaborative study with ErasmusMC in Rotterdam study was to describe the prevalence, incidence and risk factors for climbing-related injuries of the upper extremities in recreational climbers. In doing so this study is amongst the first to report on the injury spectrum in this fast growing sport.
A total of 426 recreational climbers were recruited from Dutch indoor climbing halls. A baseline questionnaire included questions on potential risk factors for climbing injuries: personal factors, climbing-related factors and upper extremity injuries that had occurred in the previous 12 months. Follow-up questionnaires collected information on new injuries that occurred during the follow-up period.
The incidence of climbing-related injuries during one-year follow-up was 42.4% with 13 injuries per 1 000 h of climbing. The finger was the most frequently affected injury location (36.0 %). The following risk factors were associated with the occurrence of upper extremity injuries: higher age (OR 1.03, 95%CI 1.01;1.05), performing a cooling-down (OR 2.02, 95%CI 1.28;3.18), climbing with campus board (OR 2.48, 95%CI 1.23;5.02), finger strength of the middle finger (OR 1.12, 95 %CI 1.05;1.18) and previous injuries (OR 3.05, 95 %CI 2.01;4.83).
In conclusion climbing injuries of the upper body extremities are very common among recreational climbers in indoor halls and several risk factors can be identified that are related to a higher injury risk. Hopefully such factors may provide preventive hook sof future interventions.
van Middelkoop M, Bruens ML, Coert JH, Selles RW, Verhagen E, Bierma-Zeinstra SMA, et al. Incidence and Risk Factors for Upper Extremity Climbing Injuries in Indoor Climbers. Int J Sports Med. 2015