The BMC hosted its second Climbing Injury Symposium on 10 & 11 November 2012 in Sheffield. Experts from different areas of the climbing, coaching, instructional and medical worlds came together for the biennial event to discuss how to identify, prevent and treat climbing injuries.
The event sold out in record time and was attended by a good mix of physios, osteopaths, doctors, coaches, instructors and climbers. It was fantastic to see an even gender balance with a great mix of young and the more experienced in attendance.
National & international speakers
We were extremely fortunate to have Dr. Volker Schöffl (sports medicine and team physician of the German climbing and expedition team) who is one of the authors of the seminal book ‘One Move Too Many’. Dr. Schöffl gave an overview of medical aspects of sport climbing and injury statistics as well as in-depth presentations on common finger and shoulder injuries.
Dr. Isabelle Schöffl (paediatrician and doctor for the German junior climbing team) spoke about monitoring developmental growth and intense training in young climbers and gave a presentation on the anatomy and biomechanics of the hand.
There were practical taping sessions from both Isabelle and Volker Schöffl which included Tom Randall (route setter and climbing coach) demonstrating how to tape up for crack climbs.
Klaus Isele (Austrian Climbing Team physiotherapist) gave a practical demonstration that everyone got involved in on stretching and the significance of the fascia to climbers.
Dr. Waqar Bhatti (musculo-skeletal radiologist) gave an excellent demonstration on ultrasound imaging techniques for looking at and diagnosing tendon and pulley tears. A number of volunteers got their fingers scanned on stage for all to see and it was interesting to see the difference between a non-climber, an older climber and Steve McClure’s fingers. The expertise and knowledge demonstrated by Waqar was extremely impressive.
Audry Morrison (nutritionist and climber) gave a hydration workshop that considered the use (and overuse) of water in climbers and sports people.
Gary Gibson and Robert Bradshaw Hilditch (podiatrists) gave two excellent and entertaining presentations about podiatry and the forces involved in shoes and feet within the climbing community. This ranged from the sizing issue, right through to general foot pathologies that are normal for them to see.
Open-handed versus crimp versus slack three-finger grips when pulling were discussed by Stewart Watson (physiotherapist); Nick Bond (MRI Radiographer) gave a presentation on MR imaging of the spine; Tim Budd (physiotherapist) gave a lecture on ‘Soft Tissue Therapy’ and climbing injuries; and Charlie McCall (physiotherapist) addressed conservative care of shoulder injuries and taping.
Delegates also had the opportunity to climb with Briton's legendary Steve McClure at The Edge climbing centre on Saturday afternoon.
John Dunne (climbing wall owner and ex-professional climber) gave a brilliant and thought provoking talk on Saturday night. It gave a great insight into his illustrious climbing career and showed how young people can be highly motivated to climb and how this can lead to over-training and over-climbing. In John’s case this ultimately led to a serious chronic over-use injury that needed expert surgery to get him back on the road to recovery and climbing again.
Nick Colton, Deputy CEO with the expert panel of speakers at the Injury Symposium.
Delegates said that they found it a great event with excellent content and good value for money.
When is the next BMC Climbing Injury Symposium?
We hope to return with another Climbing Injury Symposium in 2014 perhaps with a greater range of topics and also to present new evidence and findings.
The BMC would like to thank all the speakers and presenters for their generosity and expertise as well as the staff and volunteers that made the event such a great success. Particular thanks to BMC volunteers Audry Morrison, Tom and Nick Bond.
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