Prevention is better than cure: Silvio Reffo explains us why (and how to)
Climber and physiotherapist by profession, Silvio Reffo shares some valuable prevention tips on how to train properly before climbing. And thus avoid muscular strains. Because climbing, like any other sport, is not free from injuries and muscle overload. But who is most likely to suffer from these injuries ?
Prevention is better than cure. Scientific research agrees that, newcomers to the sport are the most likely to develop muscle overload and injury. Strange but true. If you think that professionals spend hours and hours hanging on their fingertips, with overload, without the support of their feet. And yet they are not at the top of the ranking for the most injured.
Why is this? The evolution of the species led humans to abandon the trees to acquire an upright position. Therefore the upper limbs, if initially prepared to remain hanging, with the acquisition of the upright stand, have assumed an essential and prevalent role in the manual skills of everyday life.
Climbing is a little bit like returning to being monkeys, having however lost the load capacity required to perform the climb. So, how should a newcomer to the sport act, what should he avoid doing and what should he concentrate on.
First of all we must try as far as possible, to reverse the course of evolution and readapt our body to this vertical gesture. The progressive load seems to be the key to increasing the body’s ability to absorb mechanical stress.
If we evaluate the adaptation time of the different structures of our body we see that the muscles take about 3 weeks to adapt to the load, while the tendons and ligaments from 3 to 6 months. A sudden increase in load can trigger an acute inflammatory reaction of the structures involved.
Another fundamental factor that has been related to accidents is rest times. A proper rest, after each loading phase, allows the body to avoid overstress. So training is very important. But climbing and training, after the correct resting times, is every more so ! For a proper prevention.