2019, Volume 11, Issue 4
Finger range of motion and joint circumferences in rock climbers
Katarzyna Raczyńska1, Bartosz Trybulec2, Kamila Boczoń2, Paweł Jagielski3
1Clinique du Petit-Colmoulins, Soins de Suite et Réadaptation
2Department of Physiotherapy, Physiotherapy Institute, Faculty of Health Sciences, Jagiellonian University Medical College
3Department of Human Nutrition, Institute of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, Jagiellonian University Medical College
Author for correspondence: Bartosz Trybulec; Department of Physiotherapy, Physiotherapy Institute, Faculty of Health Sciences, Jagiellonian University Medical College; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Background. Fingers of climbers are an area where operating forces reach the highest values, thus they are susceptible for overloading. The aim of this study was to determine what kind of morphological changes climbing causes in the anatomical structures of climbers’ fingers and whether these changes affect their function.
Materials and methods. The study group consisted of 27 climbers and 26 non-climbers as a control group. Research consisted of an original questionnaire and measurements of the range of motion and circumferences of finger joints.
Results. Limited finger flexion in all distal interphalangeal (DIP) and proximal interphalangeal (PIP) joints in the study group was reported, as well as the contours of some DIP joints were enlarged. Correlation between the time of climbing and fingers’ joints circumference value has been found. The examined climbers also declared affected grip precision in performing daily tasks.
Conclusions. Climbers have limited flexion and increased finger joint circumferences, mostly in distal parts of fingers. There is a relationship between the duration of training and the intensity of morphological changes – the longer the training duration, the smaller the joints’ circumferences. Changes in anatomy of the fingers may cause functional limitation and thus difficulties in performing precise tasks during daily activities.
Key words: rock climbing, adaptive changes, hypertrophy, joint circumference, range of motion, functional limitation