Outdoor Sports Climbing Dangers

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Are you thinking of taking up climbing as a sport? It can be an exhilarating and rewarding sport. Like most, you probably think that falling is the biggest danger especially if you’ve never climbed before. With all of the modern climbing equipment, falling is actually one of the least likely accidents. Falling is a risk but there are many other injuries that are more common. You should be aware of these risks and how to prevent them before you get involved in mountain or rock climbing.

Gravity is something that our bodies are used to in normal day-to-day living but when you climb you’re fighting gravity even harder. You use your fingers, hands, feet and limbs to fight the forces of gravity. To add to this, you are usually climbing in extreme temperatures and in jagged terrain.

Our bones are connected by thick tissues called ligaments. They’re not as elastic as our muscles so when they’re stretched and put under strain they can tear or come away from the bone. This type of injury is called collateral ligament strain and for climbers it is most typically in the fingers. It is caused by repeatedly pulling your body up with just a few fingers. Even mild cases result in pain in the fingers and limited function.

Tendons attach muscles to bones and are also not very elastic so they are prone to strain and damage. A medical condition called Lateral Epicondylitis afflicts many climbers in the forearm and elbow. Repetitive use of grabbing and pulling with the arms creates strain in these tendons and can lead to damage.

Physical injuries from continued strain are not the only common injuries. Debris and rocks can be loosened and fall on you and other climbers. There is also the threat of large scale hazards, including avalanches. They are most likely to occur in the changes of seasons from winter to spring. While this kind of danger is rare, you should be aware of the hazards.

As stated before, falls are not the most common occurrence for climbers but they can happen and proper precautions need to be taken. Falls are more likely when you are tired, dehydrated and exposed to extreme temperatures. In these situations your coordination is bad, your muscles are more fatigued and your judgement is poor.

Mountain and rock climbing can be an exhilarating and rewarding sport and make for a great outdoor vacation. Any sport has risks involved, though climbing risks can lead to more serious injuries. All of these risks should be considered before you take up climbing so you know how to avoid these injuries and dangers.

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