Nerve compression syndromes in sport climbers

Int J Sports Med. 2001 Nov;22(8):611-7. doi: 10.1055/s-2001-18527.


The aim of this study was to determine and evaluate nerve compression syndromes of the upper and lower extremity in sport climbing. Although considerable research has been conducted on orthopedic problems associated with sport climbing, there has been little comprehensive evaluation of the associated neurological problems. The retrospective study performed on 83 active sport climbers presenting with complaints of the upper or lower extremity showed that 21 climbers (25.3%) were diagnosed with a nerve compression syndrome, 14 climbers of the upper extremity, 7 climbers of the lower extremity. Most nerve compression syndromes could be treated by combined conservative modalities (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, ice, splinting, physical therapy, rest or decreased training with a rehabilitation training program) and changes in climbing patterns (scientific training planning with warming up and cooling down as well as stretching exercises, longer rest periods, different hand positions, appropriate climbing shoes). Surgical decompression was rarely necessary. Nerve compression syndromes must be included in the general spectrum of medical problems associated with sport climbing.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arm / anatomy & histology
  • Athletic Injuries / diagnosis*
  • Athletic Injuries / etiology
  • Athletic Injuries / therapy*
  • Brachial Plexus / injuries*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leg / anatomy & histology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nerve Compression Syndromes / diagnosis*
  • Nerve Compression Syndromes / etiology
  • Nerve Compression Syndromes / therapy*
  • Tibial Nerve / injuries*