I’ve had a lump developing in my palm for a while now, and at first I thought it was just an inflammation of a tendon from climbing, but it’s not only lasted a while, but it’s gotten bigger and a bit sore. So to make sure I wasn’t setting myself up for possible problems during my trip, I decided to have it looked at, expecting at worst to have to get some sort of treatment when I came back.
Well, as it turns out, I have a rather odd condition called Dupuytren’s Contracture (pronounced “doop-a-tron”, which is awesome), the cause of which is only broadly guessed at. On the upside, even the worst-case scenario looks worse than it is; the doc said it’s never been shown to be caused by climbing, and it shouldn’t prevent me from doing much of anything I want to, including climbing. The worst of it is just that I’ll have a sore spot on my palm and that my finger may get bent over more and more to the point that I don’t actually have to do anything to crimp a hold, and even then I can get it fixed surgically.
So, nothing huge, but a little disconcerting. Getting older sucks.
EDIT: This article from the British Journal of Sports Medicine shows indications of climbing accelerating occurences of Dupuytren’s, but not causing it outright. Discussions in the climbing community are about as vague and varied with experiences, so really, the whole thing is just a big, fairly innocuous question mark. Which is really what I expect with most orthopedic medicine these days.
EDIT 2: As it turns out, this may also explain the slight shoulder soreness I’ve been feeling over roughly the same period of time when my arm is raised over my head in a certain position. Guess I’ll have the shoulder checked out when I get back.