We strongly recommend doing your due research on pulley injuries if you think or know you have one. There are some great resources out there, including Dave Macleod’s blog and book, as well as The Climbing Doctor. It is beyond the scope of this product insert to explain what a pulley injury is, but we do recommend you download the following article, which explains the mechanics of pulley injuries, and the benefits of using a pulley splint while rehabilitating your injury:
Micha Schneeberger and Andreas Schweizer, “Pulley Ruptures in Rock Climbers: Outcome of Conservative
Treatment With the Pulley-Protection Splint—A Series of 47 Cases,”; Wilderness and Environmental Medicine, vol. 27, p. 211–218, 2016.
The Pulley Pal
Having read the above article but unable to find this product available for purchase, we decided to start making and selling the Pulley Pal to make this solution more widely available for climbers. We decided to provide sets of sizes ranging the full span or finger sizes so that you don’t have to worry about buying the exact right size or thermoforming anything to your specific finger size. Plus, if you are unlucky enough to injury a different finger later, at least you’ll have the right size for that one too! Our full set includes inner radii of 13 – 18 mm in steps of 1mm. Try the different sizes on the site of the pulley injury on your injured finger (proximal or middle phalanx) to find the ones that fits snugly without cutting off the blood flow.
The idea is that the Pulley Pal applies pressure in the top-to-bottom axis, but doesn’t pinch the sides of your fingers where the nerves and blood vessels are located, allowing blood flow and sensation to be maintained to a reasonable extent. Once you’ve found the right size, wrap climbing tape around the pulley pal once or twice to keep the open side from expanding when the finger is flexed. You may have to play around with different sizes and tape tension levels before finding the best balance or comfort and pulley support. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you’re having trouble getting it properly fit! And we always appreciate feedback so we can improve our products in future iterations.
Lastly, it is worth mentioning that the Pulley Pal is not an immediate solution to your pulley injury. Pulley injuries take a long time to heal, and you don’t want to overdo it trying to get back on the wall too soon. The Pulley Pal is meant to provide physical support to your injured pulley both when climbing and not climbing, as well as a reminder that you’re injured. Take it easy and be patient, and it’s likely that your finger will heal fully and you’ll be back on your project in no time.