It’s not often that I come across a product that revolutionizes my climbing.
When I tore the A2, 3, and 4 pulleys in my left ring finger, I knew I was facing an uphill battle. I saw a hand specialist and went through a month of physical therapy after taking two full months off. Once I resumed climbing, it was a pretty slow process. Jugs only for about two months, though I would work in a few crimps – but nothing truly weight-bearing.
After about six months, I was climbing pretty hard again – though not back to my previous levels and definitely no hard crimping!
Enter the Spiky Finger Massager. I had remembered a friend mentioning this little ring as something that kept him climbing and crimping hard through various finger injuries. I figured why not give it a shot. I emailed Michael Stainthorpe, and after $20 and less than a week’s time, I had two Spikys straight from the UK.
At first, the rings look like some sort of medieval torture device of sorts – a tiny silver band made up of little metal spikes. But let me tell you, this thing has saved my climbing.
All you do is roll it up and down your finger – that’s it. So simple. At first it feels really strange, not quite painful, just weird. But you definitely get used to it. Now what is it actually doing? It’s promoting blood flow to the fingers – a place that generally has very poor circulation. This can help your body repair damage, help get your fingers warm before a session, or prevent them from getting too cold between burns on a project.
It’s effective, and I use mine before, during, and after sessions. It’s always in my pocket, and I’ll use it during class or on the train to work. It really just feels good, and it definitely soothes those aches and pains. When I started using a Spiky, I still had pain and some decreased range of motion in my ring finger, and I also had less severe strains in both middle fingers. After using a Spiky, the pain went away and I had full range of motion. At first, this was only temporary – but with a surprisingly short period of time and continued caution with my climbing, my fingers felt completely healed. For reference, when I started using a Spiky, my fingers still felt injured, and I was still taping regularly; one month later, I was placing 6th in Advanced at the Portland Boulder Rally. Quite a turnaround.
With all of this said, if you have a severe finger injury – seek professional medical help. As climbers, we know how serious those injuries can be, so don’t neglect it, and don’t try to climb through it. I’d rather take some time off now than be shelved for an extended period in the future because I was stubborn!
You can also find similar products on Amazon, but from what I’ve heard from friends, they’re not as good as the one Michael sells on his website.
These Spikys are absolutely fantastic as a preventative measure and a therapeutic one during the later stages of the injury rehab process. I highly recommend it!
If you have other cool devices that help you with injury prevention or recovery, leave a comment or get in touch. I would love to check it out!