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Peak Performance for Climbers

Post-injury rehab and training for climbers

Post-Injury rehab and training for climbers

Aaron Shaw, OTR/L, CHT, CSCS, at a climbing gym

If you’re a climber, chances are good that you’ll have an upper extremity injury at some point. With expert therapists who are also experienced climbers, MoveMend is becoming known as the go-to place for post-injury rehab and training for climbers.

Indoor rock climbing has seen huge surges in popularity. Today, it’s easier than ever for people of all ages to try (and fall in love with) climbing or bouldering. But because of the demands placed on the hands, forearms, elbows, and shoulders, the number of climbing-related injuries is also on the rise.

The MoveMend therapists have seen and treated it all, from finger pulley injuries to shoulder strains and more. And we’ve helped climbers of all levels recover from injury, improve strength and skills, and get back on the wall.


Post-injury rehab and training for climbers

Dr. Sam Watkins, PT, DPT, CSCS, climbing at a rock gym


“I went to MoveMend for 9 months for therapy on a soft-tissue injury to my forearm and finger from climbing. Aaron Shaw was attentive, detailed, and understood the mechanics and strains that climbing can do to the lower arm. Here I am now feeling healthy and strong, and I’m positive I wouldn’t feel this way had I not visited MoveMend.

I highly recommend them to climbers.” – Addison N. 

“The biggest advantage of coming to MoveMend for me was the specificity of diagnosis and treatment, and the fact Aaron specializes in sports, and climbing in particular.

His diagnosis and advice were very precise and targeted. Hence the improvement followed. I really liked that I was given a program for recovery and did not have to drive there every day. My elbow is much better now, and in shorter time than it might have been with a more generic, less targeted approach. Highly recommend!” – Rafael H. 

“Aaron provided detailed and thoughtful feedback on my climbing-related finger injury. He is a great resource for climbers (and everyone) who are seeking therapy.” – Holly Jayne K.

“If you are a climber with finger, elbow, or shoulder issues (in other words, a climber!), I recommend Aaron and MoveMend without reservation. Aaron’s approach is upbeat, pragmatic, and straight forward. He’s an Occupational Therapist and also a trained Strength and Conditioning coach and an accomplished athlete. Being injured is tough mentally as well as physically. Aaron has helped me maintain a positive attitude and to focus on ways I can improve my climbing fitness while recovering from injury. Go see him!” – Charlie C.

“Got great advice for my unusual climbing injury! It’s invaluable having a medical practitioner that also knows your sport!” – Luke P.

“Incredible, Aaron is the best hand therapist I’ve seen in all my years of rock climbing” – Austin S.

“This is a great team of healers led by Aaron Shaw. Very knowledgeable about arms and shoulders, biking, climbing, and much more. Honest, cool, and dedicated to getting you going again.” – Mark S.

Check out our YouTube playlist for climbers!

We’ve compiled some of our favorite exercises to help climbers inprove core strength, rotator cuff mobility and strength, elbow health, and more.

Check it out here: MoveMend Exercises for Climbers

Why choose MoveMend for Post-Injury Rehab and Training for Climbers?

Aaron Shaw, OTR/L, CHT, CSCS, is a world-class certified hand therapist and occupational therapist and an avid climber himself

Dr. Sam Watkins, PT, DPT, CSCS, is an expert physical therapist who has helped many climbers recover from shoulder injuries. He's also an avid climber!

We offer post-injury and performance personal training to help you get stronger and climb better!

Climbing Rehab in Action


About Heidi Blackie, OTR/L, CHT

Heidi is an Occupational Therapist, Certified Hand Therapist (since 2005), and Certified Stott Pilates Instructor (since 2007). She served as Clinical Instructor at the University of Puget Sound, where she got her Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy in 1998. She has been living and working in Seattle ever since.

Heidi’s areas of expertise include ergonomics, custom splinting, arthritis, RSI, postural retraining, post-op therapy. She was one of our presenters at our climbing clinic. Read more about Heidi. 

About Dr. Sam Watkins, PT, DPT, CSCS

Post-injury climbing rehab expert Dr. Sam WatkinsDr. Sam Watkins has a particular interest in treating lower extremity and shoulder injuries. He utilizes his prior experience as an athlete and coach, in combination with knowledge of tissue healing, and strength and conditioning principles, to provide patients with activity-specific, individualized treatments. Read more about Sam. 

Book an OT evaluation with Heidi Blackie for hand, wrist, or elbow injuries