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Neely Quinn interviews pro rock climbers, climbing trainers, and other insightful members of the climbing community about how we can get a little better at rock climbing. Subjects include how to train for certain aspects of the sport, how to rehab injuries, the best diet for climbing, and personal stories about climbing.

Apr 13, 2022

Dr. Jared Vagy is a physical therapist and he’s a climber who’s incredibly motivated to help other climbers heal their bodies. In this interview, we talk about new research about common finger injuries in climbers and how that’s affected his protocols for healing them. We did another interview about fingers a long time ago in Episode 116, but this is an update to that information and a deeper dive into it.

Jared’s book Climb Injury-Free is on its seventh print run and is back in stock (finally). Order his book here.

This interview is super in-depth and he describes exact protocols to use on finger injuries, so I hope it helps you out if you have a finger injury now or if you have in the past.

More Details

  • 40% of climbing injuries are fingers!
  • Most common finger injuries and how they happen
  • Pulleys vs tendons explained
  • How to diagnose finger injuries
  • How new research has affected his protocols
  • What the popping sound is during an injury
  • How long recovery takes
  • Two ways to approach pulley sprains
  • Medications and devices to use to heal
  • What side-to-side pain means
  • Protocol timelines
  • Long-standing finger injuries
  • Using hangboard for recovery

Other Interviews with Dr. Vagy

  1. Interview #1: We talked in general about how to heal injuries, but since that time he has gotten way more specific about the steps we need to take to address them.
  2. Interview #2: He talked about how to heal shoulder impingement.
  3. Interview #3: We talked about rotator cuff injuries and neck strain.
  4. Interview #4: We discussed finger pulley sprains.
  5. Interview #5: We discussed elbow injuries.
  6. Interview # 6: We talked about hip injuries.

Jared Vagy Professional Credentials

Dr. Vagy is an authority on climbing related injuries. He has published numerous articles on injury prevention and delivers lectures and seminars on the topic. He received his Doctorate in Physical Therapy (DPT) from the University of Southern California, ranked the number one DPT Program in the nation for the last decade by US News and World Report.

He is now a professor at the University in the DPT Program. As a Doctor of Physical Therapy in clinical practice, he went on to complete a one year residency program in orthopedics and a one year fellowship program in movement science. He is a Board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.


Supporting Videos from Episode

Video describing pulley injury anatomy, biomechanics and research

Video describing pulley diagnostic classifications and rehab

Diagnosis and classification

Return to climbing and hanging timelines


Rock Rehab Protocol Links

Dr. Vagy has created 6 injury protocols using his Rock Rehab Pyramid method that are available on TrainingBeta. You can find out more about his methods by clicking on any of the links below. You can see a description of all of the protocols (which we’ve made available for $15 each) at


Dr. Jared Vagy Links