Injuries and practising sport at a high level unfortunately go hand in hand. It hits some harder than others, but rarely anyone can avoid them completely. Reacting properly in case of an injury sure is important, but even more so is trying to prevent them from happening in the first place.
With half a dozen serious climbing injuries over the last 20 years injury prevention has become a major thing for me. In the section training tips you will find some basics, most of which are ridiculously obvious. Still, I keep finding myself ignorimg them from time to time. An overly quick warmup or refusal to stop training if need be are easy ways to tweak a finger, knee or shoulder. Most of the times these small tweaks will disappear in a week or so, but sometimes they linger on. This brings me to the question:
When does a tweak become an injury?
Before answering this, let me describe the situation I'm currently in: As I'm aiming for a goal that is at my limit I want to train at 100%. This means that choosing the training intensity feels like walking on the razor's edge. Too much will cause overtraining, injury and performance loss, but too little might not lead to succes.
If I'm honest, right now three fingers, one elbow and one knee regularly hurt. And no, it's the other knee this time 😕 . At the same time I reckon myself injury-free, since I don't have to hold back when grabbing holds and I can do almost every move (including big dropknees). These tweaks are a sign that I'm training at my limit, but they can turn into an injury if Im not careful. It almost feels like a bit of a gamble. On the other side, they keep me vigilant, and remind me to stick to my own rules for preventing injuries.
So to answer the question above, I see the occasional pain or tweak as a clear reminder that the limit is reached, and that pulling harder will lead to an injury. The very cliché 'listening to your body' makes sense after all, doesn't it?