What does medecine says about neck pain during climbing ?
Being a chiropractor and an avid climber I chose to write this review demonstrating the advantages of belay glasses specifically those by Y&Y.
I hope it may be a useful perspective.
Not only am I a chiropractor and a climber, I am also one of those ‘lucky’ individuals who has a congenital neck condition resulting in frequent neck pain and severe migraines.
Not surprisingly these symptoms are exacerbated by repetitive and prolonged periods of neck extension aka belaying.
It became clear if I wanted to continue climbing I needed a means of reducing my neck pain.
There came my introduction to belay glasses.
I can not tell you what a joy it is to find such an ‘invention’ that means I can still enjoy my hobby without having to suffer for it-of course I still suffer but my neck pain is better !
Unnatural neck postures such as repetitive neck extension required for belaying can lead to an array of issues including pain from: muscle spasm and dysfunction, facet joint irritation, sprain/strain injuries, headaches and migraines.
Over prolonged periods greater issues such as postural syndrome, degenerative joint disease, degenerative disc disease, nerve impingement, spondylolisthesis, upper extremity pins and needles, tingling, numbness or weakness, and balance disruption can be exacerbated.
Belay glasses negate the need to place the head in an extended posture, minimising the likelihood of these complaints.
The lack of these issues mean a belayer can keep their eyes on the ‘job’ rather than having to look away to ease any neck fatigue therefore maximizing safety of the climber and belayer which we all know is the major priority.
The Y&Y glasses are a great design.
I had a few requirements of a pair of belay glasses these included: maximum peripheral vision, maximum safety, strong frames and clear vision.
The Y&Y glasses have minimalistic frames resulting in maximum peripheral vision so you can still see down to your belay gear, see your surroundings and be able to look above at the climber when needed.
Such a feature means you can turn your attention to any given situation at any given time increasing safety.
The strong steel frames are very comfortable and even though slim line they are very strong, durable and pliable.
This last point is very important as it means they can still be put on smoothly despite negotiating a helmet or long hair.
The prisms are a good size with a great balance between being able to visualize what you need to and maximizing the periphery.
They offer good magnification and extremely clear vision.
They come with all the added extras too including extra nose fittings, frame tools, cleaning cloth and neck sling.
The case has been very well designed with both a sling and a benar depending how you want to carry it.
Personally I like to keep them on my harness so the included benar means I didn’t have to go buy an additional one for this purpose. The two case fastenings either by the Velcro strap or zip means I can leave the zip open and have quick access to the glasses without fear of losing them during a climbing session and at the end of the day store them securely using the zip.
I love the section inside the pouch to keep all the extras and the side supports meaning the case doesn’t flip fully open losing all its contents the result being everything can be managed with one hand.
The only addition I would make to this product is a soft protective sleeve for the glasses so nothing inside the pouch scratches the prisms.
I cannot recommend this product highly enough and an added bonus is the cost and the great customer service Y&Y offers.
You will not be disappointed with the product or the relief in your neck pain.