The beginning Countless hours belaying with friends & family, meant putting up with neck pain and discomfort while belaying and even after we had packed up and went home!
We spent a small fortune on Physios and Osteopaths to relieve headaches and neck stiffness associated with belaying, yet, as soon as we went climbing again, these symptoms would return. Surely, there must be a better way!
Since NOT climbing was NOT an option, the only other option was to innovate. So, I started exploring various options: mirrors, neck-braces, and finally, prisms. Product Designer and friend, Victor Blank, developed a wire spectacle frame to hold the prisms. We then tested a succession of prototypes for 9 months, and finally our baby was born: the CU Belay Glasses.
Today Ten years later, we haven’t forgotten our enthusiastic first year customers and pioneer users of the CU belay glasses. You helped ensure the great success of the CU belay glasses. A huge “Thank you!” to all of you!
CU, on belay
Belaying is unique as an activity where continuous “head back” posture is necessary.
Given the discomfort, and absence of this posture in all other areas of life, it is clearly an anatomically poor position; both counter-intuitive and detrimental to good neck health.
Most climbers are familiar with “belayer’s neck”; even if only experiencing a little soreness or discomfort in soft tissues around neck and shoulders.
For many, the severity of symptoms is proportional to time spent belaying, and pain is the norm at wall or crag.
At worst, the pain, stiffness and complications (e.g headaches or trapped nerve) affect everyday life – essentially a neck injury, exacerbated at every belay session, and limiting the pleasure of climbing.
This is often the stage at which GP, anti-inflammatory medication, and treatment by Physiotherapist, Osteopath or Chiropractor are sought.
For pre-existing back or neck conditions, conventional belay posture may be impossible, or dangerous to delicate neck structures.
This could mean exclusion from climbing, or ‘unsafe’ belaying with just quick, cursory checks on the climber above.
Prevention & Relief of “Belayer’s neck”
Earliest converts to CU Belay Glasses were those in greatest need of pain relief, and having spent money on Physio, Osteopath or Chiropracty. Whilst treatment often brings great relief, it may only last as long as abstinence from belaying.
Early adopters actively sought out the CU, with some on the verge of giving up belaying, and climbing (no belay = no climb !).
CU Belay Glasses cost roughly the same as two treatment sessions with Physiotherapist etc, (or one each for you and your climbing partner), and can help avoid those ongoing costs, if used early, and prior to harm or injury.
Used correctly, and at every belay, the CU assists prevention and relief from neck strain; depending on whether adopted early or later as an essential item. Age, present neck health and frequency of belaying all affect the onset and severity of belayer’s neck.
From the moment you use the CU correctly, you should experience the neck in a relaxed, neutral position.
An immediate, vast improvement in neck comfort, compared to any degree of neck-craning.