All That You Need To Know About Wrist Pain And Wrist Injuries
Don’t let wrist pain hold back your progress in the gym.
There are many factors that can lead to wrist pain or a wrist injury. Wrist injuries can range from sprains to fractures. You can experience severe, sharp pains along the side of your hand and wrist. If you move your wrist it hurts.
The wrist might swell after a short while and you might experience numbness, a tingling feeling or your wrist could even feel hot.
A tear in muscle fibers from repetitive movements is common with bodybuilders. A sprained wrist can be caused by an injury to the ligaments as a result of some kind of sudden force being applied. Broken wrists are also fairly common.
What Kind Of Wrist Injury Do You Have?
A trip to your doctor is recommended to understand the extent of your injury. Have you broken a bone or just sprained a ligament? You need to know. If you have a lot of pain and swelling then an X-ray will be required to see if the bone is broken.
Broken wrist bones can require surgery. It will certainly always require a plaster cast. A broken wrist can take weeks to heal with a cast. If you have a broken wrist, then don’t put it under any unnecessary strain until it is fully healed.
If you have sprained your wrist then you need to know how severe this is. If you still have all the functionality of your wrist and just pain then this will be minor damage to your ligaments. If you have lost some or all wrist functions and there is looseness in the joint then this is severe.
If you have minor or even moderate wrist sprain it should heal on its own. Severe cases are likely to require surgery.
Treatment For A Broken Wrist
If your wrist is broken then you need to restrict its movement. There is no getting away from this and if you do anything to the contrary you are an idiot of immense proportions! They will normally put a cast on or use splints to restrict the movement.
If you are experiencing pain then an over the counter pain reliever such as ibuprofen or Tylenol could be prescribed by your doctor. In severe cases of pain, you may be prescribed codeine based medications. Be careful with these!
You can do some gentle finger movements while the cast is on. Please note the emphasis on “gentle” here. If you experience pain then stop. When the cast is removed there are many rehabilitation exercises that you can do.
Want to go straight back to the gym and start deadlifting again? Hmm, that wouldn’t be too smart would it?
Physical therapy is also a good idea once the cast is off. If you have suffered a really severe injury then it could be a number of months before you are fully recovered. Listen to the doctors and physical therapists. They know what they are talking about (most of the time LOL).
Treating A Sprained Wrist
The first thing to do is to rest for at least 48 hours. Be careful to avoid any pressure on your wrist in that time. If you don’t do this you can cause more severe damage and pain. You have been warned!
Ice can be a great pain reliever. Apply ice to your wrist and the other affected areas for around 30 minutes every three hours or so. After two or three days you may find that the pain has gone. If not, keep doing it.
If you don’t have a bandage on to compress your wrist then this is a good idea.
In severe cases you can have a cast applied or use splints. This should only be applied for a short while and you need to follow the doc’s advice on this. Using splints or casts for too long with a sprain can cause stiffness and in some cases a weakness of the muscles.
Anti inflammatory pain killers can help with pain and swelling. Advil, Aleve and Motrin can be prescribed. Be careful as these drugs can have really grim side effects and can increase the risk of ulcers. Use them sparingly.
Gentle strengthening and stretching exercises are recommended. Try elevating your wrist above your heart on the back of a chair as many times as you can.
Wouldn’t It Be Better To Avoid Wrist Injuries?
For real heavy lifting, wrist wraps or wrist straps can support your wrists. Wearing these wraps will help with your grip.
There are also a number of exercises that you can do to prevent wrist pain and injuries. You also need to take a look at what you are doing in the gym.
You want to avoid using straight bars for bicep curls and triceps extensions. Incorrect lifting techniques can cause wrist injuries. Make sure that your arms and wrists are correctly positioned before lifting any weights. Lock your wrists when using dumbbells and barbells.
If your wrists or forearms are not particularly strong then this increases your risk of injury. Create more strength in your wrists by using forearm and wrist curls.
We all know that you want to lift the heaviest amount of weight possible, but if you attempt to do this too quickly or without proper conditioning, then your chances of a wrist injury will be greatly increased.
Gradually increase the amount of weight you are trying to lift. If you do experience any pain in your wrists then be sure to rest them for a while so that they can heal.
As for wrist injury prevention exercises you can do wrist extensor stretches with your palm facing up and your elbow straight you pull one hand down with the other hand.
Another exercise is the wrist flexor stretch. Here you keep your elbow straight and pull your wrist backward. You should feel a moderate stretch.
Squeeze a tennis ball as hard as possible without pain and hold this for up to 10 seconds.
Use a resistance band for the next two exercises. Hold the band with your palm up and your elbow by your side. Slowly curly your wrist up and squeeze your forearm and hand muscles.
For the second exercise keep your elbow by your side and hold the band with your palm facing downwards. Slowly curl your wrist up again to squeeze the arm and forearm muscles.
Take Care Of Your Wrists
Take these preventative measures seriously. Wrist pain sucks and can take you out of the game for weeks. Be careful out there!