A fall on an outstretched hand is a sure way to end up with a wrist injury, but it’s often the cumulative effect of everyday activity and strain on the wrists that result in pain and discomfort.
Wrist pain is a real inconvenience! We use our hands and wrist in almost everything we do and especially when we exercise. It’s almost impossible to strengthen your core and arms without using your hands. Sure we can modify our yoga poses and Pilates sequence to avoid bearing weight on our hands. We can skip the dips and push-ups in the boot camp class, do planks on our elbows and use light weights for our arm strengthening. But the results and benefits just aren’t the same!
Aside from an injury, there are 4 common reasons or causes of wrist pain when you exercise –
Tendinitis, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Arthritis, or Weak Wrists. Here’s a quick overview of the symptoms to help you figure out which one is causing your thumb pain and wrist weakness.
1. Over Use – Repetitive Strain Injury or Tendinitis
Symptoms of Tendinitis
• Begins as nagging pain at the site of the tendon and surrounding muscles
• Constant pain -over time pain and stiffness increase
• Aggravated by wrist movement at full ranges or with resistance / weight applied
• Pain when using hands in daily tasks –gripping, picking up objects, using a mouse etc.
• Swelling in the tendon, joint or surrounding area
• Sometimes redness and warmth will occur at the site of pain
2. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
• Tingling or numbness in your thumb, index & middle fingers (intermittent or constant)
• Pain that radiates up your wrist to the forearm / shoulder or down into your fingers
• Symptoms may be worse in the AM, especially if wrists are curled (flexed) during sleep
• Noticeable weakness in your hands, dropping items or being unable to open jars etc.
• Permanent nerve damage and muscle weakness if CTS is severe and left untreated
3. Arthritis -in your wrists or basal thumb joint
Symptoms of OsteoArthritis (OA) Wear & Tear Type
• Deep aching pain in wrist or base of thumb for basal joint (CMC) arthritis
• Increased pain with pinching, writing, grasping or putting pressure on joint
• Joint inflammation and swelling
• Stiffness, especially with cold or damp weather
• Loss of range of motion and grip / pinch strength over time
4. Weak muscles in the wrists, hands & arms / Poor form
Symptoms of Muscle Weakness & Poor Form
• Muscles fatigue easily after several movement repetitions or static, isometric holds
• Inability to keep a neutral wrist position when lifting objects or holding hand weights
• Tendons get strained because weak muscles don’t fully carry load (see tendinitis)
• Passively ‘hanging out’ in or locking joints
• Poor weight distribution throughout entire hand -sinking into wrists not lifting out
Now that you know which of these 4 common syndromes your wrist pain falls into, you can learn what you’re doing that causes a flare up, and how you can manage and prevent your wrist pain from returning!
‘The Fitness Enthusiasts Guide to Relieving Wrist Pain’ was written by an occupational therapist and is full of helpful tips on causes of wrist pain. You’ll discover what causes each syndrome, and the steps you can take to relieve your wrist pain and keep it from coming back.
To download your FREE copy of the Wrist Pain Guide simply fill in the information below and click Download
Don’t abandon your workouts or yoga practice because of wrist pain. Get back to enjoying yoga, Pilates and exercising again -free from the frustrations and interruptions of wrist pain. Take care of your wrists by downloading your Free Wrist Pain Guide. If you’re looking for wrist support for exercising, check out Wrist Assured Gloves. WAGs come in 4 supportive style and feature a patented, wedged gel pad design proven to relieve wrist pain. Check out our WAGs workout gloves with wrist support.
Wrist Assured… You’ll be glad you did!