Weight lifting with wrist issues

  • mikeyla

    Posts: 2

    Jul 25, 2013 1:13 AM GMT
    Hi all,

    I'd love if any of you avid weight trainers could give some advice. I've been exercising regularly for the past five years but have recently been trying to focus on a stronger and more muscular body.

    I've got wrist issues and I'm not exactly sure what they are. I've been to many doctors and it might be arthritis, tendonitis...nobody's sure. When I lift weights using my wrists I don't always feel it right away, but over time the cumulative effect is pretty painful.

    So I'd like to figure out a way to gain muscle without using my wrists: a set of exercises that have almost no wrist involvement, and then a set that have minimal wrist involvement for me to intersperse. But it's crucial for my condition that I can exercise everything without using wrists.

    No-nos so far have been push-ups, pull-ups, bench press, bicep curl.

    So-sos (which I probably should still avoid, since the wrist problem has been getting worse) are pec fly, deltoid raise, pushups onto a step platform, and some of the cool compound lifts involving cable machines on the Complete Strength Workout

    Yeses have been squats (yay squats!), swimming, running, ab exercises, elbow raises on a machine, pec fly on a machine with the elbows.

    I've had a bit of success with cable machines attached to wrist straps, but it's a bit unweildy.

    Thanks all!!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 25, 2013 2:06 AM GMT
    Get an MRI stat.... ice it till then... might need surgery.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 25, 2013 3:27 AM GMT
    Look up Smartphone thumb tendonitis. People who text with their thumbs all day on Grindr are good candidates. Learn to hold the phone with one hand and poke with your pointer or middle finger on the other hand and use voice to text whenever possible and limit use altogether for use of a keyboard.

    If you sleep on the underside of your forearm with your head on it, it puts pressure on your ulnar nerve which leads to wrist pain also. If you sleep with your hands flexed or hyperextended (not neutral, which is straight in line with your arms) then you can get wrist pain issues as well.

    Buy a grip trainer that you can adjust the resistance for. Buy a Dynaflex for twist forearm motion. Buy the Xtensor for reverse hand flexes, and buy a forearm trainer (the type you roll up and down with weights tethered). Seriously limit smartphone use because I think that's what people are getting.
  • vj2004t

    Posts: 203

    Jul 25, 2013 4:13 AM GMT
    I was haveing the same issues i went to a sports medicine doc. specializing in wrist inguried he gave a shot of cortizone pain went away hasn't returned but the shot hurt like hell. Wear leather support gloves everytime I workout. Val
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    Jul 25, 2013 1:55 PM GMT
    What kind of doctors have you been to? You said many but it's hard for me to believe that not one has been able to give you a firm diagnosis are at least give you a referral to a physician who specializes in joint problems. You really need to seek a specialist because your wrist problems can turn into something serious such as permanent dislocation.
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    Jul 25, 2013 4:40 PM GMT
    Have you ever broken/fractured your wrist in the past? A friend of mine has a similar wrist pain if he tries to lift weights. In his case it was because of a messy wrist injury that left a bone fragment which hurts his wrist and can't be removed safely.

    Until you can resolve your wrist pain, cable machines straps may be your best option.

  • Jul 26, 2013 3:30 AM GMT
    Yes, yes, yes! This happened to me when I first started seriously weightlifting and it was awful. Hindered me every step of the way. Several things helped in my case.

    (1) I first ruled out carpal tunnel, fracture, etc. It always seemed like the wrist joint itself, but it turned out to be tendonitis (the tendons that run through the wrist to the fingers)

    (2) Tons of ice massage/ice packs immediately after workouts. I'm talking 30 min to an hour with each wrist between a pack of frozen peas (this was harder to manage, time-wise, than actually working out)

    (3) Part of my problem was tightness of the forearm muscles. There's some great stretches similar to what people do for tennis/golfers elbow. Helped me a lot. Best is to hold your arm out straight, palm up, then grab your fingers and pull down towards you. (See the guy in the pic near the bottom: http://www.physioadvisor.com.au/9256850/golfers-elbow-medial-epicondylitis-physioadvis.htm. Do it a little bit, all the time (at work, at your desk, etc).

    (4) Weight lifting gloves. They don't necessarily immobilize your wrist, but they give proprioceptive cues to help keep your wrists straight

    (5) Buy a progrip device and use it constantly (in the car, at work, etc). http://www.prohands.net/products/gripmaster.php. Again, my wrist problems had a lot to do with the tendons running to the fingers. Strengthening those muscles helped.

    (6) Work through it. Unlike other injuries I've had, this one really did go away over time. It still flares up when I move up a weight level (esp things like bicep curls), but it never fails to go away. I made it from 15lbs to 40lbs working through the wrist issues.

    Rule out injury, but then, follow the steps above and I really think you'll be in good shape.
  • popobtc

    Posts: 74

    Jul 26, 2013 4:15 AM GMT
    All these people are saying there is a medical problem...that's probably not your problem. Honestly it's probably your form. Do you bend your wrists at a 90 degree angle? 45? straight wrist?

    When I decline bench, I will get a shooting pain up my wrist randomly. When I do curls my wrists will KILL when I am releasing the weights. It has to do with the grip. Thankfully I was just introduced to something at my gym. They are called "Fat Gripz". Otherwise have someone hand you the weights and then set them down afterwards so you don't have to contort your wrist reracking.

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    Jul 27, 2013 1:34 PM GMT
    Curious.....are you extremely flexible by chance? This is a little non-scientific experiment you can do yourself right now, but can give you some clues. Hold your hand straight up in front of you and bend your hand back at the wrist. Ask your friends to do the same. If you can flex your wrist backwards the farthest, it might be a sign you're over extending your wrists when you lift also. This is an easy fix as it just requires changing positions of your hands when lifting. See a trainer if you can afford one to help you hold your hands in the proper position.

    The texting thing mentioned above could very easily be a culprit too. Texting requires using our fingers in very awkward ways and can cause a variety of painful issues.

    I'd also see a sports medicine doctor because they realize the importance of getting you back in the gym with minimal time out.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 29, 2013 2:26 PM GMT
    I have been to several sports medicine doctors for this same reason and also for tennis elbow which you can get even if you don't play tennis. Who knew? For my wrist issues the doctor showed me a very specific flexing exercise for it and after a few weeks I have to say that I was surprised at how much improvement there was.

    Definitely see a sports medicine doctor. This is a fairly common problem and there are good therapies available.
  • MikemikeMike

    Posts: 6932

    Jul 31, 2013 8:02 PM GMT
    maybe u have limp wristsicon_lol.gif

    j/k Get a Marcy wrist trainer.icon_idea.gificon_idea.gif