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Exercising with bad wrists?



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BRITOMART
Posts: 7,382
8/21/12 2:42 P

Frankly, I would stop doing any wrist-focused weight-bearing exercises till you have talked with your doctor and been referred to a good phys. therp. Yes, I understand about cost, but consider the whole picture--gas prices against the next 35-50 years of increased wrist debility. Ask about a therapist who specializes in sport medicine or job-related injuries.

I'm sounding emphatic and pushy? Here's why...I'm 58, with repetitive stress damage to my shoulders from all sorts of things, including falls and poor posture, but mostly from 50+ years of violin playing. At this point, I either need total shoulder replacement surgery (not an option I look at with pleasure) OR to continue with my phys. therapy exercises like a religion. The surgeon I saw was quite blunt; had I come in 25 years earlier, i.e., about your age, a lot more could have been done because the labrum was still intact. Now, the damage is not reversible; that part of my shoulder is shredded. Then it would have been much more easily treated. so...that's why I'm yammering at you a bit.

thanks to my p.t., I'm virtually pain-free most days, can play for several hours (before it was minutes) without difficulty, and have recovered much of the use of the shoulders. BUT it's always going to be there, always going to need my attention--and IT DIDN'T HAVE TO BE THAT WAY. Ok?



ULIKULIK
SparkPoints: (93)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 11
8/21/12 1:16 P

hello and greetings! there is a mailing list and resource pages at sorehand.org for any repetitive strain injury condition, also carpal tunnel syndrome. you might want to research that. they have great ideas and a lot of experience.
good luck! uli



KFWOHLFORD
SparkPoints: (2,869)
Fitness Minutes: (2,501)
Posts: 729
8/21/12 12:24 P

Again, I'd consult with a doctor or PT before trying to strengthen your wrist with weights, because you could just intensify the pain or injure yourself further. PTs are often covered by insurance.

I hear where you're coming from with the old injury. My wrists are disproportionately skinny compared with my height and shape, so I broke my right wrist roller skating in 6th grade, and my left wrist jumping out of the stroller as an infant.

One thing you may be able to try: doing arm exercises with wrist weights that you attach to your forearm or right below your elbow INSTEAD of your wrist. But tread carefully, starting with a low weight and more reps.



ALURA5
SparkPoints: (8,813)
Fitness Minutes: (23,919)
Posts: 10
8/21/12 12:14 P

My watch is on my left hand, so it's not an issue. I do use our stationary bike at home when I'm not up to more extensive cardio, and I'll try swapping out the poses with the forearms instead of the hands - thanks for that suggestion. Last night I ended up doing just that while trying to go through a Ball workout routine on a DVD.

My right hand has just taken the brunt of my high school roller skating injuries, and of course being my dominant hand, gets the most use unless it's cranky, and then my left takes over. Most daily things I can adjust to doing left handed. I'd just wanted to know if this was the sort of thing to push through and it'd get stronger as I worked, and it sounds like that's not the case.

What about forearm wrist raises? (Not sure what it's called) The thing where you rest your forearms on your knees and bend the wrist up holding a weight, and then switch to the other direction? Could that help strengthen it a bit?



KFWOHLFORD
SparkPoints: (2,869)
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Posts: 729
8/21/12 12:04 P

Physical therapy is a great suggestion.

Do you wear a watch? I do, and I used to have chronic pain in my left wrist when I wore it exercising, so now I take it off most of the time. The good thing is that strengthening your arm muscles will decrease the pressure you place on your wrists, as long as you do it safely.

Pilates is great for people with joint problems like wrist or ankle problems, as most of the exercises are done seated or lying down. Free weights, body weight exercises, and weight machines for your arms may be problematic, so I'd avoid doing those with your right arm till you see a doctor or PT. Yoga poses can be modified for wrist problems, such as doing a sun salutation (plank, down dog, and cobra) on your forearms instead of your wrists.

If you take any group fitness classes, let your instructor know before the class and they can offer modifications for you. Cardio machines are a safe bet (ellipticals, treadmills, exercise bikes) , though rowing machines may be problematic. You may want to opt for the recumbent bike instead of a regular one. The stationery bike involves using your core more to balance, but it may place more pressure on your wrists than the recumbent.

Edited by: KFWOHLFORD at: 8/21/2012 (12:07)


ALURA5
SparkPoints: (8,813)
Fitness Minutes: (23,919)
Posts: 10
8/21/12 12:03 P

I'm 35, and it's been bugging me because of my job (graphic designer) for a while, now. I've managed to fix my workplace for the most part, and now use a graphics pen tablet instead of a mouse, but the damage of 7 years of right-clicking more than typing had been done. Weather change pain, cold numbness and sensitivity are kind of the norm, but I am not bad enough for surgery.

I'm not sure how to find a PT, but will ask around. I live in a somewhat isolated small town and so my options are usually limited by the town and by gas prices, but I'll hold off on any more push ups or dips until someone can help.



BRITOMART
Posts: 7,382
8/21/12 11:47 A

ALURA, if you are right-handed, you don't want to fool around with a wrist problem--as you pointed out, you use hands for LOTS of things.

A good Physical Therapist will know how to help you--AND how to help you help yourself--it's a short-term relationship with the PT and a long-term one with self-work. Wrist, shoulder, and knee are among the more complicated joints; many things can go wrong. If you are young, you don't want your older years plagued by your inattention now.



ALURA5
SparkPoints: (8,813)
Fitness Minutes: (23,919)
Posts: 10
8/21/12 11:33 A

Thanks. I just wanted to make sure I'm not making excuses not to use it, that it sounds like a valid issue. I'll see what I can find in my area, and try to stay away from hand-pressure exercises. It's just aggravating - You never know how many exercises use your hand until you can't do them.



SPARK_COACH_JEN
Posts: 55,492
8/21/12 11:20 A

A,

Based on the symptoms you're describing, I don't think just trying to push through it is a good idea. If there isn't much your doctor can do, would they be able to refer you to a physical therapist? A PT would be able to design a set of exercises to help strengthen your wrist and prevent future injuries. At this point, I wouldn't want to speculate about what kinds of exercises are safe to try.

Hope that helps,

Coach Jen



ALURA5
SparkPoints: (8,813)
Fitness Minutes: (23,919)
Posts: 10
8/21/12 10:11 A

Hi - I am trying to get back into a more bootcamp/regular workout schedule, but am having some problems with my wrists, mostly my right one.

2 years ago I was working my way through Power 90, the precursor to P90X, and while it was hard, I was able to do a pretty good amount of push ups and arm exercises, and was getting noticeably stronger. Then I fell off the workout wagon, and have been sporadically trying to get back in, but in the 2 past two years, I have managed to slip and fall, hurting my left ankle, and my right wrist, maybe twice.

For about a year now, I am noticing that ANY pressure applied to my right hand with the wrist bent back at 90 hurts like it wants to snap. This is not just while working out, but from simple things, like having to push open a heavy door, balancing while getting up from sitting on the floor, etc. This is in addition to some arthritis, and carpal tunnel issues (numbness), about which I have spoken to my doctor, but all she can really tell me to do is try to not over stress it, and to use my brace when needed. But my brace is cumbersome, and I can't DO anything with my right hand immobilized. Even switching some tasks to the left hand, I can't even type with that brace on.

I'd really like to be able to do weight bearing exercises that require my right hand, as I was feeling good after being able to plankish things and push ups - it was really good for my back and arms. I can do a few with a fist instead of a flat 90 hand, but worry this will exacerbate the other issues I've got. I'm trying using my hex weights as push up bars, but even that doesn't always help.

If I keep trying, might my wrist get stronger and better able? Or am I just re-injuring it by trying? The ankle I"m not worried about, as I think it will get stronger as I stop favoring it so much and give it a chance to grow stronger - it really doesn't hurt, just feels weak. It's the almost-snapping feeling in the right wrist that bothers me. Help?



 
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