T Nation

Escalating Wrist Issues


My left wrist has been bothering me for a couple weeks now. But it seems to be getting worse. I'm not sure if it's tendonitis or a some other kind of injury. I suppose it's entirely possible to only get tendonitis in only one wrist(?) It's really starting to impact my lifting, and to a leser degree, daily life.

It doesn't hurt all the time. But it does hurt during and after lifting and after a lot of typing. I am a first-year law student and large amounts of typing are a necessary evil. When lifting, especially benching and dumbell work, it just gives out when using dumbells heavier than 75lbs. I've had to drop my weights quite a lot.

Has anybody ever had similar problems? I know I really should see a doctor and plan to the beginning of May. I have finals coming up and really won't be able to before then. Any suggestions in the meantime. I obviously don't want to stop lifting. But I don't want to aggravate it too much.

Perhaps keep doing what I can with lighter weigths and going heavy on the evercises that don't affect it? Any suggestions are appreciated.


1) Does it hurt during a set of presses, or more right after you release the weight?

2) Does it hurt during pulling movements like rows?

3) What if you did a dumbell reverse curl with that arm?

4) Is there any chance you ever broke your wrist-a fall, punched a wall?

I have had two little wrist issues which are not a problem to deal with, but it kind of depends on how you answer those questions.

One general thing that I did was to buy a pair of boxer's wrist wraps, cut them a little shorter-they were like 6 feet long-and wrap my wrists pretty tightly for heavy presses.


This may sound crazy, but as somebody who has been typing for a living, I find that certain postural issues can have a large impact on my shoulders and wrists.

In particular, my mouse hand can develop issues for several reasons. One, the arm can be at an awkward angle a lot, causing shoulder issues. Two, wresting the bones of the wrist on a surface while mousing can also lead to both pressure and twisting.

Normally these are minor, but combined with some lifting volume, I find I really have to keep an eye on my shoulders and wrists.

Not sure if this will be similar to your issues, but it might make you think of something you are doing that could seem innocous but be causing issues.


Thanks Mertdawg.

  1. It hurts more while pressing, eventually forcing me to release the weight.

  2. It hurts slightly during pulling movements like rows but much less.

  3. Dumbell reverse curls in order to do what?

  4. I suppose it's possible, but I don't remember it happening.

I think I might invest in those wrist straps and just try to baby it till it's looked at. Let me know if you have any other suggestions. Thanks.


What do you suggest? Though likely not a main cause, I think typing is definitely a contributing factor.


Well now, that's harder to answer.

First, there is all kinds of information online about ergonomic placement of hands and so on, which might be worth looking into.

Anyhow, for me, it's the mouse use. It seems that having the arm elevated and to the side so long/often irritates my shoulder. In fact, I suspect my right shoulder is looser and rounds forward due to years of such use.

Perhaps it is as simple as making sure you don't round the shoulders all the time to reach the keys or the mouse. I don't really know, but consider posturals aspects while you perform common actions. That's all I can really suggest.


Find a practitioner of active release, a good chiro, a good DO (doctor of osteopathy) all who do varius kinds of manipulation. Any of them (if good) should be able to help.

Activerelease.com can help you find a good ART practitioner.


When you type or use a mouse, you have to make sure that your wrist is not resting on the edge of the desk. Try draping a towel over the edge. No porn jokes please.

I had a a buildup of pain from pressing, but it didn't hurt until I let go of the weight-then it was agony for 5-10 seconds. I cut back on my pressing. Also, pressing wide creates a shear force on the wrist. Same with a snatch grip for lifts. Also, if you press with a machine ever, where the load rests at the bottom, or for lockouts, the wrist gets loaded fast when you start to push. I think I had a little cartilage worn away, and I don't get pain when I keep my volume of pressing appropriate.

As for reverse curls, I was wondering if they felt awkward or caused pain. My left wrist can't take the full reverse position, so I use EZ or hammer grips.


Thanks everyone. I will look into a good chiro or DO and pay attention to hand position, trying to keep my wrists in the air rather than resting on the front of my labtop (like they usually do).


It feels a little awkward. But doesn't aggravate like the heavy compounds are currently doing. Direct forarm work does not aggravate either, which leads me to conclude that it's really not a forearm strength issue but definitely the wrist itself. It's very odd.


My wrists trouble me a lot too man. I just deal with it and try to keep them stretched as much as possible. I shake them a lot, probably looking like an idiot but who cares. Squeeze the wrist area, sometimes I can get them to pop which feels great. Massage my forearms. Pull back my hand to stretch the wrist. You can do a lot and it should help.

Also if you are not doing them, add some forearm lifts to your workouts. Pull ups with towels work great (wrap 2 towels around the bar just once to make an 'n' shape and grab onto those and do pulls ups, you will be suprised). Finger tip push ups. Wrist curls, I like them on a cable machine with the one handed grip. Perhaps the problem is that you have been neglecting them since you started lifting and now they are starting to hold you back?


Doesn't sound crazy. Haven't you guys ever seen the warning labels on keyboards and computers pads? I thought it was a joke untill I read up on it. First finding the porn on the computer makes you a limp-wristed cripple then the masterbation itself makes you blind. Whats next.


You need to do the RICE method. Also you need to stetch the wrist multiple time per day. You will need to see someone that can do ART no just any old chiropractor. This most likely is a trigger point injury in your forearm. I hade the same problem but 100X worse. If you dont watch it your whole arm will become inflamed. i had trigger point injections along with ART.


Train legs only for two weeks.
If your ankle was giving you shit most guys would have no problem just hitting the upper body and letting the injury recover. But when it comes to the upper body we often push on, making things worse and worse.


Maybe you're right. Thanks for all the suggestions guys. I definitely will look into the ART when I can and deal with it the best I can using your suggestions. Maybe I will take some time off with upper-body like deanosumo suggests. I think it might be in order. It's not just that the wrist is preventing me from increasing my weights. It's force me to decrease a weight I was already using a lot on some exercises.


Doesn't sound promising...I will get it looked at. Thanks