T Nation

Wrist Injury --- HELP!

I just got back to business in the gym and for the past three weeks I have been working through the usual rusty joints and building up to feeling solid and comfortable again lifting heavier weights. I entered my fourth week yesterday and it happened?..

I opened my chest day with heavy incline presses; I worked up to 315 for six reps and moved on to flat bench dumbbell presses. I did the 120?s for eight and it felt great, strong and tight. I grabbed the 140?s pumped out six quality reps and sat up with the weight as usual, I got up to rack the weight and my right hand twisted about forty five degrees clockwise, I turned my hand counter-clockwise to bring the dumbbell back in line to rack the weight and UGGGHHHHH. I felt a sharp burning sensation in my wrist, my ring finger and pinky were on fire, almost numb, and the pain shot up to my elbow.

I proceeded to finish my workout in pain and I woke up this morning barely able to close my hand. After about an hour after waking I head off to the gym to do a forced light back workout on machines, I say forced light because my grip is now total shit because my wrist is freakin killing me.

A therapist at the gym (accelerated rehabilitation, pretty reputable name in my area) told me that I probably strained (or did something worse) my Ulna Nerve and it should get looked at by a specialist. Now this guy couldn?t have weighed more than 130 pounds soaking wet and it?s not the first time I have had wrist pain, everyone who lifts heavy has wrist/elbow pain more often than most people. I make a fist and it hurts in my wrist, holding the fist or with an open hand I rotate it and it hurts worse.

Can anyone give any recommendations as to what to do?..I know I know, lay off the weights, heat/ice, Motrin and rest. THAT BLOWZZZZ, I just got back in and feeling good and I have to lay off.

I guess this is more a rant than a request for info, because I know I?m fucked for awhile.


Can anyone provide any comments or advice on how to speed up the recovery for such an incident? The fire just got lit up again and I’m afraid that too long of a lay-off will put it out again. I know many of you know what I mean.

Any input is appreciated

I unfortunately have way too much experience with joint injuries, although most of mine are in the lower extremities. First, as hard as it is I must emphasize REST!! I learned the hard way that pushing it too soon makes the recovery WAY longer and sometimes permenantly damages your joint. Right now I’m looking at ankle surgery because I pushed my ankle too hard after and injury and so much scar tissue built up that it has torn the tendon. The injury has turned into a 3 year ordeal!!

Ice is also extremely important. The more you ice the better. I am always shocked with how much it helps.

Finally, you totally don’t have to let the “fire” go out. You still have lower body and abs. You can have totally ripped abs and great legs and then get back to the arms when you’re healed.

good luck!

Oh, and I forgot - SEE A SPECIALIST! Misdiagnosis just leads to more pain.

thanks for the reply, i appreciate it…

I just hurt my wrist pretty badly last weekend by hitting some guy in the back of the head in a brawl. I can’t do anything that involves gripping a bar, so I’ve just been hammering the squats and core.

You really should get it checked out, or just lay off it completely for a while.

I think I’m gonna do the same…work legs and core hard and get the wrist checked out by an ortho.

Thanks for the input man, it’s appreciated

Ok; I badly sprained my wrist back in Februray doing reverse grip tricep pressdowns. I went to a GP and they ACE wrapped and told me I should be good to go in 3-5 days. So I followed their advice and it didn’t get better. I went to an orthopedic and he x-rayed it…saw nothing and reccomended I get an MRI and consider surgery. For the meantime he put me on naproxen and put it in a brace.

Being that I was an idiot I tried going back to the gym 3 days after I hurt the damn thing…and not only that I threw up my PR on the bench (335lbs at the time) on it. Not smart. So instead…I pretty much just took off that month from lifting and let the thing heal. There are things you can do for a hurt wrist…but overall just let it heal.
When the 4 weeks was over I went back to doing a modified Waterbury Method. Anything with Dumbells I replaced with barbells, and being that supination was my problem anything that inolved a supinated grip was traded for a pronated grip (e.g. pull ups instead of chinups). So overall I just worked around my injury as I whined and complained (see previous posts of mine).

As an aside…I don’t reccomend skiing either…that was a bad idea.

But then one day in the gym I was doing reverse curls and I was getting fatigued and I decided to switch to regular grip…and voila…Not much pain! And from there I just gradually moved up.

Oh I forgot to mention I used wrist wraps…you can get them on ebay or a lot of online supplement shops. They’re a GREAT help for the $3 they cost.

I went from not being able to hold a dumbell…to well lets say I’m doing 105lb dumbell lunges now. I went from not being able to do a chin up…to doing what was…3x3 with 65lbs attached the other day and using 60lb dumbells for hammer curls. While I still can’t do regular curls with dumbells with heavy weights (It’s hard to achieve full rotation), I compensated and Im sure eventually I’ll be able to again.

Hell 2.5 years ago I could barely walk and couldn’t even jog after I sprained a ligament in my knee. Nowadays I can do heavy squats on it and do HIIT training. Just work within your limits and push the MUSCLE surrounding the joint but stop if the actual joint hurts…


Thanks for the feedback Powda.

I’ve laid off of it the last two days and the pain is subsiding a bit (unitl i go to grip something, heh).

I hurts to hold my hand in a supinated position so doing curls will be out of the question for awhile, triceps pushdowns and skull crushers probably wont happen either…sniff

As soon as it starts coming around, hopefully next week, I will do something close to what you did, do most of my training with barbells and just stay active until this thing gets better.

It has gotten better over the course of the last couple of days so I really don’t think a trip to the doctor will be necessary just to hear…acute strain of the ligaments/tendons and stress to the ulnar nerve. Take this naproxen/bextra/whatever the lastest hot anti-inflamatory is, rest it, ice/heat variations and some bullshit electrode administered cortisone therapy and maybe some additional bullshit occupational therapy…forget all of that.

Thanks again for the feedback. My situation blows but like all other things real life…we’ll make it through it…