T Nation

Wrist problems

I haven’t been able to find much on the site on wrist and tendon problems. Maybe somebody here can help me. I’ve got to the point where my lifting is limited by the stress on the tendons in my wrist. When I press DBs for example, the bar presses into the fleshy part of my hand and I get a lot of pain in the muscle below my thumb and down into the tendons below the thumb. Any idea what I’m doing wrong and how to fix it? Am I gripping it incorrectly?

How are your wrists bent? what type of press do you mean? Bench Press, or shoulder press?
I have found for myself that whenever something begins to hurt its either from over use, or incorrect form.

I can only bench with a thumbless grip, otherwise it hurts like hell. Do you already do this? If not maybe you can try it.

My totally INexpert opinion on this is that it’s some odd form of tendonitis. If this is the case, then (a) negatives a la the T-mag article a while back and (b) a healthy dose of Wobenzym (try a search on the forum for plenty of info) are probably your best bets for curing it.

I’d like to hear what people have to say, because I have the same problem. I have to use a false grip on all pressing movements, which I know can be dangerous on bench presses, etc. “False grip” means I wrap my thumb on the same side as my fingers, not around the bar.

What do you mean with “a false grip can be dangerous on bench presses”? I totally disagree with that. I’ve always used and never had a problem with it, nor do i know or ever heard of anyone having a problem with it. Please explain.

I’m trying to do a chest press with the DBs, with my palms oriented towards my feet. I tend to get the same problem doing curls as the weight comes towards the top of the range. In fact, anytime the weight presses into my hand can cause the problem. I’ve tried the flexor/extensor stretches, but I’m not sure they are helping. I haven’t tried the false grip yet. Oddly enough, the fingers can hold the weight, it’s the thumb area that has trouble.

Actualy i cdon’t think it’s a good ideia to use a thumbless grip with dumbells. I only use it with barbells.

By the sounds of it, you may be pinching a nerve. It’s a possibility. If it hurts only when you press on the fleshy part it could be more than your tendons. How does it feel when you use wrist supports?

Well, I tried a couple variations yesterday at the gym. The false grip seems to help some, but its definitely not for use with dumb bells. I tried shifting the weight left/right in my grip so it is distributed differently over my hand. That also seems to help a little, but not consistently. I’m beginning to suspect there is a nerve that’s being pinched. I guess it’s time to try a pair of gloves with the built-in wrist wraps and see if that helps. Thanks for your help.

Sorry it took me so long to get back to you. I also have used a false grip on benches for years with no problem. I’ve just always heard that the false grip makes it more likely that you might drop the bar on your chest. You know, like if you’re in a crowded gym and somebody bumbs the bar or something.

Make sure that your wrists are not bent far back (as if someone was pulling your fingers to your shoulder) and that your wrists are in line with your forearms (as straight as possible). Do not use a false grip as this often puts a lot of stress on the wrists if done incorrectly. You should feel less stress in your wrists and more stress directly on your muscles. It may also be a problem with your grip strength. If so, try to strengthen your hand and finger muscles through exercise (Hand grips). If all else fails, use machines.