Some of the best exercises we can do for strength and toning is Body Weight Exercises. The catch? Many of these exercises cause unnecessary forces throughout hands and wrists, specifically through the Triangular Fibrocartilage Complex (TFCC).
This complex is found on the “Pinky” side of the wrist and takes up to 60% of the “forces” from the body in any weight bearing positions., such as with common and favorite Body Weight Exercises.
This complex is most commonly injured with a “FOOSH” injury, (a fall on a outstretched hand) OR it can be related to repetitive gripping with a force through the wrist such as with gymnastics, tennis, yoga, and with bar work seen with weight lifting, powerlifting or with crossfit training. Many other injuries to the wrist can occur with repetitive clerical tasks such as typing, writing, and texting. Any repetitive task causes microtrauma to our bodies which can eventually lead to pain or limitation. If you are experiencing “pinky-sided” wrist pain you may have injured your Triangular Fibrocartilage Complex. Practicing the 4 “P’s” can help prevent this wrist pain and prevent injury from working out.
If you are currently experiencing pain or discomfort in your wrist, your go to should be rest and modalities such as ice, heat or topical creams such as biofreeze. If the pain in your wrist has only occurred within 24-48 hours you should be using ice, but for a pre-existing injury it will be safe to try heat.
Wearing a wrist brace may not always be appropriate depending on your true diagnosis, however, they can be used during any repetitive activity to reduce the microtrauma that can occur to your wrist. The best brace for a true TFCC injury is the “wrist-widget” or the “wags-gloves.”
Many times repetitive activities can be reduce by changing our postures or positioning. For “clerically” cause pain workplace adjustments can be made to allow for an ergonomically correct workstation. For individuals who have wrist pain caused by exercise induced repetition they they can alter their position such as weight bearing through fists, holding a dumbell, using a rolled up towel or even by purchasing a “push-up bar.”
Most importantly you should begin strengthening and stretching your wrist and hand to prevent further injury and limitation. Want some tips for stretching and strengthening your wrists and hands? Click the button below to download an exercise plan specifically designed by our hand and wrist specialist.