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Damage to the wrists can occur gradually, in a progressive injury called a stress fracture—the result of training incorrectly, too intensely, or too often.
An ache during activity that develops into swelling and persistent pain even at rest could indicate the development of a stress fracture. (I’ve even seen stress fractures occur in the wrists of overzealous burpee addicts, so be warned.) When in doubt, see a doc.
Alternatively, nerve-compression syndromes like carpal tunnel can also cause wrist pain. Carpal tunnel syndrome affects the nerves to your thumb, index, middle, and the inside half of your ring finger and is often signaled by numbness, tingling, or hand clumsiness.
Wrist splinting and limiting your repetitive movements can improve symptoms.
1. WARM UP YOUR WRISTS. Clasp your hands and roll your wrists in a circular motion 20 times in each direction pre-exercise.
2. ICE THEM. Make a Styrofoam cup of ice. Peel off the rim and use the ice to massage the part of your wrist that hurts.
3. WATCH YOUR TECHNIQUE. Overextending your wrists in pressing movements can put stress on the joints.
Quick Tip: Don’t ignore prolonged wrist pain. If your wrist is tingling or numb, see a doctor.
About the Doctor: Victor R. Prisk, M.D., is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon, NCAA All-American gymnast, and GNC medical member.