Chronic wrist pain, advice needed
January 28, 2016 at 2:46 pm #41026
I have chronic wrist pain on the right side of my wrist when the palm is facing towards me i.e. the pinky side. It’s mild but it’s constant and doesn’t go. It kinda feels like the discomfort one has in his knuckles (multiplied threefold) when he wants to crack them – except I can’t crack my wrist like that to make the discomfort go and it’s always there. Also there are some movements that cause more accute pain, like if I rotate my wrist anti-clockwise all the way, or if I lift anything in a way that puts pressure upon the side of the wrist that hurts. I can’t do certain exercises at all in the gym anymore without feeling pain, such as ez bar preacher curls or chest dips.
I should mention that I’m 29 years old. I’ve had this problem for about two years now. I think it’s related to laptop use – in particular playing certain games on the laptop that put the left wrist in an awkward position. I believe it’s a repetitive stress injury mainly related to that as well as the gym. I didn’t even realise it was happening at first as RSI kinda creeps up on you I guess. I don’t play any games on that laptop anymore and have even started using a new macbook to not make those same repetitive movements particular to that keyboard.
I’m an avid fan of the gym and despite my wrist not being perfect I ignored this minor pain and trained through it regardless. On November 6th 2015 however the pain was getting worse so I decided to take some time off and hopefully allow the wrist to heal. I haven’t been to the gym since November 6th and in December I started having physiotherapy done and also started wearing a brace. Though it’s improved, it’s still there, all these months later. When I wear the brace I don’t feel any pain at all but as soon as it comes off it just feels the same again. There really isn’t any noticeable improvement.
At this point I’m absolutely sick of this. About two weeks ago I had an MRI done and they found nothing. According to the MRI all the joints, ligaments, tendons etc were fine and they found no soft tissue mass buildup. I’ve also been using Voltaren gel which seems to help. I’ve eaten both ibuprofen and naproxen tablets (at different times) like skittles but they haven’t made any difference.
What are your thoughts on what this pain is? Doing research online I figured it was some form of tendinosis but the MRI apparently shows no damage whatsoever. If it’s then tendinitis (inflammation) why on earth hasn’t it subsided yet? It’s been nearly three months and I still haven’t seen any real improvement.
I’m now thinking about throwing the towel in. I need the gym because it helps me combat depression and without it I feel crappy. The pain is minor and I’ve dealt with it for ages now. I don’t see it improving or getting worse and I’ve really tried to get rid of it with physio, voltaren gel and wearing a brace. If you have any advice for what this might be and how I could treat it I’d be very grateful. Maybe it’s some sort of arthritic pain I’ve developed due to the awkward RSI injury I induced? I really don’t know.
Thanks for reading.January 29, 2016 at 7:00 am #41031
Hallo algo, I’m certainly no doctor, I can only talk from my own personal experience, I used gyms for more than 15 years, there had to be something physical in my life, that was it. Gradually heavy manual work took over for me, maybe it’s crazy I just felt contentment mixed with tiredness at the end of the day, l slept like a log, anyhow I still kept up the workouts at home, all sorts of places, press ups were a favourite. The pain in my wrists, both my wrists came on suddenly then rapidly worsened , I needed to keep my job, so that involved splints and painkillers, but that didn’t workout for long. I lost my job in 2007 with arthritis in the pisiform, both wrists, I had a series of cortisone injections but they did little, in fact they made things worse, then I was offered an operation to remove one of the offending bones(well actually they’re hard gristle), but anyhow I decided on a second opinion, and that consultant wouldn’t entertain the operation unless I was screaming with pain. Anyhow months went by, tried physio, they were useless, then I started using flexible handgrips, and a softball to squeeze gently, and those Chinese iron balls to roll around in my hands, and bit by bit I started strengthening my wrists, with the handgrips I never kept flexing them, I just, and still do, hold the grip for a minute or more, whatever. At that time I could barely drive my car, panic set in , I took all sorts of anti inflammatories including diclofenic, I’d never take that again, an idiot of a doctor put me on gabapentin for supposed nerve damage, I was so desperate to get back to work I took it, and six weeks later ( I had to steadily increase this drug) I got screaming loud tinnitus right out of the supposed blue, and that I still live with after 9 years of near lunacy in my head. I eventually veered away from any operation, initially it weakens the wrist, secondly it limits movement, but the big third reason is chronic regional pain syndrome ( look that one up), I don’t work out much these days, I do have arthritis in most of my major joints, I’m 63 now, I don’t look that old but my inner body is that of someone far older, I basically wore myself out, or rather all that miniscus that cushions our joints, the adrenalin rush at the time was so addictive, I was permanently weak from all the workouts, it was the one place where I felt good, like I could do something with my life, like I was going to be bigger, better, maybe diet was my downfall, maybe something genetic, maybe I’m too lanky, not really cut out for that sort of thing, thing is now, even at this late stage the urge to workout is still there, hate sitting around, but I have to respect my joints, my whole body, listen too it, give it time to heal, if a part of it ‘let’s me down’ I can’t get away by just trying to work round it, I have to work within my own limits now, I try to work all my body now, but very gently. An X-ray at the time showed mild arthritis in the pisiform, if that was mild I’d dread severe, I realised that all that muscle pumping was just wearing out all that protective joint tissue, splints I discontinued, they weakened my wrists long term, so tread carefully, if there was a steep hill to walk I’d near fly up it, a trek across a mountain pass, I was gone. We’re all wrists elbows knees and shoulders, I’ve had injections in the lot, I won’t publish how many, I was a workout junkie, the probs started in my wrists, remember, just my story, Barry.January 29, 2016 at 11:49 am #41034
Have you had a nerve conduction test? That should be the first test they do for carpal tunnel syndromeJanuary 31, 2016 at 10:18 pm #41068
Sorry to hear that Barry, hope you’ve gotten better. Di, I’ve had it checked for CTS and it’s apparently not that.
Anyway I went to the gym after that post I made and now my wrist is hurting more than it ever has – after two months of physio! It’s aching so goddamn much and it doesn’t go away. I feel like the physio and keeping my wrist in a brace all this time has actually made it worse.
I feel horrible. Wish I had never even stopped going to the gym because now my wrist is worse than it’s ever been. I feel like I’ve wasted three months for absolutely no reason and my arm has gotten ridiculously weak. I have no idea how to fix this thing either. I just don’t understand how the MRI scan didn’t see anything either. Also I should mention that there has never been any visible inflammation, redness, swelling or anything else associated with this injury. It’s ridiculous. I wish I had some way of treating it but nothing is working for me.January 31, 2016 at 11:22 pm #41071
Have you had any blood tests via your GP ? and are you in less pain with the wrist splints on? Has your GP prescribed anything?
Sometimes these things do settle down with time maybe taking up to a year. I’ve had problems with both my wrists for one reason and another. Prescribed Drug related as well as Arthritis.
And I had Ankle problems after having glandular fever many years ago. So there could be many reasons why things take a while to get better. And maybe, just maybe you are overdoing things by going to the gym when you need to give yourself rest/ time to get better.February 1, 2016 at 12:51 am #41072
Well the thing is I took three whole months off from the gym… and my wrist wasn’t even so bad then! I was wearing a brace and getting physio for two months. Now I’ve started the gym and my wrist is even worse than it was before. Now my entire wrist is constantly aching, as opposed to one side just having some minor discomfort. I’m so unhappy about this.
By the way the physio wasn’t exercised based. All they did was use short wave heat therapy and ultra sound therapy with ibuprofen gel. I feel like keeping my wrist in a brace all this time has actually made it far worse than it was to begin with.
Also I’ve only been to the gym once now, and I didn’t use heavy weights at all. My arm was insanely weak. My wrist is feeling really horrible now.February 1, 2016 at 1:08 am #41073
Where was your MRI?
I get awful wrist pain and some of my fingers go numb but I also get some pain down my arm although that’s not bad. It’s mainly in wrist and elbow. You should have your neck and shoulder checked. It turned out I have two herniated discs in my neck that are affecting the nerve down my arm and I also have a problem with my shoulder called some long name impingement syndrome with rotator cuff injury; basically it means the ends of my tendons in my shoulder are shredded, the shoulder blade has moved and is pressing on a nerve. I can’t lift even a cup with that arm and can’t get it over my head without horrible pain. Hand and wrist pain don’t necessarily come from the wrist. It can be elbow, shoulder or neck even if you have no pain there.February 7, 2017 at 12:54 pm #43475
Algo, its been a year since this post. I have the same problem but caused by boxing. Have you figured out what it was and have you managed to get it sorted?
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