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injured but not sidelined

Friday, February 15, 2013

Around January 19, my back and neck were so sore that I had a professional sports massage. Then my right bicep got terribly sore. And then, just as I was about to breathe a sigh of relief that my body was done with the b.s., my left wrist started to hurt. Not a lot, but it's a joint, so I was a little freaked out, especially when it kept on hurting. I tried to take it easy but it kept hurting so after 2 weeks, I went to an orthopedic surgeon who diagnosed it as a ligament issue and put me on a powerful arthritis drug, ice therapy, and a brace. It's been a week now, and I don't have to take the drug anymore or do the ice therapy. I need to wear the brace for another week; then I need to wear a soft wrap on it when I work out, but not all the time. So it's a thing that's supposedly going to get better. On the other hand, he did say that ligaments, once injured, "never heal" (yay) so it will always be something to watch out for.

I guess the pain is caused by the inflammation. It has gotten better over the course of this week with the anti-inflammatory drug and the ice and rest, but it still hurts if I bend my wrist. The pain isn't the problem - what bothers me is knowing that I will make it worse if I'm not really careful.

There's not a lot you can do without your wrists, as I have discovered. Especially when it comes to strength training (my gym routine), since most weights, machines, and apparatus have to be held onto. I've been doing a bit more lower body, and using the bench for abs instead of the pullup bar, and I've discovered a few machines that I never used before at my gym. But it still sucks... there are a lot of things I can't do that I really want to do.

I'm going back on glucosamine-chondroitin supplements. Who knows if they actually work but I guess it's worth a try.

I hope it all works out... because wrists are essential for my sport (street workout). My biggest fear is that I will have to stop doing some of the exercises I love the most -- but I have to say that my orthopedist didn't think that would happen. He even told me to continue working out and just to lay off the weights on the wrist for a few weeks; once I switch to the soft brace, I can do what I usually do, just stop if it hurts. I guess I got off easy ... but I do have to be careful for ... I guess the rest of my life?

Conclusion: take really good care of your joints. Unlike bones, they never heal. Damn it.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    An update on my wrist... well it's now June 1 and it still hurts when I push it backwards (imagine push up position - even without the added weight of my body, so I haven't been able to do push ups since this whole thing started). I am mostly doing what I would have done anyway, except push ups and a few other exercises that use that flat open hand position. I've been wanting to try TRX and I keep putting it off because I want my wrist to be healed when I try it.

    I am not sure if the glucosamine/chondroitin is helping but I'm still taking it daily. I just doubled the dose recently (I got a much cheaper brand so can afford to do that) but still haven't really noticed a difference. I'm STILL wearing the brace when I work out. It's not a hard brace, it's made of neoprene, but it's quite supportive and it definitely helps. I take it off when I do wrist exercises.

    I do wrist curls and reverse wrist curls (both with dumbbells - but I use lighter ones on my injured side - I do 22 lbs on my right side and only 14 lbs on my left side). I also do an exercise that I have named the "wrist twist" which uses a medium elastic band - this was shown to me by the orthopedist. I do all these 3x/week at the end of my workout and the goal is for stronger forearm muscles to allow the joint to do less work. I'm religious about doing the exercises and I have been able to increase the weight on the injured side slowly but it still hurts a little.

    I guess the lesson from this is, be really really grateful for all the joints in your body that you've not managed to injure yet. Because once you injure one... it's a long haul.

    Thanks everyone for the support!!!
    2667 days ago
    Hope you get better soon! I am experiencing something similar with my Achilles tendon - I cannot run and feel so limited in what I can do. Do you have access to a pool? Lap swimming may be a good cross training while your wrist recovers.
    2669 days ago
    How is your wrist now? Do you think the supplements have helped any? I've always been skeptical about them but feel like I should take them in spite of that...just on the outside chance that they really do work!
    2702 days ago
    emoticon I just read this,and am hoping that your wrist is better? Can strengthening the muscles around your wrist help protect your wrist ligaments?
    2762 days ago
    Feel better soon. emoticon
    2772 days ago
    Rats! Painful injury type things leading up to the wrist injury, yikes! That sounds not only painful but really frustrating. I started long distance running when I was 10 years old but had to stop from a bad hip injury in my early 20s. Every time I try it again, back to pain, PT... I've worked on strengthening the muscles in my hip as well as its flexibility. I'm able to do most everything except running which is fine by me. Perhaps adding in wrist strengthening (I think the idea is to strengthen the muscles that surround the torn ligament or something like that) and stretching exercises into your daily workouts (at the right time), plus being patient with its recovery you'll be able to do a lot more than you or the doctor think is possible right now. We are amazing and mysterious beings. I took MSM during my last hip misery time. I don't know if it helped but the placebo effect is powerful. I hope you and your wrist feel better soon.
    2773 days ago
    Awww... I hope you'll feel better soon!
    At least you figured out the problem and you found ways to treat it!

    emoticon emoticon
    2773 days ago
  • PJ2222
    emoticon emoticon
    2773 days ago
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