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Wrist pain - pinching
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By Bryan Brinda
From GNV, FL
Jan 30, 2013

Hello all, just wanted to post some of the s/sx i've been experiencing for the past couple weeks. I've noticed a pain on the radial (thumb side) of my wrist at the base of the joint when I RELEASE from a pinch. Going to pinches feels absolutely fine but it seems like the more tense my pinch is the more pain I feel upon releasing my grip from the hold.

I think the injury may be from cycling (I also cycle approximately 100mi/week) and may have precipitated from either breaking with my hands in the drops or pumping real hard up a hill where the bike is swaying from left to right. Either way, I feel it a little bit during both cycling and climbing. It's been going on for about 2 weeks right now and I've certainly been exerting myself harder than usual - had a competition a few weeks ago and have been going hard at my local gym. There is little to no pain at rest unless I aggravate it on a pinch and it is usually painless within hours or by the next morning. Has anyone experienced symptoms like this before? Just looking for a little insight...

I've decided to take some time off and have been icing twice a day (20 on 20 off) and cautiously using naproxen.

Thank you!


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By NickDell
May 16, 2013

Hello Bryan, have you noticed any improvement in your pain? I Have been feeling similar pain for the past month or so, notably after pinching, especially with biceps contracted. Once I let go the pain kicks in rapidly, then decreases rapidly. Was wondering how you were faring.


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By MRock
May 16, 2013
Split shin after 5.9+ R lead

I ride my bike about the same as you do each week and have no problems with that sort of pain. I probably don't climb as much as you, but here's my thoughts. Do you ride with gloves? Do you have too much weight on your hands? Sheldon says you should be able to reach up and scratch your face with either hand while the other is on the hoods. It might be best to immobilize the joint as well as the other conditions you have it in, some sort of splint to keep it straight will probably help. I know being in the drops on my bike puts my wrist into a strange position and could be exaceserbating the problem. Also riding my flat bar beer bike makes my hands and wrists very happy. Good luck, speedy recovery to you.


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By Jake Jones
From The Eastern Flatlands
May 16, 2013
Me and the offspring walking back to the car after a day of cragging.

This sounds to me like the onset of tendinitis in the extensor side of your forearm. I had these symptoms and still get them from time to time. It is likely from overuse and doing too much too fast. I am not an avid boulderer and I get these same symptoms whenever I go from roped routes to focusing strictly on boulder problems at my limit.

Unlike pulling on a jug or crimp, pinches incorporate much more of the top (extensor) side of your forearm. Pinches are notoriously the weakest hold position for most climbers as a result.

If I had to guess, and my observation would ultimately be a guess because I'm not a doctor, I would say that the onset was caused by your climbing activities and exacerbated by the pinching motion of braking hard while riding.

Maybe you could ease off one or both for a while to allow some time for healing. Then you could ease back in slowly while incorporating some strengthening exercises like forearm pronation with light weight, and reverse curls. Ice works initially, then vigorous massage promoting circulation works wonders.

If you're doing rehabilitative/strengthening exercises, always stretch before and after. If you're just climbing, stretch after you climb.

If it is tendinitis, and obviously that's not definitive because this is an amateur diagnosis (at best), then it's not something to mess around with. Severe cases have caused people to take years off and/or ended people's climbing altogether.

If symptoms continue or get worse, you may want to consult a doctor if you have the means. Best of luck to you.


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