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Wrist Pain

11:02:27 PM
I get a pain in my left wrist which also goes down my forearm as well, mainly when crimping. I first noticed it a few months back, but since I havenít been climbing again until recently I never really noticed it was sore. Was climbing the other day, and it was painful enough that I taped it. (And yes I know taping shouldnít be used to give strength). When crimping, my hand turns to the side, as in it bends backwards slightly and to the left (little finger side) which is the position where it is most painful when loaded. Itís becoming slightly stiff now, but nothing extremely disasterous, mostly at the end of the day it becomes sore again, even without climbing. When it was taped my hand didnít turn to the side as much, and there was less pain. Anyone had this sort of problem, and how did you go about strengthening it again? Any ideas at all?
And yes I already did a forum search :)

12:00:53 AM
hey kez!
how's it going? (finally finished school, hey!). Well I gotta admit that I have no idea what could be wrong with your forearm. Maybe tendonitis? Hope it gets better,
-Pei :)

8:14:52 AM
Hey Kez, Just send Julian an email. While climbing at Araps a few weeks back, and not realising it, I tore a ligament and some cartliage in my wrist, a very common climbing injury. Your injury sounds pretty serious to me...
9:38:50 AM
All I'd say is don't ignore it!!

I ignored wrist pain, kept climbing, it got worse, finally did something about it and it took a few months of ZERO climbing and about 2 years of icing, stretching, exercises, and worst of all not climbing very hard or very much, to recover.

Nip it in the bud. Get a diagnosis and do whatever it takes to fix it.

3:05:40 PM
Hey kezza, could you post your reply from the physio (or post me a PM)?
My climbing partner has complained of the same thing for the past 6 months! ultrasound, massage, exersises and physio visits have done very little so far...
11:47:17 AM
Thought I would jump in on this one. Kerryn, be careful! Wrist pain in the area you are talking about is not so good. There is a small piece of cartilage in there called the triangular fibrocartilaginous complex (TFCC). The position you are putting your wrist in (i.e. when you deviate it toward your little finger) puts pressure on this cartilage. It is held there as if it is in a web of ligaments, and is, in part, there to prevent some of your carpal (wrist) bones from impacting against the end of your ulna. The disc can be torn or the ligaments can be torn or strained. I have an article coming up in rock on this injury, though not for a few months I think. It can happen for a number of reasons; you could just be unlucky, but the most common reason is that some of the carpal bones that the suspensory ligaments attach to are not moving as freely as they should. This places abnormal stresses through the whole apparatus, and either results in a ligament tear, or a traction tear of the cartilage disc. I have only seen traction tears in climbers. Typically it is injured by landing on your wrist and compressing it.

Donít wait for it to heal, get someone to look at it. If you do have an underlying problem that caused it in the first place, it may prevent it from healing, or it may cause it to re-injure quite quickly. Let me know how you get on.


10:52:51 AM
Thanks Julian,
My wrist injury sounds similar to what has been described here (in certain moves it almost feels as if the wrist is pulled off the arm)....I have seen a physio about it and did some ultrasounds and excersises, but it never really got any better as a result (a vain attempt at using tape by the physio actually made it worse). Can you recommend a type of doctor/physio to go to for sorting this out or does anyone know someone in the Sydeny area who is good at this sort of things ? Does it help the diagnosis to get an x-ray done ?

Stephan (using my partners account)

3:23:13 PM
Hey Pei! Yeah schools finally finished! YAY hehe
Sorry about the late reply back, just got back from my schoolies week.
Thanks for the info Julian, that doesn't sound promising at all. I'll definately go see someone about it. As almost a week later now and it's still rather painful.
Thanks for the replies guys, I'll let you know how it goes.

5:29:58 PM
hey i thought that this would be a good conversation to add in something about my recent wrist pain, i went to my docter and she says i have a ganglion on one wrist which i reakon i have had since i was about 10 (now 19) when i was in the middle of crazy gymnastics training, im pretty sure now that i am getting one in my other wrist aswell, what is the deal with these things, my docter thinks that i should have surgery on it but since i am going to thailand on jan 20th im not so keen to be out of climbing due to surgery, if anyone has any info on this please let me now
thanks guys and girls
11:32:12 PM
hi sarah, call me tomorrow. 0400 201 551 or 94194066.


3:02:07 PM
Last night bouldering at hardrock I was daring enough to pull through on the last move of a fairly exposed-ended problem. It involved a right foot up near waist, left foot heel-hooking to the far left level with hips, right hip to wall, going up from a crimper with left hand. Basically twisting and then falling and it's been aching all night and day in my middle left of back.

ok that sounds complicated but all i would like to know is ice or heat and rest or exercise as normal..... thanks
1:56:19 PM
Hi Kez saw your posting about the wrist pain if it is as some are suggesting and is RSI ( that includes tendonitis, carpal tunnel ect) then I suggest you get it cjhecked out asap. I hurt my wrist 20 years ago at work started of with similar pains, I was vey nieve and continued working and doing things that aggravated it and I endeded up with it in my thumb area, wrist, elbow shoulder and then because my right hand was so bad I over compensated with my left with the same results and 20 years later I still have problems although not as bad. The only thing that would have prevented or helped it was complete rest from those activites in the begining. It doesnt have to stop you forever but the quicker you deal with it the better chance of recovery. I was left with permanent restrictions with my injury. But Then I didnt take up climbing until 10 years after the injury, I cant do a lot but I can do some, just have to pace myself nhot bad for someone who was told I would never work or do anything physical again. I also took up caving as my main sport/hobby because in my case it didnt put all the pressure and strain on my arms. Anyway good luck with it. But Rest It For Now
2:52:49 PM
Hey Julian,

I was trawling the site for info on wrist pain, and found this thread. Hope it's not too old for any replies! I have exactly the same wrist pain, on my left arm. Started about 6 months ago, from bouldering, I think about the same time I developed rotator cuff problems. All in the same left arm. That, coupled with light training and regularly going to astanga yoga classes (a lot of body weight put on the hands), really cemented the problem. The shoulder is getting better slowly, but the wrist is worse. Now, I can no longer do anything that involves my wrist (am now up to month 3 of no climbing). Even holding something slightly heavy in my left hand hurts. I get sharp shooting pain down the pinkie side of my wrist and forearm, and a bad dull ache 24 hours a day. Been to physios, and have been using theraband for rotator cuff excersices, and wrist side pull type things (holding theraband in both hands and laterally moving the wrist in both directions), which hasn't really helped. Went to Susan Dunn (the hand specialist in Sydney), she didn't even know what it was (I have since found out it was TFCC strain). Could you please forward me the article you wrote. I imagine it should be out by now. Any other suggestions....anyone? Is it time for an arthroscopy? It's driving me crazy.

Thanks, Erika

3:48:55 PM
Hi Erica,

Whilst I cant offer any specific advice, I am having similar issues, so some of my findings might be of interest.

Ive had wrist problems for the last 6 months, with a tendonitis like pain on the little finger side of both wrists. This was generally only noticable when warming up, and was really not to much of an issue for climbing (only pain occured when trying to do hand/fist jams straight of the deck). The main pain occured batting playing cricket.

This gradually got worse, until playing cricket I landed awkwardly on my right wrist, and hurt it very badly. Couldnt tie my shoes for a week, and only now (5 weeks) later do I seem to have most of the strength back in the wrist. The right wrist itself seems to be recovering well (although shaking hands with people is still a no-no as squeezing hurts), but interestingly the left wrist is now quite painful, as my increased use of it for all things has made it flare up.

My hand physio diagnosed TPCC problems, and I have been taking non steroidal anti inflamitries, rubbing in voltarin ointment, having ultrasound treatment and taping the wrists.

Probably the most useful thisng has been the taping, which seemed to provide a lot of support, particularly in the right wrist that had the traumatic damage. My hand physio has me taping tightly a 'half wristband' on the little finger side of each wrist (imagine tape starting in the middle of where your watch face would sit and heading around your wrist to finish where the hinge on your watchband would be). Ive had the tape on pretty much all the time, this seemed to take a bit of the pressure of the damaged areas.

Your problems sound much more serious than mine, im hoping that stopping repeditive cricket training doing big drives facing bowling machines at 80 miles an hour will get rid of the cause of my problems, and leave me with just a plausible excuse for not attempting any hand cracks. Good luck.
2:10:17 PM
Thanks oweng.

Just wondering, does anyone know what rock issue Julian put the wrist pain (TFCC) article in?

9:51:07 PM
now is this the erika i know and love? though not seen for some time?

regardless, you should give me a call to chat about the wrist. it is late on a friday night and i am beyong typing. there are a miliion excuses where that one came from.

you may have partially dislocated that side of your wrist. i see it quite often in boulderers and possibly accounts for the worsening pain you are experiencing. and yes, it is coupled with TFCC problems. that said, it may just be a very aggravated TFCC. from your discription these are by far the most likely diagnoses.

3 months off! that must hurt more than the injury.


call me.

0400 201 551

11:14:52 PM
>regardless, you should give me a call to chat about the wrist. it is late
>on a friday night and i am beyong typing. there are a miliion excuses where

Careful Julian. Don't injur your wrist with over-typing
2:14:29 PM
Hey Julian,

Yes it is I......It has been a really long time since I last saw you! I'll try and give you a call today. Thanks for the reply.

wendy howard
3:26:51 PM
Hello. I would recommend that you try the wristwidget. I have studied this injury in climbers and find
that if you tape the wrist tight enough, you will gain grip strength, weight bearing tolerance and your
pain with rotation will go away. Tape does a good job although it is difficult to tape it just right so your
hand doesnt fall asleep. The wristwidget has been clinically tried and found to treat injuries to the

You have a TFCC problem. check out and look at the symptoms.

Also- check out for details.

I hope that helps!


5:07:09 PM
update for those interested.... i can understand if your not.

Well I saw a wrist hand specialist who was a climber at the start of the year. She told me I had shite grip and pinch strength, and apparently climbers should be off the chart with that sort of thing... Anywho basically my big wrist stabilising muscles were doing nothing, and my little wrist muscles and tendons were left to do all the work and at this point were giving up. My tendons were stressing out.
I was told to lay off the crimps, and only climb on easy stuff until my muscles caught up again. (she picked i was a climber before even asking my name, apparently I have typical climbers bad posture! dead give away) She told me to go to the weights gym, i hated this idea, so i didn't go...
I limited myself to climbing easy trad for 6 months (not a cheap exercise buying trad gear). I have only just started playing on harder climbs and haven't had a problem with my wrist at all. I only tape my wrist sometimes bouldering to remind myself I'm no super woman!

Oh if your wanting to get your muscles strong in a very short time, go to Frog and thrash about on anything under 16!

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There are 28 messages in this topic.


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