Avoid Your Next Hand or Wrist Injury with These Quick Tips
Muscle and Fitness reports on exercises that cause hand and wrist injuries and includes guidance from Nick Maroldi PT, DPT, OCS, CHT, physical therapist and director of the Hand Therapy Center at HSS, on prevention.
Weightlifting and common body-weight exercises can cause a variety of hand and wrist injuries. Maroldi explained, “Oftentimes, tendons or ligaments are overloaded or repetitively strained during certain exercises, leading to tendinitis, tenosynovitis, or ligament sprains or tears.”
Although repetition is a common practice for building muscle, it’s not ideal for hand health. Maroldi noted, “Repetitive stresses from exercise can also lead to ganglion cysts, which most commonly appear on the back of the wrist.”
“Other exercises that involve dynamic movement and loading the wrists, such as snatches and clean and jerks, can lead to ligament tears in the wrist, most commonly the scapholunate ligament (SL ligament),” added Maroldi.
Another watch-out is weight-bearing exercises. “The most common exercises that cause wrist/hand injuries are those that involve weight-bearing or dynamic loading through extended wrists such as pushups and burpees,” said Maroldi.
Maroldi offered tips for avoiding injury during exercise, such as maintaining a neural wrist position. “Neutral wrist position means that the wrist is in slight extension (make a tight fist and the position your wrist is in is your neutral wrist position),” he explained.
Maroldi also advised to avoid overgripping. “Your wrists and hands are constantly working and under tension, and it is therefore not recommended to do specific wrist- or grip-strengthening exercises. Doing wrist curls or repetitive resisted gripping can lead to tendinitis or carpal tunnel syndrome, but training with proper technique, form, and body positioning will strengthen your wrist and grip functionally with less risk of injury,” he said.
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