Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Can my wrist problems worsen if I keep working out?"
I like to lift about six times a week, but recently my wrists have started to twinge when I work with bars. Am I not stretching enough or working out too much?
I think it is likely that you are working out too much. The wrist is very prone to repetitive use injuries (caused by performing the same type of task over and over), and this leads to twinging pain like what you are starting to experience. There are several types of repetitive use injury at the wrist. Most common would simply be tendonitis (inflammation of the tendons of the muscles in the wrist). Another common injury is carpal tunnel syndrome, which results when the repetitive injury causes inflammation of the nerve running down the center of the wrist. The main treatment for repetitive use injuries of the wrist (or anywhere) is to discontinue or modify the activity that produces the pain. In your case, this does not necessarily mean that you need to stop working out, but you should probably not perform the types of weightlifting exercises that produce the pain. In addition to icing the sensitive area, antiinflammatory medications like ibuprofen or naprosyn will probably also help the pain resolve more quickly. Once the pain has resolved, you can resume working out again, but more slowly and carefully. Talk to your primary care doctor for more information, and do so immediately if the pain is severe or does not resolve with rest.
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