Wrist pain: The A-B-Z's of exercise
Ulnar sided wrist pain is common, with up to 10% of the people around the world experiencing wrist pain at any given point in time. So if you're having wrist pain while playing tennis, picking up your kids or doing pushups what should you do?
Firstly, if you are concerned about your wrist pain, have been experiencing any significant changes in your wrist, had a fall or other traumatic event then you should always seek medical advice from a trusted professional near you. If you're in the majority of the population who experience wrist pain, you will likely not need invasive treatment or take significant time off from activities. Your primary care provider might have recommended a non-invasive splint such as the WristWidget® if a TFCC injury was suspected. Regardless of where you find yourself on the ulnar sided wrist pain spectrum, you need to take some time to identify what your current Point A is.
Point A is where you are at today. This can be thought of in a variety of ways. It includes variables such as your treatment protocol or diagnosis, your wrist functionality (how and what can I use my wrist and what causes pain?) and your current concerns. Can you define your Point A?
Some questions that may help you define this:
- What is my diagnosis?
- What limitations do I currently have? (what can't I do?)
- What bothers me the most about my ulnar sided wrist pain? (not playing tennis or being active?)
- What has my healthcare provider told me to do? (or what not)
Now that you've defined Point A, it's time to think big. What are those activities, exercises or sports that you want to perform that's been limited by your wrist pain?
What's the point of thinking about things you can't do, you might wonder? Well, you need to have a goal to work towards. Remember the 5 P's of life? Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance. This can be playing a 18-hole golf course again, picking up your grandchild or hitting a new overhead squat PR. Get the idea? This goal should be specific to you.
Once you've identified your goal, you've got your Point Z.
Between A and Z is where the fun is!
You don't get from A to Z in one big leap. You get there step by step, knowing what to do (and not to do) through adequate planning and consistency.
5 tips to successfully navigate the A-B-Z's
- Exercise and rehabilitation should look like the activity you want to get back to doing (for the most part).
- Keep track of things. Played more tennis this week? Lifted a heavier dumbbell today? Write it down.
- Be flexible (no, not just the stretchy kind). Life throws curve balls at us all, if you've missed a day or have to take a step back in the process it's okay.
- Set short-term goals. What's between A and Z? Everything in between.
- Celebrate the small wins.
If you need help understanding your ABZ's of wrist pain, send me an email at email@example.com and I'll get back to you!