Don’t suffer sore wrists due to wrist instability !
Getting sore wrists when doing push ups, or loading through your hands? You’re not alone, it is very common.
The wrist is made up of your two forearm bones (radius and ulna) and 8 carpal bones. The carpal bones are essentially a bag of bones that have to work together in harmony, locking into each other when you grip or weight-bear through your hand; and gliding, rolling and sliding across each other to create wrist movement.
When your wrist is in a neutral (straight) position the geometry of the bones creates natural stability, however when you extend your wrist to take weight, the ligaments of the wrist hold the bones together. This is the weakest position to take weight through the wrist.
If you take weight forcefully or repetitively in this extended position, then the ligaments can become strained, or over-stretched. This reduces the ability of the ligaments to support the wrist.
Some people naturally have very loose ligaments, and this means their wrist will also have less support during load bearing, especially when the wrist is extended.
If the ligaments are naturally loose or have become overstretched, the perfect harmony in which the 8 bones have to move across each other can be disrupted. This creates shearing forces between the bones that causes irritation and thus pain. You can also get pain from the ligament that has been overstretched or strained.
Wrist instability is addressed by modifying activities so that you load the wrist in as neutral a position as possible, to take advantage of the geometric stability of the bones. A splint or support can be used to rest the wrist in a neutral position to reduce the irritation in the joints and ligaments of the wrist. Proprioceptive strengthening exercises (the quick coordinated response of the wrist muscles to external forces) are performed to increase the dynamic control you have at the wrist. Strapping or taping can be used for sports activities if required.
Contact the Hand Therapist at MGS Physiotherapy if you need help managing this often frustrating condition.