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Acute Onset Right Wrist Pain

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  • Michael Ray
    Hey BobbyD - thanks for the questions. Sorry to hear about your situation. Generally speaking this sounds like de quervain's tenosynovitis. I'd be fine with using the splint to get through your next training day and then see about dosing in activity to tolerance, inclusive of some isolation and grip work to the area (the approach has been discussed here previously You may also want to review our guide on these situations HERE.

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  • BobbyD
    started a topic Acute Onset Right Wrist Pain

    Acute Onset Right Wrist Pain

    Hello Pain Lords,

    I come seeking your wisdom once again. I recently started a new job with my local utility company and we had a bunch of hands on training this week with delightful things like 90lbs air jack hammers and other fun stuff. Overall, things went well but I felt some tightness and discomfort in my right wrist during activities on Tuesday but it subsided after work was done. Yesterday, I felt slightly more tightness during work and instead of it getting better when I finished for the day it progressively got worse. I feel marginally better today but not much. This is very surprising to me because I don't have a preexisting history of wrist discomfort and it came on so fast.

    I know you guys aren't usually big fans of ascribing pain or injury to a specific muscle or tendon because it is so multi-factorial but I want to try and give you somewhat of an idea of what I'm experiencing and anatomical landmarks seem like they could be helpful. The pain and discomfort seem to be most specifically localized to the area of the Abductor pollicis longus especially where it crosses from one side of the radius to the other. I'm not sure if that is more tendon or muscle right there at the crossing point (I would guess tendon though) but it is definitely somewhat inflamed because if I (or my wife) palpitate the area of my right wrist compared to my left you can feel the structures there more prominently on the right side. Additionally, the motion that causes me the most discomfort seems to be inline with the action of that muscle which is having my hands perpendicular to the floor with thumb pointed upward and attempting to either more my hand upwards or stabilizing a load in my hand. If it rotate to palm facing downward, I have less pain that perpendicular but still not great. If I rotate my hand to palm facing upward I have by far the least pain but still not zero. I hope this is enough information to get an idea of what may be going on. I know if it is something like tendonopathy, I have somewhat long road ahead.

    So now we come to the what do part. I have at least one more day of hands on training on Monday then we have close to two weeks of classroom related stuff before going out into the field but thankfully we are off for the whole big holiday weekend so that's at least 4 days of recovery. We have a metal reinforced wrist brace that seems to make it so I can do somethings without as much pain. Would that help reduce the loading and improve my healing over the next couple days? Should I try and wear the brace during our hands on Monday? When the pain has subsided, what type of exercises should I be doing to help recovery and reduce injury risks in the future? The pain science website said icing might have some minor positive effects so I've been doing that some. I just want to know how to deal with this. I spent the last 18 months striving every day to get this job and it is incredibly disheartening to have something like this crop up just a couple weeks into starting. Along with the birth of my son, it was one of the few bright points in this dark year and now it's lost some of its luster.

    As always your insight in greatly appreciated. I am definitely thankful for the amazing resource that Barbell Medicine is and I hope you all have a joyous Thanksgiving today.