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Possible nerve damage from hook grip?

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  • Possible nerve damage from hook grip?

    Hello everyone, I'm new to this forum and I've come here hoping someone had experienced what i did recently since i couldn't find anything regarding this issue online.

    Here's what happened:
    I was practicing form on deadlifts with some relatively light singles and doubles with 405. On the 2nd set i grabbed the bar deeper in my hand than i usually do, and instead of my thumb being parallel to the bar it went diagonally across, so the bar was across my proximal phalanx and not my thumb pad. As I went to pull slack I immediately noticed something was off, but since the slack pull happens fast I didn't process the information fast enough and I went through with the lift anyway. I completed the rep, didn't feel a sharp jolt of pain or anything, but when I put the bar down I noticed my thumb went numb and the feeling was a different kind of numb than what I usually get (I've been pulling hook grip for a while).

    Long story short, its been around 48 hours since that workout session, and the inner side of my thumb pad (if you divide the thumb in half along its length, the side of the thumb pad closer to the index finger) is still numb and feels kinda tingly to the touch, similar to when your arm falls asleep when you lie on it for too long. It doesn't hurt at all and I have completely normal thumb function, but usually any uncomfortable feeling I get from hook grip subsides a few minutes after the set and this has persisted for 48 hours now.

    I couldn't find much regarding this online, but the closest thing i could find is something called bowler's thumb, which is caused by long-term pressure on the ulnar nerve of the thumb, and I'm thinking I might have crushed my ulnar nerve with that deadlift.

    I'm interested in hearing if someone has had similar long lasting numbness from hook grip and whether this is potentially something to worry about.

  • #2
    Hey Mikey,

    Without an exam it is difficult to say for sure but it is not outside the realm of possibility that you gave yourself a little compression injury to a nerve. These do typically heal but sometimes it does take a little while for it to completely resolve. It is not uncommon for these type of symptoms to linger around for a week or two. It typically starts to get "less numb" and sometimes a little hypersensitive as it does resolve so don't be too concerned if this happens. From a hook grip I doubt you could have given yourself a full "crush" injury, but a good amount of compression can elicit this type of symptoms.


    • #3
      Thank you a lot for the feedback Dr. Miles,

      What you described is I think pretty much exactly whats happening. I panicked when I noticed the symptoms didn't go away after 3 days but it turns out the healing process was just very slow. It's been a week since the injury and i think the numbness is at 5% of what it was, almost imperceptible at this point. It sure is reassuring to hear from a knowledgeable person that I likely didn't cause any permanent nerve damage.