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Wrist Pain: Soft tissue mobilization that you can do yourself


Wrist pain is a common issue in athletes. From barbell athletes to soccer players and combat athletes, all athletes seem to have dealt with wrist pain at one point.

In many cases, the shoulder is the primary cause of pain. Any mobility or movement issues in the shoulder increase the demands on the wrist joints. This in turn causes the wrist to be over worked, which commonly results in pain or performance issues.

So the answer in this scenario is to fix the shoulder dysfunction, manage the wrist pain, and watch the pain disappear.

But in some cases, the wrist actually IS the primary cause. So what then? Well, quite obviously, we focus our attention on the wrist.

Pain in the wrist very often originates from carpal bones and wrist joint mobility limitations. In a previous post, we talked about self mobilizations for the wrist joints. (See it here). That’s a great place to start. But what if the joints are not the cause of dysfunctional movement?

What if the muscles are actually the underlying cause?

Pain in the wrist from forearm muscle restrictions

Your first question might be “my wrist hurts; so why are we talking about forearm muscles?” That’s a valid and very good question.

First and foremost, the location of pain is not always the cause of pain. So don’t be so hyper focused on exactly where the wrist pain is that you miss the cause of pain.

Second, the forearm muscles are wrist muscles. The muscles in the forearm have attachments in the wrist and the hand. So any irritation at the forearm muscles can very likely cause wrist pain. Think of it as a rubber band - if the band is tight, there’s more compression on whatever the band is around. How would we decrease that compression? We would decrease the tension on the band! But since we are talking about muscles, exactly how can we decrease muscle tension?

Fixing wrist pain from forearm and wrist muscle tightness

 Glad you asked! That’s what this video is all about. We go over several techniques that have helped me personally improve wrist and forearm pain.

I am a manual therapist, so manual therapy treatment is my ideal treatment for this; however, the treatment I prefer to incorporate into physical therapy sessions is not possible to do on yourself. The techniques in this video, however, are simple to perform on yourself. And they are extremely effective.  

As you work through these, remember that less is more. You don’t need to crush yourself initially. Start of easy. You should be able to breath through this soft tissue work. These techniques can be quite irritable at first; but as you work through them CONSISTENTLY, you will be able to apply more and more pressure.

The ultimate goal is to be able to compress the muscle without any pain or discomfort. So find the nasty spots, and gradually increase pressure.

Assess. Don’t Guess.

Remember - treatment without assessment is pushing forward blindly. We want to have a crystal clear goal. We need to understand why the wrist hurts. Is it joint, soft tissue, or nerves? If it is soft tissue, which muscle? Is it actually the muscle, or could it be a referred pain from the shoulder or spine? Once we figure that out, what is the best approach - treat the irritable muscle directly or perhaps work away from the irritation and slowly work back towards it?

If you want help (you do, I promise), then reach out to us.

If you want to schedule an evaluation right now, click here. If you want to chat, fill out a contact form. Either way, expect a call from our office to understand your goals, figure out what you need help with, and schedule an assessment as soon as possible.


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