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Wrist support?

Posted by romy 
Wrist support?
16 April '10 | 10:39pm
Hi there,

I'm relatively new to the sport, only sailed for about a year, but almost straight from the start I got a sore wrist after each sail. It stays painful for about three weeks before getting better, but I rarely give it that long to recover anyhow. At least when I'm on the water adrenalin makes me forget about it completely... haha.

I'm thinking I'll probably just have to live with it, but was wondering if anyone else has the same problem? If so, has anyone found any sort of device to support weak wrists? Straps etc.?

First I thought it was because of the countless times I had to haul myself back onto the board after falling in, but these days I only waterstart, so no more drastic bending of the old wrist. Other reasons I could think of are a) the fact that I'm a chick of pretty light build - could the forces just be too much for my bones?
and b) that said wrist had a fracture about twenty years ago.

Any other ideas? Wrist-strengthening exercises? Supplements or healing balms that have worked for you?

Any tips would be much appreciated.

Re: Wrist support?
17 April '10 | 2:57am
Is it the wrist itself that hurts or the forearm, cus i get the forearm sometimes, rarely do i get the wrists...only ever had it bad after a full day of sailing on a 420 in nuclear conditions and holding the main sheet in a bad angle, is there anything that you of this sort?? as for the injury, did you ever let it heal properly? and, is there anything you do, like rarely using the harness even in planning conditions that could put lots of stress on that wrist, maybe your harness lines are positioned too far forward or backward??
hope you find a cure to your aches!

P.S. exercises for the wrists and forearms should only help, personal preference should help you out there, everybody has their own thing ;p
Re: Wrist support?
17 April '10 | 4:21am
Hi Tom,

Thanks heaps for your reply! Yeah it's the wrist itself (especially when I try to bend it), which is why I thought of a relation with the old fracture. But I'm pretty sure it healed ok, it had a cast for six weeks in any case.

Interesting to hear that you did have wrist problems once, after a big sesh. At least that means it is not just me! I'm always hooked in when I blast along, and fully committed to the harness, but I do spend about half my time just practising "tricks" (for me just trying to pull off a carve gybe counts as a trick), so I guess there is a fair amount of unhookedness going on...
Also I do try and push down on my front hand to get more MFP in overpowered or choppy conditions.
Hmmmm - maybe that's not such a good idea?

Can you explain what you mean by a "bad angle" of holding the sail? Maybe that's what I do!

Thanks again, I really appreciate you taking the time to help!
smiling smiley
Al Bentley
Re: Wrist support?
17 April '10 | 2:31pm
not sure what kind of pain you have exactly but me and quite a few other windsurfers I know have experienced tendonitis in the wrist after sailing. this is caused by your muscles developing at a quicker rate to your tendons. its common to get it if for example you went windsurfing after not doing it for a long period of time and during that session you were putting a lot of pressure on the wrist - maybe waterstarting or just holding on too tight.

You can tell its tendonitis because there will be slight swelling around the tendon and it sometimes 'clicks' when you move it - although that is when its getting quite bad.

In terms of solving it you need to rest it until its 100% healed - using a split/support can be good for this. then when you go back to sailing try not to put a lot of pressure on the wrist. having your harness lines the right place is quite important so that you can be blasting without any pressure on the boom.

This might be completely different to what you have but I have experienced it a fair bit and its very annoying!

Re: Wrist support?
17 April '10 | 9:27pm
Thanks heaps for your detailed reply Al, that was super-helpful. The way you explain it makes so much sense, and it definitely sounds a lot like me. We don't get good wind that often here, so I usually have long breaks and then go hard when there is wind. Long sessions - have to make the most of it aye - and LOTS of waterstarts as I try to wrap my head around gybing.

Haven't noticed any swelling, but it sure clicks when I try to bend the wrist.

Soooo ... looks like I do have to give it a rest and then doublecheck my harness lines. Or failing that, perhaps a Capt'n Hook-style tool with a strap around the shoulders, like in the olden days... haha.

Thanks ever so much!
Re: Wrist support?
19 April '10 | 4:39am
hey ,
what i meant by a bad angle is that i was holding the rope in a way that put almost all the strain on my wrist instead of on the fore arm. i was pulling kind of sideways instead of straight back, so the wrist had to remain stiff with a ton of power going through it. dont ask me why i pulled like that because its pretty stupid, i guess just a bad habit i guess or because im usually a skipper and hold my tiller extension like that... so i guess this would apply to windsurfing by saying pull towards your body using your forearm muscles instead of your much weaker wrist muscles. forearms and biceps are always bigger stronger muscles then wrists, so use them more as it will alsi be easier for you!

jibes def count for maneuvers too! there is a way of depowering the sail during the jibe so you dont have a ton of power (talking about a carve jibe here), look at videos of guys jibing with big slalom sails, i think that technique is good for reducing the power in the rig during the maneuver big time. i personally cant carve jibe all that well, but i think this could help.

and again, perhaps most importantly, your harness is your best buddy as long as you A) use it and cool smiley correctly adjust your lines making it so you basically only need the force of one finger to sheet in and sheet out, if you have decent lines that are correctly placed, this should be pretty doable!

good luck,
Re: Wrist support?
19 April '10 | 11:35pm
Thanks for the explanation Tom. Yup, that makes total sense now. I went for a quick sail yesterday to check how I was actually using my wrists, and there is definitely quite some sideways twisting & yanking going on. Silly! But so good to be aware of it now. Awesome tip! Sometimes the obvious is too plain to see.

So again it comes down to technique, not lack of strength. Where have I heard this before... haha.

Cheers for your help!

Re: Wrist support?
20 April '10 | 3:11am
No worries, keep ripping, god knows we need more girls in the sport!!!
Re: Wrist support?
20 April '10 | 8:58pm
I have suffered with a condition called De Quervains Tenosynovitis which I got due to windsurfing.
It is basically an overuse injury of the wrist (no puns please...) which produces a tendonitis and therefore pain/swelling/grinding of the tendons in the wrist joint - almost exclusively the tendons involved in moving the thumb.
If you move the thumb in most directions it hurts and you can feel the griding at the thumb side of the wrist - and the thumb is involved in almost all movements of the wrist in windsurfing I guess.
When I researched it I discovered it was not an unusual injury in sports involving hand movements under stress.

As the previous posts have said, the treatment is rest/antiinflammatories ( a regular course for up to 3-4 weeks can be helpful but make sure they dont irritate your stomach and you take them with food).
The best way to rest is using a wrist splint (can be bought in Boots or any chemist or your gp can prescribe one via the local splint department - I am a GP and for speed of fitting - personally I would just use a good fitting splint from boots as long as you dont mind forking out the cash (make sure it has a metal frame to support the side of the wrist on the same side as the palm of your hand).

It is hard to totally rest the thumb but the wrist splint can help to a good degree.

I am glad to say it has long since settled and I am now doing more windsurfing than ever. The muscles have become stronger and more tuned to the repetitive nature of wrist movements in windsurfing I suppose.

There is definitely light at the end of the tunnel but I am sure a period of rest is not what you really want to do just as we emerge from a cold winter into a windy spring!
Best of luck.
Re: Wrist support?
6 July '10 | 2:40pm
Hi Romy...ive got exactly the same symptoms as you!! i started windsurfing last october.....my job is also a guitarist,which now hurts when i try and play some stuff which requires me to stretch!! ive had these pains for at least 6 wks,,ive tried some neoprene wrist supports,but my wrists still hurt....as i also play guitar as my job resting them is not easy....and im addicted to windsurfing already!....im interested to know if yours have healed yet? or any other tips you may have come across....hope your wrists are better..... Al
Re: Wrist support?
22 January '14 | 11:06pm
eddiewizzard Wrote:
> Hi,
> I have suffered with a condition called De
> Quervains Tenosynovitis which I got due to
> windsurfing.

I too was diagnosed with De Quervain about 4 months ago. It happened while windsurfing and i felt it immediately.
The thing is that i didnt treat it until about 2 months later when it persisted and actually got worse. I went to 2 orthopedists who both told me that the only way out is cortisone injection and if that does not work surgery which is supposed to be really fast and simple.
I did the injection which had no positive effects and am treating with physio and acupuncture. I'm also using a wrist support for a month now but i really don't see big improvement.
I'm in doubt regarding the surgery, should i do it or not? As all of us here, i'm addicted to the sport and being for 4 months out of the water kills me.

I'm curious to learn more about your recovery eddiewizzard.
Any suggestions?

thanks a lot

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