Recent wrist injury in a rower


Recent wrist injury in a rower



What is it?

A relatively uncommon overuse injury where irritation occurs where the long thumb tendons cross the extensor tendons in the forearm resulting in inflammation of the tendon sheath

Common Symptoms

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • A creaking on movement about 5 – 8 cm above the back of the wrist.

Who gets it?

This injury usually results from repetitive wrist flexion and extension against resistance and high compressive loads at the wrist.  It can be seen in manual workers utilising this kind of movement and athletes who need to grip , most commonly rowers hence the name , and also tennis players.

Case Study

On a recent GB Rowing camp we picked up the beginnings of an intersection syndrome , with careful early, physiotherapy intervention the symptoms were managed and the rower avoided the discomfort and disruption the condition can bring.

The rower in question had injured his wrist weightlifting as part of his programme a few days earlier.  This had resulted in him having to compensate his technique on the rowing ergometer.  He initially complained of pain above the wrist and a creaking sensation could be felt in this area.  To treat his condition we mobilised his wrist joint and ligaments ,  regaining full movement ,  we then mobilised the muscles affected and associated connective tissue to regain normal movement between these structures. The area was also supported with Kinesio tape and specific stretches were prescribed.  The rower managed to complete the camp and all his physical tests with only some minor short term modifications to his training.

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