Pretty often in the gym, we hear athletes complaining about wrist pain. Wrist injuries and pain are pretty common in gymnastics and cheerleading. With the intensity of cheerleading increasing, the wrist pain popping up certainly makes sense. If you think about the amount of pressure your wrists experience while throwing back handsprings or basing a stunt, one could definitely understand why wrists would be sore. Balancing your body (or someone else’s!) is a lot of stress on your wrists!
There are some easy things to do to help with wrist pain though!
1. Stretch! Stretching your wrists is very important. Tumbling and stunts bend your wrists back almost to a 90 degree angle – talk about needing to be flexible! Lack of flexibility in the wrists may increase potential for injury so be sure to stretch well. Don’t forget to stretch the back and the front of your wrists when stretching. Like other muscles in the body, flexibility helps prevent injuries!
2. Strengthen! Increasing the strength of the muscles surrounding the joint help to protect your wrist from injury. Lifting light weights (even a water bottle works!) can help build up the muscles in your wrist. Lift light weights by curling your wrist in, lifting the wrist up and by turning your arm so your thumb faces the ceiling and lift towards the ceiling.
Lastly, athletes ask about using braces or tape to aid with their wrist pain. Braces can help distribute pressure and tape can help with support. Both items are definitely helpful, but should not be depended upon. The goal should be to slowly pull back on the extra support until you no longer need it. Strength and flexibility will help you to eventually skip taping up or wearing the brace.
For more information, check out athletico.com