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Common Causes Of Wrist Injuries In Athletes

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If you play almost any sport, you have a wrist injury risk. Many athletes don't think about injuries to their wrists, but they are common in this area. Some sports have a higher chance of wrist injuries than others. However, you can injure your wrist even if your sport doesn't involve using your hands. Here are some common ways athletes injure their wrists and when you should see a sports medicine doctor for help.

Sports at Higher Risk of Wrist Injuries

Sports-related wrist injuries tend to fall into two different types. Overuse injuries are caused by overusing the wrist. Traumatic injuries involve physical damage to the wrist or parts of the hand.

Sports With Overuse Wrist Injuries

Sports that rely on constant or frequent flexing of the wrist tend to have more overuse injuries. For example, they are higher in these sports:

  • Tennis
  • Racquetball
  • Basketball
  • Volleyball

Sports With Traumatic Wrist Injuries

Sports that have a high risk of impact, such as contact sports or falls, are more likely to have traumatic injuries. Here are a few examples:

  • Hockey and Lacrosse
  • Football
  • Wrestling
  • Gymnastics
  • Baseball

Some sports, like running and equestrian sports, also have a risk of wrist injuries.

Common Ways Athletes Injure Their Wrists

Overuse injuries are usually caused by overuse of the joint or under training the surrounding muscles. However, traumatic injuries have a wider range of causes. Here are some of the common ways athletes cause trauma to their wrists.


When many people fall, they use their hands and wrists to lessen the blow to the ground. Fall injuries are common across all sports, but especially with gymnastics.

Contact With Another Player

High-contact sports like football and hockey have a higher chance of a contact-related wrist trauma injury.

Hit by a Ball or Equipment

Many sports have a high risk of wrist injuries from sticks, balls, and pucks. For example, it is not uncommon for a baseball player to be hit by an errant pitch or a hockey player to get hit by a stick or puck.

Signs You Need Help From a Sports Medicine Doctor

The following symptoms indicate a potential injury or issue that likely will not go away on its own. Seek immediate treatment from a sports or orthopedic doctor or surgeon if you suffer from any of the following symptoms:

  • Numbness in the hands
  • Coldness or paleness in the fingers
  • Bruising and swelling in the wrist or thumb areas
  • Inability or difficulty flexing your hand or wrist

Talk to your coach or sports medicine doctor to help with protection against overuse and traumatic injuries and sprains. Your sports medicine doctor may devise a treatment plan if you have chronic wrist injuries.

Reach out to a sports medicine doctor for more information.