For many beginner boxers and aspiring professional boxers, wrist pain is one condition many dread as this injury can quickly force you to the sidelines for weeks to many months for recoverary. But like every other type of wrist pain, wrist pain from boxing can be adequately managed and treated, so there is no need to be alarmed or scared if you are currently stuffing from wrist pain and don’t know what to do then our short article will help guide you.
But let’s face the facts, with all the force that comes with every punch, it’s easy to see why boxers’ hands and wrists take the kind of beating they do. This can be even more frightening if a boxer refuses to wrap his wristscorrectly or fails to use the proper form when punching an opponent or over doing it on a heavy punching bag where these sorts of injuries and pains start to arise. It should come at not surprise that’s its only a matter of time before the wrist becomes sore, keeping you out of the ring and in severe cases may even require surgery to fix the problem.
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What are the major causes of boxing sore wrists?
Did you recently start feeling wrist pain after boxing and you’re wondering what may be the cause of the severe pain you’re feeling? Well, stay with us as we introduce you to some of the major causes of left wrist pain boxing.
Wraps and gloves
Not wearing a good and reputable wrist wrap or boxing glove is a recipe for wrist injuries in boxing, so the first thing you want to do is protect your wrist and hands using good wrist wraps and gloves. This is super important if you want to keep stepping into the ring every other day.
For beginners, you can try RDX wraps and gloves. That’s because their wraps and gloves fit nicely and protect your wrist with enough foam to prevent wrist injuries.
To get the most from wrist wraps and gloves you want to make sure you’re putting them on correctly, so it’s essential to keep your wrists straight. If your wrists are a little bent when putting on wrist wraps or gloves, you’re only reinforcing the bent wrist, and this may spell doom for your wrists eventually.
You want to also make sure that the wraps you’re using are tight and not loose. But while ensuring that the wraps are tight, please ensure they are not too tight, so they do not cut off the blood supply. Ideally, it should be firm and comfortable.
For boxers who train at the gym, your instructor will show you how to use wraps and gloves correctly. However, if you’re training solo, the tips we earlier outlined should help you get the hang of wraps and gloves.
Whatever you do or no matter how confident you feel, never feel the urge to go bare fist, even if you only fancy throwing a few shots at the heavy boxing bag. Trust us when we say this is a recipe for wrist injuries and may cause severe damage to your wrists.
When you’re just starting out, it’s easy to only want to focus on power and speed while shoving form to the backburner. And you know what, most beginners adopt this approach. Unfortunately, all this approach ever teaches you is to throw nasty punches that may cause severe damages to your wrist.
We understand the urge to want to go straight for the kill, but guess what, it’s advisable to start slow, build momentum, land your punches correctly and pick things up as you feel comfortable.
Another thing you want to get right is proper bone alignment when punching. To this end, you must endeavour to keep your wrist straight and make sure your arms aren’t bent when punching. Also, try to hit the target using your middle and index knuckles and not your ring or pinky knuckles. Doing so may cause severe damage to your wrist or what professionals call a boxer’s fracture.
At the end of the day, all you’ll need to get your techniques right is patience and consistent practice as you build speed. Eventually, the power will come.
Not getting adequate rest
Getting sufficient rest is a must for boxers who work at full max every other day. But you know what, boxing doesn’t always mean that you have to wear your boxing gloves and hit hard on the pads or heavy bags all the time.
Besides throwing punches, there are lots of other boxing techniques that can help get you into shape without putting too much strain on your wrists. From daily road work to jump ropes and more, there are lots of mindblowing exercises boxers can take advantage of to keep in shape.
Having said all that, it’s super important to take some time off to rest. A day or two should suffice. Trust us when we say it’s always smart to take a day or two off or risk staying a few weeks off because of injuries to your wrist or any other part of your body.
If you want to combat left wrist pain boxing, a smart way to go about it is to endeavour to carry out adequate warm-up, before going all out. More so, it’s important that you’re not cold when starting your workout, this is super important as you’re more prone to injuries when cold.
For boxers who are just starting, you’ll love dynamic stretching as they prepare you adequately for the work ahead. This incredible stretching exercise is all-encompassing as they let you move while you stretch.
In terms of warm-up, please ensure you take things slow and build momentum as you feel better. This helps to build your wrist strength gradually.
Over-reliance on the heavy bag
For many boxers, their wrist injuries set in because of over-reliance on the heavy bag. This is very true for amateur boxers who seem to be drawn to the bag. We understand your desire to go all out and inflict damage on the bag, but guess what, heavy bag overuse can cause severe damage to the wrist and may force you to the sidelines for weeks or even months.
Our advice is that you leave your ego at the door and take your time to work on the bag. Also, it’s essential to focus on getting your form and speed right; eventually, the power will come.
When starting, try not to get frustrated and give yourself some time to adapt to the bag. If you’re starting out with the bag, your joints and muscles will need some time to adjust. As you build strength from training, your wrist will become more resilient to the impact of throwing heavy punches.
Most importantly, don’t work on the bag every day. You can do some other exercises. Better still, you can take a day or two off to give it a rest.
Major symptoms of wrist pain from boxing
There are a lot of symptoms that can cause wrist pain from boxing. While some symptoms are boxing related, others can be triggered by existing wrist injuries, that said, here are some common boxing injuries along with their symptoms.
Boxer’s fracture is a pretty common wrist injury in boxing, especially among boxers staring out. This injury is triggered when you break the 5th metacarpal bones. In some cases, it can also affect the 4th metacarpal. For those who have no idea, the 4th and 5th metacarpals are bones that connect your fingers to your wrists. Not just that, they are also connected to the pinky and ring fingers.
Besides boxer’s fracture, this injury is also called the brawlers’ fracture, and that’s because a pro or even an amateur rarely sustains this type of injury. What this means is that boxer’s fracture is a pretty common injury among beginners or brawlers who haven’t learned to throw punches correctly.
If you’re suffering from boxer’s fracture, you’ll experience some discomforts around the wrists and connecting bones. In severe cases, this injury causes deformity of the broken bone, along with severe swelling and bruises around the affected area.
If you ever suspect that you have fractured your wrist when boxing, quickly seek medical attention to have your wrist splinted or cast.
Although not caused by boxing, wrist osteoarthritis affects tons of boxers. This condition happens because of the deterioration of the cartilage in the wrist bones. For those suffering from wrist osteoarthritis, this condition comes with severe pain and discomfort. Plus, it comes with age, and things may even worsen as time goes on.
Besides ageing, wrist osteoarthritis can also be triggered by excessive use, especially among boxers who consistently pound the life out of heavy bags daily.
For boxers who work at full max, it’s important to put on the right gloves and wraps as this will help reduce the strain on the wrists. Also, you want to make sure you get your form correctly.
Once you begin to have chronic pain or swelling that won’t go away, or you start to experience loss of function, it’s time to seek medical attention. That’s because osteoarthritis tends to progress to the point where it may require surgery to correct.
Did you recently notice a bony lump on the back of your hand? Then chances are you may be suffering from carpal bossing. This bony growth is usually located in between the long finger bones as well as the small wrist bones. For those who have no idea, carpal bossing is triggered because of repeated knocks to the back of the wrist.
While there is no standard procedure to put a halt to this condition, you can take care of yourself by wearing the correct wraps or gloves. Also, getting your form right is a step in the right direction.
If you suffer from this condition, you’ll agree that the pain can be almost unbearable. Unfortunately, there is no specific treatment option to manage this condition. In severe cases, you may have to take anti-inflammatories to manage the pain.
If you continuously square it up with a heavy bag or an opponent during training, then it is only a matter of time before you sustain overuse injuries in the wrist that may put you on the sidelines for a while and out of the rings.
This type of wrist injury is very common among starters and amateurs who start throwing heavy punches far too early. Like most wrist injuries, overuse injury happens because your muscles, ligaments and tendons find it challenging to adapt to all the stress they are subjected to during repeated actions like punching.
This condition can become especially severe if you don’t train correctly or you lack adequate wrist support. If not treated promptly, overuse injuries can lead to wrist tendonitis and carpal tunnel syndrome.
To combat wrist soreness from boxing and kiss goodbye to overuse injuries; it’s important to warm up properly. In addition to that, you must ensure your wrists are nicely wrapped using the correct wraps and boxing gloves. Also, endeavour to take some time to rest, this will give your wrist ample time to recover from high impact exercises.
In severe cases of overuse injuries where rest doesn’t do the magic, feel free to apply ice to manage the swelling. Also, ensure you get your wrist checked out by a physician as soon as possible.
Top treatment options for managing wrist pain from boxing
Whether you’re training as a professional or just trying to stay fit, boxing involves throwing a lot of heavy punches that can cause some severe damage to your wrist over time. Thankfully, wrist pain from boxing isn’t a death sentence and can be managed or treated with proper care and prompt diagnosis. Stay with us as we take you through some incredible treatment options that will help manage the pain you’re experiencing.
Medication: For mild cases of wrist pain after boxing, taking over the counter pain killer medication like ibuprofen should do the trick. However, you must keep in mind that pain killer medications only provide temporary relief from the pain you’re feeling, so it will be smart to address the root cause of the pain you’re feeling.
Use proper hand wraps: This boxing accessory isn’t just for fancy. They are designed to provide your wrist with that extra grip they are missing. By using the correct hand wraps, your wrist will enjoy that extra bit of support and stability that lets them throw heavy punches without necessarily worrying too much about the impact.
Besides keeping your hands protected, hand wraps help prevent the splaying of the outer metacarpal bones. Also, they provide extra cushioning for the MCP joints while protecting and stabilising the wrist in general.
The best part is that there are many styles of wrapping techniques, so you can experiment with a few and find out which one is best for you. For starters who have no idea about which wrapping technique best works for them, you can speak to your coach. We are sure he/she will be more than happy to guide you.
Adequate warm-up and exercises: Your wrist is bound to take some hits when throwing heavy punches, but guess what, you can train your wrist to manage all that impact by warming up regularly. We understand the desire to want to go heavy on the bag, but throwing those heavy punches without warming up is a recipe for disaster, especially when it comes to boxing.
For amateur boxers and beginners just starting out, you have to resist the urge to always want to go at the heavy bag or an opponent. Plus, you don’t have to spend every other day working on the bag. Sometimes, just take a few days off and concentrate on warm-up exercises that will help build your wrist strength.
Another thing you want to make sure you get right is your form. If you do this correctly and warm-up regularly, it is only a matter of time before you start building momentum and throwing those heavy punches that will knock your opponents out cold.
Take some time off to rest: When it comes to boxing, your wrist and hands are always on the firing line. So for boxers who workout at full max every other day, it’s okay to take your foot off the pedal and take some time to recuperate. Taking a day or two off will allow your wrist to recover faster. This way, you can resume hostilities knowing your wrists are in better condition than they were a few days ago.
If you don’t take time off to rest and decide to work at full max during every boxing session, then it is only a matter of time before your wrist succumbs to all that excess stress you put them through. Trust us when we say you don’t want to find yourself on sidelines and have to wait for weeks or even months before you can start engaging in the things you love the most.
Wear the right wrist glove: Keeping your wrist protected when boxing can not be overemphasised. Besides wearing a good hand wrap, you should also invest in a good boxing glove that keeps your wrist and knuckles fully protected when throwing heavy punches. With a good boxing wrist glove on, you can throw heavy punches without worry about causing damage to your wrist. The cool part is that there are tons of fantastic boxing gloves on the market so you’ll find one that works for you.
Surgery: Are you suffering from wrist pain after boxing that just won’t go away? Then it may be time to visit your doctor for comprehensive diagnosis and treatment. In severe cases of wrist pain from boxing, you may require surgery to correct the issues you’re having with your wrist. The not so cool thing about surgery is that it takes some time to heal, so you may have to stay out of the ring for a few weeks or even months. Plus, you may be asked to wear a protective wrist wrap that will have your wrist immobilised to speed up healing.
How is wrist pain from boxing diagnosed?
There are lots of ways to diagnose wrist pain from boxing bag. To start with, your doctor may require your medical history, to confirm that your wrist pain isn’t caused by pre-existing conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome, osteoarthritis or other conditions that affect the wrist.
After confirming your medical history, your doctor will slightly twist your wrist in different directions to figure out exactly where you feel the pain.
In severe cases of boxing sore wrist, your doctor may suggest further options like MRI imaging and X-ray, to be sure precisely what is causing your wrist to hurt. And depending on the cause, your doctor will proffer treatment options that should work.
Also, if you’ll be needing surgery to treat your injured wrist, you should know after a comprehensive diagnosis by your doctor.
When should you see your doctor?
While wrist pain from boxing is a fairly common phenomenon every boxer has to confront at one point during their career; a wrist pain that just won’t go away after exploring different treatment options is a telltale sign that something isn’t right.
So instead of just sitting there and waiting for a miracle to happen, simply take a trip to your doctor for prompt diagnosis and treatment.
Without mincing words, early diagnosis will save you a lot of hassles.
How to prevent boxing-related wrist injuries
Wrist pain from boxing is something you cannot completely shove away as it is very much part of the sports. Plus, it can happen to anyone, even to the best of boxers. Anything from a lapse in concentration, not warming up properly, not getting adequate rest, using the wrong wraps or old age can trigger wrist pain.
But not to worry, here are some exciting warm-up exercises you can explore to prevent wrist pain while boxing. As a rule of thumb, always warm-up before executing any activity.
Knuckle push-ups: For boxers who want to keep going on every other day, now is a great time to start taking muscle push-ups seriously. So instead of doing the regular palm push-ups, you are accustomed to, you can switch things up a bit. Although it can be a little hard to get, especially if you’re starting out, a few routines is enough to bring you up to speed.
To begin, start with your fist clenched. After doing that, get on your knuckles and proceed to squeeze your fists and forearms. Don’t forget to execute knuckle push-ups just like you would during regular push-ups, only that this time, you’re using your knuckle instead of your palm.
If you think this is a little cheap and you’re looking for something a bit challenging, you can take things up a notch by trying the fingertip push-ups. Please keep in mind that the fingertip push-up isn’t designed for novices, as it can be pretty challenging and painful to execute.
Wrist extension and wrist curls: To get this routine spot on, it’s essential to use a couple of weights. But remember to keep things light. For beginners who have no idea, wrist extension and wrist curls help build wrist strength, and they are super easy to execute. To perform wrist extension and wrist curls, you’ll need to keep your forearm on your thigh while having your wrist and hand hanging just over your knee. With your hands holding your prefered weight, try to extend your wrist up and down.
On the flip side, when performing wrist curls, you only have to to do the opposite. Start by having the outside of your arms placed over your thigh. Having done that, proceed to curl the weight in your hand over the end of your knee. It’s that simple.
Hand Grip strengtheners: This powerful exercise is a must for boxers who are looking to build wrist strength. And we love the fact that they aren’t as complicated as other boxing wrist exercises we have earlier highlighted.
For this routine, there is no need to go into comprehensive details as they are super easy to execute. Think of it as those little handheld grips you can hold in each hand. All you have to do with hand grip strengtheners is lightly squeeze. This will help build muscle in your forearms and wrist in general. And guess what, they are super affordable, so you wouldn’t have to break the bank to get a good one that works just fine.
Farmers walk: Every professional boxer or an amateur boxer is familiar with this incredible routine. And just like other boxing exercises, farmers walk is easy to execute and you know what, you’ll only be needing a few lightweight while performing this exercise. Start by holding 15 kg weight in each hand. Once you have the weight in your hands, start walking and try to shift your weight from one side to the other. While doing that, try to squeeze your fist, this will help you to build strength across your wrists and forearms.
Lateral wrist extension: We love this routine, and we are sure you’ll also find it worth giving a try. Start by having the side of your arm directly facing your thigh. Make sure that your arm is placed in a good position to perform wrist extension and curls. While executing this exercise, ensure you have your preferred weight in hammer curl position and proceed to bend your wrist up and down.
Top 5 Wrist Support Wraps For Boxing
Hawk padded inner gloves
For boxers who want to throw heavy punches while protecting their wrist at the same time, you’ll love this fantastic wrist support for boxing. Fitted with extra cushion and adjustable velcro wraps, this wrist support will protect your wrist and knuckle at the same time. Plus, we love the fact that it is breathable and super comfortable to wear.
- Adjustable straps
- Super comfortable and lightweight
- Made from quality materials
- No warranty
Emrah pro training inner gloves
Are you looking for a brilliant wrap that keeps your hand and knuckle protected when throwing heavy punches? Then look no further than this fantastic wrist support brace for boxing. Featuring gel integrated elite tech knuckle shield, this rugged inner wrist glove will protect your wrist from sudden shock and impact. The best part is that it has been tested for strength and endurance and has come out on top.
- Lightweight and breathable
- Specially designed for heavy punchers
- Provides all-round wrist and knuckle protection
- Some customers have complained that the finger opening is too small.
Hand wraps inner boxing glove
For optimum knuckle and wrist protection, this incredible inner glove for boxers will not fail to impress you. Designed for both safety and comfort, you can finally throw heavy punches without fear that you may injure your wrist.
Fitted with shock-absorbing pads and adjustable straps, you can finally start training as hard as you have always wanted. Whether you’re a professional or not, you’ll absolutely love this wrist support for boxers.
- Guaranteed knuckle and wrist protection
- Can be adjusted just the way you want
- 12-month warranty
- The stitching isn’t very sturdy.
Senabal Paw V.2
Call it the perfect boxing training inner glove, and you’ll not be wrong. Designed to improve performance while protecting the wrist and knuckle, this incredible inner glove is all you need to take your game to the next level.
If what you want is a more versatile solution than traditional hand wraps, then you’ll not be disappointed to give this fantastic boxing wrist wrap a try.
- Breathable, lightweight and fast drying
- Provides superior shock absorption
- Super comfortable
- No warranty
It’s the dream of every professional boxer or aspiring boxer to smash their boxing goals. But guess what, wrist pain from boxing can prevent you from becoming the best in the game. That’s why you shouldn’t take even the slightest of wrist pain while boxing for granted. The minute you sense that something isn’t right, visit your doctor for prompt diagnosis and treatment.
Also, don’t forget to warm up regularly and try to get your form correctly.