Wrist Pain

I’ve started having severe wrist pain during and after a long paddle. Not carpal tunnel, the pain is on my baby finger side and on the bottom (palm) side. Some wwelling again below my palm and on baby finger side. I have the most pain when I turn my hand/arm and wrist over (palm up and down), not when I flex my wrist and move hand up and down, or back and forth.

I’ve been doing endurance and distance paddling for years and have never had a problem before. Any ideas?



Outside of rest & maybe a med. opinion, the only things I can think of are making sure you’re not flipping up with the wrist, but lifting with the elbow. Sometimes dropping a cm or two can help with wrist, forearm and elbow problems (if paddle is adjustable). Going only a little shorter (2cm) has really helped my elbows. Good luck.


Have you been pulling harder than usual?
Might be taking your wrist beyond it’s usual zone. Take it easy for a couple days and it should go down… IME

Some Ideas…
First, I agree with what onno said. My personal experience is that 5 mph = no pain and 5.3 mph = wrist pain.

Other experience includes knee pain and cycling. For years I did speed and endurance biking then suddenly developed tendonitis in the knees. Doctor said it was because I was 40 years old. He told me to have plenty of warm up before pushing hard. It makes a difference.

Ibuprofen helps. Ice also if it’s really bad.

i’ve had wrist pain for over a year …
i’ve been doing the same type of paddling for essentially my entire paddling career. i don’t paddle particularly hard, maybe 4-4.5 steadily and like to paddle 20-30 miles. my wrist hurts all the time no matter what i do, short of stopping for a month or more which i’m just not willing to do.

i attribute it to old age. i can’t take ibuprofen … it eats my stomach up. i can’t take vioxx or bextra because they’ve taken the darn things off the market. too bad … they were the only meds that worked and didn’t eat my stomach up.

the older i get, the more pain i paddle in. bette davis was right, “gettin’ old ain’t for sissy’s”.

Try this (among other ideas)
My wrist gave out after longish paddles, hurt really bad for several weeks so I couldn’t pull at all. Finally did several kayak paddle changes: 1) Lift the elbow more than normal when exiting the water, it helps keep the wrist straight. 2) I use 75° twist on the blade, that plus elbow lift give very little wrist rotation. 3) Bought a vinyl bowling brace “Robbies” brand, comes in exciting colors like bright blue and red. Has an aluminum insert and velcroes on snug. Wore 2 out, wife made a canvas copy that lasted 2+ years for the aluminum insert. This helps keep the wrist straight. I wear it in canoe and kayak.

Now, mostly pain free but sometimes know when I worked too hard for 2-3 too many days.

Good luck.