How to Treat a Gymnast Wrist

Gymnastics is a great sport that will improve your child’s physical development especially in the areas of strength, flexibility, and agility. Unfortunately, the sport can also challenge and stress your child’s body. Most gymnasts are required to put a lot of weight on their wrist joints, which means there is great potential for injury. If you have a child gymnast, you should watch out for a hand injury called the gymnast wrist.

Also called a distal radial epiphysitis, the gymnast wrist is a type of chronic pain that occurs on the growth plate connected at the radius bone near the wrist. Because the growth plate is softer, it is more susceptible to injury than mature bone. The injury usually appears whenever a young gymnast goes through an increased intensity of gymnastic activities, such as when he or she progresses through a higher level of competition.

Symptoms and Treatments for Your Child’s Gymnast Wrist

The most common symptom of a gymnast wrist is pain, usually located on the thumb side. Mild swelling and decreased range of motion can also be felt. Once a diagnosis is made, treatment for a gymnast wrist begins with rest from doing high-impact activities. Ice and anti-inflammatory medicine will then be prescribed by your San Diego orthopedic doctor. If the pain does not subside, corticosteroid injections can also be done. Surgical alternatives will be looked into if these do not correct the wrist impairment.

Once the inflammation has subsided and your young athlete has been cleared by your doctor, he or she can resume activities slowly and gradually to maintain mobility and upper extremity strength. A wrist brace may be worn to reduce the stress on the hand during tumbling and vaulting motions. Incorporating exercises that strengthen the upper body will also help.

Medial Epicondylitis and Lateral Epicondylitis: What’s the Difference?

If you have a child who is active and plays a lot of sports, it pays to know the sports injuries that he or she is at risk of having. If the sports involves the use of the elbow, then your child should be familiar with the most common elbow injuries to prevent them from happening.

Medial epicondylitis and lateral epicondylitis are two of the most common elbow injuries. Both injuries are a type of tendonitis with similar symptoms except for the part of the elbow that’s affected. Medial epicondylitis occurs inside the elbow, while lateral epicondylitis happens outside of the elbow.

Medial Epicondylitis

If your child fond of playing golf? Then you better watch out for medial epicondylitis. Medial epicondylitis, also called golfer’s elbow, is an inflammation of the inner side of the arm and elbow.

This happens when the forearm muscles are overused and the wrist is repeatedly twisted and flexed, something that happens all too frequently when swinging a golf club. This injury can also be caused by a direct trauma from a fall or a motor vehicle car accident.

Lateral Epicondylitis

If your child a tennis player? Doing a lot of forehand and backhand strokes can take a toll on the elbow and result to lateral epicondylitis. This condition is also known as tennis elbow because tennis professionals get this injury from swinging a tennis racket.

Treatments for Epicondylitis

Even if your child has never played golf or tennis, they can still get an elbow injury if they do an activity that requires repetitive motions of the arms and wrists.

Anti-inflammatory medications, cortisone injections, and rest are used to treat epicondylitis, whether it is medial or lateral. Using a brace will also help reduce the strain on the tendons. Your San Diego pediatric orthopedic doctor may recommend that your child undergo surgery if these conservative treatments don’t work.