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Wrist Pain from Lifting: Causes, Treatments, & Prevention

wrist pain from doing deadlifts

Wrist pain from lifting is a common issue that many weightlifters experience. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced vet, it's important to understand what causes wrist pain from lifting, how to treat your injury and prevention strategies.

By doing so, you can get the most out of your workout so let’s get started! 

What Causes Wrist Pain from Lifting?

Wrist pain can be caused by a number of factors when lifting. Let’s go over the most popular reasons: 

Improper Form

One of the leading causes of wrist pain during weightlifting is improper form. Wrists can pass stress along to your forearms and shoulders, but they can’t take on a lot of stress themselves. Incorrect positioning of the wrists while performing exercises can put excessive strain on the delicate structures of the wrist joint, leading to pain and discomfort.

Eventually, if you put on too much weight, the stress will collapse your wrist and you will develop some type of injury. Learn more about the importance of proper form to avoid wrist pain.

Lifting too Much Weight

Overloading the wrists with excessive weight can result in wrist pain. It’s important to remember that your body must progress together. If your wrists are not as strong as your biceps or triceps, then you could overwork your wrist joints by using more weight than you can handle. Gradually increase the weight and don’t try to take shortcuts. Let your wrists naturally develop so that they can provide proper support when lifting. For tips on how to safely increase your lifting weight, check out this guide.

Acute Injury

Accidents happen, and acute injuries are the worst-case scenario, but they do occur during weightlifting. The main reason acute injuries happen is that you’ve ignored your wrist pain for far too long.

At this point, your wrist pain has become so bad that it’s developed into an actual injury. Sudden falls, mishandling of weights, or impact on the wrist area can also lead to injuries such as sprains, strains, or even fractures. These injuries can cause immediate pain and require medical attention. 

Too Much Work

Performing repetitive movements without resting your joints properly can lead to overuse injuries, including wrist pain. Don’t engage in intense weightlifting sessions without allowing sufficient time for your wrists to heal. Otherwise, this can result in discomfort and potential long-term damage. For more on how to get the most out of your wrist wraps, read here.

Types of Wrist Pain

Wrist pain from lifting can manifest in various forms. Understanding the different types can help you identify the specific issue and seek appropriate treatment.


Tendonitis, or inflammation of the tendons in the wrist, is a common type of wrist pain among weightlifters. It can occur due to overuse or repetitive movements, leading to swelling, pain, and limited mobility in the affected wrist.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that occurs when the median nerve, which runs through the carpal tunnel in the wrist, becomes compressed or irritated. Weightlifting activities that involve repetitive wrist movements can contribute to the development of carpal tunnel syndrome, causing pain, numbness, and weakness in the hand and fingers.


A wrist fracture is a severe injury that can occur during weightlifting, especially when improper form or excessive weight is involved. Fractures can result in intense pain, swelling, deformity, and the inability to move the wrist properly. Immediate medical attention is required for diagnosis and treatment.

Wrist Sprain

A wrist sprain is a common injury that can happen when the ligaments in the wrist are stretched or torn. This can occur due to sudden impact, falls, or excessive stress on the wrist joint during weightlifting. Symptoms include pain, swelling, bruising, and limited range of motion. Understanding the different types of wrist wraps can help you identify which is best suited for your specific wrist pain.

How to Prevent Wrist Pain from Lifting

Preventing wrist pain is essential for maintaining a healthy and pain-free weightlifting routine. Here are some effective strategies to help prevent wrist pain:

Use Wrist Wraps

Using a wrist wrap can alleviate a significant amount of the structural pain you feel when lifting. Wrist wraps provide stability and support so that your wrist can stay in place when engaging in a lift. 

This keeps your wrists safe and significantly declines your chance of injury. Check out some wrist wraps today and find one that suits your style. Lifting straps are a great alternative too, but they don’t focus as much on support. To learn more, read about the differences between lifting straps and wrist wraps

Stretch Your Wrist Before Exercising

This one should be pretty obvious. Your wrist is not a large muscle and needs to be warmed up properly so that it can go through its full range of motion. Perform gentle wrist stretches before your weightlifting session so you can warm up the muscles and improve flexibility. A 15-minute pre-workout routine prepares your wrists for upcoming movements and reduces the likelihood of pain or injury.

Use Proper Form & Technique

Maintaining proper form and technique while lifting weights is crucial for wrist health. Ensure that your wrists are properly aligned and supported during exercises. Moving out of your alignment is what causes injuries so figure out your form and you’ll figure out your wrist pain.

Seek guidance from a qualified trainer to learn the correct lifting techniques and avoid unnecessary stress on the wrists.

How to Treat Wrist Pain

If you're already experiencing wrist pain from lifting, there are a few ways to treat your issues. These are the two most common ways to fix wrist pain.

Over-the-Counter Medicine

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, can provide temporary relief from wrist pain and reduce inflammation. However, this is a short-term solution and will only provide pain relief for a couple of hours. If you want a long-term answer to your wrist pain, read below. 

Wrist Rehab Exercises

The first step to fixing your pain for good is by doing wrist rehab exercises. Engaging in wrist rehab exercises can help strengthen the muscles, improve flexibility, and promote healing. Consult with a physical therapist or an experienced fitness professional to develop a tailored exercise routine that addresses your specific wrist issues. Here’s how to use wrist wraps effectively during your rehab exercises.

Going off on your own and doing your own wrist rehab exercises can make your issues worse and leave you with an even more complicated problem. 

When to See a Doctor

While most cases of wrist pain from lifting can be managed with self-care measures, there are situations where medical attention is necessary. Consult a healthcare professional if you experience severe pain even when you’re not lifting, have difficulty holding items, and feel continued numbness through your muscles.

Don’t ignore these symptoms because, if left unchecked, your wrist injury could become much worse. 

Fix Wrist Pain from Lifting Today! 

Your wrist pain can be fixed if you know what to do. Develop a stretching routine, use the right form, and equip wrist wraps to help you stay stable during a lift. If you do this, not only will you get more out of your workout but you’ll also build wrists that can crush any workout for years to come.


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