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Old 09-10-2012, 02:41 AM   #1
Sihan Goi
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Default Wrist pain in snatch

Hi,

I've been having some wrist pain when snatching. Specifically, at the side of the wrist under the thumb (as opposed to the pinky).

This happens especially so when I do snatch balances, and not as much when I actually snatch/power snatch (though it's still there). I'm not sure why this is so, but I'm pretty sure my snatch balance grip is different from my actual snatch grip, which could explain why my snatch balance is actually worse than my snatch. I wear wrist wraps when I lift, which helps tremendously.

Jerks, push presses and bench presses don't cause any pain.

Wrist extension stretch doesn't hurt. Wrist flexion stretch does, though if I actively flex my wrist through the end range of motion, it doesn't hurt at all. It's only when I passively flex my wrist by pushing down with my other hand, then it hurts. Wrist rotations don't hurt, and there doesn't seem to be much, if any, swelling/inflammation. It's probably not a fracture since I'm asymptomatic unless I snatch. Not sure if it's muscular or ligaments/tendons, though I'm suspecting the latter(a sprain/tendinitis/tendinosis?)

I've been trying to do SMFR with a baseball all over my forearms, as well as wrist extension stretches, with very limited success so far.

Wonder what exactly is wrong, and what else I could do, other than laying off snatches/snatch balances for a while?
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Old 09-10-2012, 03:54 PM   #2
Greg Everett
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First, definitely make sure to use the same grip on snatch balances that you use for snatches. If your snatch balances are significantly heavier than your snatches, it may be that the SB isn't different or wrong, but that it's all wrong and the heavier weights of the SB just make it more obvious.

Do you hold your hook grip in the overhead position? If so, I would suggest learning to release it. I believe that most people can get a much sounder hand/wrist position without the hook. Also be sure that the bar is in the palm just slightly behind the middle of the forearm, not farther back. The hand/wrist needs to be relaxed and settled in - make sure you're not trying to hold your wrist in a neutral position.

I would suggest playing with the position with snatch presses or push presses to find what is comfortable and strong.
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Old 09-11-2012, 06:33 AM   #3
Eddie Paz
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Yeah I get the same thing, I found quite a bit of relief trying a narrower grip. Of course, that was a temporary fix, but it got me through a few lighter skill sessions.
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Old 09-11-2012, 10:00 AM   #4
Joe Cebula
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I used to have a similar pain. I narrowed my grip (slightly) and did a lot of wrist mobility from Kelly Starett which cleared it up.
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Old 09-11-2012, 08:16 PM   #5
Sihan Goi
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Thanks Greg.

I was never conscious about the grip difference between my snatch and snatch balance - it just sorta happened. My snatch balances actually really suck - they are slightly weaker than my best snatch. I was trying for the longest time to figure out exactly what was difference between the 2 grips, and what I've found was the following:
- I tend to try to keep a more neutral wrist position in the SB, while relaxing and hyperextending the wrist on the snatch. For some weird reason I just find it hard to relax on the SB.
- I tend to rest the bar closer to the base of my hand in the snatch and closer to the fingers in the SB. I suppose this helps reduce the load on my wrist when snatching vs SBing.
This is EXACTLY what you've just said Greg, and it took you 1 look at my post to tell me that while it took me months to figure out lol.

Sometimes I'm aware/mindful of these differences and try to correct them, and have good snatch balance days...other days I just can't seem to get it. I suppose I should lower the weight on the snatch balance and work on technique.

However, other than resting and technique work, is there anything I should do in the short term to reduce the pain? e.g. any specific mobility drills, stretches, SMFR, etc?

btw I do not hold the hook grip overhead, I release it.
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Old 09-12-2012, 03:38 PM   #6
Greg Everett
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All the basic wrist stretches (e.g. flexion, extension) are good, and you can do ulnar and radial deviation as well. On the ulnar deviation, you can grab your thumb inside your fist to get more of a stretch. That one sometimes does wonders for people's wrist pain.

You may also have some tightness higher up in the forearms. If you can get that loosened up and smoothed out, you may get some relief in the wrists as well. I would suggest a good manual therapist for that, although you can try self massage with the thumb, trying to find any tight spots and work them out.

You can try contrast on on the wrists too - alternating cold and hot water plunges (you can fill a bucket or plastic trash can with ice water and another with hot water - one hand/wrist in each for a couple minutes, then switch. Finish with hot).
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Old 09-12-2012, 10:02 PM   #7
Sihan Goi
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Thanks again Greg. Been doing extension stretches a lot more, but flexion stretches hurt, so I can't really do them. Sorry, but I don't quite get your description for the ulnar/radial deviation. Do you have any pictures of this?

I'll look into manual therapy, the last time I had wrist pain I had ART done as well as other manual therapy methods and it helped tremendously, but have been busy lately. Hopefully I can get to one early next month.

Will also try the contrast.

Thanks again!
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Old 09-13-2012, 10:55 AM   #8
Greg Everett
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The deviation stretches are just moving your hand toward the bone named. So ulnar deviation is moving the hand toward the ulna, or away from the thumb side (so w the thumb tucked in the fist, you'll be stretching the base of the thumb and where it connects w the wrist).
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Olympic Weightlifting: A Complete Guide for Athletes & Coaches

"Without a doubt the best book on the market about Olympic-style weightlifting." - Mike Burgener, USAW Senior International Coach

American Weightlifting: The Documentary
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