I am on the women's tennis team at my college. Lately, I've been having quite a bit of wrist pain, especially when I move my hand toward the pinkie side. Would a different racquet help? What type would you recommend?
Pain along the ulnar side of wrist during activities that require a strong grip and especially grip with ulnar deviation can be a signal of ligamentous damage or injury. Ulna refers to the bone in the forearm closest to the little finger side of the hand. Ulnar deviation is any movement of the hand toward the ulnar side.
There are many ligaments, bones, and cartilage interconnected to form the wrist. Pain could be coming from a wide range of problems. But a common injury in sports athletes who need and use a strong grip is the triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFC) tear. The triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFC) suspends the ends of the radius and ulna bones of the forearm over the wrist. It is triangular in shape and made up of several ligaments and cartilage. The TFC makes is possible for the wrist to move in six different directions (bending, straightening, twisting, side-to-side).
Sometimes a change in racquet can help with wrist pain but there are other factors to consider, first. Where you grip and how you grip the handle can make a difference. Strengthening exercises, taping, and stretching may be helpful. The first thing to do is consult with your coach and/or athletic trainer. You may need an orthopedic evaluation to pinpoint the problem. If there is an injury visible on X-ray, CT scan, MRI, or other imaging, then the most appropriate treatment can be applied.
Because of the risk for an acute problem to become a chronic one, experts advise athletes to pay attention and respond to any and all painful symptoms and potential injuries. Timing for getting the help you need is important -- and sooner is usually better than later.