In August, I started noticing my right thumb and right wrist (yes, I am right-handed thankyouverymuch) were hurting A LOT by the end of the day. Each evening, I would need to ice it and started being watchful of what I was doing to it and with it. I couldn’t think of anything in particular that I was doing to cause it pain, but it was increasingly becoming more painful. I talked to my chiropractor about it, and she started working on it some. She felt like it was a classic case of the beginnings of carpal tunnel syndrome and gave me the advice to start “babying” it. She recommended a wrist brace, so in late August I pulled out a wrist brace that we had in our linen closest and started wearing it. The main problem with this brace was that I could still use my thumb and I would take it off every time I needed to do something with my thumb or hand…yeah, so I had the brace on the counter more than I had it on my wrist.
Fast forward to mid-September, while I was walking the Susan G. Komen 3-Day. My chiropractor told me I could leave the brace off if I wasn’t using my hand and wrist, so during the days while I was walking, I didn’t wear the brace. I only wore the brace when I was hauling my luggage and such. By the time I got home (six days later) it felt so much better…UNTIL I started getting back to my normal routine and using it again. I started having the same issues again, only this time it seemed to not ever feel better.
I recovered from my 60 miles of walking and started getting the itch to start a new exercise plan, but was worried about doing much because of my pain. I finally talked to my chiropractor and she suggested a different brace where my thumb is completely immobilized.
I have now been in this brace for almost two weeks and for about 23 hours a day. When I take the brace off, it is only for showering or icing it in the evenings. It’s amazing how many things you do with your hand! I can’t cut my own meat. I can’t grip anything. I can’t open jars or bottles. My signature looks like a two-year-old wrote it. I’m pretty much unable to do anything with my right hand! It really does SUCK!
But, here’s the thing…I can sit around and complain and moan and groan about it or I can take care of it as much possible and do as I have been instructed – avoid using it as much as possible. I have decided to start a new exercise program without using weights (and my upper body)! I have been doing a Fitness Kickboxing Video from Amazon Prime that kicks my butt and I have brought out a couple of other DVDs that don’t require using my wrist and hand or weights. I can do lower body work. I can do core work. I can still walk. I am just limited with doing things that require me using my hand/wrist for a while. In the meantime, I can go to the local rec center and bust out some workouts on the cardio machines. I can continue building my lower body strength and I can work on my core. I bought this book this weekend and I plan on working on my core using my swiss ball. I also bought a wobble board so that I can work on my balance and ankle and knee strength in the interim.
Once my injury heals (hopefully within two or three more weeks), I will need to do some strengthening exercises for my wrist/hand/thumb, so I will be able to concentrate on my upper body then. Until that day comes, I will concentrate on doing what I can, when I can! I can also focus on making wise choices with my eating. I have been tracking my food on My Fitness Pal again, and I am starting to see some results (now that the Halloween candy is out of my sight I will see even more positive results)!
I am looking forward to being able to use my whole body again to workout, but in the meantime I am making the best of what I have available to me…my lower body workouts, core workouts, cardio machines at the gym, and going for walks when I have the opportunity.
How do you modify your workouts when an injury keeps you down longer than you want? If you have any workout ideas that don’t require using your hands I would love to hear about them!