How NOT to slash your wrists!

Posted: February 17, 2013 in Fitness, General

Now you’re probably thinking, “Double you…teeeeee….effffff……?”

One week after surgery

One week after surgery

No, I didn’t attempt to slash my wrist. That scar is healing quite nicely after my DeQuervain’s release surgery a week after I got back from SHOT Show. (Yes, I am quite aware that the chronological order of my blog posts is whack. Don’t judge me.)

I’ve had DeQuervain’s Tenosynovitis since the second day of the US IPSC Nationals back in September of 2012 (yup, we’re going back in time some more). I remember waking up with my wrist being in pain and at first I thought, “Did I sleep on my hand or something??” Unfortunately, the pain didn’t go away but thankfully, I had some pre-wrap and athletic tape in my range bag so I taped my wrist up and continued shooting. It helped a little bit.

I went to the doctor when I got back home and he diagnosed me with DeQuervain’s Tenosynovitis. It progressively got so bad that I could barely move my thumb without any pain. He gave me two options. A cortisone shot or surgery. Surgery was definitely out of the question at that time because the Nationals was less than a few weeks away so I opted for a cortisone shot (I don’t want a cortisone shot EVER again) a few days before I flew out for the match.

The cortisone worked…for about two weeks. A marathon session with the Xbox 360 made the pain come back but now it was worse. There was pinching, clicking and lots of pain. Tying my hair, holding something on my hand and simple movements became too painful. So I went back to the doctor and finally scheduled my surgery. He assured me that the surgery would have minimal side-effects (the worse that can happen was numbness on the area where the incision was) and the effects were permanent.

Now why the hell would I post this? It’s definitely not for the lack of things to write about but because a shooter/PT friend of mine who was giving me exercises to do told me that we need to stretch our arms in order to prevent things like this from happening. I had asked my doctor what caused my condition and he said overuse may be to blame. I usually stretch before working out. But I’ve never considered stretching before or after shooting or dry-firing much to the chagrin of my massage therapist. I haven’t stretched my arms pre or post shooting/dry-firing since 1991. I shudder to think about all the repetitions I did when I’m on full dry-fire mode. Or when I’m playing videogames…

The hand is healing quite nicely now and I will soon hit the range again soon to practice for the 2013 season.

So, kids, the moral of the story is, STTREEEETTTCCHHHH!!! 😉

  1. Esther says:

    hi Athena, what stretches do you do before dry and live firing now? A few weeks ago I seriously upped the volume of my dry-fire and grip strength training and developed the beginnings of a RSI in my right wrist (it hurts whenever I do any sort of rotating motion or put weight on it). Needless to say, I backed off the grip training completely and backed way off on the dry-fire. How do you properly stretch/warm up your arms, hands, and fingers before doing serious shooting practice?


    • Athena says:

      Hi Esther!

      I’m sorry to hear that! I am fortunate enough to have PT friends who taught me to do the exact opposite of the movements involved in dry-fire, etc. Stay tuned for the next couple of months (more like fall-ish) for some new stuff to help!

      If the pain is still there and won’t go away, I would suggest going to a doctor just to make sure!

      Take care!

  2. Tim Simons says:

    Wow, I never thought of stretching after shooting/dry firing, but if you think about the amount of muscular tension we have in our hands when we grip a gun, it really makes sense. I’ve done little exercises to warm up/loosen up my hands when I was shooting outdoors and it was cold, but never thought of stretching afterwards. When I was in high school I played drums in the marching band, and there were a number of exercises we used to do to loosen up our hands. One thing I remember was putting a single page from a newspaper flat on a table, and putting your hand palm down in the middle of it. Without rotating your hand or picking up the wad of paper, you crumpled the whole sheet into a little ball. Good stretching and workout for your hand and fingers, and it worked your forearms, too. Glad you feel better-good luck this year!

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