With all of the force behind each punch, a boxer's hands and wrists can take a beating. This is especially true if the boxer fails to use proper form when punching or does not wrap his wrists adequately before a fight or working on the heavy bag. This can result in wrist soreness that may keep you out of the ring and even require surgery.
Many boxers sustain an overuse injury in the wrist from constantly hitting a heavy bag or an opponent. This type of injury occurs when the muscles, ligaments and tendons are not able to adapt to the stress incurred during repeated actions, such as punching, because they are not given ample time to recover. This is exacerbated by training errors and inadequate wrist support. Overuse injuries can lead to carpel tunnel syndrome and tendinitis. To combat overuse injuries and wrist soreness from boxing, warm up properly, make sure your wrists are wrapped snugly with appropriately sized boxing hand wraps and take breaks to allow your body to recover from this high-impact activity. To treat this issue, rest, apply ice to reduce swelling and get evaluated by your physician as soon as possible.
Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage in your joints starts to break down, causing pain and soreness. This happens naturally as you age because of normal wear and tear on your joints. But boxers experience osteoarthritis in the hands and wrists more often because of excessive participation in weight-bearing activities and the constant force the wrists must endure from punching. Wearing supportive wrist braces can help alleviate some of the pain. Although you should take a break from pounding the heavy bag when you experience osteoarthritis soreness, doctors actually suggest exercise as one of the best ways to control arthritic pain. Some doctors also suggest taking glucosamine supplements to protect your cartilage, but you should consult your physician for the best plan of action to treat your wrist soreness.
Carpel bossing is a hand injury sustained by many boxers that can cause soreness in the wrists. This condition is characterized by a lump on the back of the hand where the long finger bones meet the wrist. Repeated trauma to the hand during boxing can cause spurs of new bone, which lead to this lump, swelling and pain. Using proper technique, allowing your body to fully recover between boxing activities, wearing hand wraps and using at least 16-ounce gloves when sparring will help avoid this type of hand and wrist injury. If carpel bossing does occur, apply ice and rest the injured hand. You can also take anti-inflammatory medication to reduce the pain and swelling. Consult your physician, as this type of injury may require surgery or other treatments.
Boxer's fracture is another injury sustained to the hand that can cause wrist soreness. It occurs when you fracture the long bone that connects your pinkie finger to your wrist and is usually experienced by boxers when they hit an object with excessive force without wearing proper padding or support. This type of injury requires you to seek medical attention right away, and treatment may include wearing a cast or splint, taking anti-inflammatory pain medication and resting the affected hand until the fracture is completely healed.