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Chronic Band of Wrist Pain and Irritation

Your Pain Pattern,
What Aggravates It,

The Underlying Anatomy
How to Get Relief,
and more…


How People Describe This Pain Pattern

These patients come in with one of two scenarios. First, some people come in with unresolvable “carpal tunnel.” These patients have a band of pain over their wrist that they can’t shake. Some have taken on a wrist brace or have seen a doctor who recommended one. Often they are careful with how they sleep and even sleep in a wrist brace to protect it. Many have tried to change their computer posture or gotten a trackball instead of a mouse.

Massage Because My Watch Bothers Me?

Secondly, few people see their bodyworker when their wristwatch irritates them. So, these patients come in for another problem but are constantly adjusting their watch or bracelets. I’ve seen this in several of my regular clients over the years. They will move in a way that guards their shoulder or had a recent incident with it. At the same time, they will either be without their regular watch or shuck it off as soon as they get in the room.

I get this active trigger point once in a while. I’ll notice that it just bothers me to wear a watch. I’ll take it off and put it on the counter while I work. Sometimes, I just feel like my Fitbit should be worn a little looser. Look at that beautiful Cartier Watch in the pic. I bet he wears it there because it’s just more comfortable there. Maybe he needs to massage. Or he’s just a good watch model.

How You Activate and Intensify This Pain Pattern

Two types of activities really bother this, neither of which involve your wrist.

First are activities that reach up or back, especially when it is an extended reach or an abrupt movement. These include things like reaching overhead like swimming freestyle, throwing a kid in the air, or grabbing a bar to stop yourself from falling. Also, reaching back at shoulder level includes grabbing something in the back seat, grabbing to the side to brace yourself, or reaching to the nightstand.

The other is when your arm is turned in for a prolonged period. This most often happens when you have an arm in a sling. You can also get this, like I did, by trying to hold your kid close to you while you carry the little squirmy rascal to bed.


The Musculoskeletal Anatomy Behind Your Pain

Start by Understanding the Anatomy.
About the coloring of the illustrations…

This is the largest and strongest muscle in the shoulder. It is in the middle of some complicated structural relationships. Read more in this post about the anatomy of subscapularis.

Getting Relief on Your Own

Clinically Proven
Self-Care Recommendations.

This post has strategies for getting relief on your own. Explore how to change your activities, stretch, and other strategies that relieve the pain associated with this trigger point.

Therapy Notes for Massage and Bodywork

Better Bodywork
Through Shared Expertise.

This post has techniques, tips, treatment routines, and anatomy illustrations to improve the bodyworker’s approach.

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Tony Preston has a practice in Atlanta, Georgia where he sees clients. He has written and taught about anatomy, trigger points, and cranial therapies since the mid-90s.

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*This site is undergoing major changes. We are reformatting and expanding the posts to make them easier to read. The result will also be more accessible and will include more patterns with better self-care. In the meanwhile, there may be inconsistency in formatting, content presentation, and readability. Until we get older posts updated, please excuse our mess.