Bowling Wrist Pain

Georgia Hand, Shoulder, and Elbow

Bowling has long been a favorite pastime for many. Others enjoy bowling on a professional level. The anticipation of whether or not you will get a strike and the loud shrieks of joy as you hear the ball hit the pins are indescribable. However, sometimes the repetitive motion of throwing a bowling ball can lead to wrist pain.
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In fact, experiencing bowling wrist pain is actually very common among both amateur and expert players. You can find more information about the causes of bowling wrist pain and possible treatment options below.

Our expert team at Georgia Hand, Shoulder & Elbow can assist you in easing your pain. We have offices conveniently located in Marietta and Atlanta, Georgia to be better able to assist you with your hand and wrist sports injuries. Feel free to contact us today.

What Is Wrist Tendonitis?

Wrist tendonitis occurs when the tendons that connect the muscles in your forearm to the bones in your hand become irritated and inflamed. This connection is imperative for your hand and wrist to function seamlessly.

When it comes to bowling, wrist tendonitis is also known as bowling wrist pain. This pain typically occurs due to the wrist’s repetitive twisting and swinging motions, which can lead to inflammation of the tendons in your wrist.  

Risk Factors and Causes of Bowling Wrist Pain

Bowling wrist pain can be caused by overuse and engaging in repetitive activities. For example, when it comes to professional bowling, most bowlers use a 16-pound ball. The weight of the ball, coupled with different spinning techniques and rapid speed, can put an unbalanced force and stress on their wrists and hands.

Although you may not be a professional bowler, these same factors can affect you as well.

Additional Risk Factors Contributing to Bowling Wrist Pain Include:

  • Advancing age  
  • Everyday wear and tear
  • Daily activities

 

There are also some preexisting conditions that can contribute to putting you at higher risk for wrist pain, including:

  • Diabetes
  • Rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis
  • Thyroid disease  

 

Symptoms of Wrist Tendonitis

Some of the most common symptoms of wrist tendonitis include:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Redness
  • Numbness or a tingling sensation in your fingers, hands, and/or forearm
  • Limited range of motion
  • Muscle fatigue
  • A popping or tearing sensation
  • Soreness
  • Nerve irritation

 

The severity of bowling and wrist tendonitis will vary from person to person. With this in mind, it is vital that you consult a specialist so that they can diagnose and properly treat your wrist to help alleviate any pain. Doing so at an early stage can reduce your chance of getting tendinosis.

How Is Bowling Wrist Pain Diagnosed?

Your specialist will begin your diagnosis by thoroughly reviewing your medical history and performing a physical exam, specifically focusing on your hand and wrist.

Upon completion of your exam, if your specialist determines that your injury is more serious in nature, x-rays, an MRI, or an ultrasound may be taken. This will allow them to make an accurate diagnosis of your injury.

Treatment Options for Bowling Wrist Pain

Once an accurate diagnosis has been made, your specialist will discuss treatment options with you. At Georgia Hand, Shoulder & Elbow, we aim to treat injuries with nonsurgical treatment options to the fullest extent possible. Some of these nonsurgical treatment options include:

  • Modified activities
  • Rest
  • Wrist immobilization by means of a splint or brace
  • Using ice to reduce inflammation
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

 

If you are still in pain after trying all these nonsurgical treatment options, then surgery may be needed to help your wrist heal completely and help you return to your activities. A surgical procedure would not only aim to repair the tendon but also the bones and connective tissue that surround it.

After treatment or surgery, managing your wrist and hand properly will contribute to the success of your healing process. Hand strengthening exercises and hand massaging can help you heal faster, increase your range of motion, and stabilize your joints.

Wrist tendonitis that is treated non-surgically will usually require treatment for up to three weeks. However, for wrist tendonitis that is treated surgically, treatment may require more time to heal, ranging anywhere from 6 to 12 weeks.

Once you have completely recovered, you will want to pay careful attention to how you perform repetitive activities. This will help to lessen your chances of having a reoccurring injury. If you are a professional bowler, using proper bowling techniques and wearing wrist guards will also help protect your wrists.  

We would love to see you continue bowling for many more years to come. Our specialists at Georgia Hand, Shoulder & Elbow are ready to assist you. Schedule an appointment at either one of our Atlanta or Marietta, GA offices today!

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Randall Alexander, MD