I have a baby, and Wrist Tendonitis. Can I injure myself further?

by Shannon

Hi there-

I'm a new mother and have a classic case of wrist tendonitis- both wrists, on the inside just below my thumb across my wrist bone. I've been icing when I can (remember, I have an infant) and heating at night. I've opted not to take any pain relievers as I am nursing and would prefer not to.

My question is whether or not I can injure myself further if I use my hands/wrists even though they hurt pretty terribly? Particularly in the morning, when I wake up and need to nurse my daughter- the pain is so bad, but I have to pick her up, I can't just let her lay there and cry.

Sometimes I worry that I could do some severe damage by continuing use despite the pain. Will my tendons eventually get stronger and the pain will dissipate? Or is this more of a chronic issue? Could I snap a tendon? Could I permanently lose mobility? Please help ease my mind and give me guidelines.



Joshua Answers:

Hi Shannon.

Congratulations with the new baby!

Sorry about the wrist pain. Let's talk. Ironically, I was just up in Seattle.

So, let's see.

Wrist tendonitis in both wrists, with definite thumb pad involvement. And of course you need to pick up and hold your child a lot. That is obviously hand intensive.

A. Good call on the anti-inflammatory drugs. They don't work anyway.

B. I wouldn't use heat. For you right now it just increases the inflammation and pain, essentially.

C. I'm guessing you're icing the traditional way, with an ice pack, and leaving it on for a while a couple times a day.

Stop that. It really just isn't the right tool for the job.

To answer your questions:

1. Technically yes, you can continue to injure yourself. But really, I wouldn't think about it like 'injury'. You're probably not doing enough to actual damage the tendons.

Having said that, it may be much more usefull to imagine that you are in a spectrum. From happy healthy pain free tissue, to the other end of the spectrum that is dry, crunchy, brittle, and very very unhappy.

I don't know that that was very clear, let me try again.

ONe end of the spectrum is pain free, lots of circulation, the nervous system is relaxed, the muscles are relaxed.

The other end of the spectrum is tight muscles, constant tension on the tendon, less circulation, pain enhancing chemical and metabolic waste product trapped in the area, the nervous system panicking and trying to protect you but actually making it worse.

I don't think you are so much injuring yourself as moving farther along the spectrum.

It can be reversed, but you have to use the RIGHT tools.

2. Unless you use the right tools, it is unlikely that your tendons will get stronger thus making the pain go away.

It's not a problem of weak tendons. It's a problem of a Downward Spiral of increasing pain and tightness.

3. All Tendonitis dynamic is chronic. Which means it is incredibly unlikely that it will go away on it's own. And, you can make it go away, again, with the right tools.

4. Unless you have some weird freaky genetic abnormality, a previous significant rip/tear of the tendons, lift pianos for a living, or have a 200 lb baby I can't even imagine the possibility of your tendon snapping.

5. Permanent lack of mobility, or permanent tendonitis?

If you don't do the RIGHT things to reverse your Pain Causing Dynamic, then it's likely that this will continue to hurt, and get worse. That's just the way the body works.

Right now you are in an acute phase. In a perfect world, this would just get better and go away.

However, you can expect it to continue to hurt, and get worse. Tendonitis doesn't 'heal' like we expect it to.

And again, it's not so much 'injury' as a progressive mechanism/dynamic that builds on itself and gets worse.

Even if the pain gets less, the mechanism is still in place, and it's likely that even if you rest and get 'better', if you start using your hands again it will be right back.

Some Questions:

1. Did you have any wrist/Carpal Tunnel symptoms during pregnancy?

2. Have you had this wrist pain before?

3. What do you usually do with your hands, for work or hobby?

4. Any other injuries, or health issues?

5. Easy pregnancy, rough pregnancy?

What To Do Right Now
Answer those questions, read the pages Pain Causing Dynamic and Process of Inflammation.

Then learn How To Reduce Inflammation.

Find the Ice Dipping directions, and follow the recipe. Even with a baby you can dip often. If you are at home all day, keep the Ice Dip going all day and dip every time you walk by.

The more you dip, the faster your pain will be down to acceptable levels, or even better than that.

Start with that. Answer the above questions, start the Ice Dipping and ask any questions or share any observations about that.

It works.

It's not the total answer to Wrist Tendonitis but if you actually do it, you'll be very very happy. And then we can go from there to eliminate the Tendonitis in your wrist.

Talk to you soon.

Please reply using the comment link below. Do not submit a new submission to answer/reply, it's too hard for me to find where it's supposed to go.

And, comments have a 3,000 character limit so you may have to comment twice.

Joshua Tucker, B.A., C.M.T.
The Tendonitis Expert

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Jan 22, 2017
bilateral elbow and tricep tendonitis after 3 babies in 4 years.
by: Lauren F

Hi there.

A little history first, I had 3 babies within 4 years and decided to start working out again after not working out for quite some time. I was also new to being home with my kids and carrying around a heavy baby carrier.

I got about a month into the 21 day fix when I hurt my back pretty badly and my knee. It wasn't immediate, I noticed when I woke up the next day.

3 weeks later, noticed pain in both elbows. It started on the outer part of the elbow (felt like bone pain) and then moved to the inner as well. Also felt sore on my forearms. It was so bad that I stopped working out, but could not avoid lifting my little ones.

I also had random joint pain and was convinced I had RA. I went through many lab tests that all pointed to no auto immune disease and saw a rheumatologist who also felt it was just weakness.

It has been almost 2 years now and I still have the issues in my upper body. I was diagnosed with bilateral elbow and tricep tendonitis. I tried PT, dry needling, stretches, but it's still there.

I found your site and started ice dipping, which felt good, but didn't get rid of it entirely. I also get sore near my shoulders.

I do self massage and am considering rolfing.

Curious what you think about rolfing to speed up the healing. Also, is it truly possible that one person can have bilateral tricep and elbow tendonitis?

I do yoga for my back, no weight bearing though and take magnesium, 10,000 Units of D3, good fish oil, probiotics, and tumeric.

I should mention my vitamin D was as low as 18 and is now 30. I am calling around for grass fed beef bones (not easy to find) and will start taking bone broth daily.

Getting desperate and trying to stay positive, but everyone around me thinks I'm nuts and it must be fibromyalga or something else systemic.


Joshua Comments:

Hi Lauren.

1. A Vit D level of 18 is VERY low. Dangerously low.

Presumably that also means your kid(s) are/were low through pregnancy etc.

If you haven't, I would HIGHLY recommend getting all your kids' vitamin D levels up to optimal. Super important for everything kid related (brain function, immune system function, etc).

Fun Fact: A breast feeding mother needs an intake of over 5,000i.u. of Vit D3 per day to pass any of that to their breast feeding children.

Said another way, the baby doesn't get any Vit D from breast milk until the mother is over a threshold of 5,000i.u./day intake.

So that's good you're up to 30ng/ml now. Get it up to 60-80ng/ml.

2. Everybody around you may think you're nuts, but they're clueless, so you can quietly scoff at their ignorance.

Everything you describe is the predictable nature/outcome of the nutritional insufficiency that comes from creating 3 brand new humans from your own body/resources. Plus years of crappy/disrupted sleep, various stress/stressors, etc, etc.

Random joint pain, tendonitis symtpoms, soreness, etc, shouldn't be a surprise or a mystery to any health care professional looking at a (dare I say haggard) mother of 3 complaining of her body not working correctly?

But unfortunately it seems to be a mystery far too often.

Even if you do have 'fibromyalgia', that's just a side effect of nutritional insufficiency and an out-of-whack body.

Your rheumatologist, while acting like s/he had any idea what s/he was talking about, went with 'it's just weakness'.

I'll avoid comment on that, but what that rheumatologist didn't bother to ask him/herself was, if it was 'just weakness', what caused it.

Sure, 3 kids and crappy sleep etc, but that doesn't actually explain the 'why'.

- 3 kids = nutritional depletion

- Crappy sleep = nutritional depletion and hormone levels out of whack (cortisol, etc) and limited physiological rejuvenation/repair


- Etc


1. What's the '21 day fix'?

2. Get your Vit D level up to 60-80ng/ml asap (meaning, this week). Make sure your kids' levels are up to optimal as well (that will save you countless headaches down the line).

3. For the moment I wouldn't worry about the physical issues like 'tendonitis' etc. I would worry about your systemic issues, like nutritional insufficiency (that is required for your body to work correctly).

Rolfing, yoga, acupuncture, etc, has a 0% chance of fixing nutritional insufficiency symptoms.

And, there is a 0% chance of recovery without getting your nutrition (and potentially gut function if you were given antibiotics, etc).

Have you taken any antibiotics in the last years?

Specifically, have you taken any Cipro or Levaquin (or ciprofloxacin or Levofloxacin)? If so, that could change this conversation a lot.

4. Home made bone broth from grass fed bones/joints, ABSOLUTELY.

5. How much magnesium do you take? What kind?

6. How's your digestion?

7. How's your energy level(s)?

8. How's your sleep nowadays?

See Related: Tendonitis Pain In Fingers Wrist Arm and Neck With A 6 Months Old Baby

See Related: 1st Time Mom With Debilitating Tendonitis From Holding New Baby

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