wrist tendinitis from surfing / swimming?

Figured you guys would have some knowledge on this issue.

I seem to have contracted tendinitis on the undersides of my wrists from paddling. I was fine until I decided to step it up and start swimming laps at the pool to try and get more fit for a surf trip. By the end of the trip my right wrist had gotten so bad I couldn’t really use it for anything, let alone surfing. Now, several months after the trip, I can surf but my wrists hurt at the end of a session.

Has anyone heard of this happening? I’ve heard that you can get tendinitis from using webbed gloves, so maybe I just have massive hands…

Perhaps this is a technique issue? Also, anyone know of any cures / remedies other than just staying out of the water? I’m pretty cheesed off; swimming is supposed to be the lowest-impact form of exercise there is.

Thanks in advance for your help!

Ibuprofen, ice, flexibility, and progressive strength training. Maybe tape your wrist before surfing or swimming. Find a good PT or athletic trainer. Mike

I had something similar in the elbow area on my right arm.

Took me a long time to sort out the cause.

Surfing, matting, heavy computer use with a touchpad/mouse (right hand).

It was primarily heavy touchpad/mouse work and then aggravated by surfing.

Did my shoulders/elbows in a similar way.

Had to relearn how to paddle.

Keep wrists above elbows on recovery stroke.

Keep hands as close to body as possible on recovery stroke (don’t windmill!)

Dont enter the water too far forward - you have to extend the wrist to do this - just enter where it’s natural without bending the wrist

Bend elbow to the side (not up) and get hand under the board, pulling parallel to the stringer (hand on side makes no difference to power)

Start recovery (pull hand out) at waist - don’t push all the way back and hyperextend the wrists

Pause between strokes - feel the glide before pulling the next stroke.

Taken me years until it feels natural to paddle in this way.

I have tendinitis from when i broke my wrist snowboarding a a couple years ago. It still bothers me every once in a while, but it always will cause issues according to my doctor. Anyway surfing definitely can make it worse and hurt more. Theres not much you can do or at least in my case besides ice,advil,and resting it.

did you possibly jam your wrist against your board or something? eg, punching through a wave,etc.i could be wrong but i don’t think swimming would do it, unless you use those hand paddles, whicjh i suggest don’t as they do put a lot of pressure on hand,elbow and shoulder joints.(unless you are in good shape)

Yeah, it’s actually possible that I did it pushing my girlfriend into waves… I would have thought that anything I did then would have healed by now, as that was a couple months ago and I haven’t been in the water much between then and now.

…I have something like that near the shoulder

but sadly there s no a complete cure for tendinitis

Hi all,

I had it in my shoulder. After more than a year it looked to me it wouldn’t heal, every time I put some more strain on it it started over again.

Until somebody gave me a tip, take 3 times the advised daily dosage of vitamin C (3x1000mg), it will prevent the infection of the tendrils and let them heal in a few days. This is the thing that got me over the tip of the iceberg and let me train my muscles and tendrils again, so now I only feel them once in a while again when I push too hard. Vitamin C is natural and the body gets rid of any excess automatically.


Ive had wrist issues from duck diving; over gripping the blockier rails on boards that were a bit to big to dip. Continually jamming with the heals of the hands can cause nerve pinching in the wrists; bring your pinky and thumb together, squeeze them together..is there strength? Have someone try to pull them apart while you  squeeze together; they can judge if there is strength, one hand to the next. A good chiropractor can adjust your wrist if there is a problem. Shortly after there is a markable in crease in strength.  Bracing them after treatment is essential...perhaps before surfing,  it involves the same pincky thumb squeeze at which time you wrap self sticky foam tape (not adhesive type) its a 3M medical tape. Wrap the tape starting from the low wrists working up toward the heal of the hand like a funnel. while always squeezing the pinky/thumb together. 

If your hand position during your stroke is sloppy and you let it flop back or can not hold it poised both entering and exiting the water work on it; unless your tendonitis is to severe. Hold your hand like a slightly cupped foil as you enter the water  like a karate chop only with a 35 degree plus angle out or "reverve chop" index finger  and thumb first same angle + or minus , the latter is preferred swimming stroke. Alternate which hurts more? the final pull and exit can kill also if you twist the wrist to far out or in or let it go passive and muscle the hand thru with out that foiled poise which tends to spit water.  If the severity of your condition  

entails, curtail the exit stroke and go into the recovery stroke with a high eblow hand extraction, dont even let you hand approach your leg as typical. Ultimately, the variations allow a little more pain mileage hopefully.

The rehab... worse case ....a cortizone shot in the tenden once or twice in a year, NO MORE. Again after this bracing and 4-6 weeks INACTIVITY, period. Thats after all else fails. There's stretches...basic bend the fingers back toward the elbow actively with the other hand or passively by putting the hand at your side and pointing the fingers back and try to touch the heal of you hand against a surface, a chair or floor if sitting. 

Theres surgical tube stretches. make a loop, around your foot and hand. do forward wrist curls then back curls, then side rotation curls, all the while your isolating the wrists. doo this intermitently with the stretches.

After 3 sets, Ice it. Water, Ibuprofen, water, Sam-E, water. Water, Nano Greens, Water, Collodial minerals (liguid form), water.

 The type of of work you do can contribute, as simple as mousing and typing in an non ergonomic postion...RIS common in office workers. Or High vibration or impact, work with air nailers, ratches, wrenches or jack hammers.  The thing is even if you dont do the heavy work  all the time, all you need is one 2min to -3 hour session to peel it and constant activity like surfing/ swimming to prevent recovery, and continually aggravate it. You have to stick with the rehab program...when it gets better ...dont discontinue, especially the bracing and  streching.  

  I've had tennis and golfers eblow in both arms as well as the wrist and neck  impingment issues. Missed plenty of epic surf, but even more when I dropped the routine cuz I though I was all healed up.

If you have had been diagnosed with tendonitis one of the number one treatments is rest. Like The Rooster said, Ice is key several times a day. I’ve had tendonitis in my elbow and around my ankle (gas pedal foot) and Ice help a lot. Also, modification with the activity that causes stress on the injury. Acupuncture works for me as well. Searching tendonitis gives a lot of information.

Rooster pretty much nailed it, i use Aleve before andafter surf sessions and ice and rest-----however bad it is to say this, Tendintis is one of those things that comes with age. we just ain’t what we used to be! take it easy and ease back into it – if it hurts, don’t do that, and figure how to improve you stroke so you don’t lose your stoke!

i have it in my elbow… i think it’s swimming laps that did most of the damage.

Yeah, my body is falling apart in my old, old age. I’m 24 (d’oh).

Rest is super important. Everytime you do something and feel that ‘ouch’ burn you piss it off and perpetuate the inflammation some. An amazingly great product I just discovered is Celadrin. (Not for vegetarians, sorry, made from beef fat). There are pills and topical cream. I is some kind of tricked out fatty acid that joins cell membranes and damps inflammation. My sis was just visiting and she has bad knee and strange sharp pain in sole of foot so we got her some of the cream. She could barely walk. She noticed quite a bit of benefit within 1/2 hour of swabbing some in. Just sent me an email a week later raving about how great it is. She went and bought a couple back up tubes so she would never be without. Health food stores. Natural Factors makes topical. NF and Blue Bonnet I know both make pills.




To treat tendinitis at home, P.R.I.C.E. is the acronym to remember — protection, rest, ice, compression and elevation. This treatment can help speed your recovery and help prevent further problems. P.R.I.C.E. involves doing the following:
  • Protection. Immobilize the affected area to encourage healing and to protect it from further injury. You may need to use elastic wraps, slings, splints, crutches or canes.
  • Rest. Avoid activities that increase the pain or swelling. Don’t try to work or play through the pain. Rest is essential to tissue healing. But it doesn’t mean complete bed rest. You can do other activities and exercises that don’t stress the injured tendon. Swimming and water exercise may be well tolerated.
  • Ice. To decrease pain, muscle spasm and swelling, apply ice to the injured area for up to 20 minutes, several times a day. Ice packs, ice massage or slush baths all can help. For an ice massage, freeze a plastic foam cup full of water so that you can hold the cup while applying the ice directly to the skin.
  • Compression. Because swelling can result in loss of motion in an injured joint, compress the area until the swelling has ceased. Wraps or compressive elastic bandages (Ace) are best.
  • Elevation. If tendinitis affects your knee, raise the affected leg above the level of your heart to reduce swelling. It’s especially important to use this position at night.

Although rest is a key part of treating tendinitis, prolonged inactivity can cause stiffness in your joints. After a few days of completely resting the injured area, gently move it through its full range of motion to maintain joint flexibility.

You can also try nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others) or products containing acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) in an attempt to reduce the discomfort associated with tendinitis. Be sure to talk to your doctor if you need NSAIDs for an extended time because some of these drugs should be used for only short periods — around seven to 10 days — to avoid complications. If you take NSAIDS frequently or take more than the recommended dose, these medications can cause stomach pain, stomach bleeding and ulcers. Rarely, prolonged use can disrupt normal kidney function. If you have liver problems, talk to your doctor before using products containing acetaminophen.

In the future, an NSAID patch may be available to treat acute pain. A recent study found that such a patch may be useful in treating tendinitis, and it may produce fewer side effects than traditional oral NSAIDs do. Ketoprofen in patch form hasn’t yet been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, however.


…yes, but like I said before, there s no cure for that; only to mitigate the pain or prevention

so when the tendinitis is installed your screwed

more if you duck dive large surf…

Hi Reverb,

Taking it easy on the tendils is most important, but when the pain and inflammation is gone its time to train the tendils slowly and carefully.

When training them they are going to hurt again soon, so then take a 3-5x dose(1000mg) vitamin C, this helps prevent inflammation and take it easy till the pain is gone again. The tendils will cure in a few days, after that you can train again carefully. Don’t push the pain, but take it easy. This way it is possible to get out of the circle of every time inflammation and weak tendils, the feeling tendilitis won’t cure. It was the way for me to live and surf normal again with a big lesson learned: pain tells you enough surfing so then stop to surf another day!