Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In


Injuries and Medical Advice

Jumping to a Gym Injury

Lock Icon

Become a member to unlock this story and receive other great perks.

Already have an Outside Account? Sign in

Outside+ Logo

Intro Offer
$3.99 / month*

  • A $500 value with 25+ benefits including:
  • Access to all member-only content on all 17 publications in the Outside network like Rock and Ice, Climbing, Outside, Backpacker, Trail Runner and more
  • Annual subscription to Climbing magazine.
  • Annual gear guides for climbing, camping, skiing, cycling, and more
  • Gaia GPS Premium with hundreds of maps and global trail recommendations, a $39.99 value
  • Outside Learn, our new online education hub loaded with more than 2,000 videos across 450 lessons including 6 Weeks to Stronger Fingers and Strength Training for Injury Prevention
  • Premium access to Outside TV and 1,000+ hours of exclusive shows
  • Annual subscription to Outside magazine
Join Outside+

*Outside memberships are billed annually. Print subscriptions available to U.S. residents only. You may cancel your membership at anytime, but no refunds will be issued for payments already made. Upon cancellation, you will have access to your membership through the end of your paid year. More Details

This article appeared in Rock and Ice issue 251 (July 2018).

Eighteen months ago I jumped sideways for a big sloper in a gym and immediately felt pain in my wrist. I figured it would just go away like most injuries, but my wrist often seems to dislocate on the little-finger side, and I have to click it back. If I play guitar, the action of making a chord quickly causes pain, which is relieved by clicking the wrist back. When I climb, strapping the wrist helps.


Don’t you hate it when you injure yourself in the gym? It seems so pointless. Utterly, absolutely deflating.

No doubt you have swung sideways on this wrist while putting it under immense load. Though the wrist is fairly robust, for climbers, at least, the ulna side is susceptible to both chronic and acute injuries.

There is a small disc of cartilage anchored between the end of your ulna and the carpal bones on the little-finger side of your wrist. This is called the triangular fibrocartilage complex and acts as a cushion between the ulna and the carpals, making articulation both smooth and stable.

That you have damaged this disc and/or the ligament tissue that anchor it in place is virtually a given. The question is how much damage, and whether it is likely, at this late stage, to settle down. The fact that one or several carpal bones are shifting when the wrist is flexed for even a short period of time is a bad sign.

In your instance there are several possibilities, none of which are pretty. You know it, too— 18 months of discomfort and clear mechanical issues do not bode well. Get an MRI. See a specialist. Transition to the pan flute.

Also Read

Beyond Tape: Bicep Tendinitis