What You Need To Know About Wrist Popping And Deadlifts

April 12th 2019

Different exercises have different impacts on various joints. Deadlifts, for instance, can be problematic for amateurs and even experienced lifters. On the one hand, they are arguably the best exercises on the planet. Deadlifts play many roles including improving your strength, endurance and developing a balanced muscular physique. However, this exercise needs to be done using the right technique to avoid injuries and other associated shortcomings. In this regard, a number of dead lifters have over the years complained about wrist popping during deadlifting. Some just underestimate the impact of wrist popping because for them it is just a daily event. Now, here comes our question. Is wrist popping normal for deadlifts? To get the answer to the question above, you need to know more about wrist popping and circumstances under which it happens. Keep reading the information below to apprehend whether it is normal or not.

Is wrist popping normal for deadlifts?

Whenever you feel wrist popping in deadlifts, just halt the exercise and address it immediately. If there is no pain associated with your wrist pops, it could be your wrist tendons and ligaments snapping over one of your bones.

For most individuals out there, wrist popping or clicking is just a regular event. Some do admit that they feel more comfortable and relaxed after wrist popping during deadlifts. However, you must understand that wrist popping is not a normal thing for deadlifts.

Wrist popping can cause huge problems if you overlook and take it as just a normal thing for you. The symptom of wrist popping is often described differently by various people while it represents the same condition. Some of these descriptions include “cracking,” "noise," "snapping," "popping," "exploding," and "clicking" of the wrist joint. Being an abnormal symptom, wrist popping can be experienced depending on several conditions.

Situational information which is important in determining the cause of wrist popping is the frequency of the popping during deadlifting. The popping could occur once or recurrently as you perform the deadlifts. A singular wrist popping can at the time indicate an injury. Such causes of wrist popping may include ligament strain or tear, tendon strain or rupture, bone fracture, and even wrist dislocation. This is essentially the reason why you should not take wrist popping as just a normal event when performing deadlifts. On the other hand, recurrent wrist popping could be as a result of a harmless event like snapping of the wrist tendons over a protruding bone. Nonetheless, whether it is a serious or not harmless event, wrist popping is not a normal occurrence.

What might cause wrist popping during the deadlift?

As aforementioned, wrist popping during deadlifting is not a normal occurrence. Obviously, there are a number of reasons behind wrist popping since it is not a regular event. When your forearm muscles are pulled or strained, you are likely to feel a sudden mild or severe pain in that area. If the force is too much, you will end up tearing one of your muscles and a slight pop will be heard once or repeatedly if you continue.

Usually, the main cause of wrist popping in deadlifts is the inflammation of your forearm muscles due to overuse. Also, the lack of a warmup before performing deadlifts variations can cause wrist popping. In some cases, the popping can be followed by swelling, pain, and restriction in movements.

Therefore, wrist popping can be caused by continued wearing and tearing of the ligaments, muscles, and nerves bounded around your wrist. The force applied in deadlifting may eventually breakdown tissues and cause a bad injury on your wrist.

In some other cases, people rely too much on straps when performing deadlifts. Over-reliance on deadlift straps may weaken your grip strength. If you eventually start using chalk instead of straps to enhance your grip on the bar, you probably experience wrist popping.

What causes wrists popping?

Apart from experiencing wrist popping in deadlifts, the “pop” can be felt by a number of reasons. The following are the causes of wrist popping in general:

  • Wrist popping may occur while you are flexing, opening and closing or rotating your hands. In some case, wrist popping is something that is felt rather than being heard especially in deadlifting.
  • Also, wrist popping typically happens whenever your tendons move over the bones and as a result, a “pop” noise is made.
  • In other cases, wrist popping may happen when the air bubble pops from the joint as a result of bone-tendon overlapping.
  • Tendons are naturally elastic bands that link muscles to the bones. They also stretch over your wrist joints. So, when you move your hands inappropriately while doing deadlifts, the popping will be heard or felt. That happens because your wrist tendons tend to move quickly across the joint and then snap back immediately. The pop will notify you that you are doing your deadlifts incorrectly.
  • For other people, the cause of wrist popping may not be the incorrect deadlifts. Actually, they may be experiencing wrist popping because of muscles tension buildup due to recurring move with inappropriate techniques, inflammation, and misalignment of the structures bounded around their wrists.
  • Wrist popping could as well be caused by a pre-existing injury which seems to be worsening. When you feel wrist popping after an injury, make sure you stop worsening the situation and start remedying the damage caused.

Which muscles help stabilize the wrist for deadlifting?

In this section, you will learn about the main muscles that help to stabilize your wrist. These wrist stabilization muscles start from your forearm. These muscles are interlocked with ligaments and tendons to make the wrist function normally. Wrist stabilization muscle helps in controlling the actions of your fingers and thumb. The muscles also help in the stabilization of your wrist during ligament deficiency.

One of the key muscles responsible for the stabilization of ligament-deficient wrists is midcarpal muscle. It causes supination of forearm muscles after an isometric contraction. These muscles include the abductor pollicis longus muscle, extensor carpi radialis muscle, and the flexor carpi ulnaris muscle. Another muscle known as extensor carpi ulnaris muscle tightens the volar scaphoid distal row ligaments to prevent the breakdown of scaphoid of your wrist from collapsing. Midcarpal pronator muscles stabilize wrists that have ulnar-sided ligament deficiency. They stabilize the wrist by tightening a ligament called triquetrum-distal row.

Wrist Anatomy

The anatomy of your wrist joint is very complex than most of the joints in your body. To understand how wrist popping occurs during deadlifts you need to comprehend the wrist anatomy. This section includes how the wrist is made and how it operates.

In essence, the bones in your hands and wrists help to provide the rest of the body with flexibility and support for manipulating objects in different ways. Every hand has 27 distinct bones which make the hand have an amazing range of motions. For instance, the hands play a huge role in deadlifting. The muscles, bones, tendons, nerves, and ligaments play a role in balancing the bar and help the body to perform deadlifts. Your forearm’s radius and ulna provides support to the muscles that manipulate the bones in your hands and wrists. When the radius rotates around the ulna, the hand supinates and pronates. These two bones make your wrists to be flexible on the joints with the carpals’ proximal row. Your wrist should always be flexible to give your hands a complete range of motion. The wrist contains 8 small bones that are known as carpal bones.

The carpal bones in your wrist are bound into two rows of 4 bones each. These mass of these bones round on the proximal end to join with the ulna and radius in the wrist. The carpus bone mass is concave at the palmar side. It then forms a carpal tunnel where ligaments, tendons, and nerves are linked to the palm. The distal surface joins with metacarpal bones that are articulated by palmar carpometacarpal ligaments to the carpus. So, any strenuous action on the joints of your wrist will tamper with the wrist anatomy. That is why, for instance, you will likely feel wrist popping when performing deadlifts incorrectly.

How to manage unusual wrist popping symptoms from deadlifting

When there is nothing that is accompanied by the pop sound in your wrist, just do the following home remedies.

  1. Resting your wrist for at least three days. During this period, avoid any strenuous activity.
  2. Apply ice since it decreases pain, swelling and tissue damage. Simply place the crushed ice on your wrist for about 25 minutes every hour.
  3. Compressing using an elastic bandage to prevent swelling and support the wrist to hasten the healing process.
  4. Physical therapy can strengthen your wrist and enhance the limited range of motion.

Signs that you need doctor assessment after wrist popping from deadlifts

Although wrist popping is a normal event, it is nothing to worry much for both adults and kids. Wrist popping can occur because of degenerative disorders which make the wrist joint to be susceptible to the “pop” sound. Unless the wrist popping is accompanied with the following symptoms you do not need to see a doctor. Instead, you can manage it as highlighted above (home remedies). These signs include; severe pain, swelling, bruising, limited range of motion, locking of the wrist after popping.

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