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Workout w/wrist in cast?
Old 01-14-2015, 02:51 PM   #1
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Workout w/wrist in cast?

Right forearm/wrist immobilized for 6 weeks.

Can use fingers of rt hand. Elbow undamaged.

Yoga is out, since much involves wrist strength.

Besides cardio machines, what can I do? How maintain upper body strength?

thanks for ideas/experience,

Amethyst
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Old 01-14-2015, 02:57 PM   #2
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Some of the pectoral machines may be usable if you can brace on your forearm without a problem. Same with some of the trap machines but arms are going to be tough and you'll be limited in what you can do. You can just work one side to avoid losing strength completely (I did that when my left arm lost ~70% of it's strength recently but I still had use of my hand)

If you go to a gym ask the staff.
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Old 01-14-2015, 03:04 PM   #3
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A skilled physical therapist or good trainer from a gym would know best.

Might even involve use of "tens" equipment ( electro muscle stimulation). Tens equipment can be purchased at reasonable cost on line, if you know exactly what you are looking for.

remember, when that muscle cell is gone, it's gone for good, unlike fat cells , that shrink , but stay with us forever
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Old 01-14-2015, 03:08 PM   #4
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I had a broken wrist in a cast. I didn't do any upper body exercises during that time. Also had to curtail hiking/running at the beginning since I had to keep my wrist elevated to keep swelling down. I lost a lot of upper body strength, and post cast therapy was brutal. Your dr should be able to provide you with some ideas on how to keep upper body going through your time in a cast.


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Old 01-14-2015, 03:54 PM   #5
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What do you mean, the muscle cell is gone for good? Medical fact?

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Old 01-14-2015, 04:07 PM   #6
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I'd ask my doc or at the least a physical therapist. I'd be wary of making a broken wrist a permanent disability.
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Old 01-14-2015, 04:16 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Lakewood90712 View Post
A skilled physical therapist or good trainer from a gym would know best.



Might even involve use of "tens" equipment ( electro muscle stimulation). Tens equipment can be purchased at reasonable cost on line, if you know exactly what you are looking for.



remember, when that muscle cell is gone, it's gone for good, unlike fat cells , that shrink , but stay with us forever


Wrong!!

The muscle atrophies while the cast is in place. It comes back when you are allowed to work it. If muscle cells disappear while you are in a cast, then everyone who has broken a bone would look really weird for the remainder of their lives.

And there wouldn't be much point in "getting back into shape" if that were true.

Check with the doctor re: what you can and cannot do. After the first week there shouldn't be much swelling. And the doctor may be too cautious sometimes--

When DS was 15 he major broke his forearm and had a plate put in. His doctor insisted he be off all PE for 8 weeks. 4 weeks into it, he was sick of writing reports for PE and wanted to just go jogging. We asked the doc and he said he didn't want him to jiggle the bones. Umm...he had started playing timpani as soon as the pain stopped after the first week. Oops! (He was fine).

You should be able to do free weights with the other arm, and perhaps light weights with the good hand holding the weight and the casted hand holding the good hand. Or made a wrap around weight proximal to the cast and work your upper arm and shoulder.


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Old 01-14-2015, 04:27 PM   #8
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"The muscle atrophies while the cast is in place. It comes back when you are allowed to work it. If muscle cells disappear while you are in a cast, then everyone who has broken a bone would look really weird for the remainder of their lives. "

I have seen exactly that type of muscle loss among those who have been in a cast for long periods after serious accidents , or extensive orthopedic surgery. Not going to be an issue if immobilized for just a few weeks. I should have been more clear , and also looked at the OP's time in cast.Sorry
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Old 01-14-2015, 04:40 PM   #9
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Amethyst, I am not medically trained and I am not a trainer, so take what I have to say with a grain of salt.

What I'd do is focus on cardio and leg strength exercises for now. You could probably get a lot done with those types of exercise because you wil have more time for them than you did.

Then, when your wrist is healed and your doctor gives you the go-ahead, you can start building strength back up in your arms and upper body. Getting back to where you were might not take as long as you think.

Sorry to hear that your right forearm/wrist were injured!
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Old 01-14-2015, 05:04 PM   #10
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Great suggestions. Dr. spent 90 seconds looked at X-rays, said "Do what you can w/o using the wrist." Leaving specifics to me. I go back in 2 weeks to X-ray fracture thru cast.

Think I'll use upper-body machines on the unhurt side at low weights. Maybe strength of dominant side will come back faster later on.

REALLY miss side-stands, back bends, push-ups, but oh well. Ironic that I got injured trying to be healthy...

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Wrong!!

Check with the doctor re: what you can and cannot do. After the first week there shouldn't be much swelling. And the doctor may be too cautious sometimes--

You should be able to do free weights with the other arm, and perhaps light weights with the good hand holding the weight and the casted hand holding the good hand. Or made a wrap around weight proximal to the cast and work your upper arm and shoulder.


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Old 01-14-2015, 05:37 PM   #11
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Ironic that I got injured trying to be healthy...

That's okay, I fell off a barstool once. In my defense, though, I didn't break anything, or spill a drop...


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Old 01-14-2015, 07:11 PM   #12
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Amethyst don't worry about atrophy. I spent 6 months in a case and crutches and while from a size standpoint my left leg is slightly smaller than my right the strength is very close and you won't be in a cast anywhere near that long

We often get hurt trying to be healthy...
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Old 01-14-2015, 10:13 PM   #13
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Great suggestions. Dr. spent 90 seconds looked at X-rays, said "Do what you can w/o using the wrist." Leaving specifics to me. I go back in 2 weeks to X-ray fracture thru cast.

A great deal depends on what is available at your gym. For example, you can use a pec deck, or a deltoid deck to exercise chest and deltoids respectively. A quick walk around the gym will likely suggest other devices.
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Old 01-15-2015, 07:39 AM   #14
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The idea that muscle atrophy from a cast is permanent does not ring true at all unless the nerve connections to muscles are cut off. I have never heard that simple temporary immobilization from a cast causes permanent muscle loss. Any doctors around who can address this assertion? A quick Google search found lots of info about therapy to restore function following atrophy but did not address the question of actual muscle loss.
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Old 01-15-2015, 08:07 AM   #15
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I've seen trainers with clients who were wearing casts so it can be done. I googled "exercising with cast" and found a number of good ideas


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Old 01-19-2015, 06:15 PM   #16
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I've had both wrists broken at separate times. I had a teflon cast, so I could still go swimming. Can you swim with your cast?
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Old 01-19-2015, 06:18 PM   #17
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I broke my wrist last summer and spent 4 wks. in a hard cast. then went 8 weeks castless doing assigned PT specific to wrist rehab. Had my thumb operated on, went back into a cast for 5 weeks, then PT, etc. The muscle comes back, work it hard and flex everything associated with it, and it comes back. It is a battle, [age 64 fwiw]

The PT people are skilled and helpful, my arm muscles are probably 80 -85% where they were, the rest is up to me.

Summary, I wouldn't worry about it.

ps [I was able to do "weakling" pushups off my workbench WITH the hard cast]
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