If you have ever played a serious game of bowling, you likely know that the sport can cause some serious damage to your wrists. If bowling can do this from a single game, it makes sense that pro bowlers especially experience pain while playing.
It is for this reason that some pro bowlers use wrist support. Even professional bowlers who do not use wrist guards often opt for tape instead. In either case, the professional bowlers are using a form of wrist support in order to offer more stability and support during the game.
Of course, you don’t have to be a pro bowler to wear wrist support. Whether you are a casual player or trying your hand in the big leagues, wrist support can enhance your game, but you have to choose a wrist support wisely. Read on to find out all about using wrist support during the game of bowling.
Do Pro Bowlers Use Wrist Support?
Although not all pro bowlers use wrist supports, many do. The supports offer a bit more strength for the wrist, which prevents as many wrist injuries as possible. At the same time, wrist supports can make it more difficult to bowl correctly, meaning that professionals select their wrist supports very carefully and try them out extensively before competing with them.
We recommend using this wrist brace by Bowlingball. Its special fabric improves comfort and allows sweat from your hand and wrist to easily evaporate.
Is Using a Wrist Support in Bowling Legal?
Because so many pro bowlers use wrist supports, it makes sense that it is legal. Both professional leagues and amateur leagues allow the use of wrist support for their players.
Why Do Some Bowlers Tape Their Wrist Instead?
If you look carefully, you may see some pro bowlers that tape their wrists instead. This athletic tape is meant to add support, but it is more flexible and less thick than traditional supports. In other words, the athletic tape offers the best of both worlds – it offers additional support like traditional braces while offering more flexibility of a free hand.
Why Does Bowling Hurt My Wrist?
The wrist has quite a few delicate and important tissues and bones, including metacarpals, muscles, ligaments, nerves, and tendons. Bowling especially puts a lot of pressure on the wrist tendons, which are strong and dense fibers that join the bones and muscles.
Because bowlers have to throw heavy balls with different spinning techniques, they often have to put unbalanced force on their hands and wrists repetitively. As a result, bowlers often experience tendonitis, as well as other injuries like elbow tendonitis, herniated discs, or ligament tears.
If you are noticing that your wrist is hurting during bowling, tendonitis or pressure on the tendons is likely to blame. Some of the most common symptoms of tendonitis include pain, swelling, redness, and tenderness. You may also have reduced motion range, tingling, or numbness.
What to Do About It
If your wrist is hurting from bowling, it’s important to act quickly. Since wrists and hands play such a vital function in everyday life, even the slightest of injury can decrease your enjoyment in life dramatically. Here are some things you should do if your wrist is beginning to hurt from bowling.
Talk to Your Doctor
The very first thing you should do if you are experiencing wrist pain from bowling is to talk to your doctor. Your doctor will be able to properly evaluate your wrist to determine what is the cause. Most likely, tendonitis is to blame.
When you see your doctor, they will conduct an extensive medical history and physically examine the hand and wrist. If the injury is severe enough, you may be referred to a hand specialist, such as hand or wrist surgeons and sports medicine specialists.
If tendonitis is diagnosed, the doctor will recommend avoiding the activity which caused it, which is bowling in this case. Rest is crucial for healing your tendons. It’s a great idea to use a brace or splint so that your wrist is immobilized as best as possible.
Before moving on to our next steps, follow all of your doctor’s instructions and ask how and when you should proceed to bowl again. Do not bowl or strengthen your wrists unless you get the all-clear from your doctor.
Wear a Wrist Support
After your tendonitis is healed, it’s always a good idea to continue wearing a wrist support while bowling. There are quite a few wrist supports that are specifically made for bowlers. These supports offer much more flexibility than traditional braces, but they do help your wrists a bit at the same time.
The best wrist support for bowling is the Robby Revs II Bowling Wrist Support. This support is adjustable, comes in multiple sizes, and allows greater rev control. This allows you to maximize your rev and back-end action on the hook. This is not the only wrist support ideal for bowling, but it is our favorite.
You will likely need to try out many wrist supports before finding one that works best for you. When you first start playing with the wrist support, the game feels very different since your motion is more limited. If you only need a little bit of support and want more freeness, you might want to try athletic tape instead.
Strengthen Your Wrist
Another important part of rehabilitating a wrist that has experienced tendonitis from bowling is strengthening and stretching. Stretching and exercising your wrists increases synovial fluid, which acts as a lubricant for your joints and improves their overall function.
To begin, start with simple stretches that increase your range of motion. Some simple warm-up stretches involve rolling your wrists both clockwise and counterclockwise for equal times. You can also use one hand to press the other hand back gently. If you want to kick it up a notch, you can look for more difficult stretches.
In addition to stretching your wrists, you also need to strengthen them. You can use light weights to increase your strength. Resistance band exercises are also a great choice. One unique exercise is called wrist walking; it involves walking your palms against the wall as far as you can.
Focus on grip strengthening as well. Grip strengthening ensures that all parts of your hand and wrist are exercised and stretched adequately, not just the parts that are most obvious to us. Equal or balanced strength further prevents injury.
No matter what stretch or exercise you are completing, don’t push yourself beyond your limits. Remember, your wrist is in rehabilitation and does not need to be pressed beyond its means. It’s better to underestimate your abilities and work your way up than to overestimate and injure yourself.
Because of how much pressure bowling puts on your wrists and tendons, pro bowlers often wear wrist support or athletic tape. These devices help keep the bowler’s wrist protected despite the strenuous activity they are putting their wrist through.
If you are experiencing wrist pain from bowling, talk to your doctor. Once you get the all-clear from your doctor, start working on stretching and exercising your wrists as well.
Whenever you start bowling again, wear wrist support too. Keep in mind that you may need to try a few wrist supports before finding the one that is perfect for your game.