MSF Rule Question: Wrist Support

SpacemanspiffSpacemanspiff Dallas, TexasSenior Member

I've developed some sort of RSI (carpal tunnel??) in my wrist and hand. It first happened during a 20K swim last summer, flared up again during STS training and now again during SCAR training. Seems to occur anytime I go over 15K or so. The pain is somewhat debilitating and worsens over time. Simple taping of the wrist provides some relief. But I've been working on a DIY wrist support prototype that would consist of a 1-inch wide, 5-inch long curved carbon-fiber plate, attached at the wrist and hand by Velcro, such that the plate remains on the back of the wrist/hand. While this would probably relieve/eliminate the pain, it occurred to me that providing such a rigid support might be effectively turning my hand into a paddle and create at least the appearance of an unfair advantage. I searched the MSF rules, but didn't see anything, so I thought I'd crowd source it to the MSF community.

Two questions:

(1) Is there a problem with just tape on the wrist?

(2) What about rigid support on the backside of the wrist/hand? I haven't swum with the prototype (not finished), but I suppose there is the possibility that in addition to making my hand more rigid, there is the possibility of the Velcro "cupping" water, but on the other hand, it would likely inhibit the efficiency of my extreme over-glide stroke. I've thought perhaps I could make more of a T-shaped brace, such that it wraps around the edges of my hand, eliminating the Velcro attachment on the palm.

Thanks for the input!

"Lights go out and I can't be saved
Tides that I tried to swim against
Have brought be down upon my knees
Oh I beg, I beg and plead..."



  • swimmer25kswimmer25k Charter Member

    You might have De Quervain's Syndrome. It's a form of tenosynovitis. I got it a few months out of MIMS 1998. My wrist would squeak and it felt like my wrist was going to snap off. To associate a sound with the feeling, it was like celery stalks slowly snapping. I swam the whole race with it. An orthopedic surgeon made me a custom splint that immobilized my thumb. I would wrap my wrist with some padding and then secure it with waterproof tape. It kept my thumb immobilized while I trained. It occasionally flared up, but it went away with some PT and a cortisone shot.

  • mpfmarkmpfmark Teesside England Charter Member

    I need a thumb spike post 2S4L 11 also Loneswimmers Magic cups. it was tenosynovitis link here to the post

  • IronMikeIronMike Northern VirginiaCharter Member
    edited April 2015

    I'm no expert, but I'll answer your questions based on my extremely limited experiences.

    1) I don't think so, as long as you state it in your swim proposal.

    2) I'd say the same answer as #1. I'd include pictures of the support in your swim package, as well as pictures of you wearing it during the swim. If you intend on putting it on during a part of your swim, like maybe at the 15K mark, I'd state that and make sure your observer thoroughly documents that, to avoid any DN-like questions later about support you got. More pictures, more documentation (to include prior-to-the-event documentation) the better, I'd say.

    Now, if your questions are for an organized swim you're looking at, I'd say ask the RD.

    Either way, good luck!

    We're all just carbon, water, starlight, oxygen and dreams

Sign In or Register to comment.