Wrist pain can be the result of a sudden trauma or can arise from other long-term issues such as carpal tunnel syndrome or wrist tendonitis. Injuries of the wrist are typically associated with overuse of the mouse/computer/keyboard or any activity that involves repetitive and sustained compression of that area. When wrist pain is present, it’s important to first pinpoint the source and reason for the pain.
Where is my wrist pain coming from?
If you haven’t injured your wrist suddenly and suffered a sprain or fracture, it’s possible that your wrist pain may be the result of overuse and repetitive movements that have built up over time.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is the most common issue of the wrist and hand and occurs where the median nerve and the tendons of the finger flexors travel. Nerves are quite sensitive to compressive forces so when the space in this area is limited, pain in this region occurs.
Wrist tendonitis is another common source of wrist pain and occurs when the tendons that connect muscles to bone are overworked or aggravated due to carrying too heavy of a load. The wrist tendons that connect the forearm muscles in your hand and finger bones may become irritated or inflamed for this reason.
Other symptoms of wrist pain include aching sensations in the hand and forearm, numbness or tingling in the hand (including the palm, thumb, and first two fingers), weakness in the hands or fingers, and swelling around the wrist.
When should I seek out wrist pain treatment?
If you feel pain in your wrist and hand, it’s a good idea to seek out wrist therapy before the symptoms worsen and start to affect your everyday activities. Working with a physical therapist to address pain in the wrist and hand can greatly benefit your long-term health and help you develop habits to prevent future issues of the wrist.
How can wrist therapy with a physical therapist help me?
Your physical therapist will conduct a comprehensive assessment of your wrist, arm, hand, and shoulder, to determine the source of your pain and to build a treatment plan that is specific to your condition. They may integrate tendon and nerve gliding techniques to reduce pain in these areas and may also incorporate additional treatment methods such as:
• Manual therapy, hands-on techniques to mobilize wrist bones, improve your range of motion, and reduce stiffness.
• Strengthening exercises like wrist flexion (bending) and wrist extension (straightening) to identify and improve any pain limitations. Other exercises will target specific areas of weakness along the arm, including the shoulder and elbow, that may be contributing to wrist pain.
• Biomechanical adjustments to identify painful motions, re-train abnormal postures, and reduce stress on the wrist by adjusting drop and position of hands while performing everyday activities.
• Ergonomic evaluation to help you optimize your work area to keep the wrist in a relaxed, neutral position.
Physical therapists can provide the necessary tools to prevent and/or treat wrist pain, allowing you to return to your favorite activities pain-free and better than ever! To learn more about wrist pain treatment and how wrist therapy can help, book a physical therapy assessment today.
“When I first came here I was not sure how much you would be able to help me. I kind of doubted that my wrist would get much better. But now it feels much better and quite often it does not hurt at all.”