Wrist pain can occur due to various reasons such as impact injuries or repetitive strain injuries. Sudden impact injuries are fractures or sprains around the wrist joint. Repetitive motion at wrist joint leads to De Quatrain’s Tenosynovitis.
Following are reasons for wrist pain:
Sprains can occur due to an injury where the ligaments are over stretched beyond their limits leading to swelling, bruising, discoloration, burning and/or tingling.
Tendons are structures, joining muscles and bones. Inflammation of the tendon is called as tendonitis. Flexor tendons are present at the palm side of the wrist, they work in grasping activities and extensor tendons are present on the top side of the wrist helping in extending the fingers. In tendonitis there is dull aching pain, morning stiffness, and crepitus may present. This occurs due to repetitive wrist motion.
This is also known as De Quervain’s Syndrome, where the tendon sheath is inflamed who helps in smooth gliding of the tendons. In this condition pain is present on the thumb side of the wrist. Females of around 30-50 years of age are commonly affected by this condition.
In this condition median nerve is compressed or pinched off leading to nerve symptoms.
It may be caused by continual repetitive movements or by fluid retention. There is discomfort at night with numbness and tingling in palm, thumb, index and middle finger.
Fractures may occur due to an injury or bone weakness such as osteoporosis. Scaphoid fractures are commonly seen after a fall on outstretched hand. Scaphoid is a curved boat shaped bone on the thumb side of the wrist. Swelling, pain and tenderness can be seen. Pinching and /or grasping activities are difficult and painful post this fracture.
Rheumatoid arthritis affects the wrist joint commonly. Another condition called gout may affect the wrist joint. Osteoarthritis is less common, most likely to occur as a result of prior wrist injury.
This is also known as Ulnar Neuropathy. In this condition ulnar nerve compression leads to wrist pain with numbness in fourth and fifth fingers. Reasons are similar to carpal tunnel syndrome.
Nerve pinching in cervical area leading to C6 or C7 nerve root compression giving rise to symptoms like tingling or numbness in palm and three fingers. This can occur due to cervical stenosis, herniation, or osteoarthritis. So, this can also be a reason of your wrist pain.
Special Tests your Physiotherapist might perform:
It is performed by lightly taping over the nerve to elicit symptoms, if the symptoms like pins and needles are present the test is said to be positive.The test is positive when there is pressure neuropathy of the nerve. This is mostly used in carpal tunnel syndrome but can also be used for others, like cubital tunnel syndrome.
It is performed such that the person has to make a fist with keeping the thumb inside it. The examiner then bends the wrist towards the little finger. If this gives rise to pain in the tendon along the thumb region, the test for de Quervain’s tenosynovitis is positive.
What to do for this wrist pain (Wrist Pain Physiotherapy)?
Give rest to the wrist joint, do not repeat activities which give rise to your symptoms.
Do ice application for 10-15min every 2-3hourly for the first 2days.
Use compression bandages from fingers to the forearm. Look if you have tied it properly, such that circulation of the hand is not affected.
Keep the limb in elevation, so the swelling is reduced with the help of gravity.
NSAIDs can be used for inflammation.
What physiotherapist will do?
For Inflammation and pain, your therapist may use modalities like TENS, IFT, ultrasound.
Once the acute inflammation is relieved and pain reduced, your physiotherapist will start with exercises for you, where in full wrist ranges are used. And will progress with strengthening the muscles around the joint. Hand therapy with various grasping, pinching exercises is very useful and important.
Dr Vigil's Advanced Physiotherapy, Acupuncture and Rehab has licensed & highly trained physiotherapists. We have two physiotherapy clinic in Mira Road and Bhayandar respectively. We offer advanced and high quality physiotherapy treatment in Mira Road and Bhayandar.
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