The wrist and hand is made up of bones, ligaments and tendons that along with the joints of the elbow allows us to orientate the hands wherever we like and have incredible strength when we need it but minute fine movements and dexterity as well.
Pain and dysfunction at the wrist can be disabling. Because of the complexity of the area we commonly see quite a variety of problems in this area that require treatment. Traumatic injuries to the wrist and hand are relatively common as the instinctive thing to do when we fall over is to reach out with the hand and land on an outstretched hand. Fractures to the scaphoid (bone at the base of thumb) and fractures to the distal radius (one of the forearm bones), commonly known as Colles fracture, are common and require a period of time immobilised in a cast or splint. Physiotherapy treatment including manual therapy, range of movement and strengthening exercises are required to regain full movement and function once this immobilisation period is over.
Wrist and hand pain can also be caused by ligament sprains, impingement syndromes, tendinopathies such as de Quervain’s tenosynovitis (inflammation of the synovium of the tendons that move your thumb backwards and out to the side) and conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome, which is caused by pressure on the median nerve at the wrist and is characterised by pain, weakness and pins and needles or numbness in the hand. Carpal tunnel syndrome is common after trauma, during pregnancy and among musicians and computer users and tends to develop more gradually often due to overuse repetitive strain injuries. Therefore, identification of underlying causes such as poor sitting posture, and an adverse workstation / desk environment is important. Physiotherapy treatment may include splinting, local electrotherapeutic modalities, stretches and graduated strengthening. In rare cases, surgical release is necessary.
See also - Jaw Pain, Shoulder, Elbow & Forearm, Wrist & Hand, Pelvic Pain, Hip & Groin, Thigh, Knee, Shin, Foot, Head & Neck, Upper Back/Thoracic Spine, Lower Back, Buttocks, Calf & Achillies Tendon, Ankle