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. Due to the complexity of the area we commonly see quite a variety of problems in this area that require treatment.
Wrist and hand pain can be caused by:
- ligament sprains
- traumatic injuries (from falling onto your hands and wrists)
- 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
- 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)
- conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome (see below)
Carpal tunnel syndrome 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:
- local electrotherapeutic modalities
- graduated strengthening
- manual therapy
- 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