Wrist pain.

You use your hands for almost everything. From cooking, to cleaning, to writing, and even brushing your teeth so many of your daily activities are directly depending on the health of the 29 bones and 34 muscles in each hand. Hand pain can occur from a variety of reasons ranging from old age, chronic damage from work related tasks, to injuries sustained from mechanical accidents. Injury to joins, nerves, bones, and tendons is generally approached very differently so it is important to evaluate the source of your pain. Contrast therapy which involves an alternating treatment of heat and ice is most commonly suggested for all hand injuries. 

Damage due to sports injuries or falls can damage the muscles, tendons, bones, and nerves in the wrist. Sports that include a lot of weight bearing activities such as lifting and gymnastics can cause a lot of damage over time. Skiers thumb is a common injury many people get from damaging or tearing the ulnar collateral ligament, the tissue connecting the thumb to the wrist. Damage to this tissue can reduce the thumbs ability to grip and extend. Skiers thumb most commonly arises after falling while skiing, falling whiling gripping ski poles generates enough force to stress the thumb and stretch or tear the ulnar collateral ligament.  

Other Causes of Wrist Damage:

  • Neuritis: Inflammation of nerves
  • Bursitis: Inflammation of bursa; small, fluid-filled sacs cushioning bones, tendons and muscles near joints. 
  • Carpal Tunnel: Increased pressure on median nerve, causes numbness, weakness, and tingling in the hand an digits 1-4 
  • Rheumatism: Inflammation of joints
  • Osteopenia/ Osteoporosis: Low bone density
  • Injuries to joints
  • Broken bones
  • Crushing injury: An injury caused by a compression force onto the body, usually is caused by a natural disaster or deliberate force 
  • Tendinitis: Damaged tendon with inflammation pathology

Treatment

Within the first 48 hours of an injury due to a fall or accident you should rest and ice the injury. It is also important to keep your wrist elevated so it receives adequate circulation. Compression should be applied after inflammation has subsided. Anti-inflammatory painkillers are recommended for short term relief. Strength exercises are recommended to retrain stabilizers and rebuild and muscle loss due to the decreased movement from extended period of restriction. 

Imaging may be required in sever cases to rule out bone fracture before chiropractic treatment can be initiated. A trained chiropractor can restore range of motion to wrist joins and reduce inflammation and scar tissue build up in the wrist. Chiropractors can also recomend exercises and stretches to help facilitate the healing process. 

Wrist Exercises:

Wrist extension:

Extend your arm with your palm facing your body and gently secure position with opposing are. Hold Stretch for 30 seconds, repeat 3 times per day

Wrist Flexion:

Extend your arm with your palm facing away from your body and gently secure position with opposing are. Hold Stretch for 30 seconds, repeat 3 times per day

Finger Extensions:

With elastic band around the upper 2/3 of all five digits alternated between extension and relaxation. Stretch fingers out and hold extension for 15 seconds and rest for 15 seconds. Repeat 10 times. 

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