The treatment for wrist injuries can be a challenging and complicated journey due to how complex the wrist joint is. The wrist is the connection point of the hand to the arm. Its purpose is to position the hand in all the many different ways we need it to be place in to perform our everyday activities at work, home and play
Why is the wrist considered complicated?
The wrist is complicated because it is made up of 15 bones that are held together by a complex network of ligaments. On top of that there are 24 tendons, which connect a muscle to a bone, that attach themselves at the wrist or they travel through it to get to the digits (fingers and thumb). Finally, there are 3 nerves that travel through the wrist on their journey to their final destination of the fingertips.
What are the common causes and types of wrist injuries?
The wrist bones and ligaments are most commonly injured as a result of people putting their hands out in front of them to try and catch themselves when they trip and fall. These types of injuries often injury the thumb side of the wrist. The bones and ligaments on the little finger side of the wrist are often injured with a quick twisting motion while holding something like a power drill or a tennis racket.
The wrist tendons can become irritated by frequent use or too much force which can lead to tendonitis. This irritation happens when the tendon is rubbing on the soft tissue, called the retinaculum, that holds it in place when the wrist is moving. There is a variety of wrist tendonitis since 24 tendons can be irritated at the wrist.
The most common nerve injury at the wrist is carpal tunnel syndrome. There has been great debate over the years about the causes of carpal tunnel but what is most widely accepted as the cause is holding something in the hand with force and also vibration.
When and why should I come see a therapist?
The short answer to when is as soon as you can. The earlier we can start working on getting the inflammation controlled then your body can begin the healing process. The longer the delay in starting then the longer the recovery period takes. The why is because we have tools, expertise and splinting that can help in getting your pain level down, controlling your swelling or inflammation, we can help in getting your wrist moving and restoring your strength so you can get back to doing things you want to do.
Why should I come to Armworks Hand Therapy?
The successful treatment of wrist injuries requires many key elements with the two most important being the skill of an occupational or physical therapist that specializes in seeing wrist injuries and a patient willing to participate in their therapy. All of the therapists at Armworks Hand Therapy specialize in the treatment of the elbow, WRIST, and hand so we see these types of injuries all day, every day.