Hand and Wrist Injuries

Wrist injuries are common in sports activities, falling on out stretched arm/hand, work related injuries and simple everyday arm use. For optimal pain relief and functional recovery of wrist, an accurate diagnosis is essential. Since wrist movements are one of the integral parts of our daily activities, early assessment and management is warranted.

The common wrist injuries include:

De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis

De Quervain’s tenosynovitis is the inflammation of the tendons and the sheath that surrounds the two tendons in the side of the wrist and lower thumb. It can be brought on by simple strain injury to the tendons (Abductor pollicis longus and Extensor pollicis brevis) due to repetitive motion. Lifting young children and lifting heavy grocery bags are some of the usual daily activities which can lead to De Quervain’s tenosynovitis.

The main focus of physiotherapy is to reduce inflammation of the tendon and to reduce or eliminate the cause of irritation of the thumb tendons. Thumb-Spica Splints may also be required in the initial stage to rest the tendons.

Carpel Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is the most common wrist injury that causes pain, numbness and tingling in the hand and arm. The condition occurs due to compression of the median nerve as it travels through the wrist at the carpal tunnel. This abnormal compression of the nerve can be due to repetitive wrist movements or swelling which is common during pregnancy (fluid retention).

Physiotherapy is beneficial in mild to moderate cases of carpal tunnel syndrome. At MoveFree Physio, the treatment options include carpal bone mobilization, flexor retinaculum stretching, nerve and tendon gliding exercises, and strengthening in the late phase of rehabilitation.

Wrist Sprain

Wrist sprain is an injury to the ligaments of the wrist, including the ligaments which connect the carpal bones (intercarpal) and the ligaments which connect the proximal row of carpal bones with the forearm bones (radius and ulna).

There are three grades of wrist sprain:

  • Grade I: Mild overstretching of the ligaments, without joint instability
  • Grade II: Partial rupture of the ligaments, with mild or no joint instability
  • Grade III: Complete rupture of the ligament with severe joint instability

Physiotherapy can be helpful in the reducing pain and restoring stability of the wrist. Early diagnosis and treatment are required for the speedy recovery.