Wrist & Hand Pain

The wrist and hand are made up of many individual bones that give us a wonderful range of movements and allow both precision and strength functions. Having our opposable thumb gives us great advantages for fine movements. Most of us have a dominant hand for writing, sports and daily activities.

What type of wrist or hand pain do you have?

Because of its complex structure and our need for dexterity, injuries to the wrist and hand can be life changing. The hand has an extensive nerve supply to allow sensory and movement accuracy. As well as providing movement, the wrist forms a protective tunnel that allows nerves and blood vessels to enter the hand without compression.

Arthritis in the thumb and finger joints

Arthritis in the hand is often characterised by pain and stiffness plus the appearance of nodes or lumps on the joints. The joints may also be red or swollen. Arthirits cab be due to wear and tear changes or can be part of a more extensive inflammatory arthritis.

Loss of function after fracture

Wrist fractures often occur during a fall onto an outstretched hand. Fractures of the fingers are common in sport often as a ball hits the fingers with force. Because hand function is complex rehabilitation after a fracture requires careful attention to restore full strength and dexterity.

Trigger and Mallet finger

The long tendons of the hand are vulnerable to injury and inflammation. Trigger Finger is an inflammation of the long tendons of the hand which can disrupt the smooth gliding of the tendon in the sheath causing the finger to get suck and release with a painful snap or ping. Mallet Finger is a degenerative or traumatic rupture of a finger tendon which can mean loss of voluntary control leaving the fingertip dropped and vulnerable to being snagged or twisted. Splinting or surgical repair is often required necessitating regular physiotherapy afterward for full recovery.

Carpel Tunnel Syndrome

Pins and needles, numbness, grip weakness, feeling clumsy or pain in the fingers can be caused by compression of the nerves and blood vessels in the carpel tunnel of the wrist. This can be associated with arthritis, swelling or tight soft tissues and may also be linked to nerve compression elsewhere in the neck and arm. Symptoms can be relieved after assessment and can include prescription of splints.

How we can help

At Essex Physiotherapy, your therapist will carry out a thorough assessment, looking at the movements and activities you can still do, anything you can’t do and deciding if further investigation such as an x-ray, blood tests or a scan is needed. Wrist and hand pain can impact your life and hobbies but will often settle readily if dealt with correctly. A combination of exercise therapy, manual therapy, soft tissue therapies, and pain relief often proves helpful. Combined with education on what’s happening and why, things can often improve quickly. Mindset coaching can also make a huge difference to overcoming fear and limiting beliefs that hold back our recovery.

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