Wrist & Hand Physical Therapy
The human hand and wrist are made of an incredibly complex structure of bones, ligaments, muscles and tendons.
Common Causes of Wrist & Hand Pain
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Computers, texting, and other repetitive and overuse motions can cause pain, tingling, and numbness in the hand or wrist. The culprit is often Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, a condition in which the wrist’s median nerve is “squeezed” or compressed.
Common Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:
- Contributing medical conditions
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Thyroid gland imbalance
- Hormonal imbalance
- Repetitive or overuse injuries
Common Signs and Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:
- Electrical-like sensations in/along:
- Index or long fingers
Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
This is another example of a nerve compression in the upper extremity. This close cousin to carpal tunnel syndrome causes often disabling numbness, tingling and pain in the hand and arm.
Common Causes of Cubital Tunnel Syndrome:
- Direct force
- Fluid buildup
- Leaning on elbow for extended periods of time
- Repetitive bending
Common Signs and Symptoms of Cubital Tunnel Syndrome:
- Decreased ability to pinch thumb to pinkie finger
- Lack of finger coordination
- Muscle wasting of the hand
- Tingling or shock-like sensations
- Pinkie finger
- Ring finger
- Weak or diminished grip
de Quervain’s Syndrome
This condition is also known as Mommy Thumb, Blackberry Thumb, or Gamers’ Thumb. The underlying cause is irritation or constriction of the tendons located at the base of the thumb at the wrist.
Common Cause of de Quervain’s Syndrome:
- Acute injury
- Hormonal imbalance
- Repetitive thumb motion
- Rheumatoid disease
Common Signs and de Quervain’s Syndrome:
- Catching” when moving thumb
- Gradual or sudden onset of pain:
- On the thumb side of the wrist
- Up the forearm
- Limited range of motion in thumb and wrist
- Worsening pain when:
- Grasping objects
- Twisting wrist
- Using hand and thumb
Sometimes the outer membranes that surround tendons as they extend to the fingers through the hand and wrists begin to swell. When they do, the condition is called trigger finger or tenosynovitis.
Common Causes of Trigger Finger:
- Repetitive use
- Unknown factors
Common Signs and Symptoms of Trigger Finger:
- Inability to straighten finger or thumb
Nearly 20 percent of Americans have arthritis in at least one joint. Arthritis of the hand or wrist can be quite painful and can interfere with everyday activities such as getting dressed.
Common Causes of Hand Arthritis:
- Natural wear-and-tear (loss of joint cartilage)
- Inflammatory / Auto-immune disorders (rheumatism)
Common Signs and Symptoms of Hand Arthritis:
- Difficulty using the hand or wrist
- Distortion of joints
- Limited range of motion
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