As we navigate through this pandemic many of us have begun to rely on technology even more as stay-at-home orders pushed us to operate businesses, homes, and schools virtually. The increase in screen time can have a direct effect on your health. We aren’t talking about your eyes, but your wrists!
Wrist pain is a common complaint amongst athletes, writers, mechanics, hairdressers, and just about anyone who relies on their hands heavily to complete their jobs. However, no matter what your routine or job is, your wrists are some of the most used joints in your body. If you’ve noticed a nagging pain in your hand and wrists lately, we encourage you to come into our office for an evaluation and treatment.
Though some patients may assume they have carpal tunnel syndrome once they begin to notice reoccurring symptoms, that may not be the case as other conditions can share similar symptoms. It is important to seek a professional medical diagnosis before starting treatment as a condition not properly assessed will only lead to temporary relief and unsuccessful treatments.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) refers to the compression of the median nerve that runs down your forearm, through your wrist, and into the hand. This pressure leads to numbness and tingling throughout the hand commonly felt along the underside of the hand. This pain may extend into the thumb and ring finger. Muscle weakness or clumsiness in the hand may also be experienced. This condition can also be aggravated by other medical conditions such as diabetes or arthritis.
Tendonitis in the wrist occurs when the soft tissue tendons within your wrist become inflamed. Overuse or repetitive motions can irritate the tendons leading to small tears causing inflammation. Common symptoms include joint stiffness, pain in the wrist, decreased range of motion, muscle weakness, and numbness that extends into the fingers including the pinky. Tendonitis can occur on its own, after injury, or be a secondary symptom to another medical condition.
How We Can Help
Wrist pain may also be caused by a neck, shoulder, or elbow dysfunction that is causing pain to radiate downward and affect the wrists. As chiropractors, we specialize in the manipulation of joints within the body to ensure proper functioning and health of the nervous system and that includes your wrist joint. Not only will we locate the source and cause of your pain but we will also provide effective treatment options and lifestyle adjustments to ensure your recovery and restore your optimal quality of life.
Treatment will vary based on the severity of your condition, doctor’s recommendations, and lifestyle habits. Rest, cold and warm compresses, and over-the-counter medication can help mild symptoms while more moderate cases may require joint manipulation, bracing, and physical therapy.
Though you cannot fully prevent these conditions from occurring, there are steps you can take to reduce the stress and strain placed on your hands and wrists. We recommend the following tips as preventative measures:
- Adopt a neutral grip or position that keeps the wrist and hand straight
- Give your hands a break for a few minutes every hour to allow them to rest
- Sit up straight with your shoulders squared as a hunched posture can strain your arms and wrists
- Stretch your hands every hour by rolling your wrist, making a fist, and extending your fingers
- When typing, keep your wrist straight and floating above your keyboard
Your keyboard should be level with your forearms to avoid straining while you type.
Wrist pain can be debilitating but that doesn’t mean you have to live with the pain. If you are experiencing wrist pain, seek professional treatment. Regardless of the source of your pain, we will work with you to determine the right treatment plan for your needs. For more information on wrist pain or to schedule an appointment, contact LifeQuest Physical Medicine and Rehab today.