Wrist/ Hand

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Wrist/ Hand

Carpal Tunnel

Carpal tunnel syndrome is the term for a collection of symptoms in the hand due to pressure on the median nerve in the carpal tunnel area of your wrist.

Pain, numbness, weakness, tingling are all typical symptoms with this problem.  It more commonly occurs with people who use their arms for repetitive tasks such as keyboarding and use of hand tools.  But it can also occur after a trauma such as falling on outstretch arms or by faulty posture and ergonomics.

Symptoms most often occur in the thumb, index finger, middle finger, and half of the ring finger. If you have problems with your other fingers but your little finger is fine, this may be a sign that you have carpal tunnel syndrome. A different nerve gives feeling to the little finger.

The sooner you start treatment, the better your chances of stopping symptoms and preventing long-term damage to the nerve. Treatment usually involves improving posture and ergonomics, improving function of muscles that support the action of the wrist many of which are in the neck, shoulder and upper back, and hands on manual therapy to improve mobility of restricted soft tissues and joints.                                        

Wrist Fracture/Colles Fracture:

Colles fracture is the name given to a fracture of the forearm bone near the wrist called the Radius.  It is commonly caused by falling on to outstretched arms and initially treated with immobilization.  Once the cast or splint is removed there will commonly be weakness and stiffness about the wrist.  Your physical therapist will get the joints and soft tissues about the forearm, wrist and hand to loosen and move well again.  There will also be exercises to restore normal strength and function to the arm.

Wrist Sprain/Strain

Sprains and strains are a type of soft tissue injury  causing inflammation to either the connective tissue around a joint (sprain) or to a muscle or tendon (strain).  They can occur from a trauma like a fall or crash or can occur from repetitive use like in sports, hobbies or labor.  Treatment for these injuries depends on how they occurred and how long they have been present.  A new injury might need support from taping or bracing and things like ice or electrical stimulation to decrease inflammation and pain.  Inflammation causes scarring so soft tissue work will be needed.  Exercise will also be prescribed to restore normal function of the arm.  Keep in mind many times these will involve the muscles of the neck, back and shoulder too.  We also want to educate the person on ways to move more efficiently to help prevent recurrence.

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