Wrist pain can manifest itself in many ways, from simple weakness to searing pain. And the causes of wrist pain are just as vast. The wrist is complex and performs complex movements. Additionally, nerves, muscles, bones, and other tissues not only of the wrist itself but of the fingers, hand, forearm, elbow, upper arm, and spine can also be involved in wrist pain.
Many times, wrist pain can be alleviated through noninvasive treatment options that physical medicine offers including the drug-free and surgery-free options available to you in Chiropractic.
Types of Wrist Pain & Symptoms of Wrist Problems
If you are experiencing a medical problem related to your wrist, you may feel the pain or other symptoms not only in your wrist but the affected hand and fingers too. Sensations associated with wrist pain include
- excessively hot or cold
- Other symptoms of wrist problems include swelling and trouble moving the wrist.
Causes of Wrist Pain
Wrist pain can be caused by any of a number of different reasons. It can be caused by normal wear and tear, by overuse, by injury, or through the natural aging processes, or a systemic disease process to name a few of the more common causes.
Wrist pain caused by any reason should get an accurate diagnosis and can benefit greatly from medical attention by a qualified healthcare provider.
Early diagnosis makes it easier to avoid more serious symptoms and have a quick and complete recovery. Delaying diagnosis could have adverse affects on the joint’s ability to heal as well as reduced range of motion and potential long-term disability.
Common Causes of Wrist Pain we see in our office include:
Although the list of causes of wrist pain is lengthy, there are a handful of causes that we most commonly see and successfully treat by adjusting the affected joint, providing rest, ice, massage, physiotherapy and modalities, and rehabilitative care depending on the condition and your treatment goals.
Tendonitis – frequently experienced as a sharp, stabbing pain, tendonitis is the inflammation of a tendon and can occur at any joint in the body. Read more about chiropractic treatment for wrist pain caused by tendonitis.
Peripheral Nerve Entrapments – otherwise known as a pinched nerve, this is when a nerve becomes literally impinged or entrapped by the surrounding tissue, be that bone, muscle, tendon, or cartilage.
Pronator Syndrome – this is a peripheral entrapment neuropathy that occurs when the median nerve of the arm becomes compressed between muscles of the forearm. It is frequently mistaken for carpal tunnel syndrome, which involves the same median nerve but with compression at the wrist (for CTS) rather than at the elbow (for pronator syndrome). Prolonged gripping, twisting, and pronation, as in working with construction equipment, can lead to this condition.
- Cubital Tunnel Syndrome – when pressure is put on the ulnar nerve of the hand, it can cause the ring finger and pinky finger to swell and become weak or clumsy. Pain, numbness, and tingling in these two fingers are also symptoms of cubital tunnel syndrome. Though it affects these two fingers, the source of the problem is by the elbow, where the ulnar nerve gets compressed by a small bony bump on the inner elbow, the site commonly referred to as the “funny bone”.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – when pressure is put on the median nerve, it can cause pain and numbness or tingling sensation in the thumb and the closest next two and one-half fingers.
- Tunnel of Guyon – this condition once again involves the ulnar nerve, only this time the point of compression is in the Guyon tunnel, a canal in the wrist through which the ulnar nerve passes into the palm of the hand and through to the ring and pinky fingers. Although this condition is similar to carpal tunnel syndrome, it involves an entirely different nerve. This condition is common among bikers and bicyclists.
- Radial Tunnel Syndrome – this happens when the radial nerve becomes compressed in a canal in the elbow called the radial tunnel. Symptoms of this condition are often mistaken for tennis elbow.
Wrist Pain Caused By Injury
There are two types of injuries that can cause wrist pain:
- Sudden impacts (such as falling from a great height) can result in fractures, sprains, strains, and contusions (bruising).
- Repetitive stress injuries (such as continuous typing on a keyboard).
Wrist Sprain / Strain – A minor injury that causes a sprain or strain can often be tended at home with ice, and keeping the wrist still. It is important however, to get this diagnosis from us or another qualified healthcare provider before administering self-care to make sure that it is not anything more serious that can cause prolonged or permanent damage.
Anterior Interosseous Syndrome – isolated muscle weakness caused by damage to the anterior interosseous nerve, this condition can lead to partial paralysis of the forearm.
Dorsal Impaction Syndrome – This condition is common in those engaged in weight-bearing activities that involve hyperextension, such as gymnastics and weight lifting.
Traumatic Injuries – If the doctor finds or suspects a fracture in your wrist during examination, then he will diagnose the fracture and refer you to an orthopedic surgeon.
Overuse and Repetitive Strain – when the muscles of and related to the wrist are constantly held in the same position and used in the same motion for prolonged periods, then they can become inflamed and/or compressed between other surrounding tissues, and cause any of the above-mentioned symptoms. Chronic repetitive gripping and twisting of the arm are particularly involved in wrist pain.
Arthritis – Both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis – can be associated with wrist pain. Read more about chiropractic treatment option available for arthritis wrist pain.
Chiropractic for Wrist Pain
At your first visit with us, your chiropractic physician will go over your medical history, discuss your symptoms with you, and perform a physical examination. In some instances X-ray, MRI, or a Bone Scan may be ordered. The doctor will then address not only the symptoms but the root cause of your wrist pain using one or more of the most appropriate chiropractic techniques available. This may include adjusting the affected joint to restore proper functionality, immobilization (i.e. a splint), and cold or heat. In rare cases, orthopedic evaluation may be called for, in which case the doctor would refer you to the appropriate orthopedic, physiatrist, or surgical specialist.
If you are experiencing wrist pain of any sort, it is important that you don’t delay. Contact us now to learn about all of our chiropractic services
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