Are you currently experiencing any hand pain or wrist pain?
Your hands contain an amazing collection of nerves, muscles, ligaments and bones. The muscles and nerves which move your hands allow for a range of amazing actions and movements which make us truly unique as human beings.
Hand and Wrist Pain Explained
Hand pain and wrist pain can have a serious impact on your life. We use our hands continuously, and our ability to work and live a normal life depends on having strong, flexible hand.
Hand pain and wrist pain can be caused by injury, overuse, poor posture and arthritis. Sometimes pain or tingling in the hands can come from rather far away - like your neck, shoulder or elbow.
Finding the cause of your hand pain requires some detective work. And there are many causes of pain.
Causes of Hand and Wrist Pain
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
The carpal tunnel is a space within the wrist created by the bone of the wrist and a thick layer of fascia. Nerves, tendons and blood vessels run through this tunnel. If the tunnel is narrowed by inflammation and swelling, these structures can become compressed. This results in pain, numbness, weakness and decreased circulation.
The median nerve runs through the carpal tunnel and provides strength and sensation to the thumb and first and middle fingers.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is when this nerve is squeezed or irritated. If you were to break your wrist, the tunnel could become narrower. And that would have an impact on the nerve, causing numbness, tingling or pain in your hand.
Carpal tunnel syndrome can require surgical decompression if severe. But most cases are managed nicely with conservative therapy like cold laser therapy, soft tissue therapy and acupuncture.
Other Pain You Might Feel
Are you suffering from shoulder pain? Read about what could be causing your shoulder pain.
There are many types of arthritis. The most common is osteoarthritis. The classic symptoms include pain, stiffness, and inflammation. Cartilage thinning and spurring occurs later on in the arthritic process. Pain from osteoarthritis can interfere with the most basic tasks such as walking, driving and cooking. Treatment is focused on controlling symptoms and slowing down the arthritic process through physical therapy, exercise dietary change, nutritional supplements, acupuncture and cold laser therapy.
De Quervain's Tenosynovitis
There are two tendons which attach to your thumb, and control the movement of your thumb. These tendons run through a sheath, or a tunnel, which can become inflamed when you overuse your thumb. The condition is commonly known as ‘texting thumb’ and relate to overuse of mobile devices. The hormonal changes occurring in pregnancy can result in ‘mother's wrist’ or ’mommy thumb’. Tenosynovitis of the thumb can be excrutiating.
Your chiropractor will work on the inflammation first. We often involve our occupational therapists, who will also treat your muscles and look at your specific use of the tendons in your thumb.
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
Hand pain and wrist pain can also be caused by a problem in another part of your body: the space between your collarbone and your first rib, or the thoracic outlet. When nerves or blood vessels in your thoracic outlet are compressed, it can cause pain and/or tingling in your hand. This is why a whole-body diagnosis is important. Thoracic outlet syndrome could be caused by an injury, overuse of your arms and shoulders, poor posture, or you could be born with an extra rib.
Injury to one or more supporting ligaments in the hand or wrist can occur through injury or overuse. The tear can be partial or complete. Sprains can be very painful and are accompanied by swelling, stiffness and weakness of the hand or wrist. Partial tears can be successfully treated with cold laser, acupuncture and nutritional supplements. Proper treatment of a damaged ligament ensures optimal healing and quick recovery.
Biomechanical joint dysfunction or fixation describes the locking up of a joint. Joints in the wrist or hand can become fixated though overuse or injury. Gentle chiropractic adjustments can unlock a fixated joint, often resulting in rapid relief of pain and weakness.
Muscle strain refers to an overstretching and possibly a tear of the muscle fibers. Stains range from mild to severe. Overuse, unaccustomed use or injury can all result in painful muscle strain. Your hand and forearm contain many muscles which are prone to injury. Painful nodules in the forearm muscles, called trigger points, can refer pain to the hand and wrist. Proper assessment of the hand and forearm muscles enables us to treat a muscle strain and trigger points easily and efficiently.
What Can You Do About Hand and Wrist Pain?
At Burswood Health we always start by finding the cause of your problem. We arrive at a diagnosis and then clearly explain the nature of your problem and discuss treatment options. A typical treatment plan for hand pain may include adjustments and manipulation, cold laser therapy, acupuncture and soft tissue therapy. An active care program will be prescribed with exercises to strengthen your hands and recommendations to counteract repetitive movements and improve posture. Nutritional supplements and dietary advice is often used to enhance healing and decrease inflammation.
If necessary, we can refer you to our multi-disciplinary team that consists of chiropractic care and soft tissue occupational therapy. The first step is to book an appointment with one of our chiropractors at Burswood Health. Our friendly staff are here to help you get the relief you need.