How hand and wrist pain can be treated with physiotherapy


How hand and wrist pain can be treated with physiotherapy

Everything we do revolves around the use of our hands. Whether we’re cooking, playing sport, eating, driving or texting our mates; we would be very limited without the amount of functions our hands can perform.

Your hand and wrist contain a total of 27 bones, 34 muscles and over 100 ligaments and tendons.

All that hardware means there’s a whole laundry list of things that can cause pain.

Conditions like De Quervain’s tenosynovitis restrict thumb movements, cause pain along the thumb side of the wrist, decrease grip strength and can hang around and recur without the right treatment.

This means that hand and wrist injuries require special guidance and knowledge from a Northern Beaches physio to treat and leave them in the past.

Why do I have hand and wrist pain?

Using a computer all day is the most common cause, believe it or not.

At first glance, boring old computer use might seem low stress on the body but it easily contributes to a large portion of the neck pain, back pain, headache, wrist fatigue, shoulder fatigue and carpal tunnel syndrome we see here at Fixio.

All those hours spent leaning over your desk is very taxing on your hands and wrists due to typing, writing and poor body posture. Some people keep typing until they get pins and needles or numbness in their fingers, or pain and swelling in their wrist or fingers. You need to be taking a break long before that point.

Other common causes of hand and wrist pain include:

  • Overuse
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Wrist tendinitis 
  • Menopause
  • Getting older
  • Wrist & Hand Osteoarthritis
  • Inflammatory arthritis
  • Trigger finger
  • Dupuytren’s contracture

How do physiotherapists treat hand and wrist injuries?

With there being so many possibilities when it comes to hand and wrist injuries, there are a range of treatments used by physios.

The bespoke treatment plan for your hand and wrist injury depends on the type and extent of your injury and is guided by a thorough assessment by your Fixio physio. Injuries like fractures and ligament injuries may require immobilisation, while overuse injuries may require specific stretching exercises or modification to your work equipment or technique.

When you meet with your physio, we will be looking for clues to help with our evidence based diagnosis.

  • Inspectingthe palm and dorsal surfaces of the hands for any obvious joint swelling, deformity, skin discoloration and the presence of cysts or nodules is one of the first steps we will take to diagnose your pain.
  • We’ll measure your Range of motion by opening and closing your hand to help determine the number of affected joints, and assess the severity of your condition. An inability to flex or extend may suggest an underlying tendon disruption, displacement, or dislocation.
  • You’ll have Strength testingthat can include resisted motion in both flexion and extension across each joint in your hand.
  • This might include Grip strength testing for a measurement of the integrity and strength of the muscles of your hand and forearm. Reduced grip strength is a symptom of nearly every hand and wrist complaint though, so it’s only a small piece of the puzzle.

For specific advice regarding your wrist pain, get in touch with your expert local Northern Beaches physio ASAP.


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