What Causes Wrist And Hand Injuries & How Are They Treated?
Physiotherapy is very effective in treating wrist and hand injuries. We use a variety of treatments including massage and joint mobilisations, ultrasound, TENS, heat packs or ice. We will assess your range of motion and muscle strength in order to design an individualised exercise program to target your specific weaknesses. Depending on the injury, we can fit you with a brace or splint to immobilise the affected joint and promote optimum healing.
How Do Wrist Fractures Occur & How Does Physiotherapy Treat It?
Wrist fractures can occur when falling on an outstretched hand, during contact sports, or in motor vehicle crashes. Some of the most common fractures include fractured radius and/or ulna, and scaphoid fractures. Each fracture requires specific rehabilitation based on where the injury is and whether the fracture is stable or not. Unstable fractures will require surgical fixation. Stable fractures are treated by stabilising the area, which either be with a splint, brace or cast. This prevents excessive load to the affected bone, helps alleviate pain, and allows for appropriate healing and function. Once your specialist has determined that the fracture is stable and is healing well, Physiotherapy will commence to help restore your range of motion, as it is common to develop significant stiffness after a period of immobility. Once you have adequate movement, we work on restoring your strength and stability so that you can get back to doing what you love.
What Is Carpal Tunnel & Its Symptoms?
Carpal tunnel is a painful condition caused by pressure on the median nerve as it runs through the carpal tunnel of the wrist. It is caused when the pressure inside the tunnel becomes too high. This can be due to swelling eg after a traumatic injury, repetitive hand movements, arthritis, or pregnancy.
Common symptoms include:
Pins and needles.
The pain is often very significant at night when the wrist is in a bent position. You may also feel weaker in your grip and experience a loss of hand function. In mild to moderate cases, Physiotherapy is beneficial in relieving carpal tunnel pain through joint mobilisations, nerve and tendon gliding exercises, as well as stretching and strength work for your wrist and hand. We can also provide you with a splint for nighttime which will limit wrist bending and therefore reduce your night pain. In more severe cases, surgical intervention may be necessary, followed by physiotherapy to help restore your range of motion and strength.
What Is De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis & How Is It Caused?
De Quervain’s tenosynovitis affects the two tendons that travel along the edge of the wrist to the thumb. The tendons become thickened and inflamed, constricting movement and causing irritation. This inflammation can be caused by repetitive hand and thumb motions such as grasping, pinching or squeezing. You will often feel pain on the thumb side of your forearm near the wrist, and when left untreated the pain may spread up the forearm or further down into the thumb. You may also find it difficult to grasp objects. Physiotherapy will involve soft tissue massage to help relieve tightness as well as pain relieving modalities like ultrasound and TENS. You will be prescribed a range of motion exercises, gentle stretches and grip strengthening work. Your Physiotherapist will give you advice on how to modify any activities at work or home that are putting too much stress on your thumb and wrist. A splint may be necessary in the initial stages to allow the tendons to rest and begin healing.
What Is Hand And Wrist Arthritis & How Does Physio Help Treat It?
Hand and wrist osteoarthritis is a common source of pain as we get older. Research has found that exercise is the best way of controlling arthritic pain, by improving your flexibility and strengthening your muscles, therefore improving your everyday function. Physiotherapy utilises manual techniques such as massage and joint mobilisations to help relieve stiffness and muscle tightness. We also use ultrasound, heat packs and TENS for pain relief. We will prescribe you with an exercise program consisting of stretches and strengthening work which will ultimately help you to improve your hand function and get back to doing all the activities that you love. We can also supply you with a soft brace for support if necessary so you can still do your heavier housework or gardening if you wish. We will also give you advice on what activities you can do, and which ones you should avoid, as well as how much exercise and rest you should have. We can give you advice on specific sports or physical exercise if required.
How Are Repetitive Strain Injury Caused & How Does Physiotherapy Help It?
Repetitive strain injuries are often a more chronic condition, which develop over time due to excessive forces through the hand and wrist. Physiotherapy will help through soft tissue releases to loosen up the muscles and promote blood flow to the area. We also use ultrasound, heat packs and TENS for pain relief. We will provide you with a comprehensive exercise program that will consist of stretches and strength work. We will give you valuable advice on how you can modify your aggravating activities to prevent this from recurring again. We can also provide you with protective guards such as a wrist brace that you can wear during the day for extra support and to take the pressure off the affected area. We will advise you on when to wear the brace and for how long so that it doesn’t cause weakness from long term use.
Wrist Pain Can Also Be Referred Pain From The Neck.
Pain in the wrist and hand can sometimes be referred to from the neck. The nerves that originate in the neck supply power and feeling to the muscles in your wrist and hand. If these nerves get irritated or compressed, this can cause pain down the arm, and into the wrist and hand. In more severe cases you may experience pins and needles or numbness. Physiotherapy will help to alleviate your pain through joint mobilisations of the neck and soft tissue massage. We also use ultrasound, heat packs and TENS for pain relief. We provide you with a comprehensive exercise program that consists of stretches and strength work. We also look at your posture to determine if this may be contributing to your pain. We will provide you with corrective exercises and give you advice on your workstation setup.