Hand & Wrist Pain

Hand & wrist pain refers to discomfort experienced in the structures of the hand and wrist, including bones, joints, muscles, tendons, and nerves.

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Hand & Wrist Pain
Hand & Wrist Pain
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Your Guide to Understanding Hand & Wrist Pain

What is Hand & Wrist Pain?

Hand and wrist pain refers to discomfort or aching sensations experienced in the structures of the hand and wrist, including the bones, joints, muscles, tendons, and nerves. It is a common condition that can affect people of all ages, from athletes and office workers to those with underlying health conditions.

There are several potential causes of hand and wrist pain. One common cause is overuse or repetitive strain injuries, which occur when the hand and wrist are subjected to repeated motions or activities such as typing, using a computer mouse, playing a musical instrument, or engaging in sports that involve gripping or repetitive hand movements. Over time, these repetitive actions can lead to inflammation, strain, or micro-tears in the tissues of the hand and wrist, resulting in pain and discomfort.

Injuries such as sprains, strains, fractures, or dislocations can also cause hand and wrist pain. These injuries can occur due to falls, accidents, direct trauma, or excessive force applied to the hand or wrist. Additionally, conditions like arthritis (such as osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis), carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis, bursitis, ganglion cysts, or nerve impingements can contribute to hand and wrist pain.

The symptoms of hand and wrist pain can vary, but commonly include pain, swelling, stiffness, tenderness, limited range of motion, weakness, numbness, or tingling sensations. The intensity and location of the pain can also vary depending on the underlying cause.

To diagnose and treat hand and wrist pain, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional, such as a physiotherapist, chiropractor, or naturopathic doctor. They will perform a thorough evaluation, which may include a physical examination, medical history review, and potentially diagnostic tests such as X-rays or MRI scans. Treatment options may include rest, activity modification, heat or cold therapy, pain medication, splinting or bracing, physical therapy exercises, ergonomic modifications, and in some cases, surgical intervention.

Prevention is key in managing hand and wrist pain. Practicing proper ergonomics, taking regular breaks during activities that strain the hand and wrist, maintaining good posture, using supportive equipment, and engaging in exercises to strengthen the hand and wrist muscles can help prevent or minimize the risk of developing hand and wrist pain.

How can Chiropractic help treat Hand & Wrist Pain?

Chiropractic services can provide effective relief for hand and wrist pain by addressing the underlying causes of the discomfort. Chiropractors focus on assessing and correcting any imbalances in the spine, which can contribute to referred pain in the hands and wrists.

By utilizing gentle adjustments and manipulation techniques, chiropractors can restore proper mobility to the affected joints and reduce inflammation. Additionally, they may use soft tissue therapies such as myofascial release or stretching exercises to alleviate tension and improve flexibility in the surrounding muscles and tendons. With a holistic approach, chiropractic services can help alleviate hand and wrist pain, improve function, and promote overall wellness.

What causes Hand & Wrist Pain?

Hand and wrist pain can be caused by a variety of factors. One common cause is overuse or repetitive strain injuries. This occurs when we perform repetitive motions or activities that put strain on the hand and wrist, such as typing, using a computer mouse, playing musical instruments, or participating in sports that involve gripping or repetitive hand movements. Over time, these repetitive actions can lead to inflammation, strain, or small tears in the tissues of the hand and wrist, resulting in pain.

Injuries are another common cause of hand and wrist pain. Falls, accidents, direct trauma, or excessive force applied to the hand or wrist can result in sprains, strains, fractures, or dislocations. These injuries can cause immediate pain and may require medical attention for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Certain underlying conditions can also contribute to hand and wrist pain. Arthritis, such as osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, can cause inflammation and stiffness in the joints of the hand and wrist, leading to pain. Other conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis, bursitis, ganglion cysts, or nerve impingements can also result in hand and wrist pain.

What treatments might help Hand & Wrist Pain?

The treatment for hand and wrist pain aims to reduce inflammation, alleviate pain, and improve mobility. Here are some common approaches that can help:

  • Rest: Giving your hand and wrist adequate rest is crucial for healing. Avoid activities that exacerbate the pain and allow time for the affected area to recover.
  • Ice or Heat: Applying ice or heat to the sore area can help reduce inflammation and provide pain relief. Use a cold pack wrapped in a cloth or a warm compress, depending on what feels more soothing.
  • Over-the-counter Medications: Non-prescription anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, may help alleviate pain and reduce inflammation. Always follow the instructions and consult a healthcare professional if needed.
  • Compression and Elevation: If there is swelling, gently wrapping the hand or wrist with an elastic bandage can provide support and help reduce inflammation. Elevating the hand or wrist above heart level can also aid in reducing swelling.
  • Hand Therapy: Engaging in hand therapy exercises, under the guidance of a professional, can improve strength, flexibility, and range of motion. These exercises are tailored to your specific condition and can promote healing.
  • Splinting: Wearing a splint or brace can immobilize the hand or wrist, providing stability and allowing for proper healing. Consult with a healthcare professional to determine if splinting is appropriate for your situation.

Signs of Hand & Wrist Pain:

Hand and wrist pain can manifest in various ways. Here are some common signs and symptoms to look out for:

  • Pain: You may experience aching, throbbing, or sharp pain in your hand or wrist. The pain can range from mild to severe and may worsen with certain movements or activities.
  • Swelling: Swelling or inflammation in the hand or wrist is a common symptom of pain. It can make the affected area appear puffy or feel tender to the touch.
  • Stiffness: Hand and wrist pain can cause stiffness, making it difficult to move the affected joints freely. You may feel tightness or resistance when trying to perform simple tasks involving your hands and wrists.
  • Reduced Range of Motion: Pain and stiffness can lead to a decreased range of motion in your hand and wrist. You may find it challenging to fully bend, straighten, or rotate your hand or wrist as you normally would.
  • Weakness: Hand and wrist pain can result in weakness or a feeling of reduced grip strength. You may have difficulty grasping objects firmly or performing activities that require fine motor skills.
  • Numbness or Tingling: In some cases, hand and wrist pain can be accompanied by sensations of numbness, tingling, or pins and needles. These sensations may extend from the hand and wrist into the fingers.

Symptoms of Hand & Wrist Pain:

Hand and wrist pain can present with various symptoms. Here are some common ones to watch for:

  • Pain: You may experience discomfort, ranging from a dull ache to sharp or shooting pain in your hand or wrist. The intensity of the pain can vary based on the underlying cause.
  • Swelling: Hand and wrist pain often leads to swelling, causing the affected area to appear swollen or puffy. The swelling may be localized or spread throughout the hand and wrist.
  • Stiffness: Many individuals with hand and wrist pain experience stiffness, making it difficult to move the joints freely. You may notice reduced flexibility and find it challenging to perform regular tasks.
  • Limited Range of Motion: Pain and stiffness can result in a decreased range of motion. You may have trouble fully bending, extending, or rotating your hand and wrist as you normally would.
  • Weakness: Hand and wrist pain can weaken the grip strength and overall hand function. You may struggle with holding objects firmly or performing tasks that require fine motor skills.
  • Numbness or Tingling: Some individuals with hand and wrist pain may also experience sensations of numbness, tingling, or a "pins and needles" feeling. These sensations may radiate from the hand and wrist into the fingers.
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When is the right time to see a Chiropractor for Hand & Wrist Pain?

It is recommended to see a chiropractor for hand and wrist pain when the pain persists, becomes chronic, or significantly impacts your daily activities. If you experience ongoing discomfort, swelling, stiffness, reduced range of motion, weakness, or numbness in your hand or wrist, it may be a sign that professional intervention is necessary.

Additionally, if your hand and wrist pain is the result of an injury or accident, seeking early treatment from a healthcare professional is important to prevent further damage and promote proper healing. It's also advisable to consult with a healthcare provider if the pain worsens, interferes with your ability to perform tasks, or if over-the-counter pain medications or self-care measures are not providing relief.

Meet our Lead Chiropractor

Dr. Brett Herlehy

Dr. Brett Herlehy

Chiropractor

Doctor of Chiropractic from New York Chiropractic College

Dr. Brett enjoys working with active individuals looking to reach the next level and also anyone who is trying to incorporate more physical activity into their daily lives.

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Physiotherapist Brittany Pereira working with client at Anchor Health and Performance Clinic Mississauga
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