True carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by a pinched nerve in the front of the wrist and causes numbness, tingling, and pain radiating into the hand, thumb, pointer finger, and ring finger. This entrapment will take place around the joints of the wrist and the surrounding tissues.
If it is a true carpal tunnel taking place, a surgical release of the tissues at the front of the wrist will reduce the symptoms. It is aggravated by tasks that require constant finger movement such as typing or sowing. Oftentimes carpal tunnel is misdiagnosed and the entrapment may be coming from further up in the elbow, the shoulder, or the neck and a carpal tunnel release will not fix the problem or the symptoms.
Physical Therapy or chiropractic will properly diagnose where the entrapment is coming from and has been shown to be effective at reducing symptoms and improving function. Wearing a wrist brace may reduce the stress over the carpal tunnel to reduce symptoms.
Pain and stiffness are common symptoms of arthritis. Your wrist and hand is made up of 27 small bones, and inflammation in these areas can be a sign of arthritis. With an area made up of many small bones, arthritis can affect one or many of these bones.
Arthritis attacks your bones by destroying the cartilage, causing your bones to rub against one another. In the beginning stages of arthritis pain may be minimal but as it progresses pain will increase, become more severe, and begin limiting function of the wrist, hand and fingers. In general, arthritis responds well to motion and modalities to reduce inflammation.
A targeted series of exercises is important to reduce pain and to introduce motion that may be lost due to the breakdown of cartilage.
A wrist sprain is the stretching or tearing of the ligaments that are located between the bones in your forearm, wrist, and hand.
A sprained wrist can be caused by a twisting or bending motion of the wrist or fall or trauma and is very common in sports. Depending on the severity a wrist brace or a splint may be required to allow for ligament healing. Once a wrist is sprained the likelihood of additional sprains is high.
Rehabilitation is important to improve muscle stabilization and strength to reduce the risk of additional sprains. Using ice, grade IV laser, and E-stim is useful at reducing inflammation, swelling, and pain to allow for proper healing.
When falling, people tend to reach their arms out to catch themselves. This has been commonly been related to a fracture of the wrist or distal radius and has been coined a FOOSH fracture. Fractures such as Colles’ or Smith fractures of the wrist often happen with this type of injury.
Intense wrist pain and swelling or bruising is common with a FOOSH injury and requires immediate attention and an XRay. A fracture, whether surgery is involved or not, typically requires a 6-week healing period in which the area may be casted or braced. Muscle wasting and muscle atrophy as well as stiffness of the wrist and hand are common following this 6-week period.
Physical Therapy is important to restore normal function.
A finger laceration is characterized by a slice or a cut to the finger. Depending on the depth of the slice or cut it is possible that the tendon of the finger responsible for attaching the muscle to the bone may be affected. A deep finger laceration will require surgery to reattach the ligaments to one another. Scar tissue build up and joint stiffness following finger ligament surgery is very common.
Once cleared by the surgeon it is important to begin regaining motion of the area and begin reducing scar tissue with modalities and manual massage.
Exercises are important to return to a normal function of the hand and fingers.