The wrist is one of the most complicated joints that have a network of ligaments, tendons, and bones. It bridges the hand to our forearm and thanks to our wrist we can do all sorts of common activities.
But with such a complex joint can also come plenty of complex problems that may or may not be fully treatable. Here, we will talk about the 5 most common wrist problems and how you can deal with them.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is one of the most common conditions that can cause pain, numbness and tingling sensations in the hand or arm. This happens when major nerves become squeezed or compressed. In many cases, this condition can get worse over time, so early diagnosis and treatment are very important. Carpal tunnel syndrome can be caused by heredity, repetitive hand use, improper hand and wrist position and other health conditions like diabetes.
Carpal tunnel syndrome can be treated in either nonsurgical or surgical ways. Some of the nonsurgical methods include wearing a compression sleeve, wrist brace or wrist gloves that will offer the right support for your wrists. It will also keep you from moving your wrist while sleeping keeping it in place. There are also some medications you can use, changing the daily activities that may cause you pain. There are also nerve gliding exercises that can be recommended by your doctor and steroid injections.
Wrists are made up of many small and delicate joints which arthritis can severely damage. Once your wrists are attacked by arthritis they can cause pain, stiffness, weakness, swelling, limited range of motion and become inflamed. Arthritis destroyed cartilage which causes bones to rub against one another and why people can experience clicking, cracking and other sounds among other painful problems.
There are four types of wrist arthritis and those are osteoarthritis which develops over time, rheumatoid arthritis which as autoimmune disease, psoriatic arthritis which is an inflammatory skin and joint disease and posttraumatic arthritis which occurs after an injury.
Arthritis still can’t be fully cured but some treatments can help people relieve pain. One of the most common treatments people use is wearing arthritis gloves, braces and limit activities that cause pain in the writs. You can do some joint exercises at home as well to relieve some pain which includes wrist range of motion or wrist stretches. Some people also claim that applying heat or ice helps with pain and reduces swelling.
Tendinitis or tendonitis is another very common wrist condition that is essentially an inflammation of the tendon which is a thick cord that attaches bones to muscles. This condition is mostly caused by a repetitive movement which can either result in minor pain or in a major injury.
Tendinitis can be caused by activities like gardening, carpentry, cleaning your house, shoveling painting and so on. Symptoms of tendonitis include pain which is located on the tendon and surrounding area. You should always make sure you have enough calcium because a lack of calcium can worsen the pain.
There are several things you can do to relieve pain and those are the avoidance of activities that cause you pain or aggravate the problem, you can rest, use ice treatment on the injured area, or use some medicine and medicinal gels. Your condition should be better after a week or so, if not you should definitely see your doctor.
Strains and Sprains
Wrist sprains and strains are very common injuries and mostly occurs to all sorts of athletes. A moment of carelessness or a loss of balance is all that is needed to sprain your wrist. The pain occurs because the ligaments that connect the wrist and the hand get stretched which results in tears or sometimes even a complete break of the ligament.
A wrist sprain manifests in swelling of the wrist a feeling of tenderness and warmth sensations around the wrists, sometimes you can feel popping or tearing, there is bruising, you can lose motion and feel weakness. To be absolutely sure you sprained your wrist you can either have an X-ray or an MRI.
The wrist sprain can be treated by completely resting your hand for at least 48 hours. To avoid swelling ice the injured area and put the ice on for around half an hour every two to three hours. You can also compress the wrist with a bandage and if you want to further relieve the pain you can take some painkillers Advil or Aleve.
Fractures most often occur when people try to catch themselves during a fall because we instinctively try to stretch our hand while landing. This can result in either cracking one or more of your bones in your wrist. For people who are athletes, there is even a greater chance of a fracture than for people who don’t do any sports.
The most important thing when treating a fraction is to react as soon as possible otherwise the bones might not heal weel which can result in many future complications which can prevent you from enjoying or doing normal everyday activities.
The most common symptoms of a broken wrist are severe pain that can get worse with moving your writs, swelling, tenderness and bruising. The only solution to healing a broken bone is by immediately going to a doctor but you can do some things to build bone strength in order to prevent you from being in a cast for a while.
Some of those things include eating a healthy diet that contains a lot of calcium and vitamin D, getting plenty of exercises that strengthen your muscles and to quit smoking if you are a smoker.
Although some of these conditions are more serious like arthritis, there are things we can do to at least feel less pain. Investing in a good wrist brace, sleeve or glove is of the utmost importance for people who don’t have another solution. Also doing some therapeutic gentle exercises, if recommended by your doctor, can also help in reducing pain and gaining some mobility. The key to strong bones is calcium and a vitamin D rich diet that help strengthen the bones and can prevent these conditions.