Unless you’ve got wrist pain, you’ve probably never given your wrists much thought.
But did you know that each wrist is made up of 8 delicate bones? Beyond bones, your wrists also contain nerves and tendons that are all susceptible to injury.
With this in mind, it’s not very surprising that wrist injuries are relatively common. However, wrist pain can indicate any number of different diagnoses, and each warrants different treatment styles.
Read on if you’re here to learn more about common wrist injuries and their treatments.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a chronic pain condition that’s often caused by overuse. It’s similar to wrist tendonitis but affects the nerves rather than the tendons. Carpal tunnel syndrome develops when the hand’s nerves are squeezed, which causes inflammation in the wrist.
The most common symptoms are pain, tingling, stiff fingers, weakness, and shock-like sensations.
Because carpal tunnel syndrome is an overuse disorder, it’s most common in office and manual workers. However, people with hypermobility are often predisposed to developing carpal tunnel syndrome.
If you have a job that requires repetitive wrist movement, prevention is key. Make sure to take adequate breaks and wear wrist supports if necessary.
The treatment for this type of wrist pain is usually rest, over-the-counter pain medication, wrist splints, and sometimes physiotherapy. In severe cases, steroid injections can be given.
One of the most common injuries to the wrist is sprains. A sprained wrist is an injury to the ligaments and can happen after a fall or other physical impact.
Sprains cause swelling, pain, bruising, and reduced movement. If you suspect a wrist sprain, visit your healthcare provider immediately. Once diagnosed, they’re classified as grade 1, 2, or 3 depending on the severity.
Minor sprains (grade 1) usually resolve without intervention as the ligament only suffered a stretch; rest, ice, compression, and elevation should be enough.
More severe sprains may need surgery because the ligament can tear partially (grade 2) or completely (grade 3).
A wrist fracture means that any of the wrist bones have broken or cracked. A fracture is usually the result of a hard fall onto your outstretched hand.
The symptoms are difficulty moving the wrist, swelling, finger tingling, or visible deformity. You should seek emergency care if you think you may have damage to any wrist bone.
Fractures are treated within the orthopedics specialty, and you’ll usually need to have bones re-set and then wear a cast. More severe fractures will require surgery before you can get a cast.
Most Common Wrist Injuries Explained
Now you know more about common wrist injuries, you’ll know whether it’s time to visit the doctor! All of these injuries are treatable, but it’s vital that you get timely and high-quality treatment.
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