Wrist pain can significantly impact daily life. From the time you wake up in the morning to the time you go to bed, your wrists are used thousands of times at home and work. As a result, excessive use of the wrists can unfortunately lead to overuse injuries and uncomfortable symptoms.
Whether caused by injury, overuse, or certain medical conditions, managing wrist pain is crucial for alleviating discomfort and promoting recovery. Wrist pain also needs to be managed if you want to remain functional. An orthopedic surgeon can create a treatment plan for you and effectively reduce the pain in your wrist.
This comprehensive guide provides valuable insights and practical strategies to effectively manage wrist pain and regain optimal functionality.
Understanding Wrist Pain: What Causes It?
Wrist pain can have many causes, and understanding them is essential for effective management. One common cause is a strain, which occurs when muscles or tendons in the wrist are stretched or torn. Another common cause of wrist pain is carpal tunnel syndrome. This condition occurs when the median nerve, which runs through the carpal tunnel in the wrist, becomes compressed or irritated. Wrist pain can also be the result of tendinitis, which is the inflammation of the tendons that connect muscles to bones. In some cases, wrist pain may be caused by fractures or dislocations.
Proven techniques and methods for managing wrist pain include:
Rest the wrist and allow the injured tissues to heal. Avoid activities that aggravate the pain or put strain on the wrist, such as activities that involve repetitive wrist movements, heavy lifting, or gripping. You may need to cut down time spent typing and take a break from cooking. To manage wrist pain, modify your daily routine and alter typical tasks to minimize wrist involvement.
If certain activities are unavoidable, consider using assistive devices to reduce stress and movement of the wrist. Wearing a wrist splint is one way to keep the wrist in a stable position throughout the activity and help prevent worsening pain. A wrist brace may be worn at night to prevent the hand from being in odd positions while you sleep. These assistive devices not only minimize excessive strain but also support the wrist and keep it in proper alignment.
#3 Pain Medication
If your wrist really hurts, you may be able to manage it with over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which are highly effective at reducing inflammation. It is best to take pain medicine as directed for a maximum of a week. If the pain continues, consult an orthopedic doctor.
#4 Cold Therapy
Applying an ice pack or ice wrapped in cloth to the wrist for about 20 minutes at a time can temporarilyhelp improve pain in the wrist.
#5 Heat Therapy
Heat therapy can be helpful in managing certain types of wrist pain, such as arthritis pain. Applying a warm compress or using heat packs can help increase blood flow, relax muscles, and alleviate discomfort. Taking a warm, relaxing bath can also help. Remember to consult a medical professional first, and be cautious about using heat on an acute wrist injury, as it can worsen swelling and delay healing of the injury.
#6 Hand Therapy
Physical therapists or occupational therapists may recommend hand therapy exercises designed to address specific wrist conditions and injuries. The treatment program may include a combination of stretching, range-of-motion exercises, and strengthening exercises, which all help improve wrist strength, flexibility, and stability. Hand therapy exercises should be performed under the guidance of a licensed professional to ensure proper form and technique and effectiveness.
#7 Ergonomic Modifications
Modifying the ergonomics of your workstation and daily activities can help you prevent and recover from wrist pain. Ensuring proper wrist alignment while typing, using a computer mouse, or performing manual tasks is important. There are a range of ergonomic workspace equipment, from chairs and desks to keyboards and mouse devices designed to minimize strain on the body as it engages in repetitive motions at work. If you work at a desk at your job, taking regular breaks to stretch the wrists can alleviate stress on the joints and reduce the risk of further wrist pain.
#8 Alternative Therapies
Several alternative therapies may complement conventional approaches in managing wrist pain. These include acupuncture, massage therapy, chiropractic care, and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS). A lot of individuals have experienced wrist pain relief from alternative therapies. Make sure to choose a provider trained and licensed to provide the treatment you are considering.
#9 Hand Surgery
Sometimes, hand surgery is necessary as a treatment for wrist pain. A highly skilled orthopedic surgeon can perform the following: remove or repair inflamed tissue, replace damaged joints, and realign fractures bones, all to relieve chronic wrist pain. Hand surgery can be done using minimally invasive techniques, which means there is less pain and a faster recovery is possible for most patients.
Is It Time to Seek Medical Attention?
While some of the self-care measures mentioned here can effectively alleviate mild to moderate wrist pain, certain situations require medical attention. If the pain persists or worsens despite conservative management, or if there are signs of severe swelling, deformity, or loss of function, it is important to consult with the right doctor – an orthopedic surgeon. They can provide a comprehensive evaluation, diagnostic tests if necessary, and guide you on appropriate treatment methods.
Wrist pain rarely responds to stand-alone treatments, and it often requires a comprehensive approach. It’s important to look into the underlying causes of wrist pain and make the necessary lifestyle changes if you want lasting relief.
Wrist Pain Treatment in Bismarck, ND
If you are looking for a highly skilled orthopedic hand surgeon for the treatment of wrist pain, choose The Bone & Joint Center. We are a regional leader in the treatment of hand and wrist problems. Our board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons have advanced training in proven and highly advanced techniques for the treatment of wrist problems.