An Introduction To Physical Therapy
Any wrist or hand injury can make the easiest of tasks difficult, whether it be gripping your steering wheel, getting dressed, tying your shoes, or even grabbing a can out of the pantry. Physical therapy, also known as physiotherapy, has been around since the early 1800s. Exercises can be customized to meet the needs of each patient no matter their age, restrictions, condition, or injury type. The goal of physical therapy is to provide rehabilitation as well as prevention and risk reduction training.
Physical therapy exercises help patients manage pain and make a world of difference by increasing mobility, improving strength, creating proper alignment, and restoring function. There are several basic types of physical therapy modalities related to wrist and hand pain.
Wrist Physical Therapy Effective Exercises For Rehabilitation & Strengthening
As one of the most active joints in the body, the wrist can be very susceptible to injury. Fractures, sprains, tendonitis, tenosynovitis, ligament tears, breaks the list goes on there are so many different types of wrist injuries that affect people today. But no matter what your injury, it is important to make sure that you rehabilitate fully by practicing effective wrist physical therapy.
The Importance Of Stretching Wrists And Hands
Wrist exercises increase flexibility and help lower the risk of injury. Stretches are recommended as a preventive measure or to ease slight pain. However, they should not be used by people with inflammation or serious joint damage unless recommended by a healthcare professional. This is because, in those cases, exercise could cause more harm to your wrists or hands.
Always speak with your doctor before attempting new stretches or treatments. Its important to determine the exact cause of your wrist pain first.
There are several easy wrist stretches you can do at your desk at work.
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Who Treats Elbow Wrist And Hand Pain
Sucking it up and dealing with the pain is never a good solution when the elbow, wrist, or hand is involved. The function of the lower arm is too important not to take action. So who should you ask for help? You have a few options.
- A certified hand therapist : A CHT is either a physical therapist or occupational therapist that has undergone extensive special training including 4,000 hours of direct hand care and 3 years of clinical experience.2
- A physical therapist: Particularly one certified in orthopedics or CHT.
- An occupational therapist: Particularly one certified as a CHT.
- Your primary care doctor: Who will most likely refer you to a specialist.
- A specialized physician: Such as an orthopedic surgeon, rheumatologist, or neurologist .
What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
About the width of your thumb, the carpal tunnel is a narrow channel on the palm side of your wrist. The tunnel protects the median nerve and the tendons that bend your fingers. Pressure on the nerve can cause weakness and pain in your wrist and hand and numbness or tingling in some of your fingers. This pressure is caused by crowding or irritation of the median nerve in the carpal tunnel and can lead to CTS.
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Causes Of Hand And Wrist Pain
There are a wide range of conditions that cause hand and wrist pain, including but not limited to:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome Pain in the wrist that stems from irritation and pressure on the carpal tunnel, which houses the ulnar nerve running from your hand through your wrist.
- Arthritis The cartilage in the joints is broken down, causing friction between the bones in the joints. The loose fragments of cartilage also cause pain and difficulty with range of motion.
- Tendinitis Repetitive strain or overuse can irritate the tendons in your hands and wrists, leading to chronic pain.
- Traumatic injury A severe impact or falling on your hand or wrist can cause an injury, such as a fracture or sprain.
Playing A Virtual Piano App
Getting back to playing instruments is a great occupational therapy hand exercisebecause it is afunctional activity. An alternative if you dont have an instrument. To work download a virtual piano- or guitar-playing app and practice on your phone.
When you resume an activity you have done prior to your stroke, the brain remembers the movement pattern and naturally activates the normal muscle motion.
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Wrist Physical Therapy Made Simple With Powerball
There are a variety of techniques and exercises that are effective for wrist physical therapy. Range of motion exercises along with stretching and strengthening exercises will most likely be recommended by your doctor or physiotherapist to help you rehabilitate and re-train your wrist after injury. While these types of exercises are very beneficial, we recommend that you supplement them with isometric exercise in order to achieve maximum recovery results.
Powerball is one of the most effective isometric exercisers in the world. At only the size of an apple, Powerball is a physician-approved gyroscope that is used by over 4 million people worldwide to effectively rehabilitate and strengthen their upper-body limbs.
Experience the results for yourself spin Powerball for just 3 minutes a day to benefit from fast and effective wrist physical therapy.
Continue reading for recommended wrist physical therapy exercises and more information on Powerballs incredible rehabilitation benefits.
Guide To Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects approximately 1% of the United States population. RA often results in pain and inflammation in joints on both sides of the body and can become disabling due to its effect on the immune system. A physical therapist can help manage the symptoms of RA, enhancing an individuals quality of life.
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Hand & Wrist Fractures
Symptoms of Wrist or Hand Fracture
- Severe pain worsening when gripping or moving the hand and wrist
- Visible deformity on the wrist
Treatment and Management
Hand and wrist treatment physical therapy also helps manage this condition. We create a plan to help you improve your strength on the hand, wrist, and thumb. Surgery is also an option where it helps in releasing the tendon sheath allowing better movements. After about 10-14 days, you can start physical therapy.
Medication manages pain, while antibiotics are suitable for an open wound to prevent an infection. Physical therapy for hand and wrist fractures helps in reducing stiffness and restoring movement on the arm.
Increase Wrist Flexibility & Range Of Motion
Reduce stiffness, enhance flexibility and increase circumduction in the wrist joint its as easy as spinning Powerball. Exercising with Powerball increases the production of synovial fluid with lubricates the wrist joint. This in turn reduces any pain and stiffness caused by injury and allows you to gain power, increase flexibility and recover strength in the wrist. All it takes is 3 minutes a day with Powerball to start seeing the benefits of this unique gyroscope.
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Strengthen As You Recover
Powerball is so effective for wrist physical therapy because of its ability to build strength and rehabilitate at the same time. As your muscles and tendons are healing, they are also fully engaged by Powerballs isometric resistance. This resistance delves deep into tissue fibres, actively strengthening your muscles as you recover. This dual action of strengthening and rehabilitation dramatically cuts recovery times and promotes long-lasting rehabilitation results that go muscle-deep.
Exercises To Improve Hand Mobility
If you find daily tasks difficult to do because you suffer from stiffness, swelling, or pain in your hands, the right exercises can help get you back in motion.
Therapists usually suggest specific hand exercises depending on the condition. Some help increase a joint’s range of motion or loosen tight muscles and tendons via stretching. Other exercises strengthen muscles around a joint to generate more power or to build greater endurance.
Below you will find five commonly recommended exercises for hand and wrist problems. However, if your hand condition is painful or debilitating, it’s best to get exercise advice from a physical therapist. All exercises should be done slowly and deliberately, to avoid pain and injury. If you feel numbness or pain during or after exercising, stop and contact your doctor.
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Guide To Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common condition of the wrist and hand that can affect the use of the whole arm. It is caused by pressure on the nerve at the base of the palm . Because of the demands that people place on their hands and wrists, CTS is a common condition affecting 1 out of 20 Americans and can cause pain in the wrist and hand. Surgery for this condition is commonly performed on the wrist and hand. Fortunately for most people who develop CTS, physical therapy treatment can often relieve pain and numbness and restore normal use of the hand, wrist, and arm without the need for surgery.
What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis
RA is classified as an autoimmune diseasea condition where the bodys immune system attacks its tissues. Although the exact cause of RA is not known, doctors have proposed several theories to identify who is most likely to develop it. The cause may be related to a combination of genetics and environmental or hormonal factors. Women are more likely to develop the disease women are diagnosed with RA 3 times more than men. Although RA may begin at any age, most research suggests it often begins in midlife.
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Which Provider Do I Choose For Hand Elbow Or Wrist Pain
Regardless of the underlying cause of your pain, understanding how to protect, heal, and optimize your joints is essential for a sustainable recovery. This is what makes care from any CityPT therapist, particularly a certified hand therapist, your best choice.
If hand therapy doesn’t yield the results you’re seeking, we can always refer you to an orthopedic surgeon or another specialized physician, depending on what we suspect is going on. Overall, having a CityPT physical therapist or occupational therapist as your primary care provider will be a lot better use of time and money because we are specialists.6
Recommended Hand Exercises For Injury Recovery
The exercises listed below are some of the most frequently recommended exercise. These are also great exercises for those generally looking to improve the mobility of their hands.
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Schedule Your First Evaluation
Lets make moves.
Set up your first session with Dr. Ken Clark. Well go over your pain points, lifestyle habits, and goals in order to come up with a tailor-made physical therapy plan for short-term relief and long-term results.
If youre not quite ready to set up an in-person evaluation, feel free to give us a call instead. We can talk through your options and answer any questions you may have.
Glen Burnie Elbow Wrist & Hand Physical Therapy
When I was here to the orthopedics for the carpal tunnel syndrome, the first thing that they talked about was surgery. I immediately got online and ended up finding Atlas. Im so glad I did! Most importantly, my symptoms are gone. But Im also going to miss everyone! Ive weirdly and genuinely looked forward to the crazy exercises like picking pennies out of the putty because of the people here.
Are you experiencing pain in your hands, wrists, or elbows, making even minor everyday activities difficult? We use our elbows, wrists, and hands for driving, preparing food, dressing and much more. Its crucial to receive treatment for painful conditions as quickly as possible and to limit any further damage. A physical therapist can use a variety of techniques to treat pain in your elbows, hands, and wrists. Contact our office to see how physical therapy can help you reduce or even completely eliminate your pain at Atlas Physical Therapy.
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Types Of Hand And Wrist Injuries
Various conditions affect the well-being of your hand and wrist. Generally, most of these conditions are treatable and manageable using hand and wrist physical therapy. Our team carefully examines the conditions extent and formulates a working plan to reduce pain and increase strength. Hand and wrist pain physical therapy can help improve all these conditions.
Can This Injury Or Condition Be Prevented
To prevent wrist tendinitis, physical therapists recommend that you:
- Avoid repetitive wrist and hand movements.
- Warm up the muscles around the wrist and hand before starting an activity.
- Perform regular stretches to maintain flexibility in the wrist and forearm before and after exercise or activity.
- Perform regular upper-body strengthening exercises to enable the wrist and hand to tolerate sports and other activities of daily living, with less stress to the joint.
- Follow joint protection techniques when using the wrist, such as balancing rest with work, and using the larger muscles of the arm for heavier tasks.
- Do not continue an activity that is painful or uncomfortable to the wrist and hand.
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Common Causes Of Hand And Wrist Pain
These are some of the most common injuries, diagnoses, and conditions effecting the wrists and hands. They are unique in both their causes, and the methods we use to help manage them. Click on the injuries below to see detailed information about how physical therapists at Professional treat these conditions.
Hook Fist Intrinsic Flexion
For these exercises, you need to bring your fingers into a claw position. Ensure you keep the first knuckles row straight as you bend the remaining joints as far as they can. You can use the other hand to push the tips further into the clawed fist until you feel them stretch. Hold this position for 10 seconds. Additionally, you can use the thumb and the pointer finger to stretch each finger individually. Repeat the exercise on the other hand.
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Simple Exercises To Heal Your Injured Hand
Hand injuries come with a unique challenge. In addition to the pain, hand injuries can be extremely inconvenient. At Central Orthopedics, our hand surgeons are uniquely qualified to perform restorative surgeries that will help you to resume your normal lifestyle. However, there are simple exercises you can do to expedite your recovery. Based on your individual injury, performing one or more of these hand exercises improves the recovery process. As always, check with your doctor to see which of these is safe for your specific injury.
This post was edited in 2019, from its original version posted on September 15th, 2017. We aim to keep you up to date with the lates in helping you heal after injuries.
Palm Down Wrist Flexion Exercise
Rest your forearm on a table with your hand and wrist hanging off the edge. Keep your palm facing down. Then, lift the back of your hand up.
This movement is more difficult with the palm down instead of up. Try it first without any weight. Then, when youre ready for a challenge, hold a water bottle or light dumbbell in your hand while you perform this hand strengthening exercise.
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Wrist And Hand Physical Therapy Exercises
We use our hands and wrists for so much in everyday life. As a result, it can be very painful, challenging, and frustrating when we lose any of that function because of an injury. While surgery may be the eventual recommendation, physicians tend to first advise on a conservative approach if it makes sense of the patients treatment plan. Wrist and hand physical therapy exercises are often part of orthopedic treatment to get you back to doing what you enjoy the most.
Orthopedic surgeons like ours here at Fort Worth Hand Center refer to a variety of wrist and hand physical therapy exercises. After initial instruction from a trained and educated physical therapy professional, some patients continue in the comfort of their own home for injuries such as:
- Wrist or hand sprains and strains
Questions about your recent wrist or hand injury?
Physical Therapy Following Surgery
If the evaluation reveals that your CTS is more severe, or if your symptoms persist, your physical therapist may refer you to a physician for a surgical consultation. If necessary, surgery will be performed to release the band of tissue that is causing pressure on the median nerve. Physical therapy treatment is important after surgery to help restore strength to the wrist and to learn to modify habits that may have led to symptoms in the first place. Your physical therapy treatment may include:
- Exercises to improve the strength of the wrist/hand muscles and improve function.
- Stretching to improve mobility of the wrist/fingers and improve function.
- Scar management to keep the skin supple and flexible.
- Education regarding appropriate posture and wrist position to avoid carpal tunnel compression in-home/leisure activities.
- A worksite visit or simulation to optimize postures and positions.
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