Friday, June 2, 2023

Why Do I Have Pain In My Wrist And Thumb

How Can I Treat Wrist Pain At Home

Fix Thumb and Wrist Pain With This Hack | GUA SHA

You may need to limit or stop activities that worsen wrist pain. Other at-home therapies include:

  • Cold compress for acute injuries.
  • Warm compress for chronic conditions.
  • Hand exercises guided by occupational- or physical therapy-certified hand therapists.
  • Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , topical NSAIDs applied to the skin .
  • Oral or injected corticosteroid medication.

When To Contact A Doctor

People should contact a doctor if their thumb pain is persistent, severe, or impacts their ability to perform daily tasks and activities.

People should seek immediate medical attention if they believe they may have dislocated or fractured their thumb. Some signs to look out for include:

  • inability to move the thumb
  • swelling or warmth in or around the thumb
  • a thumb that appears crooked or feels unstable

To diagnose the underlying cause of thumb pain, a doctor will conduct a physical examination and ask about potential causes. If the cause of the pain is unclear, the doctor may order imaging tests, such as an X-ray, MRI, or ultrasound.

Things You Can Do To Avoid Making The Pain Worse

Managing your pain is the best way to treat thumb and wrist pain and will help you recover quicker.

You should do things to try and ensure your pain does not get worse.

Things you could do are:

  • change how you move your hand and wrist until symptoms begin to ease
  • scoop your baby up with your sore hand under their bottom – this can be more comfortable
  • keep your wrist rigid – this avoids pain irritation
  • avoid wrist movements like opening the lid on a jar that is quite tight
  • avoid using your thumb to grip objects

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What To Do About De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis Aka Mommy Thumb

By Michael Hwang, MD, orthopedics and sports medicine

Follow the outer edge of your thumb down past the knuckles to where it meets your wrist, and youll land in a spot that is a common cause of pain for many adults. This is where two tendons that run along the thumb side of the wrist pass through a narrow tunnel to connect to the base of the thumb. These tendons help you grip, grasp and pinch with your hand, but if the tunnel becomes inflamed, the tendons can become pinched and inflamed themselves. The result is a painful condition known as De Quervains tenosynovitis.

I see this condition regularly in my practice. Its most common in people aged 30-50, and especially in women, who outnumber male patients by about six to one. Those most likely to get it are people who overuse these tendons through repetitive activities, such as gardening, playing tennis, or lifting and carrying a new baby. Among new mothers, in fact, De Quervains is so common that its often referred to as mommy thumb.

Relieving the pain of De Quervains

For pain relief, bracing and anti-inflammatories are good places to start. Using topical or oral anti-inflammatories will relieve pain and inflammation, and immobilizing the wrist and thumb in a brace will give the tendons a rest. These measures may be all you need for notable improvement over the course of three to four weeks.

Treatment And Prevention Of Wrist Pain

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Treatment for wrist pain depends on the cause of the pain and its severity. Options include:

  • Home treatment: Often, simply resting the wrist as much as possible to allow it time to heal is effective. Doctors may also recommend pain-relieving medication and ice to reduce inflammation and pain.
  • Splints: In some cases, wearing a wrist splint can help. Splinting may prevent certain wrist movements that cause irritation. A splint might also reduce the squeezing of the nerve.
  • Exercises: Wrist exercises may help to manage wrist pain, depending on the type of pain. Certain exercises can stretch and lengthen muscles and tendons.
  • Additional treatment: Corticosteroid injections, which decrease inflammation and reduce pain, can be effective in treating wrist pain.
  • Surgery: The type of surgery a doctor may recommend will depend on the cause of the pain.

In some instances, doctors may recommend a person undertake physiotherapy as part of ongoing treatment.

Small lifestyle alterations may reduce a persons chances of developing wrist pain. These include:

  • using proper posture when sitting at a workstation and keeping the wrists in a relaxed position
  • considering a wrist-friendly keyboard, if a person spends long hours at the keyboard
  • learning how to use hand tools properly, placing less stress on the hands and wrists
  • taking regular breaks from using a keyboard
  • using wrist guards to prevent injuries when participating in sports, such as skateboarding, snowboarding, and rollerblading

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Why Do I Feel Shooting Pain In My Wrist

If your job or sport puts excessive strain on your wrists and hands, you might wonder if you have carpal tunnel syndrome . Maybe youre suffering with tingling, numbness or shooting pain in their fingers, wrist or forearm and youre not sure why? CTS is the first diagnosis to come to mind. CTS is one of the most common entrapment neuropathies a condition resulting from direct pressure on a nerve. In fact, it affects between three to six percent of adults.

How To Prevent Wrist Pain

Not all wrist pain can be prevented, especially when it comes to arthritis or the development of cysts.

However, you can lessen the possibility of developing carpal tunnel syndrome by practicing some of the following strategies:

  • using an ergonomic keyboard to keep your wrists from bending upward
  • resting your hands often while typing or doing similar activities
  • working with an occupational therapist to stretch and strengthen your wrists

To help prevent future episodes of gout, consider:

  • drinking more water and less alcohol
  • limiting the amount of liver, anchovies, and smoked or pickled fish you eat
  • eating only moderate amounts of protein
  • taking medication as your doctor prescribed

While it may not be possible to completely prevent arthritis, you can

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Do You Have Arthritis

Arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome are two different conditions, but have similar symptoms. Arthritis can cause swelling in the wrist or the carpal tunnel tendons. Spurs are created around the wrist bone, which can potentially lead to the development of carpal tunnel syndrome. Arthritis can also make carpal tunnel syndrome worse.

How Is De Quervains Tenosynovitis Diagnosed

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To diagnose de Quervains tenosynovitis, your doctor may do a simple test. It is called the Finkelstein test. First, you bend your thumb so it rests across your palm. Then you make a fist, closing your fingers over your thumb. Last, you bend your wrist toward your little finger. If you have tenderness or pain at the base of your thumb, you probably have de Quervains tenosynovitis.

Other tests such as X-rays usually arent needed to diagnose the condition.

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Your Experts In Relieving Pain At The Base Of The Thumb

De Quervain syndrome is fairly easy to diagnose. Still, its important to see an experienced doctor to be sure the diagnosis isnt confused with another thumb or wrist condition.

When you choose Aurora for De Quervains care, you can expect:

  • Expert hand and wrist surgery: Many of our orthopedic surgeons have fellowship training in hand surgery. These doctors have additional training beyond medical school in caring for the tendons, joints and muscles of the hand.
  • On-site occupational therapy: Our hand surgeons and other orthopedic specialists work directly with occupational therapists, and many are right in their clinics. Youll benefit from a comprehensive care team working together to help you feel better, fast. Learn more about occupational therapy.
  • Hand therapy: Some physical therapists and occupational therapists achieve certified hand therapist status. This means theyve spent thousands of hours specializing in the hand. Hand therapy can improve your hand function and reduce thumb pain. Learn more about hand therapy.
  • Hand expertise in Milwaukee and beyond: Our Hand Service Program provides specialized hand care, with fellowship-trained hand surgeons available from Green Bay to Kenosha. Our specialists are experts at treating conditions involving your arms and hands, including problems with your fingers and thumbs.

How Can Physical Therapy Help Shooting Pain In The Wrist

The first step in treating shooting wrist pain is rest. Minimize use of your wrist and stop any activities that are causing obvious shooting pain.

Whatever the cause of your wrist, elbow, or hand pain may be, physical therapy can help. In fact, early intervention may help you avoid surgery. Consult with a physical therapist to develop a customized wrist recovery plan will depend on the severity of your symptoms.

At Twin Boro, your physical therapist will begin with an in-depth wrist evaluation. After a full assessment, the physical therapist will create a unique treatment plan, which may include non-surgical treatment options such as:

  • Wrist splinting to reduce the pressure on the median nerve.
  • Nerve gliding exercises to help the median nerve glide more freely in the tunnel.

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What To Expect When You See An Orthopedic Doctor

During your appointment, your orthopedic doctor will:

  • examine your wrist or hand for tenderness, swelling, or deformity
  • check your Hrange of motion and strength in your wrist or hand and
  • get an X-ray during your visit.

After completing the evaluation, your orthopedic doctor will talk to you about a treatment plan. Depending on the diagnosis, this may include:

  • medications to relieve pain,
  • immobilizing your wrist or hand with a brace or cast.

Surgery may be necessary if you have a bone fracture or tendon or ligament tear.

Diagnosis Of Pain In Wrist And Thumb

Can wearing a splint for carpal tunnel at night make it worse?

A detailed clinical history and clinical examination can help in identifying the problem and probable causes of pain in wrist and thumb. Enquiry and evaluation of pain around the wrists and thumb, swelling, difference in sensation like burning or tingling and presence of any weakness are important. Investigations like X-rays and scans may be ordered depending on the possible causes and to rule out certain conditions, injuries or fractures. Blood investigations may be done if infection or autoimmune disorders are suspected.

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Triangular Fibrocartilage Complex Injury

The triangular fibrocartilage complex is a structure in the wrist located towards a persons pinky finger.

It acts as a cushion and support for the small bones. The cartilage can wear away over time or tear due to an impact injury.

Because of the location of the triangular fibrocartilage complex, a person will

When To Go To The Er Or Urgent Care

Seek medical care at the emergency room or an urgent care center if:

  • you think you have a broken bone in your wrist or hand or there is a visible deformity
  • you have an open wound that needs immediate treatment
  • you are in severe pain or
  • the area is warm, red, or tender, or you have a fever of over 100° F/ 37.8° C .

Delaying treatment could cause permanent damage to and around your wrist or hand.

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Exercises To Help Aching Wrists

If your wrists feel sore and achy simply from overworking them , you can also do some simple wrist exercises at home to help ease the stiffness and tension.

If youve been diagnosed with carpal tunnel or another condition that affects your wrists, talk with your doctor before trying any wrist exercises.

What You Need To Know

How to Fix Wrist Pain for Good
  • Carpal tunnel release is one of the most common hand conditions requiring surgery.
  • Symptoms may include tingling, pain, numbness or weakness in the thumb through ring fingers of the affected hand.
  • Women get carpal tunnel syndrome three times more often than men.
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome is a progressive condition that can worsen without proper care.
  • Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome often occur during pregnancy and can be alleviated with nonsurgical treatments. Symptoms often improve after delivery, but such patients are at higher risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome later in life.

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What Causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Most cases of carpal tunnel syndrome have no specific cause, although any or all of the following may be a contributing factor:

  • Frequent, repetitive, small movements with the hands

  • Frequent, repetitive, grasping movements with the hands

  • Joint or bone disease

  • Hormonal or metabolic changes

  • Changes in blood sugar levels

  • Other conditions or injuries of the wrist

  • Family history of carpal tunnel syndrome

Treatment For De Quervains Thumb And Wrist Pain Without Surgery

You may be able to recover from De Quervains tenosynovitis with home treatment. Changing your activity, resting the sore thumb joint, and treating thumb tendonitis with anti-inflammatory medications and heat or ice can improve the pain in a few weeks.

Depending on your injury, you may need additional treatment like:

  • Splints: A special splint called a thumb spica splint can support your wrist and thumb so they can heal.
  • Pain management: We use non-narcotic medications and integrative care like acupuncture to manage pain so you can heal. Find out more about orthopedic pain we treat.
  • Steroid injections: Injected medications can deliver pain relief or lubrication directly to the inflamed area. Learn more about injections for joint pain.

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These Nonsurgical Solutions Will Enhance Daily Activities And Independence

Hand pain is more than just annoying. The stiffness and swelling that go along with hand pain can sap strength and diminish the ability to carry out routine functions, like buttoning clothes.

One common cause of hand pain is osteoarthritiswhen the shock-absorbing cartilage between bones in the finger joints and at the base of the thumb becomes worn or damaged. Hand pain can also result from nerve conditions, like the pain and tingling you feel when there is pressure on the median nerve in the wrist or the ulnar nerve near the elbow. Sometimes hand pain results from tendinitis, an inflammation of the tissue that attaches muscles to the bones. Here are five methods to help manage hand pain, retain hand function, and avoid surgery.

1. Splinting

A splint stabilizes the position of your fingers, thumb, or wrist. “Wear a splint for a few weeks if arthritis flares, so the inflammation can settle down,” says Dr. Philip Blazar, an orthopedic surgeon and associate professor at Harvard Medical School.

Get The Correct Diagnoses And Treatment

Tendon Diagram Hand / Hand and finger size were designed based on the ...

When I see someone who is showing possible carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms, I check the function and strength of their fingers and wrists, and I look for signs of inflammation. These things help me confirm the diagnosis.

If someone does have carpal tunnel syndrome, the treatments I select depend on the severity of their swelling. Some of my patients with mild symptoms see an improvement with lifestyle changes like wearing a splint or brace, or cutting back on activities that cause wrist pain.

They may also need to take over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen or naproxen to help relieve pain and reduce inflammation. Sometimes injections with a corticosteroid can help relieve painful symptoms or help calm a flare-up of symptoms.

In more advanced cases, I may recommend hand surgery to take pressure off the median nerve. The most important point to remember is that you shouldnt ignore any wrist pain. If you do have carpal tunnel syndrome, the sooner it is treated, the better.

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What Causes Pain In Wrist And Thumb

Pain in wrist and thumb often involves painful movements of the wrist, thumb and may also affect movements of other fingers. Holding or grasping of objects, fine motor skills may get affected due to wrist and thumb pain. Pain may sometimes be associated with numbness, burning sensation or a feeling of soreness in the area between the wrist and the thumb. Depending on the cause of the pain in wrist and thumb, there may be redness or swelling in a particular area or a noticeable bump may appear on the wrist, back of the palm, fingers or thumb.

Some of the common causes of pain in wrist and thumb include:

Pain in Wrist and Thumb Caused Due to Injuries Injury to the wrist joint, thumb or the hand can cause pain in and around the wrist and thumb, making hand and wrist movements difficult. Injuries often include trauma to the wrist joint, fracture, ligament or muscle strains and other soft tissue injuries around the wrist and thumb. Overuse injuries occur due to repeated trauma to the joint or tissues from repetitive motion, occurring again and again. It often causes pain, swelling, inflammation of the wrist, thumb and causes painful movements of the wrist, thumb and fingers.

Pain in Wrist and Thumb Caused Due to Tendinitis Tendons of the wrist and thumb can get inflamed due to injury, overuse or other problems and small tears may result causing pain. It may also affect the ability to hold objects and use wrist and thumb properly.

When To See A Healthcare Provider

Certain signs and symptoms can indicate a more serious cause of your wrist pain. Get medical help if you have:

  • Pain that lasts more than a few days
  • Inability to straighten or flex the joint
  • An inability to carry objects or use the arm
  • Pain at night or while resting
  • A deformed joint
  • A hand or fingers that are bluish

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