An active lifestyle means you use your hands and wrists a great deal. With so many internal parts needed to keep your hands and wrists working, there are many opportunities for problems. Injuries to the hand and wrists are very common. If appropriately managed, most patients can expect their injury to heal without any significant long-term disability.
At East Bay Chiropractic Wellness P.C., we diagnose and treat many common hand and wrist injuries include sprains, strains, tendon inflammation (tendonitis), and overuse injuries. Call 516-679-2225 to schedule your first appointment and get on the path to wellness.
Sprains and Strains
Though they sound similar enough that these two terms are frequently used interchangeably, their causes are different and the swap is incorrect.
- A strain refers to the overstretching or tearing of muscle fiber and soft tissue.
- A sprain is damage to your ligaments, the tough bands of tissue that connect bone to bone.
Finger and Wrist Sprains
When you fall forward or trip, your natural response is to put your hands out in front of you to catch yourself. Unfortunately, this natural response causes you to land on your palms, bending your wrist and fingers backward, potentially stretching or tearing the ligaments connecting the bones in your wrist. The ligaments may be sprained. These ligaments act as a hinge and help your hand and wrist to function correctly.
Finger and Wrist Tendonitis
If you have persistent signs and symptoms suggestive of carpal tunnel sTendons attach muscles to bone. They are different than ligaments − tendons connect your muscles to a bone, while ligaments connect bones to each other. Much like sprains and strains, these two structures are often confused. An injury of the tendon is called tendonitis, an irritation of the tissue.
Finger and Wrist Strains
Most muscle strains are caused by overstretching muscles. Symptoms of a muscle strain vary depending on how severe the strain is. Recovery time for a muscle strain depends on your age, health, and the type and severity of the strain. If a severe strain is left untreated, you can experience long-term pain, limited movement, and deformity.
Symptoms of Wrist and Hand Injuries
- Visible bulge, swelling, or deformity
- A clicking, grating, or shifting noise when moving the finger, hand, or wrist
- Abnormal twisting or bending of your fingers or hand
- Numbness, coldness, or discoloration of the finger, hand, or wrist
- Normal or limited muscle movement
- Pain and tenderness
- Swelling and bruising
If you have any of these persistent symptoms, call 516-679-2225 to schedule an appointment.
Overuse injuries, or repetitive strain injuries (RSI), are stress-induced and include tendon inflammation, dislocation, and nerve injury. They’re one of the leading causes of damage for workers who spend a lot of time at a keyboard or using other digital devices, but they can happen to anyone.
Types of Overuse Injuries
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Trigger Finger
- Ganglion Cysts
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel is typically caused by a pinched nerve and results in numbness, tingling, and other symptoms in the hand or arm.
The carpal tunnel, which is bound by bones and ligaments, is a narrow passageway in the palm side of your wrist. This tunnel protects the critical median nerve and the nine tendons that allow you to bend your fingers. Compression of this nerve produces numbness, tingling, and, eventually, hand weakness that characterizes carpal tunnel syndrome.
Carpal tunnel syndrome begins gradually, with occasional numbness or tingling in your thumb, index, and middle fingers.
Carpal Tunnel Symptoms
- Tingling or numbness. Tingling and numbness are often felt in your hand or fingers, especially your thumb and index, middle, or ring fingers, but usually not your little finger. This sensation often occurs while holding something such as a steering wheel, phone, or newspaper. It is not uncommon for people to report awakening from the feeling. The sensation may extend up your arm from your wrist and may become constant as the ailment progresses.
- Weakness. Weakness in your hand and fingers, along with an increased tendency to drop things is another sign of injury. The numbness causes this in your hand or weakness of the thumb’s pinching muscles, as the median nerve controls both.
With proper treatment, most people who develop carpal tunnel syndrome can relieve the tingling and numbness and restore wrist and hand function. If you’re ready to try a holistic approach to healing, call 516-679-2225 to schedule an appointment.
Scar Tissue and Fascia
Due to constant use and the reflexive action of putting hands out to break a fall, hands and wrists are especially prone to scarring. Scar tissue, in turn, can cause movement restrictions. The hands and wrists also have fascia, or connective tissue, which you can injure in accidents. Dr. Marmorale can utilize the Graston Technique® to address both types of injuries, allowing for greater freedom of movement and comfort.
When to See a Doctor
You should see a doctor when swelling, bruising, or a bulge or deformity accompanies an injury, if you’re experiencing unusual noises, numbness, coldness, or grayness in the finger, hand, or wrist, or if pain and tenderness gets worse with movement. If you leave certain conditions untreated, permanent nerve and muscle damage can occur.
Contact East Bay Chiropractic for Wrist and Hand Pain
At East Bay Chiropractic Wellness P.C., Dr. Martin Marmorale utilizes Graston Technique® therapy to identify injured tissue and then manipulate the affected areas to break down scar tissue, address inflammation, and promote healing.
As a certified Graston Technique® Specialist (GTS) since 2008, Dr. Marmorale effectively treats many physical injuries using this and other chiropractic modalities. Call the East Bay Chiropractic Wellness P.C. office at (516) 679-2225 to schedule an appointment and start down the road to recovery.
Useful Info and Health Tips
If you have injured your hand and/or your wrist, in addition to seeking medical treatment, you can:
- Rest the affected wrist for at least 48 hours.
- Apply ice to reduce swelling and pain, alternating on and off every 15 minutes.
- Apply a bandage for compression.
- Elevate your hand/wrist.
- Use a sling to prevent hand/wrist use.