Wrist pain is a common yet often misunderstood complaint, affecting people across various age groups and professions. Whether you’re an office worker spending hours typing or an athlete gripping a racket, wrist pain can interfere with daily activities and severely impact your quality of life. This article aims to shed light on the common causes of wrist pain and guide when to seek physiotherapy for effective relief and treatment.
Common Causes of Wrist Pain
Repetitive strain or wrist overuse can lead to conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome or tendonitis. Overuse injuries are common among individuals whose jobs or hobbies involve repetitive wrist movements, such as typing, sewing, or playing musical instruments.
Falls or accidents can result in fractures or sprains, causing immediate and acute pain in the wrist.
Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are common in older individuals and can affect the wrist, causing pain, swelling, and reduced range of motion.
These are benign lumps that can develop on the wrist and put pressure on nerves, causing pain and sometimes affecting hand function.
Symptoms Requiring Attention
While minor wrist pain might resolve on its own, the following symptoms should prompt you to consider medical attention:
- Persistent or worsening pain
- Reduced range of motion
- Numbness or tingling sensations in the hand or fingers
- Difficulty in carrying objects or using the hand
- Pain that interferes with sleep
When to Seek Physiotherapy
- Pain Persists: If wrist pain continues for over a week, even after using over-the-counter medications and rest.
- Impaired Functionality: When wrist pain interferes with daily activities like holding utensils, typing, or even shaking hands.
- Post-Surgical Recovery: If you’ve had wrist surgery, physiotherapy can aid in accelerating recovery and restoring full wrist functionality.
- Chronic Conditions: For conditions like arthritis, a physiotherapist can provide exercises that improve range of motion and reduce pain.
- Prevention: Preventative physiotherapy can be beneficial if you’re at high risk of wrist injuries due to your profession or sports involvement.
Physiotherapy offers various treatment modalities for wrist pain, including:
- Manual Therapy: Manipulation and mobilisation techniques can relieve pain and improve mobility.
- Exercise Programmes: Specific exercises will strengthen the wrist and improve its function.
- Electrotherapy: Techniques like ultrasound or TENS can alleviate pain and accelerate healing.
- Education: A physiotherapist often provides ergonomic advice and guidelines on wrist care and proper techniques to prevent future pain or injury.
Wrist pain may stem from various causes, but timely and appropriate intervention can mitigate its impact on your life. Physiotherapy offers a holistic approach to diagnosing, treating, and preventing wrist conditions. If you’re experiencing persistent or severe wrist pain, don’t hesitate to seek the guidance and expertise of a qualified physiotherapist.