You demand a lot of your wrist, hand, and fingers, from getting ready in the morning to sewing, typing, and writing.
The wrist and hand are complex structures, consisting of:
• The joints between them;
• The ligaments that keep them stable; and
• The muscles that generate strength and motion.
Overuse, traumatic injury, or natural changes can cause wrist and hand problems.
Suffering from wrist and hand pain? Contact us to learn about treatment options.
How Your Hand and Wrist Works
This structure has three parts: the fingers, the hand, and the wrist. Each finger is made up of three bones, except the thumb, which has two.
Five metacarpal bones make up the hand. The wrist consists of eight small carpal bones. The forearm bones, radius and ulna connect to the carpals, creating the wrist joint.
Bones are connected by ligaments, which help provide stability. Multiple wrist ligaments connect the carpal bones to each other and to the forearm and fingers. Ligament injuries can cause pain and instability in the hand or wrist.
Within the hand, many muscles help move each finger. Some muscles have tendons that travel across the wrist and run through a bony tunnel called the carpal tunnel. This tunnel is covered by soft tissue which can trap inflammation over the tendons and cause pain, weakness, and numbness in the hand and fingers.
Evaluating Hand and Wrist Pain
Evaluating wrist, hand, and finger pain starts with you giving us a history of your problem: when and how it started, how it feels, and treatments you’ve tried.
We’ll also review your health history looking for medical conditions that may be causing or contributing to your wrist pain. We’ll check your range of motion and strength, and do tests that can uncover specific problems.
Sometimes we order X-rays or MRIs to visualize your bones and soft tissues. X-rays can show fractures, spurs, and changes from arthritis. MRIs can show more bone detail, as well as soft-tissue damage like ligament or muscle tears.
Whatever the cause of your hand and wrist pain, we’re dedicated to helping you find the best treatment. Call for an appointment today.
Causes of Hand and Wrist Pain
- Nerve problems
- Less common causes – infection or tumors
Treating Hand and Wrist Pain
Treating wrist, hand, and finger pain depends on the diagnosis and severity of your symptoms.
Lifestyle modifications include resting your wrist, hand, or fingers, avoiding painful situations, and doing either gentle motion exercises or exercises to strengthen weak muscles.
Physical or occupational therapy focuses on getting your wrist, hand, or finger muscles and joints to work together as you use your hands. Physical therapists use telehealth or in-person visits to identify and address muscle imbalances through corrective exercises – including take-home exercises.