Tendonitis Wrist or Wrist Tendinitis: Causes, Signs, Symptoms, Treatment, Exercises, Tests
What is Tendonitis Wrist or Wrist Tendinitis?
Tendonitis Wrist or Wrist Tendinitis is a form of wrist tendinopathy. Tendonitis Wrist or Wrist Tendinitis is a comparatively common condition in which a tendon or tendons of the wrist are damages due to overuse resulting in swelling and inflammation of the affected tendons.
The wrist consists of the amalgamation of eight little bones in the hand along with two bones passing to the forearm that is ulna and radius. Several muscles of the hand and wrist that come out from the ulna and radius pass through the wrist to insert into the bones of the hand and fingers through the tendons of the wrist. These muscles come under two wide categories called as the wrist and finger extensors that lie on the opposite sides of the wrist and forearm, and wrist and finger flexors that lie on the palm side of the wrist and forearm.
The wrist and finger flexors are the muscles which help in bending the fingers and wrist such as while making a fist. Wrist and finger extensors are the muscles which not only help in straightening the fingers and wrist but also assist in bending the fingers and wrist in the backward direction. Hence the muscles altogether are really helpful while performing activities such as general movements or gripping an object and use of the fingers and the wrist.
Compression or tension is placed through the tendons of the wrist when the muscles get contracted. Excessive tension resulting from high force or over repetition of activities may cause a severe damage to the tendons of the wrist. Tendonitis Wrist or Wrist Tendinitis is a state where there is damage along with subsequent degeneration and inflammation of single or multiple tendons of the wrist. Tendonitis Wrist or Wrist Tendinitis generally occurs because of the wear and tear related to overuse injuries such as in sports injuries, but it also can occur due to trauma as a result of some accident.
Causes of Tendonitis Wrist or Wrist Tendinitis
- Tendonitis Wrist or Wrist Tendinitis is generally caused by repetitive strain related to overuse. This generally happens in individuals performing heavy physical work with the wrist, which include activities such as repetitive use of a screwdriver or hammer.
- Tendonitis Wrist or Wrist Tendinitis may also occur by performing repetitive movements in sports such as golf, racquet sports and gymnastics.
- Insufficient warm up before exercise or sports.
- Repetitive activities that put strain on the tendons of the wrist like bricklaying, knitting and sewing, working at a computer, chopping wood, carpentry and painting.
- Using vibrating machines.
- Tendonitis Wrist or Wrist Tendinitis may also be caused by activities that involve repetitive or forceful gripping of the hand.
- Falling down on an outstretched hand.
- Tendonitis Wrist or Wrist Tendinitis may also be cause by performing forceful activity like weightlifting.
- People having medical history of elbow, upper back, wrist and shoulder injury could be at risk of developing the condition of Tendonitis Wrist or Wrist Tendinitis.
- Poor posture.
- Neck injury.
- Injury to some specific nerves.
- Usually the symptoms show up over a period of time.
- Stiffness and pain in the hand or wrist could be experienced either at night or the first thing in the morning.
- Exacerbation of symptoms on performing activities involving usage of fingers and wrist like general gripping activity, typing, opening jars or doors, cooking, writing, household activities, catching balls, placing weights or picking up heavy objects with the affected hand or wrist.
- Pain is felt when firmly touching the affected tendons of the wrist.
- Weakness in fingers and the hand.
- Difficulty while attempting movement of the hand.
- Numbness in the fingers.
- Griping capacity may also be compromised along with pain while lifting an object with an injured wrist.
- Pins and needles sensation in the fingers.
- Tendonitis Wrist or Wrist Tendinitis may also result in contralateral neck and upper back pain in some cases.
Treatment for Tendonitis Wrist or Wrist Tendinitis
Tendonitis Wrist or Wrist Tendinitis is first treated by conservative method. The general treatment includes complete rest for the wrist by wearing a splint. Cold therapy helps a lot to relieve the swelling and inflammation.
Antiinflammatory medicines are used to clear fluid retention or to reduce pain, swelling and inflammation. Diuretics, ibuprofen and naproxen are highly recommended ones.
RICE protocol which stands for Rest from aggravating activities, Icing, Compression bandage and Elevation of the affected wrist is to be followed.
Surgery for Tendonitis Wrist or Wrist Tendinitis is performed as a last resort in severe cases. Tendon release is a very simple surgery in which the soft tissue around the problem area is removed in order to relieve the pressure on the tendon and give more room for movement without irritation.
Physical Therapy for Tendonitis Wrist or Wrist Tendinitis: PT for Tendonitis Wrist or Wrist Tendinitis is important in speeding up the healing process and to get optimal results. Physical therapy also decreases the likelihood of recurrences in the future. Physical therapy may include:
- Joint mobilization.
- Soft tissue massage.
- Dry needling.
- Application of heat and ice.
- Electrotherapy like ultrasound.
- Bracing or splinting.
- Exercises to improve strength and flexibility.
- Activity modification and training.
- Appropriate plan for return to activity.
Exercises for Tendonitis Wrist or Wrist Tendinitis
Stretching and strengthening exercises are really helpful for the prevention from reoccurrence of symptoms. Pain free exercises are recommended. Aim for a full, pain-free range of motion before moving on to strengthening exercises. It is better to use resistance bands for perfect performance of wrist strengthening exercises.
Wrist Flexor Stretch:
Take the wrist and fingers backwards keeping the elbow straight using the other hand until a mild to moderate pain-free stretch is felt. Hold for 15 seconds and release. Repeat 4-5 times ensuring there is no exacerbation of symptoms.
Wrist and Finger Extensor Stretch:
Curl the wrist and fingers up using the other hand keeping the elbow straight until a mild to moderate pain-free stretch is felt. Hold for 15 seconds and release. Repeat 4-5 times ensuring there is no exacerbation of symptoms.
Tennis Ball Squeeze:
This exercise involves holding a tennis ball in the hand and squeezing it as hard as possible ensuring comfort without pain. Hold for 5 seconds and release. Repeat 10 times ensuring there is no exacerbation of symptoms.
Test to Diagnose Tendonitis Wrist or Wrist Tendinitis
A complete subjective and physical examination is necessary to diagnose a Tendonitis Wrist or Wrist Tendinitis. A thorough neurovascular examination of the hand and the digits is performed to assess for injuries to the nerves and vessels. Typically an x-ray is required for confirming the severity.
Other diagnostic tests may include:
- CT scan