Wrist pain can affect a person's health and work performance. It may sound simple, but the adverse impacts it may have can be serious when not given proper treatment early. There are various ways and treatments if you are looking for an effective wrist pain relief. Getting familiar with each treatment will help you become aware of what to do to prevent and alleviate wrist pain.
In one of our blog posts entitled "Different Types of Wrist Pain: Are You at Risk?" we have discussed the different types of wrist pain. The article also mentioned that it is important not to take for granted the symptoms of wrist pain because it can worsen. Finding the proper treatment is a must to prevent more adverse effects on health and work performance.
Finding Relief for Wrist Pain
Lara Heimann, a physical therapist and founder of LYT Yoga, stressed how vital it is to stretch the wrist flexors to treat wrist problems. In an article published in NBCNews.com,
"Because we spend so much of our day with our wrist in a flexed position, such as when we are driving a car, holding a phone, or typing on a computer, we must counter the shortening of the connective tissues (like the tendons) with stretching in extension," she says. "Stretching keeps the tissues from getting pulled asymmetrically, which causes strain, a key ingredient for repetitive stress injury. If these stretches are done consistently, they will be a preventative measure to combat tendonitis and carpal tunnel syndrome."
Listed in the same article are five effective stretches to relieve wrist pain. You can check them here.
Common Treatments for Wrist Pain
You might be wondering how wrist pain is diagnosed. According to Medical News Today, there are several ways, such as physical examination and reviewing symptoms. Specifically, wrists pain are diagnosed by:
- Imaging scans such as CT scan, MRI, and X-ray
- Arthroscopy (a procedure wherein a small cut is made on the wrist where an instrument with a tiny camera is inserted. The camera will check and take pictures of the wrist condition, which can be seen in the computer monitor)
- Nerve conduction tests (an examination that measures the nerve impulses travel on the wrist area, mainly through the carpal tunnel region)
According to Mayo Clinic, nerve tests are done as the following:
"Your doctor might order an electromyogram (EMG) if carpal tunnel syndrome is suspected. This test measures the tiny electrical discharges produced in your muscles. A needle-thin electrode is inserted into the muscle. Its electrical activity is recorded when the muscle is at rest and when it's contracted. Nerve conduction studies also are performed as part of an EMG to assess if the electrical impulses are slowed in the region of the carpal tunnel."
Based on the diagnosis from the tests done, treatment will then be proposed or implemented. The treatment for wrist pain is also based on the severity of the condition and, of course, the cause of the pain.
Recommended treatment for wrist pain relief and treatment are as follow:
#1 Home Treatment
Mild cases of wrist pains can be relieved at home. You will need to let the wrist rest for some time to heal. Sometimes, applying a pack of ice can also provide relief for inflammation and ease the pain. There are some pain medications that you can try as well.
Ibuprofen is one of the most famous over-the-counter pain relievers. They can help reduce the pain. Make sure to consult your doctor because a more potent painkiller required a prescription.
#3 Using splints
In some cases, you can wear an arm splint. This can help support the wrist and prevent movements that may cause irritation. It can also lessen the squeezing of the nerve. Make sure to buy a splint with good quality.
A physical therapist can also provide specific exercises and treatment for wrist problems. If you have undergone an operation, rehabilitation can be more fast and effective with a physical therapist's help. You can also benefit from an ergonomic evaluation and recommendations that will help reduce the risk factors of acquiring wrist problems.
There are several types of exercises that will help relieve wrist pain. They can also lengthen or stretch the muscles and tendons.
Surgery is done when all the invasive treatments did not work. Of course, the type of surgery that will be done is based on the cause of the wrist pain. For instance, surgery for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome requires cutting a ligament in the wrist area to release pressure on the nerves.
Although wrist pain can be painful and uncomfortable, you can treat it at home. The primary reminder to stop the activity that is causing compression and pain.
Healthline.com also advised to lighten up from repetitive tasks that may be causing wrist pain, such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
"If you find yourself straining or forcing tasks such as writing, typing, or using a cash register, relax your grip or reduce the force you're using. Try using a soft-grip pen or tapping keys more lightly", Healthline.com stated.
As always, prevention is better than cure. So, to avoid having wrist pain, you can do the following:
- Make sure to promote proper posture when working in a workstation.
- When working, keep your wrist relaxed.
- Make sure to learn how to use tools properly.
- Use an ergonomic keyboard.
- Utilize a good quality ergonomic vertical mouse.
- Take regular breaks at work to avoid the effects of repetitive tasks.
- Use wrist guards to prevent injuries when driving or playing.
- Drink more water and eat healthy foods
Also, do not forget to try doing some exercises that can ease your wrist pain. Too much using your hands can lead to worse cases, so make sure to take some rest to get rid of putting too much stress on your hands.