Hand and wrist pain originate from two primary sources: overuse and injury. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is the best known condition that causes hand and wrist pain from overuse and repetitive motion. It’s been estimated that as many as one in 10 Canadians aged 20 or older– suffer from this condition.

Other Injuries to the hand and wrist are also common throughout the population, regardless of age or activity level.

Without early intervention, many hand and and wrist problems that could be more completely resolved leave the patient with a regrettable, permanent, loss of function.

Four common treatment options for hand and wrist conditions include:

  1. Splinting and casting: The focus of splinting and casting is to immobilize an injured ligament, bone, or joint in order to allow it to heal.
  2. Physiotherapy and occupational therapy: The goal of therapy is to help the patient get back to normal function and activity with the minimum degree of ongoing discomfort. This is generally achieved through a series of home exercises following treatment that stabilizes and strengthens the affected area. An equally important part of the overall Physio-OT treatment plan is to educate the patient on how changes in habits and activities can reduce symptoms.
  3. Cortisone injections and anti-inflammatory medications:
    Frequently providing temporary relief, anti-inflammatory medications and injections do not always work as intended, and sometimes require repeated doses and treatments to have any effect. More importantly, anti-inflammatories don’t address the underlying cause of the condition and are not considered a sufficient option for long-term pain relief. Also, side effects limit frequent and long-term use.  They are good to use in conjunction with physiotherapy & occupational therapy.
  4. SurgeryA last resort, when options 1-3 prove to be ineffective at reducing pain & increasing function to the point where it can be managed by the patient.

Many wrist injuries go untreated because they might seem like a simple sprain or strain when in fact they could be a sign of something more serious. Timely observation, examination and treatment can prevent the long-term debilitating impact of hand and wrist pain.

To reduce the chance of a permanent disability, seek intervention as soon as possible when experiencing functional pain; consult with a doctor or licensed physiotherapist or occupational therapist.

Not sure about your hand or wrist pain? Request your free screening today.