Occupational Therapy for Wrist Pain
Occupational therapy is an integral component of treating wrist pain. It enables individuals to return to work, school, or other daily activities while they recover from an injury or illness.
Wrist pain can be caused by a variety of issues, such as injury, arthritis and repetitive use injuries. Often it’s accompanied by numbness or tingling in the hand which makes diagnosis and treatment difficult without medical assistance.
Carpal tunnel syndrome, also known as median nerve palsy or radiculopathy, occurs when the median nerve is compressed inside of a narrow passageway called the carpal tunnel on the palm side of your wrist. It’s a common condition that causes numbness and tingling sensations in the thumb, first, and second fingers.
Another condition that may cause wrist pain is De Quervain’s disease, an inflammation of the carpal bones. This condition can be painful and requires a splint or ointment for relief.
Ganglion cysts can cause wrist pain and numbness, particularly when your fingers are pressed together. These small soft tissue cysts most often form on the opposite wrist from your palm. A therapist may drain away excess fluid and prescribe medication to reduce pain and swelling.
Distal radius fractures are a common wrist injury that requires skilled rehabilitation to minimize pain, weakness and swelling. Occupational therapists have the specialized training and skillset to guide you through an individualized program of physical and occupational therapies designed to reduce symptoms while ensuring the healing process is as complete as possible.
Occupational therapists may use exercises to strengthen muscles in the arm, wrist and hand in order to promote healing and reduce pain or discomfort. They may also instruct you on how to utilize assistive devices like splints and braces for daily activities when your injured wrist or hands are immobilized.
A therapist can assist you in discovering ways to perform daily activities more efficiently, such as finding new ways to hold a pencil or squeeze an empty bag when tired. They may also suggest rethinking how you do job and home tasks such as getting dressed, showering, and preparing meals.
Recovering from a fall can be challenging, but it can be made easier with grab bars in the bathroom or handrails on stairs. Exercising regularly and getting enough calcium will also help protect against bone loss.
The wrist and hand are essential parts of everyday life, and their proper functioning is key for staying healthy. Unfortunately, if you suffer from a wrist or hand injury it can have an immense impact on your quality of life as well as the tasks at hand.
Your doctor can diagnose the source of your wrist pain and recommend a treatment plan. They may suggest medications, rest, physical or occupational therapy, and exercise.
If you suffer from a carpal tunnel injury, your therapist is likely to recommend splinting and exercises to stretch the muscles in your wrist and hand. They may also suggest applying ice or heat treatments in order to reduce pain and swelling.