Wrist pain

Common wrist pain can be due to:

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a painful disorder of the hand caused by pressure on the median nerve that run through the wrist. The nerve can get compressed from scar tissue from inflammation, arthritis, pregnancy fluid retention, wrist trauma or an overuse injury where the tendons are inflamed from repetitive hand movements. Symptoms include numbness, weakness, pins and needles, and pain (particularly at night). Osteopathic treatment is aimed at stretching the soft tissues, freeing restricted wrist bones, draining excess fluid and improving circulation.

  • DeQuervain syndrome

DeQuervain syndrome is an inflammation of the tendons surrounding the thumb, due to repetitive movements of the thumb. It is more common in women. Symptoms include pain, swelling or difficulty moving the thumb. Osteopathic treatment may improve the thumb joint movement and decrease the swelling.

  • Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis can involve the wrist and hand joints. There is limited movement of the joints and swelling around the knuckles. Treatment can improve the joints range of movement and increase the comfort for the patient.

With all the above complaints, the osteopath will also look at how the neck, shoulder and elbow joints are moving, to give a holistic treatment to the patient.

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Taylor Burnham,Derek C. Higgins, DO; Robert S. Burnham, MD; Deborah M. Heath, DO

Published in International Journal of Osteopathic Medicine

Osteopathic manipulative treatment resulted in patient-perceived improvement in symptoms and function associated with carpal tunnel syndrome. However, median nerve function and morphology at the carpal tunnel did not change, possibly indicating a different mechanism by which osteopathic manipulative treatment acted, such as central nervous system processes.