Tendinitis in your wrists can make your day to day activities frustrating.
The added pain and stiffness that comes from your inflamed wrist tendons can make anything from typing to cooking more challenging.
Physical therapy for wrist tendinitis can help to reduce your inflammation and restore your wrist mobility.
If you’re not sure why your wrist is bothering you, our hand therapy services can help treat and relieve your pain.
Now, let’s find out more.
What Is Tendinitis In Your Wrists?
Wrist tendinitis is a condition where your wrist tendons become irritated and inflamed.
The -itis suffix means swelling.
Tendons are the rope like structures connecting your muscles to their corresponding bone.
There are many tendons in your wrist that connect the muscles in your forearm to your wrist, hand, and finger bones.
What Causes Wrist Tendinitis?
Wrist tendinitis is caused by inflammation in your tendons.
Inflammation is often caused by doing repetitive tasks over long periods of time with poor form.
It can also be caused by injury.
Wrist tendinitis specifically refers to the early stages of tendon inflammation and irritation.
It is called tendinopathy when tendinitis persists over time with no treatment and becomes chronic.
There are a few types of tendinitis in your wrist that can affect different tendons.
Tenosynovitis describes an irritation that develops when your synovial sheath thickens and restricts your tendons.
De Quervain’s tendinitis describes a tendinitis that can develop on the side of your wrist near your thumb.
How Do You Know If You Have Wrist Tendinitis?
Tendinitis is caused by inflammation of the tendons in your wrist.
This feels like pain in your wrist which can radiate up into your elbow.
If it’s De Quervain’s tendinitis, your pain will be focused by your thumb side of your wrist.
Pain may only manifest when your wrist is under strain or under pressure.
In all of these cases, it can get worse if left untreated.
Some other signs to watch out for are:
- Wrist stiffness
- Decreased wrist mobility
- Visible swelling and inflammation
- Tender hand, wrist or forearm muscles
What’s The Difference Between Tendinitis And Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Tendinitis and carpal tunnel syndrome are very different conditions that share some symptoms.
Where tendinitis is caused by inflammation, carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by the compression of the median nerve that passes through your wrist, next to nine tendons.
This can result in numbness or tingling on the palm side of your wrist in your thumb, index, or middle fingers.
These are the areas that your median nerve supplies.
If you feel numbness in these areas but also your forearm, the cause may actually be in your neck where the nerve root is rather than at the wrist.
If the numbness and tingling is in the pinky and ring finger there may be compression or a condition of the ulnar nerve instead.
If you experience any muscle weakness or pain on the top of your wrist, it is probably wrist tendinitis.
Your physical therapist is skilled in determining whether the pain is due to wrist tendinitis, carpal tunnel, neck nerve root compression or something else.
How Can Physical Therapy For Wrist Tendinitis Help?
Physical therapy can be an excellent treatment for wrist tendinitis.
Your physical therapist will first perform an evaluation in order to assess which treatment strategy will be the most effective for your particular case.
Keep reading to learn more about what this process could look like.
1. Empowering You With Knowledge
Patient education is an important first step.
Your physical therapist will empower you with knowledge to help you get back to the activities you love safely.
To do this, they will teach you strategies to reduce your risk of injury in your daily activities.
For example, it’s good practice to take frequent breaks from repetitive tasks like typing.
Another example is making sure to keep your wrist in a neutral position during repetitive tasks.
2. Pain Management
The second step after empowerment is pain management.
Your physical therapist will help you to identify and adapt movements that cause pain.
Your therapist will correct any abnormal postures present in your day to day activities in order to reduce stress on your wrist.
They may even recommend icing your wrist during rest or using a wrist brace to restrict movement so that your wrist can heal.
Related: Physical Therapy For Pain Management
3. Exercises To Restore Range Of Motion
Once your inflammation is reduced, your therapist will begin to restore your range of motion through exercise.
The type of exercises ordered will depend on the location and severity of your symptoms.
4. Exercises To Restore Strength
Your therapist will also teach you exercises to restore the strength to your wrist and forearms.
Like your range of motion exercises, the exact type will focus on your particular area of weakness.
Depending on how long it took before you sought treatment for your tendinitis, the condition can also weaken your elbow, shoulder, and arm.
This weakness can then contribute to the movement dysfunction that potentially caused or worsened your tendinitis.
That’s why you need to diligently follow your plan to restore strength to affected areas.
5. Ergonomic Adjustments
Finally, in order to prevent re injury, your therapist will share ergonomic adjustments you can make to support your wrist.
This will depend on what your day to day looks like.
Proper wrist mechanics are equally important for typing on a computer or swinging a racquet.
Related: Ergonomic Services
Book Your Appointment With Capitol Physical Therapy Today
Physical therapy is a great resource to help relieve you of your wrist tendinitis.
Remember, if it’s not treated, it could progress to tendinopathy which is a chronic and painful condition.
The sooner you notice wrist pain, the sooner you should find a physical therapist to help.
Our team of experienced physical therapists at Capitol Physical Therapy will evaluate your symptoms and create a tailored treatment plan to restore your wrist mobility.
1331 H St NW #200,
Washington, DC 20005
9560 Pennsylvania Ave. # 202,
Upper Marlboro, MD 20772
Capitol Physical Therapy offers orthopedic and other pain related solutions, with our versitile team of physical therapists in Washington, DC