Understanding Your Wrists

Understanding Your Wrists | Capitol Physical Therapy Orthopedics And Pain Management Washington DC

Our hands are essential in carrying out daily tasks.

But there’s an unsung hero at the root of your hands they can’t work without – your wrists.

Your wrist is made up of numerous small bones and joints that allow you to move your hand in different directions.

It’s possible to damage or injure the various bones, muscles, tendons, nerves, and ligaments of your wrist.

A number of health conditions may also affect your wrist and cause challenges and complications.

Having pain, instability, or stiffness in your wrist can make your day to day activities difficult and frustrating.

At Capitol Physical Therapy, we offer physical therapy services for a wide array of orthopedic conditions.

If you are having issues with your wrists, we’re here to help from our a Washington DC physical therapy clinic.

Let’s take a closer look at your wrists and common health issues that may affect them.

What’s In Your Wrists?

There are several small bones and joints that make up your wrists and allow the hand to move freely.

The wrists also contain the distal ends of your two forearm bones.

The eight small bones in your wrists are called the carpal bones, or carpus.

Your wrists also have three principal joints.

Let’s go into more detail and look at what exactly is in our wrists.

Your Carpal Bones

There are eight small carpal bones inside of your wrist.

They are oddly shaped bones that can be oval, triangular, and square.

They function to connect the two forearm bones, the ulna and the radius, to your hand.

These small bones are also responsible for giving your wrist flexibility and maintaining its strength.

The eight carpal bones found in your wrists are:

  • Lunate
  • Scaphoid
  • Triquetrum
  • Pisiform
  • Hamate
  • Capitate
  • Trapezoid
  • Trapezium

Being aware of the various carpal bones found in your wrist can help assess the location of possible damage or health conditions.

Your Wrist Joints

Your wrist contains three principal joints that give your wrist stability and allow it to move around and go into different positions.

There is the radiocarpal joint.

This is where the larger forearm bone, the radius, connects with the bottom row of carpal bones.

There is also the ulnocarpal joint.

This joint connects the smaller forearm bone, the ulna, to some of the carpal bones.

And lastly, there is the distal radioulnar joint.

While this joint is located within the wrist, it doesn’t actually include any of the carpal bones.

It links the bottom of your forearm bones together.

Together, these joints let your wrist move in various directions.

They allow your hand to move downwards and upwards.

They also let you bend your wrist forwards, backwards, and side to side, as well as allowing you to rotate your hand.

Common Health Issues With Your Wrists

Not that we know what’s inside your wrists, we can better understand how injuries and health issues can affect them.

Injuries can cause damage to the muscles, tendons, bones, ligaments, and nerves in your wrist.

There are also various health conditions that can negatively affect your wrist.

Let’s take a more detailed look at some of these injuries and conditions and how our physical therapists can help.

1. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

An indication that you may have carpal tunnel syndrome is noticing some pain in your wrists, especially after sitting and working at a desk with poor ergonomics for extended periods of time.

Carpal tunnel syndrome involves the median nerve, a nerve that originates from your neck and goes down into your hand,

In the event that this nerve is compressed within your wrists, it can result in numbness or pain.

This can interfere with your ability to perform daily activities.

However, if you have carpal tunnel syndrome, physical therapy can help.

Physical therapy for carpal tunnel syndrome can help you manage your pain and provide relief so that you can resume your daily tasks.

2. Repetitive Strain Injury

A repetitive strain injury is caused by repetitive movements in the tendons, nerves, and muscles in a particular area.

Because we use our hands constantly, your wrists are susceptible to developing a repetitive strain injury.

It can cause pain, inflammation, numbness, and reduced strength and mobility.

This condition may also contribute to the development of carpal tunnel syndrome.

Physical therapy for repetitive strain injury for your wrist involves creating a treatment plan to help improve mobility and strength and reduce pain.

There are several treatment options that can help manage your symptoms.

3. Arthritis

There are many different types of arthritis.

Osteoarthritis is the most common form, but there are over a hundred others.

These include rheumatoid arthritis, pseudogout, ankylosing spondylitis, and many more.

Each of them has its own causes, but the symptoms of joint pain are what they all have in common.

They can, of course, affect more areas than your wrists.

But when they do affect your wrists, it can make some of the simplest activities in your daily life more painful.

Physical therapy can help manage your wrist arthritis pain.

4. Tendinitis

Tendinitis occurs due to inflammation in your tendons.

This can cause your wrists to become inflamed and irritated.

You may feel pain when your wrist is under pressure.

That pain may also radiate up to your elbow.

It can be the result of both injury and repetitive movements done over an extended period of time.

There are a couple of types of tendinitis that occur in your wrists.

Tenosynovitis occurs when your tendons are restricted due to your synovial sheath thickening.

De Quervain’s tendinitis refers to tendinitis that originates on the side of your wrist adjacent to your thumb.

Physical therapy for wrist tendinitis can help you manage pain, and aid in restoring your strength and range of motion.

5. Other Common Wrist Ailments

Aside from the injuries and conditions already discussed, there are several other common ailments that can affect your wrists.

Physical trauma to the wrist can cause a bone fracture or sprain.

A sprain is the result of a torn or stretched ligament.

Conditions such as impaction syndrome, when the ulna bone is longer than the radius, can cause wrist instability.

You may also have wrist issues resulting from a boxer’s fracture, which affects the fourth and fifth metacarpal bones, and is the result of hitting a hard object with a closed fist.

Other ailments that can affect your wrists result from injuries and conditions in your fingers.

These include jersey finger, mallet finger, and trigger finger.

Trigger finger causes pain, stiffness, and a feeling of your finger locking when you move it, and may also be a symptom of diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis.

It’s important to monitor your symptoms and implement a physical therapy wellness program to help you recover.

Book Your Appointment With Capitol Physical Therapy Today

If you’re having issues with your wrist from either injury or a medical condition, physical therapy can help.

At Capitol Physical Therapy we offer physical therapy wellness programs for a wide range of orthopedic conditions.

We can create a tailored treatment plan that can help restore your strength and mobility and allow you to get back to your daily activities.

Book your appointment with Capitol Physical Therapy today.

Capitol Physical Therapy
1331 H St NW #200,
Washington, DC 20005

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9560 Pennsylvania Ave. # 202,
Upper Marlboro, MD 20772

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Capitol Physical Therapy offers orthopedic and other pain related solutions, with our versitile team of physical therapists in Washington, DC