The wrist and hand is composed of 29 bones, 19 in the hand and fingers, 8 in the wrist and 2 in the forearm. As a complex the wrist, hand, and fingers are capable of a great variety of movements, however the forearm muscles are actually responsible for most of the movement and strength of the hand and fingers.
The hand is a very commonly injured part of the body because of its constant involvement in almost all activities. Because of this it requires accurate and early diagnosis of wrist injuries to obtain optimal recovery. Minor hand injuries or wrist injuries if not treated appropriately can become chronic problems, affecting not only day to day activities but also your job requirements and lifestyle.
Everyone has had a wrist injury or hand injury at some stage in their life. These are commonly caused by:
- Sporting or recreational activities
- Overuse type injuries from work
Wrist injuries or hand injuries such as wrist sprains are commonly seen by physical therapists and these are caused by a fall and trying to stop the fall with your hand. Commonly the wrist is bent backwards and symptoms will appear such as swelling, bruising, loss of range of motion and loss of wrist strength.
For this type of injury the PT will accurately diagnose the wrist injury and then work out a treatment plan accordingly. Usually RICE (rest, ice, compression and elevation) principles are the first part of the treatment, followed by other therapy techniques. Some of these techniques for the wrist include immobilization, exercise, stretching, splinting and strengthening exercises.
Most injuries can be separated into acute wrist injury or hand injuries and chronic wrist injury or hand injuries.
Acute wrist / hand injuries include:
- Sprains – injuries to joints
- Torn ligaments such as skiers thumb
- Strains – injuries to muscles
Chronic wrist / hand injuries include:
- De Quervains disease
- Carpel Tunnel Syndrome
These are only a few of the many hand injuries that can be treated at Advantage PT.