The hand/wrist complex is a complicated structure used in everyday life. With a large number of bones and ligaments, a slip or fall on an outstretched hand can cause significant pain and injury. In addition, repetitve motions can cause inflammation in the muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints of the wrist and hand. At Performance Health, we commonly see the injuries listed below.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Wrist Strain / Sprain
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition characterized by tingling, numbness and pain in the hand and fingers (particularly the thumb, index, middle and ring fingers). These symptoms are the result of pressure on the median nerve, which runs through a narrow passageway (called the carpal tunnel) from the wrist to the hand. The median nerve provides sensation to the palm side of the hand and allows mobility of the thumb. Inflammation in the wrist or forearm (pronator teres) can entrap the median nerve, leading to carpal tunnel syndrome.
Wrist Strain / Sprain
A strain occurs when muscle fibers or tendons (which connect muscle to bone) are torn or overstretched. Strains are a common type of sports related injury, but they can occur in the course of every day activities as well.
Sprains occur when a ligament is torn or stretched abnormally. Ligaments are tough bands of connective tissue that hold bones together at joints. Torn or loose ligaments can lead to long-term joint instability and pain.