Repetitive strain injuries are one of the most common causes of wrist pain. While this can occur in a variety of situations, it can especially plague those who perform a significant amount of their work with their hands. Forms of repetitive strain injuries include:
These conditions involve cumulative trauma to the soft tissue structures, which results in pain and inflammation. Hand and finger movements are primarily controlled my muscles in the forearm. Tendons extend down through the wrist, attaching to each digit. When forearm muscles are contracted, tendons are pulled to open and close the hand and provide for fine dexterity movements. Problems sometimes occur when the hands and wrists are overused. Chafing and miro tears can occur, causing an inflammatory response causing swelling and pain. The problem can also be further exacerbated by increases in the internal pressure, creating a hyperoxic (loss of oxygen) condition. Tendons can become hardened and thickened (sclerotic) as a result of chafing and pressure on the median nerve. If pressure on nerve tissue persists for a prolonged period of time, degeneration can occur, causing numbness, tingling, pain, weakness and muscle atrophy. This is commonly referred to as carpal tunnel syndrome, a serious condition which can lead to permanent disability. It is always ideal to take steps to prevent repetitive strain injuries from occurring, being mindful when performing activities which may lead to such conditions. Probably the most common situation for onset of repetitive stress injuries to the wrists occurs with those who spend a significant amount of time typing. Resting the hands every few minutes is extremely important, as is stretching wrists, shoulders, neck and back at least every hour. Workstation ergonomics is also key, and should be designed to avoid the body from being in unnatural positions and minimizing repetitive motions and reaching. The Wellness Institute of Nevada has several therapies for treating both acute and chronic wrist pain.