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Physical therapy and tendonitis at the wrist

This is a common condition. The tendon at the wrist joint is responsible for pain, irritation and inflammation. Although there are many tendons surrounding it, this tendon usually affects one. In some cases it may involve more than one. It can occur at the points where the tendons cross over or pass over a bony surface. This can cause pain when you move your wrist.

Anatomy and function of wrist tendons

The wrist tendon connects our forearm muscles with the fingers and finger bones. There are 6 tendons within the wrist that perform this function.

Extensors

These are the three tendons at the wrist’s back that allow the wrist to bend backwards.

  • EXTENSOR CARPI RADIALIS BREVIS (ECRB) TENDON
  • EXTENSOR CARPI RADIALIS LONGUS TENDON
  • EXTENSOR CARPI ULNARIS TENDON (ECU).

Flexors: There are three tendons that bend the wrist on the front of the wrist. They are flexor radialis and flexor ulnaris.

Signs

The most common signs of inflammation in the wrist tendons include

  • Movements can make pain worse
  • The wrist joint may become swollen
  • Warmth and pallor
  • The feeling of grinding with motion

Causes

Tendonitis can occur in any tendon. However, it’s more common in tendons that are used and moved frequently. Tendonitis can be caused by a variety of conditions.

  • Trauma or sudden injury
  • Excessive use of the tendons
  • Repetitive movement done in an awkward manner   

You can also get it from a variety of medical conditions, such as

  • Gout or pseudogout
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Diabetes
  • Occupation of blood flow

Treatment

Your wrist tendonitis treatment will be determined by your healthcare provider or physical therapy professional based on a number of factors, including the severity and type of tendonitis. The primary goal of treatment is to reduce pain and inflammation so that the tendon can heal properly. This is the most popular physical therapy technique.

  • Rest or immobilization

A splint, or cast, can help. A cast or splint will immobilize the injury, and allow for the proper time and conditions to heal the tendon.

  • Ice

Ice can be applied to the tendon to reduce inflammation, pain, swelling, and blood flow. This will speed up tendon healing.

  • Elevation and compression

You can reduce swelling by applying pressure to the affected area, and elevating the area.

  • Hand therapy

This is a special form of physical therapy that includes strengthening exercises, stretching exercises, and electrical stimulation. It also includes braces for injuries.