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Wrist Injuries

The wrist is actually a collection of 27 bones forming many joints thus allowing an incredible range and precision of motion.

The bones comprising the wrist include the forearm bones, the radius and ulna, 8 carpal bones that are arranged in two rows, and the proximal portions of the 5 metacarpal bones. Within the palm of the hand run nerves, tendons (which join muscles to bone) and ligaments and there are many muscles in the wrist and hand performing the complex tasks required.

Common Sources of Wrist Pain.

Wrist pain can happen to anyone but maybe caused by disease or injury affecting any aspect of the wrist joint, including the bones, ligaments, muscles, tendons and nerves in the surrounding area. The most common cause of wrist injury and pain is falling on an outstretched hand but there are many other causes including fractures, dislocations, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, arthritis, muscle strain or overuse, nerve irritation / damage, tendon or ligament damage, repetitive strain injury (RSI), Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Wrist pain may also originate at the thumb or fingers for example De Quervains, a painful condition that affects tendons where they run through a tunnel on the thumb side of the wrist and Dupuytrens contracture where firm nodules appear in the ligaments just beneath the skin of the palm of the hand, and in some cases extend to form cords that can prevent the finger straightening completely. The tendons from the thumb and fingers pass from the involved digit to the wrist and into the forearm. Use of the fingers or thumb can irritate the tendons and thus cause pain.

Physiotherapy treatment is very important to help restore normal range, muscle power and function in the wrist whether it is post fracture, arthritis or a soft tissue injury. Massage, mobilisations, soft tissue stretching and home exercise will all go towards restoring normal function.