Most Common Hand Injuries
The most common injuries to the wrist and hand include sprains, tendinopathy and fractures. Sprains and fractures are very common due to the natural instinct of using our hands to brace ourselves from a fall, slip, tumble or trip. We instinctively place our hand out as a protective mechanism. This most often results is a wrist sprain or fracture. Tendinopathy, formally known as tendinitis, is most often caused by direct trauma or overuse of the tendon. Direct trauma causes localized inflammation and limits the space in the channel by which the tendon paces through. The tendon itself does not become inflamed but the connective tissue that surrounds the tendon develops metabolic changes thus resulting in the pain. Overuse or repetitive movements have been linked to a variety of injuries in the wrist of which Carpal tunnel is the most common.
A proper diagnosis is imperative before deciding on treatment options. Evaluating and comparing both wrist and hand for deformity, size changes due to swelling, color differences, sensation, capillary refill and overall function are very important in determining the extent of the injury, the limitations and severity of injury. Conventional Physiotherapy is generally effective for most wrist and hand injuries however certain conditions may require further physical examination and diagnostic testing to determine the extent and limitations of the injury. This is often the case in possible tendon ruptures or lacerations where nerve or arteries may have been damaged and in nerve entrapments due to swelling and direct trauma that limit the function of the wrist and hand.
We are constantly using our wrist and hands for tasks that we take for granted and often put undo stress on the muscles, tendons, ligaments and connective tissue. This constant stress leads to tissue breakdown and injury. The complexity of the anatomical makeup of the wrist and hand makes it often difficult to pinpoint a proper diagnosis. The possibility of permanent damage to muscles, tendons, nerves, arteries and veins from direct trauma and lacerations are of major concern to the medical profession. We on the other hand use and abuse them with little regard for their safety.
By seeing a Hand Therapist you will receive specialist care to enable the optimal management of your injury and therefore an improved outcome.