People working in front of a computer for long hours often experience pain in their hands or wrists. Even though the pain isn’t permanent, it could still feel uncomfortable and interfere with your daily tasks. So what do you do about it?
Since we tend to use our hands and wrist for our day-to-day activities, it’s important for you to know their causes, symptoms, and treatments for the pain. This blog will walk you through the things you need to know about hand and wrist pain.
Hand & Wrist Pain Causes
Wondering what causes wrist pain? Listed below are some of the most common causes of pain in the hands, fingers, and wrists.
On a daily basis, people perform repetitive hand movements while typing, scrolling, or clicking. However, keeping awkward positions for extended periods could exert too much pressure on your hands, fingers, and wrists. Subjecting your hands to this type of repeated stress can result in severe pain symptoms, especially when ignored for a long time.
These commonly occur for people engaged in heavy contact sports or manual labor. The sudden force of impact from crashing or falling on your wrist can result in sprains, for instance. Torn tissues, fractures, and other injuries cause pain depending on their severity.
Arthritis is a condition marked by tenderness or swelling of the joints. People with arthritis experience pain and stiffness on the wrists or hands. They also find it difficult to move their hands.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
The carpal tunnel serves as a passageway to your wrists. However, applying unnecessary pressure on the median nerve passing through the carpal tunnel can result in tingling sensations, numbness, and pain in the hands or wrists.
Trigger finger is a condition that causes the fingers or thumb to lock whenever they’re bent. A person with this condition is unable to properly straighten their finger. It usually affects the thumb, middle finger, and ring finger.
Symptoms of Hand & Wrist Pain
The symptoms of hand and wrist pain vary depending on the cause. In general, look out for the following symptoms:
- Pain and stiffness
- Inflammation or swelling in the fingers, hands, or wrists
- Inability to move the hands or wrists
- A “pins and needles” sensation in the wrists especially during night time
Just like any type of pain, make sure you see the doctor immediately when you experience these symptoms. Your doctor will give you the proper wrist pain treatment to prevent the pain from getting worse.
At LifeClinic, we offer chiropractic care and physical therapy to help alleviate hand and wrist pain. Since wrist pain can tighten the hands and make them hard to move or open, chiropractic care can help treat damaged soft tissue and decrease inflammation. Physical therapy can also reduce the stiffness so your wrist can move properly again.
During your check-up, a physical therapist may examine the affected area for feeling, range of movement, and strength. They may also ask questions about your symptoms. For a more accurate diagnosis, they may perform special physical tests to check for certain hand and wrist conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome.
Home Remedies For Hand & Wrist Pain
Hand and wrist pain can make simple tasks difficult. Luckily, most hand and wrist pain cases are mild and can be treated at home.
Perform Hand & Wrist Exercises
After typing on your computer for long hours, perform simple stretching exercises on your fingers, hands, and wrists. Giving them a light workout can help increase your blood flow and keep your muscles flexible. Try doing wrist circles, for example, while sitting at your desk.
You can also incorporate wrist curls into your daily workout to gradually build wrist strength. If there is no exercise equipment available in your house, you can use household items such as rubber bands and towels to perform this exercise.
Conduct Hot & Cold Therapy
Heat and ice treatments are effective pain relievers. But how do you know which one to use?
Ice treatments are recommended if you want to reduce inflammation and alleviate muscle pain. Apply an ice pack to the affected area with a bag or cloth for up to 20 minutes to relieve the discomfort. Low temperatures help decrease blood flow, after all. In turn, this can help reduce the swelling in the affected area.
Meanwhile, heat treatments are suggested if you’re experiencing stiffness and persistent pain in your hands or wrists. A heat pack can help increase blood flow to loosen stiff muscles and heal damaged soft tissues. Simply apply a heat pack on the affected area to relieve the pain.
Chiropractic Care & Physical Therapy
When you come see a specialist about your hand and wrist pain, they’ll ask about your pain symptoms, daily work routine, and health history. Going through chiropractic care and physical therapy can help treat the damaged soft tissue and improve circulation in your hand and wrist. Your chiropractor may also suggest that you take a break from your keyboard, for example, and suggest modifications to your workstation.
Natural Pain Relievers
Aside from OTC drugs, there are also herbal pain relievers readily available in your garden or kitchen. Turmeric, for example, contains anti-inflammatory properties that can aid in relieving hand and wrist pain. Ginger is another natural remedy for treating arthritis. You may also use them as spices for cooking or to make juices or tea.
People working or studying from home can benefit from ergonomic office equipment for greater comfort and support. Choose an ergonomic keyboard designed for a comfortable typing position. You can also use mouse pads with foam or gel wrist supports to minimize stress on your wrists when using your mouse.
When Should I Visit a Doctor?
It’s best to consult a specialist such as a chiropractor or physical therapist if the pain worsens or lasts longer for more than a week. Home remedies may temporarily relieve symptoms, but they cannot fully treat serious hand and wrist conditions.
So make sure you get treatment if you’re experiencing numbness, tingling, or weakening sensations for long-term relief. Chiropractic care and physical therapy involves specialized exercises, functional training, and realignment techniques to help reduce stress.
Manage Your Hand & Wrist Pain
A painful hand, finger, or wrist can significantly affect your performance at work or school. By performing regular hand exercises and taking the proper home remedies you can help alleviate the pain for a better quality of life.
Need more advice on how to relieve your pain symptoms? Explore the LifeClinic blog for more actionable tips and advice.