Doctor of Chiropractic, Michele Oman, is passionate about human movement and motor skills, music, literature, DIY and nutrition. In his latest blog he give us ways to improve wrist function and reduce wrist pain.
How to get rid of wrist pain
In the past few weeks I’ve been asked at least three or four times if Chiropractors “do” wrists as well, especially when new clients are ringing the clinic for the first time. The answer, obviously, is yes! As Chiropractors we deal with everything that is part of the musculoskeletal system including wrists, shoulders, hips, knees, feet, etc.
What I’m going to offer here, is an introduction to the anatomy of the wrist and a few exercises that you may try to get rid of your annoying sore wrists! Click here for more info on wrists.
This is how you wrist looks like underneath your skin…
From these pictures you can understand the complexity of this beautiful structure and how many things could go wrong!
The most common wrist pain cases that I have seen so far are provoked by a trauma (like a fall, a hit, etc.) or excessive use (playing too much tennis, doing too many push-ups, using the computer too much), another common cause may be osteoarthritis especially in older people.
It is very important to evaluate the trauma (if present) and understand the severity of the situation; if there is loads of pain or excessive bruising it’s much better to avoid waiting and go to see a specialist (GP, Chiropractor, etc.)
However, if you are considering the damage to be mild/moderate my advice is to wait one week and see how your healing occurs. If the pain is not improving or is getting worse, please book an appointment with a specialist. When we damage joints and ligaments, (in ideal conditions) it takes 6-8 weeks for the body to recover… and that does not mean (necessarily) that the pain is going to present for all this time! Pain may subside quite quickly meanwhile the damage will most likely remain for longer.
The exercises seen in the pictures here may help you to get rid of any annoying pain that may reside, while your wrist is recovering. Please note, they are not designed for a very acute injury or as a substitute to professional care. While performing the stretches, use your personal judgement: hold them for 5-10 seconds at first (progress to more after a few days), stretch 2 to 3 times a day, use your bodyweight to put more stress progressively on your hands and NEVER challenge your wrists too much! When there is a lot of pain it means that you are pushing too hard, a mild discomfort means that you are doing a good stretch…
Obviously I am demonstrating the exercises without having any wrist pain and having full range of motion. You may not look like this to start with, but you may with regular practice! One of the biggest challenges that you are going to face is fear of using a structure that is damaged or that used to be damaged. It is immobility and incorrect use that are going to prolong the pain and interfere with the healing process. Good luck! In the comments below, please let us know what has helped your wrist pain or if you are going to try some of our exercises above- we love to read your comments.