What you should know about this common wrist ailment
What injury most commonly affects both athletes and office workers? You guessed it: wrist tendonitis.
Tendonitis occurs when tendons (the long, rope-like tissues that connect bone to muscle), become irritated and inflamed, commonly experienced in the wrist and fingers. This irritation can be a result of sports activities that require repetitive motion in the wrist, like tennis, or from extensive typing at a computer. It is rarely a result of an injury, but more likely stems from everyday activities over a period of time.
Because of the sometimes debilitating pain of wrist tendonitis, and the possibility of tendonitis developing into a more serious injury, it is no wonder that many of our clients have questions about the ins and outs of wrist tendonitis. Despite the fact that wrist tendonitis treatment is simple, it is still important to know how to identify and prevent tendonitis of the wrist.
Therefore, we present answers to your frequently asked questions about this common, but treatable, ailment.
The FAQS of Wrist Tendonitis
What are the signs of wrist tendonitis?
Wrist pain, with tenderness directly over the affected tendon, is usually the most noticeable symptom of wrist tendonitis. You may also experience wrist and hand weakness, hand numbness or tingling, or a swelling/burning sensation.
Is wrist tendonitis the same thing as carpal tunnel?
No, wrist tendonitis is not the same thing as carpal tunnel, although it can lead to carpal tunnel without proper wrist tendonitis treatment. Carpal tunnel occurs when the median nerve, which runs from the forearm to the palm of the hand, is compressed in the wrist. If tendons are swollen due to wrist tendonitis, it can contribute to this narrowing of the canal that contains the median nerve. This compression can cause many of the same symptoms as wrist tendonitis like wrist pain; numbness, tingling, and weakness in fingers; or a swelling and burning sensation. However, despite their similarity in pain, wrist tendonitis and carpal tunnel are different conditions requiring different treatments.
Who is most likely to develop wrist tendonitis?
Anyone who requires repetitive wrist motions for work, sports, or hobbies is susceptible to wrist tendonitis. Individuals diagnosed with wrist tendonitis are commonly between the ages of 40 and 60.
If you participate in sports that require repetitive motions, like golfing, swimming, racquet sports, baseball or basketball, you could be at risk for wrist tendonitis. In addition, if you work in an office or from home and work on your computer for hours at a time, you may develop wrist tendonitis. There is also a rise in young adults and teenagers developing wrist tendonitis due to texting, although this is still less common compared to the other causes.
What treatment options are available?
The goals of wrist tendonitis treatment are to reduce pain and inflammation. If diagnosed, your doctor will likely suggest that you take pain relievers and/or anti-inflammatory medication like ibuprofen. He or she may also suggest a steroid injection to reduce inflammation.
Your doctor may also prescribe wrist tendonitis exercises to strengthen your wrist. In addition, you will need to take a break and/or reduce the activities that caused the tendonitis. Wrist tendonitis surgery is only required if the tendonitis is extensive, having permanently damaged the tendon.
To learn more about wrist tendonitis treatments, contact Allied Bone and Joint!