Wrist Tendonitis is the inflammation of the tendons at the wrist resulting from irritation against a bony prominence, injury, overuse, or other chronic conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, or gout. Improper workspace ergonomics is also one of the leading causes of chronic wrist tendonitis. Wrist tendons control the movement of the wrist, hand, and fingers.
Wrist tendonitis causes pain, mild swelling, and weakness in the hand. Sometimes, a grating sensation is there in the tendon with movement. There is difficulty in performing activities involving grip action, and the inability to lift heavy objects. The involved area is tender and warm to the touch.
The five ways to treat wrist tendonitis include-
- Immobilization -The main aim of immobilization is to reduce inflammation and promote healing. Optimal hand positioning is required to reduce undue stress and strain on the inflamed tendons of the wrist. It is done by using a splint or an immobilizer. As soon as the symptoms subside, the next step is the movement of the wrist and hand to promote flexibility and strength.
- Cold packs/Ice therapy– To reduce pain and swelling.
- Exercise therapy– Stretching, strengthening exercises, and optimal hand positioning play a key role in recovering the inflamed tendons. Stretching helps to improve the flexibility of the tendons. ROM exercises help to maintain mobility. Strengthening exercises with progressive loading helps in gaining strength. Exercises to improve grip strength are crucial in achieving a fully functional hand. Ultrasonic sound waves also help in promoting healing.
- NSAIDs and Corticosteroid injections– To help reduce the pain and inflammation. Sometimes, PRP (Platelet-rich plasma) injections are also used to promote healing.
- Surgery is recommended only when above mentioned conservative measures fail to help in the recovery of wrist tendonitis, even after 3-6 months. It is rare. The goal of surgery is to make space for the tendon by releasing any constriction, repairing the tendon, and removing the inflamed part of the tendon.
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