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Wrist / Hand

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

220px-Carpal_Tunnel_SyndromeDiagnoses: Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition in which a nerve that passes through the carpal tunnel of the wrist is pinched on the palm side.

Symptoms: Symptoms are usually progressive and include intermittent numbness/tingling in the thumb, index, middle finger, and can spread up the arm. Sensations may worsen during activities such as holding a steering wheel, phone, or newspaper. People often “shake out” their hands in attempt to relieve symptoms. As they progress, numbness may become constant. Weakness might also occur and affected people might notice a tendency to drop objects.

Causes: Carpal tunnel syndrome results secondary to compression of the median nerve. The median nerve runs through a small opening in the wrist called the carpal tunnel. It provides sensation to the thumb, index, and middle finger on the palm side of hand and innervated the muscles at the base of the thumb. When space is narrowed in the carpal tunnel the nerve is compressed. This can be caused by a number of factors including wrist fractures, inflammation, and swelling.

Our Physical Therapy Treatment: Treatment will be dependent on the patient and their response to exercise. Potential treatment might include:

  • Mechanical diagnoses/treatment
  • Stretching exercises
  • Manual mobilizations
  • Wrist and hand strengthening exercises
  • Splinting
  • Task specific performance analysis

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/carpal-tunnel-syndrome/basics/lifestyle-home-remedies/con-20030332

Dupuytren’s Contracture

1280px-Morbus_dupuytren_fcmDiagnoses: Dupuytren’s is a hand deformity that develops over time. Knots of tissue develop under the skin of the palm creating a thick cord that can pull a finger into a bent position. Once fingers are bent they lose the ability to straighten. This contracture is most often present in the ring and pinky finger.

Symptoms: Dupuytren’s typically begins with thickening of the skin on the palm. With progression skin may become dimpled and a lump of tissue might form on the palm. Cords eventually form and tighten, pulling a finger toward the palm. Symptoms can occur in both hands but are typically more severe in one.

Causes: Causes remain unknown but are thought to be linked between weakened immune systems and/or contractures of other body parts.

Our Physical Therapy Treatment: Treatment will be dependent on the patient and their response to exercise. Potential treatment might include:

  • Mechanical diagnoses/treatment
  • Stretching exercises
  • Manual joint and soft tissue mobilizations
  • Splinting
  • Hand/finger strengthening exercises
  • Task specific performance analysis

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dupuytrens-contracture/basics/treatment/con-20024378

Wrist Sprain

A00023F02Diagnoses: A wrist sprain is a common injury to a ligament of the wrist from being stretched or torn. Sprains are categorized dependent on severity including:

  • Grade 1: Ligaments are stretched but not torn
  • Grade 2: Ligaments are partially torn
  • Grade 3: Ligaments are completely torn

Symptoms: Symptoms may often very in location and intensity depending on the injury. Common symptoms include:

  • Swelling
  • Resting pain
  • Increased pain with motion
  • Bruising
  • Tenderness to touch
  • Warm skin around the injury site
  • Popping while moving the wrist

Causes: Wrist sprains typically with increased force to the wrist, such as when falling on an outstretched hand. Injuries of this nature often take place while playing sports or participating in outdoor recreation.

Our Physical Therapy Treatment: Treatment will be dependent on the patient and their response to exercise. Potential treatment might include:

  • Mechanical diagnoses/treatment
  • Stretching exercises
  • Manual joint and soft tissue mobilizations
  • Forearm, wrist, and hand strengthening exercises

http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00023