Overcoming Wrist Tendonitis

Wrist tendinitis is a condition that most commonly occurs in people who perform repetitive activities using the wrist and hand. These include desk workers and people who play tennis, golf, lift weights, or play other sports.

The location of pain is is usually where the arm meets the hand, which can radiate up into the elbow.  There can be pain on the thumb side of the wrist or the little-finger side of the wrist.  Pain may initially occur only when the wrist is under strain.  However, pain may become constant pain when left untreated.

At Movement Solutions, we use a whole-body approach to help our patients overcome wrist tendonitis and get back to their favorite activities without medications, injections, or surgeries.  This begins with an assessment to determine if there are any other contributing causes of wrist tendonitis.  Some contributing factors wrist tendonitis include:

  • Stiffness of the wrist.
  • Weakness of wrist and hand muscles.
  • Weakness of the shoulder and upper back muscles.
  • Sub-optimial technique with exercise.
  • Compensations due to poor mobility at the elbow or shoulder.

Once we determine the contributing causes of wrist tendonitis, our treatment approach involves 3-steps: 

  1. Hands-on treatment to alleviate pain.
  2. Targeted exercise to restore mobility.
  3. Achieving movement mastery for lasting results.

In the presence of wrist tendonitis, we may find tension, trigger points (knots), and tightness of wrist and elbow muscles.  In addition, stiffness of the wrist and shoulder regions might be present.  Weakness of the upper back and rotator cuff muscles can be problematic as well.  In most cases, proper movement needs to be taught (e.g. how to genernate tension in the torso and shoulder) to help offload an irritated wrist.  However, the only way to know what may be contributing to wrist pain is to perform an assessment.

After an assessment, treatment to alleviate pain might include dry needling, soft-tissue work, or hands-on mobilization of the wrist.  For our virtual sessions, we teach our clients techniques they can perform on their own using their own hands.

The next step is to perform targeted exercises so the pain improvements hold and movement can be restored.  The targeted exercises include exercises for the wrist flexors, extensors, ulnar deviators, radial deviators, supinators, and pronators.

Once pain is controlled and movement improves, our next step is to develop strength.  To develop strength, functional grip exercises are key.  When performed with good technique, presses, pulls, holds, carries, and other multi-joint exercises can develop strength and foster longevity.  It is important to generate tension at the shoulders when performing these movements so they are both safe and effective.

When addressed with a plan of care from Movement Solutions, overcoming wrist tendonitis is possible.  Ignoring symptoms, on the other hand, may lead to pain that simply does not go away.  If you have wrist pain and have been told you have wrist tendonitis, the physical therapists at Movement Solutions would be glad to be a resource for you.

We offer a free guide on athletic injuries so you can learn more about common wrist problems and kickstart your recovery.  We also offer a free 15-minute phone consultation to talk about how your wrist is affecting you and discuss your treatment options.  If you want to be certain that we’re a good fit to work together, we encourage you to apply for a free Discovery Visit.  This is a 30-minute consultation for you to to ask questions, obtain clarity, and foster confidence that we can help you.

If you’re in pain and you’re unsure about your next steps, call us at (864) 558-7346 and ask how we can help.

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