Wrist tendonitis is characterized by pain and stiffness of wrist joint. The condition is not uncommon and men as well as women equally suffer from tendonitis of wrist joint. As the name suggests, wrist tendonitis is inflammation and irritation of tendons around the wrist joint.
Wrist tendonitis occurs due to overuse of wrist joint and sometimes due to incidental injury. Increased and repetitive activity of wrist joint can stress the tendons of wrist. There are several tendons passing through the wrist joint and its bony prominences, but usually only one tendon is involved.In rare cases more than one tendon is afflicted.
What Causes Tendonitis In The Wrist?
To understand wrist joint tendonitis we need to know the basics of wrist anatomy. The forearm has two bones namely the ulna and radius. Both the bones are connected to small carpal bones of wrist. Muscles originating from ulna and radius get inserted to the bones of wrist and fingers. Tendons are band of muscle fibers that get attached to the bones.
There are two types of muscles in forearm, flexors and extensors. Flexors help flexion of wrist and fingers while extensors help extension.Thus they are responsible for gripping of an object or general movement of wrist joint and fingers. While performing any action the tendons have to glide over the bony prominences. They are enveloped in a sheath which facilitates easy maneuver. However, repeated action and excessive force can put tension on the tendons and the sheath leading to inflammation and irritation.
Wrist tendonitis occurs when undue stress and strain is put on the tendons of wrist joint. The condition is therefore common among persons doing certain activities such as gymnasts, people playing racquet sports, etc. Manual work which requires prolonged and repetitive action of wrist as among carpenters, use of screws and hammer, handling vibrating machinery, working on a computer etc. Wrist tendonitis can also occur due to injury to wrist joint.
What Are The Symptoms Of Wrist Tendonitis?
The initial symptoms of wrist tendonitis are not severe; in fact they are gradual in onset. Pain and stiffness occur while performing unfamiliar work. In the beginning pain may be felt only after waking up in the morning. But as the condition progresses pain in wrist joint is experienced throughout the day even while doing day to day activities such as carrying groceries, shaking hands, writing, typing, or holding a glass of water or some object.
Women experience it most when they are holding kitchen utensils or when they are preparing food. Some patients may experience weakness in their grip and objects fall off from their hands. There may be pins and needles sensation throughout the day. The wrist becomes tender to touch. There may be associated swelling of wrist joint.
How To Treat Tendonitis In The Wrist Naturally?
Majority cases of wrist tendonitis are cured with conservative treatment. Primarily patient has to relinquish all activities which aggravate the condition. Patient should give rest to the affected wrist and temporarily stop all activities which can increase wrist pain and stiffness.
He has to stop playing racquet sports, lifting heavy objects, carrying heavy bags, opening jar lids which require twist and turn of wrist joint etc. Abandoning such activities will provide time for healing of inflamed tendons. It will also ensure of no further damage to the tissue. Once the patient becomes symptom free he can gradually begin activities.
- Aside from rest and immobilization by wearing wrist splint, the other measures frequently adopted are ice fomentation and anti inflammatory medication. Ice fomentation in its initial stage will help to reduce inflammation of the tendon sheath. Anti inflammatory medication helps to reduce swelling and pain and thus enhances the healing of damaged tendon.
- Homeopathic medicines such as Rhustox, Ruta, Arnica, are useful to reduce pain. However, they should be taken under medical supervision.
- A gentle massage is beneficial in relieving stress and strain to the tendons of wrist. Once the symptoms diminish in severity, patient should begin gradual stretching exercises. It will help to strengthen the muscles and tendons of wrist joint.
If all conservative measures fail, and there is increase in symptom severity, surgery may be necessary to release the tightened tendon sheath of the wrist.