When you spend great amount of time in activities which require repetitive and forceful movement of your wrist and hand, you are at a risk of suffering from pinched nerve in your wrist. In medical parlance the condition is called Carpel tunnel syndrome.
Certain activities such as gripping of musical cord of a musical instrument, clicking constantly on computer mouse, repetitive twisting of screw driver etc may precipitate pinched nerve in your wrist. This happens when the repetitive action is carried out for long duration. It is the median nerve that gets pinched between the inflamed cartilage and tendon present in the wrist joint.
Person having this problem may complain of pins and needles, tingling sensation and pain in wrist and fingers. It is especially experienced at night. Several options are available to fix pinched nerve in your wrist. They are splinting, rest, cortisone injection and surgery.
Pinched Nerve In Wrist Symptoms
There is a narrow passage in the wrist joint, it is called carpal tunnel. The tunnel is surrounded by wrist bones and ligaments. Median nerve passes through this tunnel. It provides sensation to fingers and thumb. The flexor tendons which control the movement of wrist and finger also pass through the tunnel.
Thickening and inflammation of the tendon and the tenosynovium reduces the space in the tunnel. The median nerve in the event gets compressed and cannot function as it should. When you experience the following symptoms, assume it to be pinched nerve in your wrist joint.
- Pain in the wrist.
- Restricted movement of wrist due to pain.
- Pins and needles sensation.
- Pain in wrist is worse at night.
- Pain may radiate upwards to the arm.
- Muscles of hand and palm become weak, this causes weakness of hand. Things fall off from your wrist.
- Reduced wrist grasp. You will find difficulty in carrying bags and other light weight articles.
Causes Of Pinched Nerve In Wrist
Several factors can attribute pinched nerve in wrist.
- Overuse of wrist joint is the main reason. Awkward and repetitive hand movements over a period of time can cause irritation and inflammation of the tendons and cartilage in the carpal tunnel. The median nerve passing through it gets compressed producing various symptoms.
- Rheumatoid arthritis can lead to inflammation and swelling in the carpal tunnel area.
- A pregnant woman may complain of pain in wrist joint due to pinched nerve. Fluid retention can compress the median nerve in the wrist.
- Fracture of wrist joint can irritate the cartilage and reduce the space inside carpal tunnel.
What To Do For A Pinched Nerve In Wrist?
- To begin with alternate hot and cold compresses may help.
- Wear splint at night. If that does not ameliorate you should wear the splint in the day.
- Make changes in your workplace that may reduce the stress on your wrist joint. Special devices are available to reduce the stress on wrist joint. For example use of cushioned mouse pad, use of special keyboards for computers may reduce the stress.
- Physical therapy is found to be an effective remedy for reducing the symptoms of pinched nerve. It may take several days before the patient feels better.
- Few doctors may recommend cortisone injection.
- Anti-inflammatory medicine may also help to reduce pain and pressure.
- Lastly if all the conservative methods fail, surgery will relieve the symptoms permanently.