Hand and Wrist Pain

Hand and wrist pain seems to affect our clients at any age. Early and accurate diagnosis is essential for effective rehabilitation of all hand & wrist injuries.

The hand and wrist are very commonly injured parts of the body because of their constant involvement in almost all activities. It is essential to obtain an accurate and early diagnosis of all hand and wrist injuries to deliver appropriate and effective care. Minor hand or wrist injuries if not treated appropriately can become chronic problems, affecting not only day to day activities but also your job requirements and lifestyle. It is essential that you see one of our hand injury physios if you have sustained an injury to this area.

Almost everyone has had a hand or wrist injury at some stage in his or her life. Sport & Spinal Physiotherapy has helped many clients from Gungahlin and the wider Canberra community with all types of wrist and hand pain syndromes. These are commonly caused by overuse from work and recreational activities or trauma from sport or falls.

specialist hand physiotherapists for hand injuries

Acute Wrist & Hand Pain

Acute wrist injuries are commonly seen by our hand injury physiotherapists and these are mostly caused by a fall and trying to stop the fall with your hand. Often the wrist is bent backwards and symptoms will appear such as swelling, bruising, loss of range of motion and loss of wrist strength.

Ball sports can also cause hand pain typically when a ball hits the fingers or thumb and sprains the joint.

Acute wrist and hand injuries include:

  • Bruises
  • Torn ligaments
  • Sprains – injuries to joints
  • Strains – injuries to muscles
  • Fractures
  • Dislocations

Some bones of the wrist have poor blood supply, and if fractured will not heal properly if they are not correctly immobilised in a cast following the injury. Furthermore, some ligament sprains will need splinting in early rehabilitation and if they are not diagnosed early can result in poor healing and possible long-term dysfunction. See one of our hand injury physios for an early and accurate diagnosis of your wrist and hand injury to obtain an optimal recovery.


Overuse Wrist & Hand Pain

Chronic wrist and hand injuries can result from repetitive work or recreational activities. Some wrist and hand symptoms can be attributed to referred pain from the neck, so an early and accurate diagnosis from one of our physios is essential to deliver the most appropriate care.

Common types of hand and wrist pain include:

Arthritis of the hand is common in females. Osteoarthritis of the hand joints is much less common then rheumatoid arthritis. As the arthritis progresses, the fingers gets deformed and lose its function. Osteoarthritis is most common at the base of the thumb. Physiotherapy and hydrotherapy can help.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common disorder of the hand in which the median nerve is compressed at the carpal tunnel at the wrist resulting in pain, numbness and tingling. Disorders like diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis can narrow the tunnel and cause impingement of the nerve. It can also occur in people who overuse their hand or perform repetitive actions like using a computer keyboard, a cashier’s machine or a musical instrument.

RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury) or Occupational Overuse Syndrome (OOS) are terms that include many different arm, wrist and hand injuries. Many factors acting together lead to RSI including repetition, holding your muscles in the same position for a long time, long hours and insufficient breaks at work, and poor equipment.

Skiers Thumb Injury is a tear of the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) of the thumb. The condition is commonly seen in skiers or mountain bikers from a fall on the outstretched hand whilst holding the ski stock or bike handlebars. Thumb instability resulting from disruption of the UCL profoundly impairs the overall function of the involved hand and hence, it is critical that these injuries receive early attention.

De Quervains syndrome is a tendinosis of the sheath or tunnel that surrounds two tendons that control movement of the thumb. A common cause is overuse related to typing on hand-held devices.

Tendinopathy is a disorder when tendons of the hands become inflamed from overuse activity and muscle imbalance.


How can Sport & Spinal Physiotherapy help your hand or wrist injury?

In most cases, physiotherapy alone offers an effective solution for most hand and wrist injuries. During your first visit, we will examine your hand and wrist to determine what structures have been damaged. In chronic pain cases without trauma we will also assess your neck as your pain may be referred. Establishing the correct diagnosis early is imperative as several injuries mimic symptoms yet have different treatment protocols. We use our unique ‘phase-based rehab system’ to ensure all aspects of a full and lasting recovery are delivered. We will tailor a treatment plan to suit your needs, with you involved in the decision making to make certain that we address your biggest concerns. Our physios will use hands on therapy techniques to improve joint mobility and muscle flexibility. We will nearly always at each session provide home exercises of stretches and strength work so that you keep improving between sessions. Early treatment will be focused on reducing pain and swelling and regaining range of motion. Braces, splinting and taping may be provided to protect your injury in early rehabilitation. The physiotherapist will then prescribe an exercise program to improve the strength of your wrist and hand, which are important for preventing re-injury. Massage, hydrotherapy, dry needling and our gym may also be used for best outcome. Towards the end of the treatment program you will be given prevention strategies to keep the pain away. The sooner we begin your hand and wrist rehabilitation, the faster your recovery and back to the things you love doing.


Why choose us for your hand & wrist pain?

  • We listen, we care and we get results
  • We provide physiotherapy to fix the cause of your hand and wrist injury and not just the symptoms
  • We have therapists who have special training in hand & wrist injuries having completed further studies
  • We can refer you for further investigations such as x-ray or MRI if required
  • We can advise on the optimal workstation set-up to reduce work-related stress to your hand or wrist injury.
  • We understand the demands and technique involved in all sport types
  • We have advanced gym equipment to improve upper limb strength
  • Our hydrotherapy sessions can be very effective for early rehabilitation of hand and wrist injuries
  • We can provide dry needling for pain management and accelerated healing
  • We can supply practitioner only natural anti-inflammatory supplements to help healing
  • Our therapists have been recognised for their expertise having been national sporting team consultants
  • We provide braces, splinting or taping to protect your wrist or hand injury on return to activity
  • Many of our physios work with local, state, national and international teams and athletes
  • We provide you with the tools to look after your health long after you leave our care
  • We provide you with a guided return to sport with any technique modifications or training restrictions
  • We can recommend referral to a medical specialist if need be to see if your hand or wrist injury requires surgery