Wrist tendonitis -- symptoms and treatment

Many tendons exist on both sides of your forearm/wrist/hand that control the function of your fingers (flexion/extension). The muscles that initiate these motions are located in your forearm; they narrow down to tendons in your wrist that then attach to the bones of your fingers/wrist to allow the various motions.

Frequently, overuse of any of these muscle groups can cause a tendonitis, defined as an irritation and inflammation of the tendons. Repetitive use of the hand, frequent grasping of objects, and exposure to vibration can often be causes. Sometimes, an injury (such as a fall onto an outstretched hand) can also cause a tendonitis.

Usually, patients have pain in a diffuse fashion along their wrist, either dorsum (back of the wrist), volar (palm side), or both. Some people will have irritation of a specific tendon, for example on the little finger side of the wrist. Pain is often worse with motion, grasping, or hand shaking.

Treatment fortunately is relative simple: you need to rest the tendons. This is best accomplished with a wrist brace. Often wearing the brace for days to a few weeks will be sufficient to decrease the inflammation of the tendons and allow for return to regular activities. Other treatments include rest, ice, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, and physical therapy.


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