People who work in jobs that put continuous stress on the wrist and hands can develop chronic pain over time. The same is true for men and women who frequently participate in athletic activities or home-related tasks that strain these parts of the body. It's important to seek attention from a healthcare practitioner instead of ignoring the problem since the pain can eventually become debilitating. A pain management clinic provides assistance with behavior modification and therapy for strained soft tissues.
Many people dealing with chronic wrist and hand pain put off getting treatment, hoping the issue will clear up on its own. They use over-the-counter pain medication to cope. This has the unfortunate consequence of allowing the person to keep on with the problem-causing activity, gradually worsening the condition.
Repetitive Stress Disorders
Chronic pain on the inside of the wrist is typically associated with carpal tunnel syndrome. Other disorders affect the fingers and the hand at the base of the thumb. The person may develop osteoarthritis in the fingers from repetitive stress. Weakness can also occur in the wrists and hands because of repetitive stress. By receiving treatment at a pain clinic, the patient might avoid the need for surgery in the future.
Physical therapy at a pain clinic can be valuable for resolving these issues. The therapist works with the patient on modifying behavior during the repetitive activity. Exercises to strengthen the wrist and hand may be advisable.
Ergonomic equipment at work may be helpful. For example, someone who works at a computer all day benefits from a mouse pad and keyboard with a wrist rest. Ergonomic keyboards allow users to hold their hands in a more natural position instead of in a straight line. Practitioners at a pain management clinic can provide details on various products.
Taking a Break
The therapist may recommend taking two or more weeks off work. This allows the wrist and hand to heal. Full-time employees should be eligible for worker's compensation if the job has caused the disorder. For patients whose condition developed from other routine behavior, taking a break is important. That includes avoiding activities like golf, tennis, and raking your yard.
Bracing and Splinting
In the future, wearing a wrist brace or splint when using the arm and hand in these activities provides support to prevent inflammation and strain. Some men and women find that wearing the device while sleeping is useful. It keeps the hand in a neutral position instead of bending forward or backward. The therapist can recommend the best devices for each patient's needs.
For more information, contact a local pain clinic near you to learn more.