Top Tips for

Wrist &
Hand Pain

The wrist and hand can be affected by a number of different conditions, some of the most common injuries and complaints include:

  • Carpal Tunnel
  • Sprain
  • Scaphoid Fracture

What is it and what are the symptoms?

Carpal Tunnel

This is a medical condition that explains the compression of the median nerve as it travels through the carpal tunnel at the wrist. This is generally not due to a specific injury or movement dysfuntion. The most common symptoms are pain, numbness and tingling in the thumb, index and middle fingers and on the thumb side edge of the ring finger.


A sprain is defined as a full or partial tear to one or more of the ligaments around a joint, they can be injured through overuse but are more commonly problematic due to excessive force being applied to the joint when it is at its end range of movement. The wrist will become swollen and tender with pain on movement, in more severe sprains there may be visible bruising.

Scaphoid Fracture

The scaphoid is a small bone in the wrist and it is extremely important to get an early diagnosis if it is fractured as there is poor blood supply and it will not heal unless it is treated in the correct way. The most common way to fracture the scaphoid is by falling onto an outstretched hand. There will be pain when pressing into the “anatomical snuff box” at the base of the thumb, a general pain with use and swelling may appear around the same area.

What can be done to help?

Carpal Tunnel

If the condition is diagnosed early enough there are non-surgical methods, wearing a wrist splint, which may help to relieve the numbness and tingling sensations. Some treatment modalities may also help to relieve the pain and other symptoms.


Sprains require a period of relative rest and ice in order to reduce the swelling and bruising around the joint. Once the pain has decreased significantly, selective exercises should be started as soon as possible to return the joint to normal strength, flexibility and function. If there is a full thickness tear in any of the ligaments, surgery may be necessary. It is important to ensure the joints and muscles above the wrist, at the elbow and shoulder, are functioning as they should in order to give the wrist the best possible opportunity of making a full recovery.

Scaphoid Fracture

The lack of blood supply to this area is the main reason that the recovery time of a scaphoid fracture is on average a minimum of twelve weeks and can, if diagnosis is delayed, take up to six months in a splint or cast.

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A thorough movement assessment would be beneficial, this will take a look at the body as a whole and highlight any dysfunctional movement patterns which may slow down recovery or potentially cause further injury.

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