hand treatment

Is My Wrist Pain De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis or Carpal Tunnel?

With more Chicagoans and fellow Lincoln Parkers working from home still either exclusively or in a hybrid setting, this will likely be the new norm for many.  With some having multiple screens, or some kind of work set up (no, the bed or the couch does not count), it is important to have a good set up to avoid any injury to your wrist.  Two of the most common injuries occurring in the workplace involve the wrist. Both carpal tunnel syndrome, and de Quervain’s tenosynovitis (which involves injury to the top of the wrist adjacent to the thumb), involve millions of dollars annually to treat and manage these injuries.  It it important to recognize signs and symptoms so you can have it evaluated properly by either an orthopedist or sports chiropractor. This blog will detail the signs and symptoms of these 2 common wrist injuries that a sports chiropractor can evaluate and likely treat.

carpal tunnel syndrome chicago

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is often over diagnosed due to a main complaint of pain in one’s hand and fingers.  With CTS, it involves compression of the median nerve causing pain, tingling, and numbness affecting the first 3 digits of the hand (thumb through middle finger).  Additionally, CTS is most common to occur in the upper and inner forearm (closest to your inner elbow bone), then the wrist, as the 2nd common site.  In the forearm instance, the pronator teres (muscle in the inner forearm) compresses it from overuse and repetitive movement (typing, housework, or any movement that involves the palm being downward for long periods).

For the wrist, it is due to flexing (bending) your wrist for long periods.  In either situation, one’s grip and/or hand strength is impacted, making it challenging to grasp and hold objects.  Nerve symptoms (numbness, tingling, burning, and/or pins/needles) can be felt alongside the forearm (with the palm upward) as well as the first 3 fingers.  Evaluating pain such as this at your earliest convenience at a sports chiropractor will give you the best opportunity to both avoid surgery and heal with positive outcomes.

De Quervain’s tenosynovitis occurs on the radial (thumb) side on top of either forearm and involves 2 tendons, abductor pollucis longus (APL) and extensor pollucis brevis (EPB) and occurs from repetitive movement and overuse.  This does not cause weakness, (except in severe cases) making it painful and difficult to bend one’s thumb. Also, deviating the wrist toward the thumb side (radial deviation) usually causes great pain too.  Individuals can often confuse this with CTS and it is quite different.  Surgery is not often needed either as chiropractic care can help with symptoms when evaluated and properly diagnosed.

De quervain's treatment chicago

Chiropractic care, Active Release Techniques (for those currently certified health care providers), and corrective exercises are usually performed to reduce inflammation, muscle tone, improve flexibility, and function.  It may take a few treatments to begin to feel relief (depending on how long you have suffered from this injury), but chiropractic care an help both conditions quite well.  Most of these injuries are chronic, as pain and possible weakness, is not discovered until the injury is quite intense.  It is important to seek out an evaluation for either of these injuries to avoid missing time from work and activities you enjoy.  Recommendations as part of your care will also be made (supporting wrist, wearing a brace) to minimize any aggravation.

These 2 conditions will allow one to seek the help you need should they arise.  It is always to be proactive, not reactive to allow the highest prognosis in healing well with no lingering effects.

Brian Marion, DC, CCSP, ART, CKTP, SFMA


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