- Posted on: Jul 1 2017
Dr. Jeff J. Mollins, Brooklyn’s premier accident doctor practicing almost 30 years, will commonly diagnose wrist pain. Injuries to the wrist are very commonly seen when treating patients involved in all kinds of accidents (construction, automobile, slip and fall, and work accidents). Wrist pain can vary from mild to severe. Injuries to the wrist must be diagnosed properly and treated as expeditiously as possible to prevent dire consequences.
Your wrist is a complex joint made up of eight small bones arranged in two rows between the bones in your forearm and the bones in your hand. Tough bands of ligament connect your wrist bones to each other and to your forearm bones and hand bones. Tendons attach muscles to bones. Damage to any of the parts of your wrist can cause pain and affect your ability to use your wrist and hand.
Here are some of the causes of wrist pain:
1) Sudden impacts – Wrist injuries often occur when you fall forward onto your outstretched hand. This can cause sprains, strains, and even fractures. These type of injuries are common in traumatic accidents (work and/or automobile accidents).
2) Repetitive Stress – Any activity that involves repetitive wrist motion can inflame the tissues around joints or cause stress fractures, especially when you perform the movement for hours on end without a break. This type of injury occurs often with people who are doing repetitive activity on the job. From laborers (like a house painter, jackhammer worker etc.) to sedentary works (using a computer all day), repetitive stress injuries to the wrist are common.
3) Osteoarthritis – This type of arthritis occurs when the cartilage that cushions the ends of your bones deteriorate over time. Osteoarthritis in the wrist usually occurs in people who have injured that wrist in the past.
4) Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – Carpal tunnel syndrome develops when there is increased pressure on the median nerve as it passes through the carpal tunnel, a passageway in the palm side of your wrist. This injury is common in patients that perform a repetitive motion over a long period of time such as typing on a computer all day. Carpal tunnel is a very common work related injury.
Diagnosis: Once Dr. Mollins determines that a wrist injury has been sustained, he will immediately refer that patient to a skilled, Board Certified hand/wrist orthopedic specialist. Examination of the wrist includes checking the joint for tenderness, swelling, and/or deformity. Checking range of motion and assessing grip and forearm strength. Quite often the patient will be referred for imaging tests such as x-rays, CT, MRI and/or ultrasound. Nerve tests may be required to test for carpal tunnel syndrome and the examining specialist may order an electromyogram (EMG).
Once an accurate diagnosis is determined, a proper treatment regimen is required. Treatment varies from conservative care to more aggressive treatment (surgery) if necessary.
Therapy: A physical therapist can recommend specific treatments and exercises for wrist injuries and tendon problems.
Medications: Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen, may help reduce wrist pain. Stronger pain relievers are available by prescriptio .
Surgery: In some cases, surgery may be necessary. For example, tendons or ligaments that may have ruptured may need to be repaired surgically.
Dr. Mollins, certified NYS workers compensation chiropractor, specializes in the diagnosis, treatment and documentation of injuries sustained by patients involved in work related accidents. Please note, that wrist pain due to repetitive stress (if that repetitive stress occurs at work) is a work related accident (along with the usual more common traumatic wrist injuries that occur at work). Therefore, you can be treated at no cost and compensated for loss of wages (if unable to work). When you return to work, you can still be treated at no cost. Most importantly as soon as you sustain a work injury, see Dr. Mollins as soon as possible. Typically, the sooner an injury is treated, the sooner you will achieve wellness.