Integrative Spine & Sports provides treatment for hand and wrist pain at our Upper West Side practice dedicated to spine and sports medicine.
Hand & Wrist Pain
Pain in the hand or wrist can be one of the worst things to happen to a person, especially those who work in precision-based professions, like surgeons or craftsmen.
While minor cases might not prove to be much of a problem for some people, many others need to keep their hands and wrists in excellent condition to make their living.
But even those who don’t necessarily need that level of dexterity (like professional bodybuilders, athletes, or manual laborers) still tend to suffer a lot from even minor cases of hand and wrist pain.
It’s a big problem that affects people both young and old.
Fortunately, there are ways to treat and even cure hand or wrist pain. The chances of reversing the pain depend on the type, location, and severity of the injury, as well as risk factors like age, overall health, and activity, so everyone’s experience is different.
Here we explain the most common symptoms associated with hand and wrist pain and the treatment methods our specialists use to get our patients on the road to recovery.
Hand & Wrist Pain Treatment in NYC
We treat the source of acute and chronic hand and wrist pain, inflammation and disability caused by injury and biological abnormality, as well as the most common cause of hand and wrist pain in NYC – overuse and repetitive strain.
We offer a number of non-surgical treatment options for conditions affecting the tendons, muscles, nerves, bony structures, and soft tissue of the hand and wrist joint that can result in pain and inflammation and limit mobility, strength, and flexibility.
Our holistic and integrative approach to treatment may include:
Hand & Wrist Pain Specialists
Our hand and wrist pain specialists in Manhattan create custom treatments designed to meet the needs of people suffering from acute pain due to injury, as well as those experiencing chronic conditions affecting the tendons, muscles, nerves, bony structures and soft tissue of the hand and wrist joint.
Our integrative team, consisting of a board-certified physiatrist, chiropractors, and physical therapists, offers comprehensive treatment for acute and chronic hand and wrist pain treatment in NYC.
What hand and wrist conditions do we treat?
Our treatment for hand and wrist pain in NYC covers the following conditions:
What are the causes of hand and wrist pain?
In most cases, hand and wrist pain occurs due to injury occurring from misuse or overuse.
These injuries can be as minor as strains (tearing a muscle) and sprains (tearing a ligament) or as major as fractured hand and wrists.
Whatever the case may be, these one-time injuries will often occur with some lingering pain. If one gets proper treatment and enough rest, the pain should gradually disappear.
A strain is what happens when someone tears a muscle. When someone instead tears their ligament, it’s called a sprain.
One can usually tell sprains/strains by their common symptoms — pain, swelling, bruising, and difficulty using the hand and wrist.
The patient may also experience muscle spasms and cramping.
When these things happen, the pain often goes away after a period of 2 days to 2 weeks. However, if the pain lasts beyond 2 weeks or becomes unmanageably painful, it’s very important to see a doctor immediately.
Patients can dislocate their wrists when subjected to sudden impacts like fall accidents or motor vehicle accidents.
If someone experiences extreme pain or if there is obvious distortion of the hand and wrist joint, seek immediate medical attention.
When one of the bones which form the hand or wrist break, that’s called a fracture.
Patients can fracture their hand or wrist due to sudden blows, like in contact sports, car accidents, or fall accidents.
Fractures are very dangerous if left untreated and could permanently disable a patient’s hand mobility. To prevent infection, seek immediate medical attention to treat the fracture.
Over time, as one uses (or misuses) their hand and wrist, damage forms gradually on a microscopic scale.
Examples of hand and wrist misuse are:
- Too many repetitive movements
- Awkwardly orienting the hand/wrist while doing everyday work
- Prolonged lifting, gripping, or pinching
If one isn’t careful, any of these actions could lead to a number of wear-and-tear injuries.
People who use their hands to do heavy striking movements, such as blacksmiths, fighters, and athletes are especially prone to wrist/hand wear-and-tear.
The movements don’t even need to be heavy – sometimes, repetitive movement is all it takes to put one at risk of wear-and-tear injury.
Chefs can get it from knife work and whisking, and drummers can get it from intense drumming.
As long as there’s prolonged, repetitive, or improper use, and not enough maintenance, the person can put themselves at risk of wear-and-tear injury.
Without consistent maintenance treatments (such as shockwave therapy), this wear and tear can take a toll on the hand and wrist.
It can cause not only short-term hand and wrist pain but also other long-term effects which may lead to even more pain.
A number of diseases (with varying degrees of pain) are known to cause hand and wrist pain, such as:
For most of these diseases, hand and wrist pain is an early symptom which can help the patient detect their presence before their symptoms worsen.
They usually manifest other symptoms as well, which allows a more accurate diagnosis of the problem.
There are also diseases that directly affect the hands and wrists, capable of virtually disabling function if left untreated, such as:
- Flexor/Extensor Tendonitis
- Flexor/Extensor Tendonosis
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Ganglion Cysts
These diseases can be extremely painful and should be treated as soon as possible. If symptoms point to a severe disease like the ones listed above, seek immediate medical attention.
Hand & Wrist pain FAQs
If hand and wrist pain is a common problem when lifting weights, try reducing the weight to a manageable number and work up from there. It can also be helpful to change up one’s exercise program. Focus on exercises that put less strain on the wrists and isolate the muscles that need working out. Doing negative reps also help a lot. To prevent wrist pain from even occurring during lifting, it’s a good idea to strengthen the forearm muscles using small weights or resistance bands. We also recommend being extra careful by maintaining proper form at all times.
Sometimes, injury can be invisible, like what happens in cases of hand and wrist osteoarthritis. Conditions like these are caused by wear-and-tear resulting from hand and wrist overuse/misuse (e.g., too much heavy lifting, repetitive movements) and even aging.
Acupuncture provides long-term relief for both acute and chronic hand and wrist pain such as in conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome. It helps relieve hand and wrist pain by reducing inflammation. By stimulating the various acupuncture points associated with hand and wrist pain, parts of the nervous system are also stimulated, which can help provide pain relief. Because of its low-risk, low-side effect nature of treatment, acupuncture is something patients should consider before having more invasive procedures like surgery.
Hand and wrist sprains/strains usually last between 2 to 10 weeks. The severity of the pain is usually telling of how long it will last – the more painful the injury, the longer it will last. In some cases, patients are unable to even press keys on their keyboard or pick up pens. In serious cases such as these, immediate medical attention is required. Home remedies like gentle stretches, heat therapy, and cold therapy help alleviate the pain, but we recommend consulting a physiatrist for faster results.
Most cases of hand and wrist pain (which are often results of sprains/strains) subside naturally after a period of 2 days to 2 weeks. However, if the pain gets worse or persists after the 2-week mark, seek immediate medical attention. Sometimes, hand and wrist pain is merely a symptom of a more serious or underlying condition, so pay attention to other symptoms that accompany the pain.
Natural remedies for acute hand and wrist pain are rest, ice, heat, and gentle stretching. Some people recover completely by just resting, but it’s possible to speed up the process by applying ice and heat to the affected area. If these don’t work after 2 weeks, or if the pain worsens, seek immediate medical assistance.
To relieve hand and wrist pain, doing some gentle hand and wrist stretches can help. It’s best to do these stretches once swelling (if any) subsides. Heat therapy and cold therapy can also work well for pain relief. If your hand and wrist pain is a result of poor posture or a bad workstation setup, make the necessary changes to avoid hand and wrist pain in the future.
Generally, the best position to sleep is on your back. Sleeping on one’s back helps ensure that the hand and wrists aren’t assuming awkward positions that could aggravate the pain. It also helps to unclench the fingers and lay the hands out to prevent the wrists from twisting or bending. Hanging the hand over the side of the bed can also help stretch out the wrist ligaments, reducing pain overnight.
Some of the common symptoms of COVID-19 are “aches and pains”. Some patients do experience joint pain, sometimes in the knees and hand and wrists. But this isn’t very common. Symptoms to watch out for are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. If the hand and wrist pain gets worse or persists for longer than 2 weeks, consult your doctor.