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Wrist Tendinitis: Arm Yourself With This Handy Information

By Sara Butler

Wrist Tendinitis

Wrist tendinitis happens. Doesn’t matter who you are. From a weekend warrior to a two-time baseball all-star like pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, wrist tendinitis is a condition that can strike anyone with a wrist!

The real question is what you can do about it. From understanding the first onset of symptoms to simple stretches that can help prevent and treat it, wrist tendinitis (also referred to as wrist tendonitis) is a problem with a solution. Here’s what the chiropractors at The Joint Chiropractic want you to know about this common condition.

Wrist Tendinitis: What Is It?

Your wrist is a relatively small joint with a lot of moving parts. Those moving parts include tendons, which can become inflamed and irritated -- as irritated as your in-laws when you decide to spend the holidays at home.

The tendons in the wrist joint are integral to its proper functioning. These small structures join bone to muscle, connecting the forearm muscles to the bones in the fingers and hands. Each tendon slides through a tendon sheath to glide as smoothly as possible in the joint; these sheaths are filled with fluid to help make the process as low-friction as possible. If one part of this intricate wrist dance becomes irritated, you’ll certainly notice discomfort when moving the joint.

What Are the Symptoms

Most patients complain of pain in the wrist at the onset of wrist tendinitis, but there are also other symptoms that commonly strike. They include:

  • Swelling in the joint
  • Redness and warmth in the joint
  • A feeling of grinding in the joint as the tendons move

If you notice any of these symptoms, then you should make sure to point them out to the chiropractor at The Joint right away.

What Causes Wrist Tendinitis?

Although wrist tendinitis can strike any of the many tendons in the wrist, it is most associated with certain activities that impact specific tendons. Repetitive motions in the wrist put stress on the tendons over time, making it an injury that is often triggered by everyday activities that are done frequently -- such as playing a certain sport (pitching is a good example) or even using a computer. If you describe your daily habits involving your wrist to the chiropractor, then they will know what tendons are most likely impacted.

How Is Tendinitis Treated?

Though the specific treatment received for tendinitis varies from person to person based on the root cause of the issue, there are some common ways that the condition is treated. A splint may be recommended to help ease irritation and rest the tendon, and ice may be recommended to help relieve pain and stimulate blood flow to the area for healing. That doesn’t address the ways in which a person may use their wrist each day that led to the problem, which is where these wrist stretches come in handy.

Exercises for Wrist Tendinitis

Here are a few simple exercises you can do each day to address issues with wrist tendinitis.

Wrist Extension and Flexion

To perform this exercise, simply lay your forearm on the table with your hand palm down extended over the edge. Bend your wrist to move your hand up, making a fist as you stretch it up. Then, lower your hand as you relax your fingers and let it dangle over the edge once more. Hold each position for about five seconds and repeat it 12 times.

Hand Flips

Sit in a chair with your forearm on your thigh and your hands palm down. Next, flip your hand over so that the palm is facing up. Alternate palm down and palm up, flipping your hand over as you keep your forearm on your thigh, repeating about 12 times.

Wrist Extensor Stretch

To perform this exercise, extend your arm straight out in front of you as you point your fingers toward the floor. Next, take your opposite hand and gently bend your wrist down until you feel a small stretch in your forearm. Hold this for anywhere between 15 and 30 seconds, then repeat two to four times. When you reach a point where this exercise becomes easy and you no longer feel pain while doing it, you can transition to making a fist palm down and bending your wrist that way for an even deeper stretch.

Wrist Flexor Stretch

This companion stretch to the extensor stretch goes the opposite direction. All you need to do is put your arm out in front of you with your palm facing away from your body, then use your opposite hand to bend your wrist toward the sky until you feel a small stretch in your forearm. Hold for between 15 and 30 seconds, repeating two to four times.

Wrist tendinitis is an uncomfortable condition but it doesn’t have to stop you from doing what you enjoy. Make sure to follow up with your chiropractor as a part of your treatment plan and let them know if things are improving or not. Together, you can work on a treatment plan to help prevent problems down the road and keep you doing the things you love to do.

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