Wrist tendonitis, also known as tenosynovitis or tendinitis, is a condition where the tendons in the wrist become inflamed or irritated. It is a common condition that can affect people who engage in repetitive activities that involve the wrist, such as typing on a computer keyboard or playing sports like tennis or golf.
Causes of Wrist Tendonitis
Wrist tendonitis can be caused by a variety of factors, but the most common cause is overuse or repetitive stress on the tendons in the wrist. Some activities that can lead to wrist tendonitis include:
Repetitive motions: Any activity that requires repetitive movements of the wrist, such as typing, playing sports, or using tools can cause strain on the tendons over time.
Improper technique: Performing activities with improper form or technique can also contribute to wrist tendonitis.
Poor ergonomics: Using poorly designed equipment, such as a keyboard that is too high or too low, can lead to wrist tendonitis.
Trauma: A sudden injury or trauma to the wrist, such as a fall or impact, can also cause tendonitis.
Inflammatory conditions: In some cases, wrist tendonitis can be associated with inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.
Age: Wrist tendonitis is more common in individuals over 40 years old, as tendons lose elasticity with age and become more prone to injury.
It is important to identify the underlying cause of wrist tendonitis in order to prevent future episodes and manage the condition effectively.
Signs and Symptoms of Wrist Tendonitis
The signs and symptoms of wrist tendonitis can vary depending on the severity and cause of the condition. Some of the most common symptoms include:
- Pain: Pain is the most common symptom of wrist tendonitis. The pain is usually felt at the front of the wrist, near the base of the hand, and can range from a dull ache to a sharp pain. The pain may be worse with movement or when gripping objects.
- Swelling: Inflammation in the tendons can cause the wrist to swell and become tender to the touch.
- Stiffness: Stiffness in the wrist may make it difficult to move the wrist and hand, especially in the morning or after a period of inactivity.
- Weakness: Weakened grip strength or difficulty carrying objects may occur due to pain and inflammation.
- Popping or clicking: In some cases, there may be a popping or clicking sensation in the wrist when moving or rotating it.
If left untreated, wrist tendonitis can worsen and lead to chronic pain and reduced mobility. Therefore, it is important to seek medical attention if you are experiencing any of these symptoms to receive an accurate diagnosis and prompt treatment.
Treatment for Wrist Tendonitis
Physiotherapy is a common treatment for wrist tendonitis and can be an effective way to reduce pain and inflammation, improve mobility and prevent a recurrence. Here are some common physiotherapy treatments for wrist tendonitis:
Manual therapy: Your physiotherapist may use manual therapy techniques such as soft tissue massage, joint mobilization or manipulation to reduce pain and improve the mobility of the wrist joint.
Exercises: Your physiotherapist may prescribe exercises to strengthen the muscles of the forearm and wrist, which can help reduce the strain on the tendons. These exercises may include stretching, resistance training, and functional training.
Modalities: Modalities such as heat, ice, ultrasound, or electrical stimulation can be used to reduce pain and inflammation in the wrist.
Education: Your physiotherapist can provide advice on proper ergonomics, posture, and techniques for activities that involve the wrist to prevent further injury.
Brace or taping: Wrist braces or taping may be used to support the wrist and reduce strain on the affected tendons during activity.
Activity modification: Your physiotherapist may suggest modifying activities that aggravate wrist tendonitis to help the tendons heal and reduce pain.
The physiotherapy treatment plan for wrist tendonitis will depend on the severity of the condition and the underlying cause. Your physiotherapist will develop a personalized treatment plan tailored to your specific needs and goals.
If you have any questions or would like to speak to a therapist about wrist tendonitis please call us at 03 9836 1126.
Santana, J. E., Pereira, C. A., & de Carvalho, M. R. (2018). Effectiveness of physiotherapy interventions for the treatment of wrist tendinopathies: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Hand Therapy