A Common Cause of Wrist Pain

Although the wrist and hand is a small area, it consists of a complex system of muscles, nerves, tendons, and joints which work together to enable us to perform what are known as fine motor skills such as typing or buttoning a shirt.  Nerve irritation can be a common cause of symptoms that affect those fine motor skills.

The nerves exit the spine and travel down the arm, they pass around, under, over, and sometimes even through the muscles in the forearm, wrist, and hand. When there is an accumulation of scar tissue adhesions in and around the muscles and tendons, it is common for these adhesions to affect the nerves. Just as the muscles need to be able to glide on each other, nerves also need to be able to glide freely between the layers of muscles. In many cases the accumulation of scar tissue can cause the nerves to become stuck to the surrounding muscles and other structures. Instead of nerves easily gliding between the muscles, they become stretched and irritated which will result in injury to the nerve. For example, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is characterized by irritation and pressure on the Median nerve as it passes through the ligament surrounding the wrist, an area known as the carpal tunnel. Although Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is the most commonly diagnosed nerve syndrome, many other conditions such as Cubital Tunnel Syndrome, Pronator Teres Syndrome, Cheiralgia Paresthetica, and other nerve syndromes can also cause wrist and hand pain. When nerves are involved, other symptoms in addition to pain, such as numbness, pins and needles, and a loss of strength, are common.  If these areas of entrapment are left untreated or if medication is taken to only mask the painful symptoms, the nerve will continue to lose its function.  The restrictive adhesions need to be treated to restore normal sliding of the muscles and nerves.

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