Treatments for wrist problems vary greatly, depending on the type, location and severity of the injury, as well as on your age and overall health.
Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others) and acetaminophen (Tylenol, others), may help reduce wrist pain. Stronger pain relievers are available by prescription.
A physical therapist can recommend specific treatments and exercises for wrist injuries and tendon problems. If you need surgery, your physical therapist can also help with rehabilitation after the operation. You may also benefit from having an ergonomic evaluation that addresses workplace factors that may be injuring your wrist.
If you have a broken bone in your wrist, the pieces will need to be aligned so that it can heal properly. A cast or splint can help hold the bone fragments together while they heal.
If you have sprained or strained your wrist, you may need to wear a splint to protect the injured tendon or ligament while it heals. Splints are particularly helpful with overuse injuries caused by repetitive motions.
In some cases, surgery may be necessary. Examples include:
Oct. 25, 2014
- Severely broken bones. A surgeon may connect the fragments of bone together with metal hardware.
- Carpal tunnel syndrome. If your symptoms are severe, you may need to have the tunnel cut open to relieve the pressure on the nerve.
- Tendon or ligament repair. Surgery is sometimes necessary to repair tendons or ligaments that have ruptured.
- Firestein GS, et al. Kelley's Textbook of Rheumatology. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2013. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Sept. 8, 2014.
- Questions and answers about sprains and strains. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Sprains_Strains/default.asp. Accessed Sept. 8, 2014.
- Blake RB. Evaluation of the adult with subacute or chronic wrist pain. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Sept. 8, 2014.
- Upton DS, et al. Overview of acute wrist injuries in children and adolescents. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Sept. 8, 2014.
- AskMayoExpert. Wrist pain: Acute and Chronic. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2014.
- Boggess BR. Anatomy and basic biomechanics of the wrist. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Sept. 8, 2014.
- Mauer M. Wrist injury. First Consult. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Sept. 8, 2014.
- Boggess BR. Evaluation of the adult with acute wrist pain. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Sept. 8, 2014.
- National Institutes of Health. Calcium fact sheet for consumers. http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Calcium-Consumer. Accessed Sept. 8, 2014.
- Laskowski ER (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Sept. 12, 2014
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