Physiotherapy for Wrist, Hand & Finger Injuries

Introduction

The wrist, hand and fingers are made up of a combination of complex joints. They work together to manipulate, grip and grasp. Because of these important functions, injuries to the wrist and hand can make day-to-day tasks hard and significantly reduce quality of life.

Physiotherapists and hand therapists treat injuries to the wrist, hand and fingers. Physiotherapists are knowledgeable about the anatomy of the wrist, hand and fingers. They understand the complex movements of the bones and joints and the role of muscles and ligaments in providing support to the joints.

Anytime Physio has a special interest in wrist, hand and finger injuries resulting from rock climbing. Our team at Gasworks Plaza in the suburb of Newstead in Brisbane have been trained to accurately diagnose and treat conditions of the wrist and hand.

Anatomy of the Wrist, Hand and Fingers

The hand and wrist have a total of 27 bones arranged to roll, spin and slide. Because of this, the hand is able to explore and control the environment and objects. The hand is divided into three regions:

  • Proximal region of the hand is the carpus (wrist)
  • The middle region the metacarpus (palm)
  • The distal region the phalanges (fingers)
Watch the video below to learn more about the anatomy of the wrist and hand.

Common Conditions of the Wrist and Hand

The wrist, hand and fingers are designed with mobility and dexterity in mind. Because of this inherent lack of stability, they are susceptible to injury. These injuries can include:

  • Fractures
    • Colles fracture
    • Smith’s fracture
    • Scaphoid fracture
    • Hamate fracture
    • Metacarpal facture
  • Wrist sprains
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • De Quervain’s tenosynovitis
  • Triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFCC) injuries and tears
  • Ligament tears
  • Nerve injuries
  • Wrist and hand osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Flexor tendon injuries (especially in rock climbers)
  • Finger pulley injuries (especially in rock climbers)

How Do Physios Treat Wrist, Hand and Finger Pain

Assessment of the Wrist and Hand

The best treatment for wrist, hand and finger pain will depend on the type of injury and the reason for the pain. The first step to managing any injury to rule out any red flags. Red flags are signs and symptoms that indicate a potentially more serious or sinister condition. Your physiotherapist will thoroughly assess you to rule out red flags and will refer you on for scans (e.g. x-ray and MRI) and further tests if needed.

Once you have been cleared of any red flags, your physio will perform a series of tests to assess the bones, joints, cartilage, muscles, tendons and ligaments of the wrist, hand and fingers. This will help your physiotherapist diagnose your condition.

Treatment of the Wrist and Hand

As mentioned before, the best treatment option will depend on the diagnosis. For example, if you have strained your flexor tendon while rock climbing, then treatment will most likely consist of soft tissue massage for swelling, gentle exercises to slide and glide the flexor tendon and ice to manage swelling as necessary. Your physio might tape your finger and hand to limit range of motion as well. For injuries where more permanent movement restriction may be required, Anytime Physio provides splints and braces to assist with recovery. 

Need Help With Your Wrist and Hand Injuries?

Book an appointment online with one of our expert Brisbane physiotherapists.

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