Diagnosis and Treatment of Wrist and Hand Problems
How to get to the best professional care for your wrist or hand problem.
This page will help you get good professional care for a wrist or hand problem. Either you are considering seeing a chiropractic physician or other physician or you already have. If you have not seen someone yet this section will give you general information about what you are experiencing in your wrist and the hand and help guide you in the proper direction. If you already have seen a someone and perhaps received treatment you can read descriptions of your problem. We give you brief and detailed descriptions of wrist and hand problems.
If you have a question you can contact Dr. Schwartz via email with this link or by telephone at (732) 698-7151. We can give you a free telephone consultation with Dr. Schwartz.
If you don't see your specific condition listed here call us for more information. The conditions listed here are not all the wrist and hand conditions we treat.
Wrist and hand problems in general
The hand and the wrist are an extremely complex area. The hand is the terminal part of your upper limb. Many pathological conditions manifest themselves in the hand and point us to problems in other areas of the body.
Some pain that is experienced in the wrist or hand has nothing to do with the wrist and hand; it actually is originating from another problem in the neck, shoulder or elbow. This is called referred pain and is very common in the wrist and hand. We understand this can be confusing, but it is one of the main reasons you should get a thorough examination from a health professional. Treating a problem with the wrong diagnosis can result in no improvement or a worsening of your condition.
Here are some symptoms you may be experiencing in your wrist and /or hand
- Pain with using the wrist/hand or pain at rest.
- Sensations of numbness, burning and tingling.
- Did you fall with your hand outstretched and are now having wrist and hand problems?
- Sports injuries from hitting a racket or impact loading as in gymnastics are common in the wrist/hand.
- You may be having problems with specific activities such as buttoning, dressing, tying shoes laces, typing.
- Certain occupations like typists are more likely to experience repetitive strain injuries.
- Is there an area of muscle wasting in the hand?
- Is there a loss of hair on the hand, brittle fingernails, increase or decrease in sweating of the palm or shiny skin?
- Any localized swellings on the back of the hand?
- There may an enlargement of the joints in the fingers and this could be due to Arthritis.
- Trigger finger: when you attempt to flex the finger, the finger sticks and then "let's go" often with a snap.
- Deformities of the hand are too numerous to list here.
- Problems with the nails are too numerous to list here.
Please note that reading this information does not result in a diagnosis of your condition. It takes a competent health professional doing a thorough examination to do that.
You can learn more about these specific symptoms be reading the conditions section below, but again do not mistaken this as a diagnosis. Putting together all the pieces of the puzzle takes years of training and experience.
Profiled Condition: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
What is this condition?
This very common condition results from compression of a nerve (The median nerve) as it crosses the wrist.
What does it feel like to have this condition?
The symptoms include numbness and tingling sensations in any or all of the finger tips of the thumb, index, middle and ring fingers. These sensations are often worse at night when you are trying to sleep. Shaking the hand may temporarily relieve the symptoms at this stage of the problem. Pain and swelling in the area may also be present. Often there may be neck and shoulder pain as well. As the problem progresses there may be weakness of grip strength causing you to drop things and a visible loss of muscle tone in the muscle mass of the hand near the base of the thumb (This area of muscle is called the thenar eminence.
What causes this condition?
The condition may result from anything which causes compression of the nerve in this area. There are many possibilities including tendinitis, overuse of the hands and wrists in certain positions, use of vibration tools, trauma and even fluid changes that occur in the wrist with pregnancy.
The most recent information
The most recent information on CTS says that CTS is not just a problem at the wrist. The nerve that causes carpal tunnel syndrome starts in your neck and travels all the way to the hand. Any pinching or irritation of the nerve in the neck, shoulder or elbow will make the nerve more sensitive to even a minor amount of pinching at the wrist. This has been seen to be the case clinically in most cases of carpal tunnel syndrome. Question: Why would you want to have a surgical procedure done to your wrist when a safe techniques. The nerve is very similar to wire that conducts electricity. A nerve conducts chemicals instead electricity. Any pinching of the nerve in the neck and/or shoulder will cause that flow of chemicals to be more easily cut off at the wrist.
How do we diagnose this condition?
Dr. Schwartz can diagnose carpal by asking you health history questions and using orthopedic and neurological testing that is easily done in our office. Usually our natural treatment is very successful. You should not wait however to seek our help. Conditions that have very prominent hand wasting of hand muscles and very weak grip strength may require surgery. If the diagnosis is in doubt and surgery is being considered then Electromyography (EMG) and Nerve Conduction Velocity (NCV} tests would be ordered to rule out other problems. Dr. Schwartz will refer you to hand surgeon if the condition does not respond to our natural methods.
Dr. Schwartz provides innovative cutting edge treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome. He treats the entire pathway of the involved nerve from the neck to your fingers. This will treat not only carpal tunnel but also
A carpal tunnel brace that keeps your wrist in a neutral position helps to reduce the compression to the nerve
- Electrical stimulation
- Chiropractic adjustments
- Massage and other soft tissue stretching techniques
- Exercise- can the pictures be used here? What about taking better pictures?
Some brief descriptions of common Wrist and hand problems:
- Wrist sprain
- Ligamentous lesion
- Carpal instability
- Triangular fibrocartilage injuries
- Carpal fracture
- Impaction syndromes
- Degenerative arthritis
- Insertional wrist tendinitis and tenosynovitis
- Intersection syndrome
- Acute calcific tenosynovitis
- De Quervain's paratenonitis
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Guyon's ulnar tunnel syndrome (Handlebar palsy)
- Compression of the superficial radial nerve (Cheiralgia parasthetica or Wartenberg's disease
- Distal posterior interosseous nerve syndrome
- Carpal subluxation
- Kienbock"s disease (osteonecrosis of the carpal lunate)
- Extensor pollicis longus tendinitis
- Extensor indicis proprius syndrome
- Flexor tendon tenosynovitis
- Trigger fingers (Stenosing tenosynovitis of the digits)
- Extensor tendon synovitis
- Interossei tendinitis