What is osteoarthritis of the wrist?
Osteoarthritis of the wrist is a degenerative condition affecting the joints between the small bones that make up the wrist joint. It is caused by general ‘wear and tear’ and is, therefore, more commonly seen in older individuals. Fractures of the wrist joint and injuries to the ligaments and cartilage within it can increase your chances of getting osteoarthritis later in life. Physiotherapy can successfully treat symptoms of osteoarthritis of the wrist.
What are the symptoms of osteoarthritis of the wrist?
The main symptom associated with osteoarthritis of the wrist is pain in the wrist itself. This pain often increases with activity. Osteoarthritis can also cause swelling of the wrist, ‘cracking’ sounds when wrist is moved and stiffness of the wrist joint. Other symptoms include:
What should I do if I have osteoarthritis of the wrist?
If you have osteoarthritis of your wrist you should ensure that you are taking the appropriate medication (medication will be prescribed by you GP) and arrange a physiotherapy assessment. You should also try to keep moving and using your wrist as normally as possible.
What shouldn’t I do if I have osteoarthritis of the wrist?
If you have osteoarthritis of the wrist the worst thing that you can do is avoid medical help and stop using your affected wrist and hand for everyday activities due to pain. This will only increase stiffness and cause muscle weakness and, therefore, more pain.
Physiotherapy for osteoarthritis of the wrist.
Non-surgical treatment, such as physiotherapy, is generally pursued before surgery will be considered as a last resort treatment. The aims of physiotherapy treatment are to relieve pain and improve the function of the wrist joint. Pain and swelling can be relieved through electrotherapy and gentle mobilisation. Your physiotherapist at Physio.co.uk will also prescribe a personal exercise programme to help protect the inflamed joints against further damage and strengthen the appropriate muscles around them whilst maintaining range of movement. Other treatment for osteoarthritis of the wrist includes:
To arrange a physiotherapy appointment call Physio.co.uk on 0330 088 7800 or book online.