Treatment for Wrist Pain: Physical Therapy Guide

Treatment for Wrist Pain: Physical Therapy Guide

You might not realize how vital your wrist is until you begin to experience wrist pain. Your wrists enable you to move your hands and lift things. As such, wrist pain will undoubtedly impact your day-to-day activities. Thankfully, physical therapy for wrist pain can help you deal with the issue and move on with your life.

Here is your comprehensive physical therapy guide for wrist pain.

Wrist Pain Causes

Wrist pain can result from sudden injuries or long-term issues. Sudden injuries to your wrist can cause strains, fractures, and even sprains. On the other hand, repetitive stress on the wrist can lead to inflammation and stress fractures. Other causes of wrist pain include arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, ganglion cysts, and more. Although wrist pain can occur to anyone, certain activities like repetitive work and sports participation place you at a greater risk of wrist pain.

Types of Wrist Pain

Let’s discuss each form of wrist pain below in detail.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome usually occurs due to repetitive motions like playing the violin, typing, painting, sewing, and sports like tennis and racquetball. Other health conditions like diabetes, inflammation on the tendons, and injuries can also cause CTS. Common signs and symptoms include numbness and burning sensations in the fingers and palm. Over time, you might find it hard to hold items.

Related: Muscle Strain and the Back: Getting the Relief You Need

Wrist Tendinitis

Wrist tendinitis is common in individuals who perform repetitive motions with their hands and arms like athletes, painters, factory workers, racquet players, and more. Symptoms include pain, stiffness, inflammation, and tender wrists.


Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that can also cause wrist pain. Common signs of rheumatoid arthritis include stiff joints, fatigue, fever, swollen, and painful joints.

Ganglion Cysts

Ganglion cysts are common in women aged 15 to 45. However, they can still affect men. The cysts are full of fluid and usually appear on the back of the wrists. As such, they can hinder the normal movement of your wrist.

De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis

De Quervain’s tenosynovitis, also known as radial styloid tenosynovitis, is a painful condition that affects the tendons on your thumb. It usually occurs due to chronic overuse of your wrists. Common symptoms include tenderness and pain in the wrist.


Wrist fractures like Chauffeur’s fracture, Scaphoid fracture, Barton’s fracture, Smith’s fracture, and Colles fracture can cause wrist pain and chronic discomfort after some time.

How Can Physical Therapy Help With Wrist Pain

Physical Therapy is the most effective treatment for wrist pain when performed by a doctor. Your doctor will administer routine physical examination and range of motion exercises to determine the severity of the wrist pain. The doctor can also order imaging tests like CAT or MRI to determine the cause of the wrist pain. From there, the doctor will recommend a few exercises you can try at home to deal with wrist pain.

Some exercises you can try at home to treat wrist pain include:

  • Tendon glide
  • Fist clenching
  • Supination and pronation
  • Radial deviation
  • Thumb extension and flexion
  • Tennis ball squeezing

Depending on your specific case, the doctor can also offer various treatment programs like:

  • Manual therapy, including soft tissue massage, gentle joint movement, and wrist stretches
  • Pain management
  • Patient education
  • Functional training

Treat Your Wrist Pain Today

Reduce the pain and swelling in your wrists to make life easier and more comfortable for you by visiting the best injury care center in Chicago. You can trust in La Clínica for all your wrist pain treatment needs.