How to tell if your wrist pain symptoms are caused by Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI), not Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)
Both conditions show wrist pain symptoms, with RSI also affecting neck and shoulders in some cases.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is caused by pressure on the median nerve in your wrist, which can in turn be caused by frequently bending your wrist, gripping hard, or using vibrating work tools. People who play musical instruments could also suffer.
You are more likely to suffer with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome when you are pregnant, overweight, or if you have a pre-existing condition such as arthritis or diabetes.
RSI, while sharing some similar wrist pain symptoms with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, is caused by repetitive movements and affects nerves, muscles and tendons. It can be worsened by things like cold temperatures, stress and poor posture or a poor working environment.
Common symptoms of RSI
- Pain or aching
- Numbness or tingling
- Swelling in the affected area (although this is likely to be a late symptom, after you have been experiencing pain for some time)
With Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, you may experience pain in your hand or arm and some tingling or numbness. The main difference, however, is that Carpal Tunnel Syndrome often causes weakness in the thumb and makes your grip weaker.
How to treat Repetitive Strain Injury
Your first port of call should be to modify the action that has caused Repetitive Strain Injury in the first place. If it is in the workplace, then speak to your boss about improving your work environment.
Preventing wrist pain from using a mouse
It's an accepted wisdom of using a computer—you just hurt after too many hours, and everyone is on a computer too much. Heavy computer use and bad mouse grip may be cause wrist pain possibly from repetitive strain injury or carpal tunnel syndrome.
The first step to avoid feeling wrist pain symptoms is to figure out your grip type and buy the right mouse for it. Computer peripheral manufacturers have settled on three mouse grip styles: palm grip, claw grip, and tip grip.
Don't wait until you start feeling wrist pain symptoms to start using a mouse correctly or to find a mouse that fits your grip style. Once pain is triggered it becomes difficult to manage. When you're using a computer, keep the mouse a little above elbow height with your wrists relatively straight, he adds, and hold your upper arm close to your torso. Take a break every hour to avoid repetitive stress injuries.
How to tell if you have a Hand Fracture
Fractures often occur after physical trauma, such as during sports, work, or falls. However, it’s important to remember that not all hand injuries or wrist pain symptoms involve a fracture of the bone. Other injuries, such as sprains or dislocations, may occur around the bones, but may not actually involve a break. In these cases, the soft tissues that hold bones together may be injured (such as ligaments, tendons, muscles, or cartilage).
Signs that you may have a broken bone include:
- Deformity (the hand appears to be bent in a way that is not natural)
- Swelling or bruising
- Pain that interrupts sleep
- Pain directly over the shaft of a bone
- Pain with weight bearing
- Fingers out of alignment
- Inability to move the fingers or hand normally
It is often advisable to see a physician urgently after you have injured your hand.
What to do if you have a sprained wrist
A sprained wrist most commonly occurs due to a specific incident such as a fall onto an outstretched hand.
A thorough subjective and objective examination from a physiotherapist is usually sufficient to diagnose a sprain in a patient presenting with wrist pain symptoms. Investigations such as an X-ray, MRI or CT scan may be required to assist diagnosis and rule out other injuries (particularly fractures).
Physiotherapy for a sprained wrist can hasten improvement in wrist pain symptoms, ensure an optimal outcome and reduce the likelihood of recurrence. Treatment may comprise: electrotherapy (e.g. ultrasound), anti-inflammatory advice ,joint mobilisation ,dry needling,wrist taping,wrist bracing,ice or heat treatment, exercises to improve flexibility and strength, activity modification advice and finally a gradual return to activity programme.
Applying for disability benefits due to wrist pain
Wrist Pain is one of the most common complaints that people present with to their treating physicians. It can sometimes be extremely disabling, especially if the individual has a condition like carpal tunnel syndrome, but in other cases as well if an individual is not able to work effectively under any capacity disability benefits can be granted.
The claimant will have to prove to the SSA judge that he or she has been out of work for at least a period of one year due to wrist pain. The claimant will have to furnish records clearly stating the diagnosis of the condition, the treatments rendered, and the overall prognosis of the condition that the claimant is suffering from along with what restrictions the treating physician has placed on the claimant with regard to work. It is advisable to contact an experienced disability attorney of your state or city in USA to help you complete the required formalities to win disability benefits for wrist pain.