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How physical therapy works for wrist tendinitis

3 minutes, 36 seconds

We put our wrists through a lot more strain throughout our everyday lives than we realize. Daily activities like using our phones, cooking a meal, and picking up items aren’t possible without a full range of wrist motion. The strenuous work can cause a variety of wrist injuries and pain, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis and strains. 

Another possible condition is tendinitis of the wrist, sometimes spelled tendonitis, which refers to inflammation of the tendons. The wrist is just one part of the body that can be diagnosed with tendinitis. It’s also common in the shoulders, elbows and knees. 

Tendinitis is often put in the category of repetitive strain injuries, or RSIs, due to the fact that it can flare up during common activities that require repeated motions, such as playing sports or using a computer.

Symptoms of tendinitis in the wrist can include:

  • Soreness when pressure is applied.
  • Mild swelling.
  • Creaking noise with movement.
  • Weakness.

There are a couple of treatments that a doctor may recommend for tendinitis in the wrist. In some cases, your physician might recommend a splint to give the tendon time to heal. 

There is also the option of corticosteroid injections, which can help control the inflammation. Additionally, over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs can temporarily alleviate some of the pain. 

But the effectiveness of physical therapy for wrist tendinitis shouldn’t be overlooked.

3 reasons why you should try physical therapy for tendinitis in the wrist

Physical therapy can help with a wide range of body pains and conditions, with tendinitis being one of them. If you have tendinitis in your wrist, and your at-home treatments aren’t doing the job, here are a few reasons why therapy from a professional is right for you: 

  1. Personalized methods — One of the best parts about physical therapy is that the treatment is customized to help with your specific pain areas. The therapist will determine your ability level based on your medical history and current gait as well as your balance. This ensures that their techniques are made to work for your body and not forcing you to endure unnecessary exercises that aren’t showing results in affected areas.
  2. Latest technology — While there are exercises you can try at home to help your tendinitis, physical therapy gives you access to technology that is more effective and efficient than what you may have at home. This technology gives you the opportunity to try techniques that you can’t accomplish on your own, like myokinesthetic therapy.
  3. Preventive techniques — Physical therapy can not only help alleviate your current pain and discomfort from tendinitis, but it can also teach you how to prevent it from recurring. It’s important for people with RSIs to learn techniques and lifestyle changes needed to provide long-term relief. 

Possible treatment methods for tendinitis of the wrist

Tendinitis will often go away on its own, but physical therapy can go a long way in speeding up your recovery. In addition to seeking a professional physical therapist, there are ways that you can treat your pain at home. 

The RICE method should always be one of the main methods that you incorporate into your recovery. It combines the four easiest ways to alleviate pain from a variety of conditions, including tendinitis of the wrist:

  • Rest.
  • Ice.
  • Compression.
  • Elevation.

Besides the tried-and-true RICE method, there are a few other at-home treatments that you can try to help ease your symptoms, many of which you can learn from a physical therapist.

Not only can a physical therapist treat your pain with methods like manual therapy, but they can also teach you at-home exercises. They can provide you with a plan for wrist stretches and exercises that you can practice on your own to alleviate the pain from tendinitis. 

Wrist stretches can ease the tension in the wrist muscles. The exercises will improve the strength of the muscles, as tendinitis can make them feel weak while you're trying to grip something or type on your computer. 

Some exercises include pushing your palms face up underneath a desk or squeezing a tennis ball. There is even yoga you can do to increase the strength and flexibility in your hands. 

Alliance PTP is ready to help you find top-notch PT for tendinitis of the wrist

At Alliance Physical Therapy Partners, we’re proudly bringing together physical therapy practices across the country to help people get the high-quality PT they need. 

Want to see a physical therapist in person? We can put you in touch with an Alliance PTP partner that’s close to you and that can help you address tendinitis of the wrist. 

Not keen on in-person PT sessions or not close to an Alliance PTP partner? No worries. We also offer effective and affordable virtual physical therapy through our Agile Virtual Physical Therapy platform. 

Come find help for your injury or chronic condition today!


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