What It Is
Made from a total of 27 different bones, the hand and wrist are complex structures. They are held together by a series of multiple ligaments, tendons, and muscles that allow each finger to move independently. While 19 of the bones can be found in the hand alone, the wrist has 8 bones that are arranged in two rows, each giving the wrist multiple movement abilities.
What It Does
A large section of your brain is reserved specifically for the control of the hand and wrist movements. Together, hands and wrists can assist your body in performing simple and complex tasks such as grasping objects, turning doorknobs, typing on a computer, or playing the piano.
The most common injuries associated with the hands and wrist include sprains (ligament damage), fractures, or joint dislocation. Another injury commonly associated with the hand and wrist is carpal tunnel syndrome. The carpal tunnel is the passageway in the wrist, which nerves and muscles of the hands pass through. Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when pressure is placed on the median nerve, which is the nerve in the wrist that supplies feeling and movement to parts of the hand. Those who suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome might experience numbness, tingling, weakness or muscle damage in the hand and fingers.
Wearing wrist guards and gloves when appropriate can help prevent some injuries.
Most injuries to the hand or wrist occur after being hit by an object, while trying to break a fall, or when the hand and wrist are overused. Wearing wrist guards and gloves when appropriate can help prevent some injuries. As with other parts of the body, it is important to stretch and warm up the hands and wrist before activity. It is equally important to use proper posture and techniques while working with your hands, giving the hand and wrist breaks and rest periodically or when they feel tired.
Rest, ice, elevation, and exercises accompanied by an anti-inflammatory can help alleviate most hand and/or wrist pain. Early treatment is essential when it comes to carpal tunnel. Treatments may include corticosteroid injections or splinting to prevent the need for surgical treatments in the future.