You use your hands for almost everything. From cooking, to cleaning, to writing, and even brushing your teeth, so many of your daily activities are directly depending on the health of the hand. Hand pain can occur from a variety of reasons ranging from old age, chronic damage from work related tasks to injuries sustained from mechanical accidents. Injury to joins, nerves, bones, and tendons is generally approached very differently so it is important to evaluate the source of your pain. Treatment using heat and ice suggested for basically all hand injuries.

Damage due to sports injuries or falls can damage the muscles, tendons, bones, and nerves in the wrist. Sports that include a lot of weight bearing activities such as lifting, and gymnastics can cause a lot of damage over time. Skier’s thumb is a common injury many people get from damaging or tearing the ulnar collateral ligament, the tissue connecting the thumb to the wrist. Damage to this tissue can reduce the thumbs ability to grip and extend. Skier’s thumb most commonly arises after falling while skiing, falling whiling gripping ski poles generates enough force to stress the thumb and stretch or tear the ulnar collateral ligament.

Other Causes of Wrist Damage:

  • Neuritis: Inflammation of nerves
  • Bursitis: Inflammation of bursa; small, fluid-filled sacs cushioning bones, tendons, and muscles near joints.
  • Carpal Tunnel: Increased pressure on median nerve, causes numbness, weakness, and tingling in the hand and your fingers.
  • Rheumatism: Inflammation of joints
  • Osteopenia/ Osteoporosis: Low bone density
  • Injuries to joints
  • Broken bones
  • Tendinitis: Damaged tendon with inflammation


Within the first 48 hours of an injury due to a fall or accident you should rest and ice the injury. It is also important to keep your wrist elevated so it receives adequate circulation. Compression should be applied after inflammation has subsided. Anti-inflammatory painkillers are recommended for short term relief. Strength exercises are recommended to rebuild muscle loss due to the decreased movement from extended period of restriction.

Imaging may be required in severe cases to rule out bone fracture before chiropractic treatment can be initiated. A trained chiropractor can restore range of motion to wrist joins and reduce inflammation and scar tissue build up in the wrist. Chiropractors can also recommend exercises and stretches to help facilitate the healing process.

Wrist Exercises

  • Wrist Extension: Extend your arm with your palm facing your body and gently secure position with opposing are. Hold Stretch for 30 seconds, repeat 3 times per day
  • Wrist Flexion: Extend your arm with your palm facing away from your body and gently secure position with opposing are. Hold Stretch for 30 seconds, repeat 3 times per day
  • Finger Extensions: With elastic band around the upper 2/3 of all five digits alternated between extension and relaxation. Stretch fingers out and hold extension for 15 seconds and rest for 15 seconds. Repeat 10 times.

I hope this helped answer some questions you may have had and if you or anyone you know are experiencing pain and would like to take the first steps toward getting relief, just call Atlas Chiropractic in Boulder at (303) 442-5911 and we’ll gladly get you scheduled for an appointment or feel free to fill out a web form here on our website. We look forward to helping you heal and get moving!


  • Cort Musolf