Dr. Gangemi: Hey, this is Dr. Gangemi. On this Sock Doc video, I want to talk about some wrist and hand issues some people might be dealing with. Especially in today’s computer age, people are sitting at the desk most of the day, and a lot of people have problems. I see a lot of patients with hand and wrist problems, or even forearm problems, like they can’t open a jar comfortably, or their hands go numb, maybe after doing some type of repetitive exercise, or their hands are numb when they’re sleeping. Lots of interesting hand and wrist problems out there that maybe are diagnosed as carpal tunnel syndrome, or not.
So, let’s talk about how to address common wrist ailments. One is, if you have pain with just bringing your wrist back like this, then you’re going to look for some wrist forearm type extension muscle so work on here. Even if your pain is in the wrist area, remember, I talk a lot… If you’ve seen any of the other Sock Doc videos, you typically never want to go where the actual pain is felt. If you’re feeling pain in the actual wrist when you extend it back like that, or if you are driving with your hand like that, or if you’re a cyclist and your hand is in that wrist extended position for a long period of time. Even if you have pain in here, look up, usually in line with the forearm, somewhere in the more meaty part of the forearm. What you can do is put your fingers like I have mine here, and if you extend your wrist back, you can feel those muscles and tendons engaging. You can find a tender one, typically, and work out the trigger point in there. Just like that, you hold it, bring your wrist back like that, and feel the trigger point. It’s going to be super tender, usually. You’ve got to sometimes dig in a little bit deep.
And then the opposite for the wrist flexor, so if you have pain as you bring your wrist down like this, in a flexion position, then the same thing. Don’t necessarily go in the wrist right here, but more towards your elbow and the forearm. I can do this, I can flex my forearm. Then as I feel those muscles work, typically in line, so if I had pain here in the middle part I’m going to look more up here in the forearm, okay? Again, just come right up the line. It can be anywhere. Even if I have pain here, it might be here, it might be here, it might be here way up more towards my elbow. Just look for those, somewhere up there.
Now another little muscle you have here, and I address part of this in the elbow video, it’s called your pronator quadratus, and that’s if you have pain doing this, like a wrist type motion. That muscle comes across the forearm, connecting your radius and your ulna here, and you can look for the trigger points in here like that. So pushing in with your opposite thumb in those muscles, especially right on the inside of the radius, this bone here, or your ulna on the other side, right in here. We can even do a cross-motion like this, and see if there’s any tenderness in here. That’s more for this type of motion, like, just turning generally like that. Also if you get any pain bringing your thumbs touching with any of the fingers, look for tenderness in there.
The last muscle I want to talk about for the hand and the wrist is your brachioradialis, which I talked about in the elbow video, too. That’s more of like a hammer curl type of position, bringing your wrist back like this. That muscle comes all the way down from just above your elbow here, into the lower part of your forearm bone here, your radius. Even if you have pain here, like some people get in this position, or holding maybe a mountain bike, handlebar, anything like that. If you have pain from doing that in your wrist, look more up here towards the elbow again in the meaty part. That’s your brachioradialis here, if you have your hand like this, just like that. Or if your arm is turned like this and your thumb is up, it’s more in the meaty part of your forearm. You’re going to look for trigger points in there. That one, you might find works better by actually squeezing the muscle like this. Again, what you can do is hold it, and do the motion. If it feels better here in the wrist, if you’re having wrist pain, then it’ll benefit you.
Same thing with any of them. If you’re having pain with that extension, the first one we talked about, and you hold that trigger point. If you’re in the right spot and you do this, it should make that feel better. Again you hold that trigger point, or work it out in a little circular motion 20 to 30 seconds, to get some relief. That should about do it.
The only other thing I want to mention for wrist pain and numbness that some people get in their hands, obviously if you’re having some major numbness or you’re getting some things like Raynaud’s where you’re getting discoloration in the skin of your fingers, you should have that checked out by a professional. But a lot of people have numbness in their hands, especially when they sleep at night, due to blood sugar issues. They’re eating too many carbohydrates, or maybe they’re not eating enough protein, and they’re waking up at night with numb hands. Or in the morning, your hands are numb, and you’ve got to shake your arms out to get that feeling back into them because they’ve fallen asleep. There’s a big relationship with that to sugar handling, and imbalance of blood sugar in your system. Think about your diet if you’re always waking up with hand and finger numbness issues like that.
That should do it, thanks for watching.
In this video I demonstrate how to assess and treat some common issues resulting in hand and wrist pain. Often wrist and hand pain can be from muscle imbalances in the forearm, further up towards the elbow. Knowing where to treat the trigger points in the forearm can often provide quick and amazing results with those suffering pain or weakness in their hand or wrist.
I also discuss a very common reason for hand numbness, particularly if your hands go numb while you’re sleeping!
Please check out the Trigger Point Therapy article and video if you need more information regarding this subject.
Also please read the Sock Doc First Aid For Injuries series to understand why it is often disadvantageous to ice, heat, stretch, or take NSAIDs for this, or any, injury.