Is Your Wrist Pain Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or De Quervain's Tenosynovitis?

Your hand and wrist are painful and tender to touch.  You find it difficult to open jars because your grip is so weak.  You wonder what is happening and how to take care of it. You may be experiencing De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis of the Posterior Wrist (dQ) or Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS).

What are the symptoms of De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis (dQ) and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)?
Symptoms include:

  • Pain and tenderness in the wrist and/or hand

  • Tingling sensation in the wrist and/or hand

  • Weakness in grip strength

  • Swelling in the hand and wrist

  • Mild to excruciating pain when pushing (dQ)

What causes dQ and CTS?
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is the entrapment of the median nerve in the palm side of the wrist where the nerve is between two tendons.  It is typically caused by highly repetitive motions of the wrist and hand.  Flexion worsens the pain, which occurs on the palm side of the hand and wrist.

Carpel Tunnel Syndrome is usually caused by highly repetitive actions of the wrist and hand, texting, typing, stirring, knitting or crocheting. Many patients have a genetic condition in which the median nerve is sandwiched between two tendons, making them more likely to develop problems.

In De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis of the Posterior Wrist the radius and ulna of the forearm separate due to trauma.  The cartilaginous slips collapse on the tendon, causing weakness and pain whenever is wrist is used. Pain presents on the posterior side of the wrist on the thumb side.

De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis of the Posterior Wrist is caused by pushing something with a lot of force, such as moving furniture, lifting weights, bench pressing, or catching yourself from a fall with your hand.  The injury usually occurs when the hand is in an extended position.

What is the treatment for these conditions?
Both De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis and Carpal tunnel Syndrome respond well to chiropractic care.

Posterior tenosynovitis can be treated with chiropractic adjustments to help restore wrist and hand function.

Carpal tunnel Syndrome often responds to chiropractic care but will sometimes need surgery to have a full recovery.

How do I know whether I have dQ or CTS?
Correct diagnosis of CTS and dQ requires a careful examination and specific orthopedic tests.  Patients are sometimes misdiagnosed with CTS and told they need surgery when they actually have dQ, which can be treated effectively without surgical intervention.

A misdiagnosis can easily happen if the doctor does not use the proper orthopedic tests to differentiate between the two.

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of these conditions, get a careful examination from an experienced chiropractor or orthopedic surgeon, including specific orthopedic tests, to determine whether you have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or DeQuervain's Tenosynovitis of the Posterior Wrist.  

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