Thumb and wrist pain: The case of Ruby Q.

Acute pain, Arm pain, Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), Chronic pain, Hand pain, Neck pain, Repetitive strain injury (RSI), Shoulder pain, Thumb pain, Wrist pain / Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009

wrist-painRuby Q. was a regular Neuromuscular Therapy patient in my metro-west Boston clinic for stress-related muscle pain in her neck and shoulders. Upper body tension is often the cause of pain in the forearm and hand when there is repetitive stress. (E.Pascarelli, MD) The connection between upper body tension and hand and arm pain is that when circulation is reduced by tight muscles, the arms become starved and polluted.When there is repetitive use, the working muscles don’t have the nutrients and oxygen they need to be healthy. Pain and injury result.

Ruby was extremely conscientious, spending long hours in her office and getting minimal sleep from thinking about work all the time. She was on the computer all day in a very stressful and responsible job and held a lot of that tension in her arms and hands. She had a previous injury falling onto her hand, but the pain in her wrist and thumb seemed to have come out of nowhere. At first pain would come and go, and when it occurred it was during movement. Local thumb pain was strong with shooting pains into her forearm. Her wrist became involved and was at times swollen and excruciatingly painful.

As a Neuromuscular Therapist how do I think about these injuries and how do I treat them? The posts that follow are about causes and symptoms of thumb and wrist pain, about Ruby’s treatment, and about things you can do yourself to relieve thumb and wrist pain.

One Reply to “Thumb and wrist pain: The case of Ruby Q.”

  1. Hi Marie,
    I see lots of patients who describe similar circumstances. I just updated the information on thumb and wrist pain and have added photos for self-treatment and stretching. Your muscles have become overloaded and tight and are probably harboring Trigger Points and tension that need to be relieved to provide relief for you. The tension may also be causing some joint misalignment in the base joint of your thumb. You should find my additions to the posts on Thumb and Wrist pain helpful. Go to the Search box and enter the appropriate terms. Learn about your muscles so you can talk intelligently to your doctor about them and try the self-treatment techniques and stretches I recommend. Try to find a well-trained therapist who can help. Printing out my posts and giving them to a good person may help them help you! Thanks for reading my blog! Please pass it on to anyone you know who is in pain.

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