How to Relieve Wrist Pain

Are you frustrated that your wrist pain just does not seem to go away? Are the drugs from the doctor or the exercises from the physical therapist not helping? Do you finally want to know what to do about your wrist pain?

The solution is really quite simple. You have to treat the cause of the pain and not the symptom. Most therapists and doctors are treating your symptom.

Now, don’t get me wrong. That can sometimes help, but it is usually temporary help, because they have not eliminated the cause of the pain. Drugs are treating your symptom, not the cause. The cause of most wrist pain and carpal tunnel is muscle imbalance. This simply means that some of your muscles are too short and tight. This also means some of your muscles are too long and tight (like an overstretched rubber band). In either case, they cause trigger points to form in the muscles, and this is painful.

The tricky thing about trigger points is that they are not always located where you feel the pain. For example, a lot of pain in the wrist is caused by trigger points in the forearm muscles. Pain on the back of the wrist is often caused by trigger points in the extensor muscles, and pain on the palm side of the wrist is often caused by trigger points in the flexor muscles.

If you have carpal tunnel, this means that the muscles imbalances are likely causing a condition that is compressing the median nerve and giving you all that pain and numbness.

There are simple, effective techniques you can use to correct muscle imbalances and eliminate the trigger points. The great thing about these exercises is that they take only a few minutes a day.

Slacken the thumb.

Gently squeeze your thumb and palm together so that your little finger and thumb are touching. Hold at least two minutes.

If you are treating Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, keep your wrist straight. A bent wrist could bring on numbness or tingling.

Slacken and stretch the forearm in both directions.

Gently twist your palm so that your thumb faces down. This will release tension in your elbow and wrist. Hold at least two minutes. Then twist the arm the other way and hold for two minutes.

If any of these twists bring on symptoms, do not do these exercises until your symptoms dissipate. If you are treating Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, keep your wrist straight. A bent wrist could bring on numbness and tingling.

Perform these exercises five times a day until the pain goes away. Remember, these exercises should not hurt, so perform them gently. If they do hurt, consult your healthcare provider for further evaluation.

Wear a wrist brace at night to keep your wrist straight.

Carpal tunnel is often worse at night because most people sleep with a bent wrist. This position will put pressure on the median nerve all night. Wearing a wrist brace at night will help.

Apply heat.

Use a heating pad on your hands, wrists, and forearms. Do this once or twice a day for at least 20 minutes. Continue until your symptoms subside.

Get your Vitamin B-12 levels checked.

Have your healthcare provider check your B-12 levels. Low levels of B-12 are associated with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

Soak your hands and wrists in Epsom Salt.

Use a small tub, and enough warm water to cover your wrists. Use about one pound of Epsom salt to three to five gallons of water. Soak your hands and wrists for about 20 minutes a night for five nights. Epsom salt is magnesium sulphate, a natural muscle relaxant and a natural anti-inflammatory.

Find out about Positional Therapy trainings with Lee Albert at Kripalu.

Lee Albert, NMT, creator of Integrated Positional Therapy, is an author and a neuromuscular therapist and yoga instructor trained in orthopedic massage, positional therapy, and yoga therapy.

Full Bio and Programs