Tendon Injury of the Wrist / Hand
Tendons are vital structures connecting muscles to bones. In the wrist and palm of our hands, there are two sets of tendons, called flexor tendons, which are responsible for the fine dexterous movements of the hand. They are located on the palm side, and are made up of tissue called collagen and elastin, ensuring that the tendon is both tough but flexible.
Tendons need to glide smoothly, allowing the powerful contraction of the muscle to move the intended bones and joints, and hence are enclosed by synovium, a thin sheath of smooth tissue. When the tendons become irritated, their ability to glide within these compartments is restricted, causing wrist and hand pain during movement and tenderness when direct pressure is applied.
Tendon fibers can tear apart in much the same way a rope becomes frayed. Once a tendon becomes frayed, an inflammatory response is triggered; over time an inflamed tendon can become thick, bumpy and irregular. Without proper rest and time to heal, a damaged tendon can become permanently weakened.
If tendons are stressed enough from excessive or unconditioned use, the sheath lining can become inflamed and movements may be painful to varying degrees as the tendons glide through the inflamed sheath. Tendinitis can be caused from overuse of a limb during an activity. For example, if a person undertakes a massive spring cleaning, the wrist is usually held in a hyper-extended position as the palm exerts the pressure. The extensor tendons at the wrist level are strained and tendon sheaths become inflamed. In contrast, planting a winter garden may involve more forceful wrist flexion as small spades are repeatedly drawn toward the body. This strains the wrist flexor tendons which may become painful with wrist motion, tender to direct pressure and possibly swollen.
Prevention of flexor tendinitis is exercised simply by not overdoing any activities that use a lot of wrist motion. (ie. cleaning, gardening, typing, filing and writing). Be careful about suddenly increasing the time spent on these activities, as your tendons are not properly conditioned to the added stress. Close attention also should be paid to the positioning of the wrist and hand - try to maintain the wrist in a neutral position and avoid any excessive flexing (bending the wrist forward) and extending (bending of the wrist backward).
Rest the area, apply cold compression therapy for 10-20 minutes at a time for at least 3 times a day. Do this to the wrist/hand area for the first day up to 3 days. Soft Tissue Regeneration Therapy may be used after the acute swelling is improved and rest prevents further tendon injury. The T•Shellz Wrap® will stimulate blood flow and minimize the build up of scar tissue around the tendon during the healing process, helping the tendon heal more quickly.
The trick to any tendon injury is getting it to heal with minimal scar tissue formation and with as much realignment of tendon fibres as possible - something Soft Tissue Therapy (by using the T•Shellz Wrap®) and Ice Packs are great at! Even with optimum healing there is always less elasticity in a previously injured tendon. The trick is to make sure you heal this the best you can, that way your chance of re-injury down the road is much lower than average.
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During your recovery, you will probably have to modify and/or eliminate any activities that cause pain or discomfort at the location of your soft tissue injury until the pain and inflammation settle. Always consult your doctor and/or Physical Therapist before using any of our outstanding products, to make sure they are right for you and your condition. The more diligent you are with your treatment and rehabilitation, the faster you will see successful results!