We use our hands and wrists every day. Everything from picking up your morning coffee, to doing your job, to scrolling the news feed on your phone requires efficient use of your hands and wrists. The hand, wrist, and elbow work together to let you perform a multitude of motor skills. Pain in any of these areas can limit your ability to perform daily tasks.

With today’s technology, we are using our hands and arms more than ever and in different ways. Tablets, smartphones, and computers have changed the way that we work, play, and live. Hold the “technology position” for long enough, and your body will start to form a pattern of sticking in this new less-efficient position. It is not surprising that we feel pain in our hands and wrists—there are many ergonomic risk factors associated with our devices.

Wrists work together with the hands to give you the fine motor abilities that you need to perform a variety of tasks. There are 27 bones in your hand, and they are all connected by joints, tendons, and ligaments. The complexity of the structures leaves them prone to injury.

How the Hand & Wrist Work

Muscles and tendons control the movement and power of your hand and wrist by:

  • The flexor group which is on the inside or front of the arm helps to control the bending of your fingers and wrist. These pass over the front of your wrist and are held in place by a strong fibrous band called the flexor retinaculum, or carpal tunnel ligament.
  • The extensors on the outside or back of your forearm enable your hand to open up.
  • Small muscles in your hand (the lumbricals and interossei) allow fine movement.


The tendons in your hand are covered by a layer of synovium, the same tissue that lines your joints. Like the protective covering on the brake cable of a bicycle, these tendons and synovium are covered by a tendon sheath.

Your hand’s sense of touch is supplied by two main nerves:

  • Your median or carpal tunnel nerve which passes under your carpal tunnel ligament and gives feeling to most of your hand (from your thumb to half of your ring finger). It also provides power to muscles at the base of your thumb.
  • Your ulnar or ‘funny bone’ nerve which gives feeling to your little finger and half your ring finger,  powers all of the other small muscles in your hand.

There are also two arteries (radial and ulnar) that supply blood to your hand and you can feel these on the palm-side of your wrist. The radial artery (nearer your thumb) is often felt to take your pulse, while the ulnar artery on the opposite side of your wrist is much more difficult to feel.

Common Causes of Hand & Wrist Pain

Hand and wrist pain or injury is common and can usually be successfully diagnosed and treated by one of our orthopaedic surgeons. Sports, work, or simply everyday arm use are the leading causes ofHand, wrist and arm pain pain. Local muscle, tendon or joint injury. Alternatively, hand and wrist pain pain can be referred from your neck joints or a trapped nerve. Carpal tunnel syndrome is the best known nerve entrapment of the wrist.

We work to accurately diagnosis, correct, and treat the source of your hand and wrist pain.

Hand Injuries & Conditions:

  • Arthritis (Hand or Wrist)
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Fractures
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Finger Sprain
  • Muscle Strain
  • Neck Arm Pain
  • Overuse Injuries
  • Pinched Nerve
  • Psoriatic Arthritis
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • RSI – Repetitive Strain Injury
  • Skier’s thumb (ulnar collateral ligament sprain)
  • Stenosing Tenosynovitis (de Quervain’s Tenosynovitis or Trigger Finger)
  • Thumb Sprain

Wrist Injuries & Conditions:

  • Arthritis (Hand or Wrist)
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (Median Nerve)
  • Guyon Canal Stenosis
  • Hand or Wrist Arthritis
  • Kienbök’s Disease
  • Muscle Strain
  • Neck Arm Pain
  • Overuse Injuries
  • Pinched Nerve
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • RSI – Repetitive Strain Injury
  • Stenosing Tenosynovitis (de Quervain’s Tenosynovitis or Trigger Finger)

Hand & Wrist Pain Treatment Options:

  • Acupuncture and Dry Needling
  • (Sub) Acute Soft Tissue Injury Treatment
  • Biomechanical Analysis
  • Brace or Support
  • Closed Kinetic Chain Exercises
  • Electrotherapy & Local Modalities
  • Electromyogram (EMG) and Nerve Conditioning Study (NCS)
  • Heat Packs
  • Joint Mobilisation Techniques
  • Kinesiology Tape
  • Medications
  • MRI
  • Neurodynamics
  • Physiotherapy Instrument Mobilisation (PIM)
  • Prehabilitation
  • Proprioception & Balance Exercises
  • Soft Tissue Massage
  • Strength Exercises
  • Stretching Exercises
  • Supportive Taping & Strapping
  • TENS Machine
  • X-ray

Non-Surgical Treatments
for Hand & Wrist Pain:

  • Anti-inflammatory Medication
  • Physical and Occupational Therapy
  • Support/Immobilization (Splinting)
  • Steroid (Cortisone) Injections

Surgical Treatments
for Hand & Wrist Pain

  • Arthroscopic Surgery (Wrist)
  • Endoscopic Surgery (Hand)
  • Carpal Tunnel Release
  • Flexor tendon release/repair
  • Trigger Finger Release (de Quervain’s tenosynovitis, Dupuytren’s contracture release)

Seeking treatment for Hand & Wrist Pain

Our skilled, board-certified orthopaedic physicians and pain specialists at Elmhurst Orthopaedics are here to get you back to living a pain-free life. Whether you suffered a sprained wrist or you’re experiencing the side effects of tablets, smartphones, and computers, our skilled medical team is here for you.

When persistent hand or wrist pain disrupts your quality of life, our medical team at Elmhurst Orthopaedics is here to provide you with high-quality personalized care to ensure your long-term health. Our expert orthopaedic surgeons and pain specialists will provide you with an accurate diagnosis and a personalized comprehensive treatment plan, using surgical treatment as a last-resort option.

To determine what treatment is needed for your hand or wrist pain, contact us at 630.834.0491 or make an appointment online with one of our board certified orthopaedic physicians.

Elmhurst Othopaedics

300 W. Butterfield Rd.
Elmhurst, IL 60126