Physical Therapy Treatment for Nerve Entrapments at Wrist
Many cases of mild-to-moderate nerve entrapment are successfully treated with physical therapy. Your physical therapist will determine the activities that bring on your symptoms and may recommend to avoid those activities for a period of time. Remember, the nerve is irritated and at times swollen. If the irritation and swelling can be reduced, the symptoms should resolve.
As your condition begins to improve, your physical therapist will use a hands-on approach combined with exercise to improve the symptoms associated with nerve pain. Each patient will receive treatment tailored to their specific nerve entrapment.
Physical Therapy treatments include:
- Postural exercises
- Home and work modifications to reduce repetitive motions
- Soft tissue mobilization
- Joint mobilizations (more flexibility of your joints means less stretch of nerves at the limits of range of motion)
- Exercises to help mobilize the nerves
- Strengthening exercises
- Dry needling
- Taping techniques
- Descatha A, Dale AM, Franzblau A, Coomes J, Evanoff B. Diagnostic strategies using physical examination are minimally useful in defining carpal tunnel syndrome in population-based research studies. Occup Environ Med 2010; 67:133–135
- Futterman B. Analysis of the Papal Benediction Sign: the ulnar neuropathy of St. Peter. Clinical Anatomy. 2015 Sep;28(6):696-701.
- Han HH, Kang HW, Lee JL, Jung S. Fascia Wrapping Technique: A Modified Method for the Treatment of Cubital Tunnel Syndrome. The Scientific World Journal. 2014; Article ID 482702, 6 pages. doi:10.1155/2014/482702
- Miller, Theodore T., and William R. Reinus. “Nerve entrapment syndromes of the
elbow, forearm, and wrist.” American Journal of Roentgenology 195.3 (2010): 585-594.
- Neuropathy of Ulnar Nerve (Entrapment). MD Guidelines. http://www.mdguidelines.com/neuropathy-of-ulnar-nerve-entrapment/differential-diagnosis. Accessed September 29, 2022.
- Palmer BA, Hughes TB. Cubital Tunnel Syndrome. J Hand Surg. 2010; 35(1): 153–163.
- Ulnar Nerve Entrapment. Physiopedia. https://www.physio-pedia.com/Ulnar_Nerve_Entrapment. Accessed September 29, 2022.
- Lawrence RC, Felson DT, Helmick CG, et al.; National Arthritis Data Workgroup. Estimates of the prevalence of arthritis and other rheumatic conditions in the United States. Part II. Arthritis Rheum 2008; 58:26–35 49.
Wrist sprains involve injury to the ligaments of the wrist joint which often occurs due to trauma, such as a fall on an outstretched hand.
Nerve entrapment occurs when a nerve is compressed by surrounding joints, muscles or tendons and results in injury or irritation to the nerve. Two common nerve entrapments affecting the wrist are ulnar nerve entrapment (Guyon’s Canal Syndrome) and median nerve entrapment (Carpal Tunnel Syndrome).
Fractures of the wrist most commonly occur with a fall on an outstretched hand. Wrist fractures can occur during high-level sports such as snowboarding, as well as from falls by patients with compromised bone-density (osteoporosis).