Is this wrist tendonitis or something else?

by Mary

Hi. Four months ago I was helping a friend move to a new apt. I reached onto the truck to pull a large heavy box toward me - my wrist was in the position as if you were to shake someone's hand - and felt my wrist go 'crack!' but there was no pain.

The next day, there was a little pain. By the end of one week, it began to hurt more, and there was a slight pink color + minuscule swelling around the small indentation between the wrist bone and the hand (on the pinky finger side of the left hand).

I used arnica for a little while but not regularly; I iced it but infrequently.

Over the months the pain has sometimes shot up to my pinky, ring and middle fingers; it's difficult to play the guitar, hurts to turn a key in a door or anything requiring even a slight twist of the wrist; I type a lot for a living, miraculously that doesn't bother it much.

I've managed to re-injure the exact spot twice more (started to fall, that was the hand that went out to break the fall). It is no longer a weight-bearing hand nor can it take any kind of pressure whatsoever. Sometimes it hurts without having moved my arm/wrist/hand at all.

Doctor gave me naproxen to take, I took 2 and stopped because I didn't think that would cure the actual problem. The pain comes and goes, and it varies in intensity. Now I have referral for physical therapy, 2-3x a week for 8 weeks.

I asked if I could go for an xray or preferrably an MRI first, he said 'after the PT, if that doesn't help, we'll do it and then talk about surgery.'

Please tell me what you think about this.

Thanks so much for your website, it's great.


Joshua Answers:

Hello Mary.

How's that PT going?

So, either, that 'crack' was a small rip/tear, or it wasn't but the nervous system has responded to it like it was.

So, either, there's a small rip/tear that keeps healing incompletely before it get's retorn, and the nervous system is continually dialing up the Pain Causing Dynamic thus you're experiencing more and more pain, or...

Or there's not a small rip/tear, and the nervous system is cointinually dialing up the Pain Causing Dynamic, thus you're experiencing more and more pain.

Regardless of whether or not you have a small rip/tear, the problem is that due to how the body responds in a defensive, trying-to-protect-you manner, the problem gets worse and worse even if there is no actual 'problem'.

Tendonitis is like that. You can have debilitating pain without any injury at all.

So, should you rush out and get an MRI etc? Personally, I wouldn't. What are they going to do other than surgery? And its unlikely there's a big enough tear that surgery could fix it, so there's nothing they can do other than put you in an immobilizing Wrist splint and tell you to Rest and take Anti-inflammatory drugs like Ibuprofen.

And in my experience, that just leaves you hurting longer, and ultimately worse.

So it it Wrist Tendonitis? I don't know, I can't diagnose.

But there's definitely a Tendonitis -dynamic- in place, meaning more and more tightness and pain etc.

So, what do you do?

First and foremost, learn How To Reduce Inflammation.

You have a raging Process of Inflammation in place, and that's one of the key components that's helping everything progress towards more and more pain and problem.

More questions, more answers.

Please reply using the comment link below. Do not submit a new submission to answer/reply, it's too hard for me to find where it's supposed to go.

And, comments have a 3,000 character limit so you may have to comment twice.

Joshua Tucker, B.A., C.M.T.
The Tendonitis Expert

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