Wrist Physical Therapy: Treatment For Flexor Carpi Radialis Tendinitis
It’s easy to ignore just how important the wrist is to our daily lives. That’s not until you experience a wrist injury. We perform practically everything with our hands, and a wrist injury can be a significant inhibition to everyday activities. Among the most common forms of wrist injuries is Flexor Carpi Radialis Tendinitis, which is characterized by inflammation of one or two tendons within the wrist. This condition typically results in pain stiffness and, in serve cases, reduces your wrist’s range of motion. FCR is the third most common type of tendinitis. It is especially common among people who do a lot of palms uplifting like fishermen. If you are experiencing chronic wrist pain, you are a prime candidate for physical therapy for wrist pain. Here’s a brief guide on how we treat FCR tendinitis.
What is the Flexor Carpi Radialis?
Before we get into the gist of things, what exactly is Flexor Carpi Radialis? We’ve talked about how the condition affects a person. But which part is affected? FCR is one of the many tendons we have in our bodies. It runs from the elbow up the forearm, inserting into the base of the second metacarpal. That’s why people with the condition will always complain of pain when performing activities requiring a palm up, like lifting groceries. FCR tendinitis usually arises due to an injury, wear and tear, repetitive motion or overuse, excessive strain or exercise, and certain antibiotic medicines.
Our approach to FCR treatment
As you will see from the video below, our treatment approach involves multiple steps. We offer manual therapy, assisted stretching, ultrasound, and weight conditioning. To increase the range of motion in the wrist joint, your hand physical therapist will perform joint mobilization. It’s a gentle type of manual therapy in which a therapist applies opposite pressure on the wrist depending on the direction you move it in. This helps reduce stiffness in the carpal bones.
Another form of FCR treatment we offer is electrical stimulation. There are different settings of electrical stimulation for different problems. For instance, if you have tight muscles, you will be subjected to only two electrodes of electricity. The idea behind this form of therapy is to create steady electric impulses that stimulate muscle contractions. A patient’s palm will often feel fatigued immediately after treatment. But as the day goes on, they will be able to move with greater flexibility.
As mentioned before, we also offer ultrasound therapy. In this type of therapy, the body absorbs sound waves, causing microscopic vibrations in deep tissue molecules. This results in an increase in heat without the contraindications of heat, like inflammation and swelling. The more collagenous tissue, the better the absorbs the sound waves. That makes it an effective form of treatment for conditions like tendinitis.
Do you suspect that you have FCR tendinitis? As with most conditions, you will need a medical diagnosis to confirm that you have the condition. Here at RPI Therapy Services, we have been helping patients in St. Louis and the wider metropolitan area through a range of hand therapy services. Schedule an appointment today if you need physical therapy for wrist pain.