Can chiropractic care help with wrist pain? While we do focus primarily on the spine, we can and do perform adjustments on the extremities (arms, legs, ribs, and TMJ). Wrist pain in particular can still be a symptom that has its source from the neck.
How the problem began will be a huge factor in determining if the wrist problem is, in fact, a wrist problem or if the source of the pain is coming from the neck. If the symptoms began following a fall or trauma, it’s more likely to be a sprain or strain of the joint.
If the problem began following a lot of computer time, it can be the wrist or related back to the neck. Only an examination of both can give enough insight to decide which area should be treated.
Depending on what we find, it may even be more appropriate to refer you out to another health care provider. Not all patients experiencing wrist pain will benefit from adjusting the carpal bones (bones of the wrist).
Patients arriving in our office for this condition will first be evaluated for a misaligned vertebra in the neck. We will check range of motion and look for any vertebra that may be affecting a nerve root referring pain to the arm and hand.
We will then continue on to evaluate the wrist itself. The evaluation consists of palpating (using our hands to feel) the bones of the wrist. We will also gently push and pull the wrist in different directions to test the integrity of the joint and see which movements increase or decrease the pain.
If we locate a misaligned or stuck bone, an adjustment will be performed utilizing either the chiropractor’s hands or an Activator instrument. The manual adjustment is preferable in most cases, as we can actually feel the bone settle back into place during the maneuver.
Occasionally, the patient finds it difficult for any pressure to be applied to the wrist. In these cases, we will utilize the instrument to deliver a quick adjustment that requires little force. Depending on the issue, we may apply kinesiotape to support the area or recommend a brace or other support to protect the area while it heals.