Every job and lifestyle comes with risks, some more serious then others and others that tend to linger. Often people are injured through repetitive movement, doing the same thing over and over again. When injuries linger they affect our ability to do what we want to or need to. So often these injuries occur at a tendon – the tissue that connects muscle and bone together. Tendons do not have a rich blood supply, and when injured they can easily get inflamed. Tendons also have to handle a lot of tension when the muscle they are attached to is used. Because of these factors, when tendons get injured the injuries tend to last a long time. The question now is obvious: once you’ve been injured what do you do?
The first thing to do when you notice pain is to rest the injured area. If it hurts to move your wrist, then don’t move it. After a little while you will probably need to get it moving again but the safest thing to do at first is to rest.
If the area is red, swollen or warm to the touch you can apply ice and keep it elevated. Heat may feel better at the moment but can exaggerate any inflammation. Once the swelling is gone you can get a therapeutic massage. The therapist will conduct a through intake and work around the area to bring blood to the affected area. Acupuncture can also help to reduce inflammation and increase mobility. Also by decreasing pain it can help give you the time you need to strengthen and stretch the surrounding musculature. This last part is very important. If a tendon is only inflamed then a full recovery is possible with the right care. But if tendon starts to tear or rupture then you will need to strengthen the muscles connecting to and around the injured tendon so that the tear does not worsen. This is the best way to support the injured area to give you the best recovery.
I personally injured a tendon in my wrist and as I know many people do, I ignored it thinking it would get better. I continued working and doing the same things that caused my injury. It wasn’t until a few weeks had gone by and instead of getting better it was getting worse. My wrist began to swell and I had to start paying attention. It took a combination of rest, massage and acupuncture before it started to heal. Doing those three things I regained my full range of motion. It took consistency in my treatment and paying attention to the way I moved my wrist (not to mention a lot of ice).
If that sounds at all like you, I urge you to pay attention to it now. Don’t let it get worse. Schedule your appointment right now.