Wrist joint arthritis
The wrist joint is most commonly affected by rheumatoid or traumatic arthritis (as in a fall on the outstretched hand) and less commonly by osteoarthritis. The patient will feel pain on moving the wrist upwards and downwards and may be unable to reach the extremes of movement. The joint may be swollen and tender according to the amount of inflammation present.
Physiotherapy can help with treatment that includes soft tissue massage and mobilisations, without provoking the pain, to prevent the joint from stiffening. Ice and electrotherapy may be used with advice to avoid aggravating activities, especially heavy lifting. It is important to keep the joint moving and exercise will be given with the advice to move the wrist within the pain free range of movement.
Rheumatoid arthritis in the wrist responds well to an anti-inflammatory injection of steroid.
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