close up of physical therapist examining a patients hand and wrist

Hand & Wrist Pain

For many people with hand or wrist pain, physical and occupational therapy can be just as effective as surgery.

Physical therapy for hand & wrist pain

The wrist and hand play an integral role in everyday functioning. Hand and wrist pain can come from many different causes. You may be referred to physical therapy as a conservative approach to care for your symptoms or post-surgical rehabilitation.

Causes of hand & wrist pain

Many factors can cause hand and wrist pain. The most common causes of hand and wrist pain are:

female physical therapist examining her patients hand and wrist

Hand & wrist pain symptoms

Patients suffering from hand and/or wrist pain may experience the following symptoms:

  • Pain or numbness in the hand or wrist
  • Difficulty gripping objects
  • Stiffness in the wrist or hand
  • Tingling or numbness
  • Swelling
male physical therapist examining his patients hand and wrist

How we treat hand & wrist pain

A specially trained physical therapist or occupational therapist will complete a comprehensive evaluation and create a customized program that will focus on restoring range of motion, strength, sensation, nerve mobility, and the ability to complete functional activities.

Your examination may include screening the entire upper quarter, including the shoulder and neck, as dysfunction found in these areas can contribute to the wrist and hand symptoms.

Your treatment for hand and wrist pain may include:

  • Range of motion exercises
  • Flexibility exercises
  • Strengthening
  • Desensitization
  • Manual therapy
  • Functional task adaptation
  • Splint fabrication
  • Taping or bracing
  • Modalities like heat, cold, electrical stimulation, fluid therapy, dry needling, and ultrasound

You may be seen by a Certified Hand Therapist (CHT), a physical or occupational therapist with extensive and advanced training in treating both common and complex wrist and hand diagnoses.

Hand & wrist pain pain diagnoses physical therapy can treat

Carpal tunnel syndrome is one of the most common diagnoses of the hand. The use of manual therapy can improve hand and wrist function and improve pain and result in lasting outcomes.

Hand & wrist pain resources

Hand pain_1
Hand & Wrist Pain

Why am I Having Hand Pain and What to Do?

The hand is a complex and delicate part of our body that we use for all aspects of our daily activities and livelihood.   It is...

When to See a Doctor for Wrist Pain
Hand & Wrist Pain

When to See a Doctor for Wrist Pain

We use our hands and wrists to do most routine tasks—from getting dressed in the morning to driving a car or cooking dinner. Pain in...

Hand and Wrist Stretches
Hand & Wrist Pain

6 Effective Hand and Wrist Stretches

Wrist and hand pain are two of the most common complaints for millions of Americans every single year. Wrist and hand pain is especially common...

what does cryotherapy do

Beginners Guide to Cold Therapy: What Does Cryotherapy Do?

Cold therapy, also known as cryotherapy, is a technique that exposes the body to extreme cold temperatures to achieve certain health benefits. While cryotherapy as...

What to expect

Your first physical therapy appointment is about creating a personalized treatment plan based on your health history, diagnosis, and goals. Here’s what you can expect at your first physical therapy appointment:

Your first appointment will last about an hour. Please arrive 15 minutes early.

If applicable, bring your physician referral or prescription, insurance card, paperwork, ID, and co-payment.

At your appointment, we’ll do an initial evaluation and discuss your care plan.

*Services are not available at every location. Visit our Locations page for more details.