Pain In Your Wrist, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, and Other Hand Shenanigans

Pain In Your Wrist, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, and Other Hand Shenanigans Barefoot Rehabilitation Clinic

30 Mar Pain In Your Wrist, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, and Other Hand Shenanigans

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DisclaimerYou shouldn’t read this unless you’ve had pain wrist or hand pain for more than 3 months. The pain should be starting to frustrate and annoy you and you’re starting to wonder what, if anything, you can do about this pain. Because your pain is growing in intensity, it becomes important to make sure you’re on the right track to fixing it. For these reasons, I do offer one self-treatment fix towards the bottom. Most of what’s shown is here to give you the comfort of knowing what your problem is, then making sure your therapist or doctor is on the right track. It’s really hard to treat nerve issues with self-treatment. Too many people just need an honest answer and lose trust in doctors who have mis-diagnosed them.  

One of the most common concerns people have about pain in the wrist is:

I think I have carpal tunnel syndrome. Do I have to get surgery?

Hold your horses there Buster. The good news is that just because many people know that carpal tunnel syndrome exists doesn’t mean any pain in the wrist is carpal tunnel syndrome.

Just like anywhere else in your body, many different problems can occur at the wrist.

Before we discuss the various problems that can occur at the wrist, you need to take 30 seconds to perform one simple test.

Do This Test: Wrist and Finger Extension

The wrist and finger extension test is the #1 test you should be doing if you have pain in your wrist.

To do it, you bend your fingers and hand back like this:


You need this flexibility to work at a desk, like this:

Desk-Wrist-ExtensionOr to do specific exercises like a front squat, Olympic clean, or CrossFit in general:


It measures the flexibility of the muscles on the front of your forearm.

Here’s how to do it:

Find a friend who can take a picture for you.

Put your forearm on a wall, straight up and down. Make sure the bottom of your elbow is against the wall.

Both of your shoulders should be square with the wall (in the picture below, Katie is not square with the wall for the purpose of showing you what to do).

Pull the edges of all fingers tips except the thumb down as low as possible. You shouldn’t have to crank your fingers all the way down. If you feel extreme stretching or pain, back off a little.wrist-and-finger-extensionHave your friend take a picture of your wrist and finger extension.

Here’s how to grade your wrist and finger extension:

Close to 9:00 is an F (or less than 50% function). If you took the picture from the opposite direction, the clock-face would now be 3:00 instead of 9:00.


Close to 8:00 is a C (or 70% function).

If you took the picture from the opposite direction, the clock-face would now be 4:00 instead of 8:00.


Close to 7:00 is an A (or 100% function). If you took the picture from the opposite direction, the clock-face would now be 5:00 instead of 7:00.


If you have wrist pain, it’s almost guaranteed that you have a C grade or worse with the wrist and finger extension test. The longer you’ve ignored the pain, the worse it probably is.

Your grade on the test will be key to permanently getting out of pain if you don’t want to stop what you’re doing, whether that’s typing, CrossFitting, or whatever else you may be doing with your hands.

Now, we can ease your worried mind and rule in or out carpal tunnel syndrome.

It’s Probably Not Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, But Let’s Check

Here’s how you know if you have carpal tunnel syndrome or not.

If you have carpal tunnel syndrome, you’d feel:

  • Tingling (you feel something that feels like a “nerve” symptom) in your hand. If the symptoms have been going on for more than a few months, the tingling may have turned into numbness (you don’t feel anything).
  • The tingling is located in the thumb, index, middle, and 1/2 of the ring finger – on the palm side and part of the fingers on the back of your hand. If you feel the tingling in any other finger pattern (only in your thumb and index finger or in your whole hand), it’s not carpal tunnel syndrome.carpal-tunnel-syndrome-front-hand


If your symptom location (see the pictures above) and quality (tingling or numbness) match carpal tunnel syndrome, keep reading this section. If you don’t have carpal tunnel syndrome, skip this section.

Now, it can be helpful to determine if carpal tunnel syndrome is actual carpal tunnel syndrome or if it’s a nerve entrapment in the forearm.

Push and poke on the carpal tunnel. To find the carpal tunnel, notice the wrist crease and poke just above it, right in the middle of bottom of your hand. If the tingling gets worse, you have real “carpal tunnel syndrome.”


If your tingling doesn’t get worse, you don’t have carpal tunnel syndrome. You have a median nerve entrapment, most commonly at pronator teres.

Save the information, median nerve at pronator teres, for your therapist or doctor.

Is the Pain on the Back of Your Wrist?


If during the wrist and finger extension test, the pain was on the back of your wrist, you have a wrist impingement.

During the wrist and finger extension test, you are probably significantly limited. This evidence, and the fact that you feel a “pinch” during this test, points to the fact that the problem is on the front of your forearm, not the back where most people think it is.

More clearly:

  • Pain = back of wrist.
  • The Cause of Your Pain = front of wrist.

In a normal joint, the bones slide and move past one another like gears in a clock. You wouldn’t feel any symptoms except a general stretch at the end of the range of motion.


In a wrist impingement, the gears (or bones) are being pulled into one another to produce a pinching sensation. Even though your testing and stretching the muscles on the front of the forearm, the pinching always occurs at the back of the wrist.

Similarly, hip impingements in the front of the hip are very common with people who squat a lot.

Below, notice how the lower right gear has moved locations as evidenced by the hole in the middle of the gear, causing the gears to clunk.


With the knowledge that you have a wrist impingement, save that “Google Diagnosis” for your doctor and scroll to the bottom of this post for what to do with that information.

Do you have tingling or numbness in your forearm or hand?

We already discussed one nerve problem, carpal tunnel syndrome, above.

What about other nerve problems?

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a problem with a specific nerve called the median nerve.

Ever hit your “funny bone?” If you have, you’re already acquainted with your ulnar nerve, which is another common nerve problem.

If your tingling or numbness is located below, then you have an ulnar nerve problem.

You may not want to confirm your problem this way, but hit your “funny bone” again. If you do and it’s really bad pain or nerve symptoms, you now know, with certainty, that the ulnar nerve is your culprit.



Notice that the half of the ring finger closest to the middle finger is NOT tingly or numb with an ulnar nerve problem.

With a neck problem, your fingers will be numb and tingly in these fingers:c8-nerve-problemCan you see the difference between the two nerve patterns?


I cannot stress enough how important it is for you to pay attention to that half of your ring finger.

It’s this half right here.


If that half of your ring finger:

  • is tingly/numb, you have a neck problem.
  • not tingly/numb, you have an ulnar nerve problem.

That’s a big deal and is the difference between your doctor wasting your time, money, and energy or fixing you.

Here’s a closer look at an ulnar nerve (or forearm problem) vs. a C8 nerve (or a neck problem).


We recently talked to a person on instagram who has been getting physical therapy for 6 weeks with NO RELIEF.

She had numbness and tingling ONLY in her thumb and half of her index finger. This is not the neck pattern for a C8 Nerve problem above.

Notice, this also does NOT match the “carpal tunnel pattern” above.

But it does match a C6 Nerve Root problem.

Dr. Joe discusses the diagnostic process in this video.

The point is that neck problems and forearm/wrist problems occur with different patterns.

The best way to test if you have a neck problem is by moving your neck:

  • Move your head back as if your creating a double chin.
  • Keep the double chin and bring your chin down to your chest.
  • Rotate your head as far as you can to the right and left.

If any of the neck movements above made your tingling or numbness worse, that confirms spine involvement of your nerve symptoms.

Let’s move onto other nerve problems.

If your tingling or numbness is located below, then you have a radial nerve problem.



Save your “Google Diagnosis” for your doctor and scroll to the bottom of this post for what to do now.

Is the Pain on the Front of Your Wrist?

Pain on the front of your wrist is the simplest of all.

  • Pain = front of your wrist.
  • Cause of Your Pain = front of your wrist.


If you have it, you either have:

  1. tendonitis.
  2. a muscle strain.
  3. muscle adhesion.
  4. a muscle tear.

1. Tendonitis and muscle strains will get better with time and rest. You probably ramped up your activity a lot recently if this is your problem. The pain is usually no more than 7 out of 10 on the pain scale.

2. Adhesion will get better with time and rest, but will come back when the amount of activity creeps up again. People with adhesion have usually had pain for months to years. The pain is usually no more than 7 out of 10 on the pain scale.

3. Tears are typically intense (8-10 out of 10 on the pain scale) and won’t get much better with time and rest.

A Note for Competitive CrossFitters

During the wrist and finger extension test, you may find that you can’t get your fingers straight down behind your wrist, like Chris on the left.

Chris has restricted wrist pronation. When I asked him to pull his fingers  behind his wrist, he said:

I can’t.

Katie has healthy wrist pronation on the right, below.


The restriction is most often caused by a muscle called supinator on the back of the forearm.

The only way to get this flexibility back is by telling your ID Provider:

Look at my wrist pronation. Treat supinator please.

Feel free to put a lacrosse ball (see video below) or stretch into this position if you want. I’ll be surprised if it permanently gives you Katie’s range of motion.

Please, after a month of lacrosse balling and stretching, stop and get it fixed if you want to be a competitive CrossFitter. Your wrist might fall off if you don’t (ha).

Recommendations for Wrist Pain

You’re ready to be out of pain as soon as possible

  1. Find an ID Provider near you.

You want to try some things on your own to fix your pain:

  1. Mobilize, stretch, and lacrosse ball it (see video below).
  2. Get your joints adjusted by a chiropractor.
  3. Go to a physical therapist to get ultrasound, electronic stimulation, heat, and ice.
  4. Strengthen your muscles at physical therapy or at the gym.
  5. Go to see an orthopedic doctor and get an injection.
  6. When you’ve been messing around with #1-5 for 1 month and your pain is no better, see #7.
  7. Find an ID Provider near you.

You have carpal tunnel syndrome:

  1. Don’t mess around. Find an ID Provider near you.

You have a wrist impingement:

  1. Lacrosse ball the front of your forearm for 1 month.
  2. Find an ID Provider near you.

Your pain is mild:

  1. Feel free to mobilize, stretch, or lacrosse ball it.
  2. Ignore pain as necessary (this is me being sarcastic – 90% of pain should not be ignored because …
  3. When mild pain turns into moderate pain, repeat #1-2.
  4. When moderate pain turns into severe pain, find an ID Provider near you.

Your pain is moderate/intense:

  1. Don’t mess around. Find an ID Provider near you.

What Will An ID Provider Do?

For your ease, I’m offering the clock face to measure your wrist and finger extension test.

In the office, we use degrees to get a more precise measurement.

Normal wrist and finger range of motion is:

  • 90 degrees at the wrist and,
  • 65 degrees at the finger joints.

Our patient’s finger flexibility below went from:

  • 45 degrees with no treatment,
  • to 53 degrees after 1 treatment,
  • to 58 degrees after 2 treatments.

He didn’t have pain in his wrist. But the 6 months of elbow pain he had was 40% better in two treatments.

Wrist-Extension-ProgressIf you’re wondering what test needs to be fixed when you have tennis elbow or golfer’s elbow, you’re right. It’s the same test that you fix when you have wrist pain. The wrist and finger extension test.

speechbubblesComment below: Tell us about the pain in your wrist. What is your problem? What worked? What didn’t work?

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Dr. Chris Stepien, DC, Full-Body ID Certified, ART Certified, CSCS, and CrossFit Level 1 Certified, fixes your annoying and frustrating pains, even when it's been over 6 months and you've seen 3-5 other doctors or therapists without lasting relief Barefoot Rehab in Denville, NJ. And when you're sad, depressed, or not enjoying life, Dr. Chris wants to hug you. He invites you to reach out, no matter what your concern is. Barefoot Rehab is here to serve you.
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  • Jon Muller
    Posted at 01:38h, 03 August Reply

    Great tips, just shared on Facebook! I just want to add that your surroundings can also play an important factor when it comes to aches and pains like carpal tunnel. Make sure your keyboard and mouse fully support your arms and hands in their natural positions. For a mouse, for many people, a vertical mouse is a lot more comfortable to use over time, as it mimics a handshake that doesn’t require the user to twist his/her wrist while operating it.

    • Dr. Chris
      Posted at 23:11h, 14 July Reply

      Great points Jon.

  • Dawn G
    Posted at 08:10h, 23 April Reply

    Question my hands swell up and feel like they are on fire. It wakes me up every morning screaming in pain. This all started after I had neck surgery by a dr who caused nerve damage. Any ideas ?

    • Dr. Chris
      Posted at 15:48h, 23 April Reply

      Hi Dawn,

      Yes, this is a complication of the nerve damage, coming from the neck (not the hands). It’s possible you have adhesion around where the damage was done, around your discs, around your nerve roots at the scalenes and intertransverserii, but it’s not likely. I’d pursue the path the surgeon lays in front of you and see if there are any adhesion specialists are you. Hope this is helpful.

  • Ainars
    Posted at 08:25h, 17 May Reply

    Hi. I have tight and pressed feeling in the shoulders are where tērē minor, tere major and triceps come together. This feeling appeared when I need to make some works at home with upper arms for rather long time. And it’s hard now to make excerseses for training muscles because they become more and more tight. Seems I need to relax this places, but I can’t.. Could it be QSS syndrome? Many thanks in advance.

    • Dr. Chris
      Posted at 11:50h, 17 May Reply

      Hi Ainars, actually QSS would result with “numbness or tingling” in the area or a little down the back of your arm. So, if it’s not those symptoms, most likely, not. The most common reason for this is adhesion. Have you had your shoulder checked for adhesion?

    • Brandy Jean Parker
      Posted at 21:55h, 28 April Reply

      Thank you so much for this article! My situation…I woke up Friday with a crick in my neck that hurt when I tried to turn my head to the left. Saturday, (sorry if tmi) I went to the bathroom and when I started to wipe myself, I got a sharp pain on the front of my wrist on the pinkie side, enough so that I yelled out. The pain is sudden but disappears quickly also. The pain happens when I do such things as putting on my shirt and opening doors. I have no tingling or numbness and scored an F on the wrist test. But I also got an F on my other wrist too that has no pain. It’s my right wrist that hurts. What could it be? Thanks!

      • Dr. Chris
        Posted at 22:41h, 28 April Reply

        Hi Brandy, it’s tough to say with all of this. You have some data that points to neck, and some data that points to wrist/forarm. Do these tests and assess for wrist symptoms WHEN moving your neck – Report back in. (

  • Michelle Flabiano
    Posted at 18:13h, 14 July Reply

    I have numbness and tingling in all 10 of my fingertips and fingers, all the way down to the palms of my hands. It started in one hand and then both hands. It was originally just in the fingertips, and then spread to the entire finger/palm in both hands at the same time. I’ve had blood tests and have had x-rays done of my back and neck. All have come back normal. I have no pain, but the numbness and tingling in my hands (not feet) is extremely annoying. I can’t tell the difference between a dime and a nickel in my pocket. My symptoms mirror Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, but it is in both hands and occurred at the same time. Any ideas??

    • Dr. Chris
      Posted at 23:13h, 14 July Reply

      Hi Michelle, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome would only occur in the 1st 3 and 1/2 fingers like the picture above, NOT all 10 finger tips. If you have all 10 finger tips on both hands, it’s likely coming from your neck or your armpit. Get an MRI and you can see how many disc problems you have encroaching on the foramina. Then, you’ll know you need to get treatment on your neck to help the numbness and tingling. Let me know how it goes.

  • Marianne Thompson
    Posted at 23:47h, 04 August Reply

    Hello! My pain has been going on for around 5 months and I don’t feel like I could identify it on here. I think that it came from excessive typing/computer usage of that’s any help. All ten of my fingers hurt a lot but it’s not a numbness or a tingling feeling, it’s an aching that is there 24/7 and nothing really helps it. If I ever end up using stuff it feels like the insides of my hand/wrist have been all ripped and the pain becomes unbearable. I’d say it’s an 8.5/10 but what really disturbs me is how it’s ALWAYS there. Done an ultrasound test on both my wrists and they say that they didn’t find anything, I’m starting to feel hopeless. Do you know what I may have, or what I may need to do in order to treat these pains? Thank you so much in advance, this has still been the most helpful page I’ve found on the matter!!

    • Dr. Chris
      Posted at 21:58h, 05 August Reply

      Hi Marianne, if someone takes a picture of the Wrist and Finger Extension test, what does your range grade at? Any potentially “diagnosing” is relatively pointless without it.

      If the pain is ALWAYS there, I’d get checked for an inflammatory joint disorder. Go see a rheumatologist and mention this point to them.

      The closer you are in age to 50 and older, the more likely you’ll have “osteoarthritis” layered on top.

      A good pain doctor will be able to help you manage each one of these pieces in order to get better. Because this will get worse if you don’t address it now.

      Happy to help Marianne. Feel free to use me as a resource.

  • Don Henson
    Posted at 10:13h, 08 August Reply

    Cervical radiculopathy
    Cervical radiculopathy (commonly known as a “pinched nerve”) occurs when a nerve exiting your neck is irritated by compression or inflammation. Conditions that commonly cause these cervical radiculopathy include a cervical herniated disc, cervical spinal stenosis, or cervical degenerative disc disease.

    If the damaged nerve serves the hand, you may experience numbness in the same areas as they would with carpal tunnel syndrome

    index and thumb … C5 C6. degenerative disk. C 8 degeneration is uncommon.

    • Dr. Chris
      Posted at 12:14h, 08 August Reply

      Correct Don.

  • Chris Wright
    Posted at 05:35h, 24 August Reply

    There are no ID providers in southern California it seems. 🙁

    Are you saying that I need to rest my wrists 2 weeks for this test? Two weeks off from work?

    • Dr. Chris
      Posted at 17:33h, 29 August Reply

      hi Chris,

      Yeah, there aren’t many of us yet. This is a new style of practice that will grow over the next couple of decades.

      It’s best to let any inflammation from exercise/work calm down before testing so you get a clear reading. You could have full ROM but if you just did a strenuous workout, it come back as a false positive.

      So I’d rest 3-4 days before testing.

  • Brigitte Vercoutere
    Posted at 15:14h, 08 September Reply

    What if you have pain feeling much like a terrible contusion in the areas highlighted in the illustration for carpal tunnel? I get “flare ups” several times a year where this specific area of my hands is unable to be touched even by something as gentle as a feather.

    • Dr. Chris
      Posted at 23:40h, 09 September Reply

      All we know by the feeling of a “terrible contusion” is that the “carpal tunnel” and the hand fascia in this location is overloaded. Are you aware of what causes it? Do you type or use your hands a lot? Chances are, as time goes by, this will get worse. But sounds like it’s a small problem right now.

  • Kristin
    Posted at 02:36h, 22 September Reply

    When I bend my wrist down a bone sticks out in the middle. I grade F on the flexibility test. Wondering if this could be due to an old fracture or something else?

    • Dr. Chris
      Posted at 19:33h, 22 September Reply

      Did you have an old fracture in your wrist?

      Can you take a picture or video of it and send it to “Barefoot Rehab’ on FB?

      Yes, this sounds like you need to see an orthopedic doctor as this will wear and tear your wrist quickly, if it actually is a small bone that is not being held down by the ligaments.

      Your grade F is probably due to your muscles protecting that bone and NOT adhesion. So I wouldn’t see an adhesion doctor until you let an ortho check out that bone.

  • Wasiqur Rahman
    Posted at 08:14h, 05 November Reply

    Hello! I’ve been getting a sharp pain in my left wrist whenever I try to do pushups or bend my wrist backward. The pain’s been here for over 3 months. I don’t have any tingling sensation or numbness of any sort. I think this pain came because of me typing on a computer daily for hours or because of not warming my wrist up before a workout that involves wrist. My wrist (left) doesn’t hurt when I do pushups with my knuckles or with the neutral grip position using dumbells or parallettes. Also, my wrist doesn’t hurt when I do pullups, it just hurts when I do pushups or put stress on it in general.

    So, I did your wrist and finger extension test. The result is 7:30 or close to 7:00. And also, I don’t have any wrist pronation issues. I can get my wrist straight down behind my wrist like Katie. Do you have any suggestions or ideas on what to do? or any questions regarding this? I want to start my training regimen but I can’t incorporate pushing exercises due to this wrist problem.

    • Dr. Chris
      Posted at 14:28h, 12 November Reply

      Hi Wasiqur,

      Do you have any tightness when you do the wrist and finger extension test?

      I want you to pull down your wrist where the fingers BEND in the test. So, don’t pull the fingertips like you already did. This location I want you to push down is the metacarpal-phalangeal joints. Do you have any symptoms here? This range should be 90 degrees at the wrist.

      This sounds like an adhesion problem, especially given the computer work. It’s possible you have joint damage, but that’s not a high probablity.


    Posted at 14:13h, 02 January Reply

    Hello Dr Chris!
    First of all great article. I live in Sweden and I have a specific problem. I have pain in the corner of my wrist (alongside little finger) only when I try to fold my index finger. I have been having this for more than 2 years now, tried all possible methods like resting, stretching, heat, cortizone injection etc. Apparantely the Drs here were unable to trace the root cause. The X-rays are showing normal. The best explanation i have so far is tendinosis but i am not sure. The pain comes only when I try to fold the index finger, what could be the cause? What kind of treatements could help in this case??

    Naveen, Stockholm

    • Dr. Chris
      Posted at 10:44h, 12 April Reply

      Naveenraj! Sorry for the delay. Can you take a picture and point to the pain with the action you’re doing? So sorry I’m so late. : )

  • Pat Lynn Siringo
    Posted at 14:15h, 10 February Reply

    This is the best site that I have been on for my problem. Well done!!!!. Mine started out as numb fingers at night. The thumb and next 2 fingers. It has progressed to constant pain in my thumb, feeling that my hand is constantly stiff and swollen, and numbness in the next 3 fingers and pain up to my elbow. The forearm pain just started the last 2 days. I have tried everything on my own. Ibprophen, Icing, heat, splinting, exercises, and rest. It got so bad I went to Urgent care, and I got a round of prednisone!!!!! Horrible side effects. It also seems to be affecting the muscles in my shoulder. Any suggestion would be greatly appreciated. In constant pain 24 hours a day now, and I have to work full time.

    • Dr. Chris
      Posted at 10:45h, 12 April Reply

      Hi Pat, what makes the pain worse? Using your hand? Or moving your neck or sitting? Sounds like it might be coming from your neck.

  • Paul Syvret
    Posted at 17:03h, 23 February Reply

    I have been told i have De Quervains. I have had about 5 or more injections but it always comes back. It has been bad for the past week but I am not convinced it is De Quervains because the doctor will not answer the question should De Quervains hurt the back of my wrist when I pinch my index finger and thumb together or my middle finger and thumb together, in fact even my third finger and thumb when at its worst. I also think it is worse with my wrist bent backwards than forwards but that could be because it is hard to squeeze together with wrist bent forwards than it is backwards so less pressure meaning less pain.
    Apparently my MRI showed no significant abnormalities except for some minor swelling around where the e Quervains problem is but that is not too comforting to me “no significant abnormalities”. The radiologist was told to look at a specific point whereas I would have thought a full examination of the wrist would be in order.
    I am getting a second opinion but do you know if the De Quervains problem causes pain other than the thumb?
    Thanks very much

    • Dr. Chris
      Posted at 10:47h, 12 April Reply

      Yes, DQ can cause pain other than the thumb, but often because there is other damaged tissue. Not directly from the DQ. You’re right, if you’re having pain in the back of the wrist when you pinch your middle finger and thumb together, it’s not DQ. Sounds like the forearm extensors are involved.

    • Molly Smith
      Posted at 00:57h, 09 July Reply

      Hey there! Absolutely amazing site!

      So I was in a severe car accident 5 years ago. I had rotator cuff surgery 3 years ago, thinking that would be the fix. After 5 years of daily pain, I was diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome due to the trauma of the accident.

      I have tightness and discomfort around my collar bones, up my neck, and throughout my shoulders. I often experience numbness /tingling / lose feeling in my arms.

      I have numbness and tingling in wrists, palms, and all 10 fingers after and during workouts. I also have mobility, grip, and issues with endurance (it hurts to hold a cup of coffee up for too long). Could this be due to TOS?

      I apologize for the short essay, but I am at the end of my rope and far too young for this (29 yrs old). Any guidance you may have would be incredibly appreciated. I so wish you were in my area!!


  • Alan Rosenberg
    Posted at 15:34h, 08 April Reply

    I have stiffness/numbness on both my front and back of my wrists along with tingling in my thumb that gets worse with computer and similar work as well as weight lifting. However, I also have a torn ligament in my pinky that causes it to hyperextend when stretched. My hand doctor says I can leave it alone or do a surgery. He says I can’t damage it further, but I’d like to correct the issue since it impacts me at times. The surgery would require extracting a tendon/ligament (I think Palmar Longus) that he says people don’t use to reconstruct the finger ligament.

    My question is, can I do the adhesion therapy before the pinky surgery? Would doing the surgery without fixing the adhesions worsen my wrist problems? Is it a mistake to remove that wrist ligament for the pinky surgery?

    Thank you!

    • Dr. Chris
      Posted at 10:48h, 12 April Reply

      I highly recommend adhesion therapy before pinky surgery Alan. If you were in my office, I’d expect to fix you so you didn’t need surgery. Ha, YES – surgery while leaving the adhesion might make you better, but it often makes people worse later on because the adhesion has only been snow-balling bigger! I wouldn’t remove that ligament. If your problem is adhesion, your solution is getting it fixed.

  • Teresa Jeffries
    Posted at 12:25h, 02 May Reply

    1. Both of my hands from my wrist down have been aching at night for years, now I am beginning to notice it during the day. I woke up this morning with the padded area of the hand straight down from the pinky finger just before the wrist looks a little swollen and is tender to the touch??? I use a keyboard all day, so today I am keeping my hand lifted so that part doesn’t rest on the pad. This may be something new and not any connection to the dull deep ache I feel in my hands. Any thoughts?

    • Dr. Chris
      Posted at 17:00h, 02 May Reply

      Hi Teresa, if it started as night pain, I’m thinking it’s primarily an inflammatory arthritis. I’d recommend doing a Strict Elimination diet based on Chris Kresser’s work. If that doesn’t help, I’d see a rheumatologist who will diagnose you. Don’t go on meds, then you’ll need to find a functional medicine doctor who can figure out the offending foods or if you’re systemically inflamed. You may have adhesion, but this does not sound like the primary problem.

  • Olivia Chev
    Posted at 11:11h, 05 August Reply

    Can you share more on the Ulna Nerve pain. Mypain that is on the outside of my wrist bones, And upon any pushing on the pad of my palm or an extension – pressure on my pinky can enhance the pain. I did some hand PT and it cleared up for about a week. But now my pain is back. i didnt do anything out of the norm & it like the light switch went on & now i’m back to where i started.

    • Dr. Chris
      Posted at 14:58h, 05 August Reply

      Hi Olivia, if it’s coming from your forearm, end range elbow flexion (bend your elbow as much as you can) with wrist extension (add bending your hand backwards) and pull down on your ring and pinky will MAKE THE SYMPTOMS worse. Is it numb or tingly? This confirms nerve. Achy or dull can also be nerve. Also, try bending your head away from that side of your body (by bringing your opposite ear to your shoulder) – confirming a problem at the scalenes IF MADE WORSE. If you bend your head TOWARDS and it makes it worse, then it’s coming from within your spine. LMK.

  • Chris Booth
    Posted at 23:04h, 28 November Reply

    I have pain in my left wrist and little finger, I have noticed if i twist my wrist inwards towards my thumb this causes numbness and pain down my little finger. Clenching my fist causes pain down my little finger and in especially around my knuckle area. This has been going on now for about 2 months

    • Dr. Chris
      Posted at 21:39h, 04 December Reply

      Hi Chris, sounds like an ulnar nerve entrapment at 2 likely places. Tunnel of guyon and origin of FCU.

  • Nicolina Colette
    Posted at 06:04h, 15 June Reply

    Hi Dr Chris!

    I have IBS and have been having a cramp in my hand when I go to wipe my self. it’s only in that position when the thumb cramps in the front right on the lower meaty part of the Thumb. I’ve been trying to stretch it and strengthen by opening my hand with rubber bands. But it still really hurts. I have been massaging the area of the hand below the thumb, and feel like there is a band of tightness going from the thumb base in my hand, up towards my index finger. Do you have any suggestions?

    • Dr. Chris
      Posted at 10:06h, 16 June Reply

      It sounds like there’s adhesion. The only real answer is to see an adhesion removal specialist. Bridget had similar issues in her hand.

      You can try massaging it, but it’ll only help temporarily.

  • Tanner brinton
    Posted at 06:39h, 19 August Reply

    Hi, thanks for all the great information!
    My wrist swelled up after I “jammed” it snowboarding after I fell back on it with a straight arm. The x-ray showed no damage so I splinted it for 2 weeks. It’s now been about 5 months and the pain has not fully gone away.
    I have pain mostly on the front (palm side) of my wrist especially when I do yoga or pushups or try to lift things with my palm facing up. I score a little below a 7 on the test pulling on where my fingers bend. I did not feel any stretch at all, just an end to my range of motion.
    My occupational therapist and I have tried the graston technique with stretching to no avail. Now we are just trying to strengthen the supporting muscles in my wrist with resistance bands. We don’t know what to do. The only thing that has had any success was a wrist mobilization massage that left me without pain for 2 weeks. Please tell if you can help. I’m 17 and should not have chronic wrist pain yet. Thanks

    • Dr. Chris
      Posted at 15:49h, 19 August Reply

      It seems like your ROM is really good, which would mean there’s little to no adhesion causing your issue. What makes the most sense right now is to get an MRI to see if there’s any cartilage damage.

  • Gina Johnson
    Posted at 21:46h, 30 September Reply

    Hi. I think Im mis diagnosed with Carpal Tunel. 1. Pain almost like cramping is on the edge of the hand where the pinky is and down some. It also makes the wrist hurt but thats due to twisting it in daily living. Now my other hand is doing the same thing and same area. My Dr. ordered MRI. Until then
    What are your guesses?
    Im thinking Ulnar Nerve

    • Dr. Chris
      Posted at 14:16h, 04 October Reply

      If it’s on pinky side, you 100% do NOT have carpal tunnel. If it’s on both sides, it’s probably you have a cervical disc issue affecting both C8 nerve roots. Google C8 radiculopathy.

  • Alicia Brown
    Posted at 04:52h, 14 December Reply

    I have been having an issue with numbness in mainly my dominant hand for about a year and recently i have had a throbbing like pain in my thumb, what could that be?

    • Dr. Chris
      Posted at 13:37h, 14 December Reply

      Is it the whole hand? Or specific fingers? Front and/or back? Does hand motion, neck motion, or posture make the symptoms worse or better?

  • Alicia Brown
    Posted at 01:49h, 01 January Reply

    It changes but a majority of the time its just the fingers going numb, on occasions the whole hand goes numb. As for what helps, usually I mess with my arm, putting it into different positions until it stops. A little background I am 31 f and have done jobs that utilize the keyboard and mouse for years at a time, more recently the job I am at now, been here 2 years.

    • Dr. Chris
      Posted at 16:41h, 03 January Reply

      If it’s the whole hand, the entrapment is in the armpit or up to the neck. You’ll have to get adhesion treatment in this locations.

  • Roy Surles
    Posted at 07:38h, 20 April Reply

    I have pain in the top, bottom and thumb side of my wrist with minimal tingling. It very mild when straight and 4 – 5 when bending. It start hurting about 2 months ago. I dont recall getting injured but very possible due to the nature of my job. Pain was mild for 2 weeks and started back again. Ive been wearing a full wrist brace, it helps with the pain. Should i be concerned and Should i see a physician soon. Tanks in advance for any info

    • Dr. Chris
      Posted at 17:27h, 20 April Reply

      Hi Roy, hard to say. Finger joints, when inflamed, can take a long time to heal. I’d say the longer you have this, the more likely adhesion is contributing to it. If it’s not better in 3 months, I’d see an adhesion specailist.

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