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Burning Hand, Could Be Your Wrist

Woman at steering wheel


Burning Hand, Could Be Your Wrist

Wrist Pain Can Be Related To A Motor Vehicle Accident

When bracing the steering wheel during an automobile accident, you can potentially cause damage to your median nerve in your wrist. Because the base of the thumb can be injured by the steering wheel and the carpal tunnel is in close proximity, the carpal tunnel takes blunt trauma during impact. This sudden impact can cause long-term issues in your wrist and hand which may result in acute carpal tunnel syndrome (ACTS).

Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by compression of the median nerve which goes through the carpal tunnel in the wrist. It causes tingling, numbness and pain, mostly in the hand. These symptoms may go unnoticed immediately following an accident due to the adrenaline rush flooding and covering up pain areas. Additionally, paramedics and medical staff may overlook injuries to the hands and wrists as they seek other obvious injury areas.



What should I do if my wrists are injured?
If you’ve been in a motor vehicle accident and have pain in your wrists, you should consult a doctor or physical therapist. They can help with the primary diagnosis of ACTS by using two basic tests – Tinel’s and Phalen’s.

Tinel’s test is performed by tapping the median nerve along its course in the wrist. A positive test is found when this causes worsening of the tingling in the fingers when the nerve is tapped.

Phalen’s test is done by pushing the back of your hands together for one minute. This compresses the carpal tunnel and is also positive when it causes pain in your wrist. (

Additional tests can be performed that include detecting how well an electric impulse conducts along the median nerve. A device called an EMG can detect abnormalities in nerve impulse conduction; these nerve conduction abnormalities are the cause of carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms. (

The medical staff at Personal Injury Physicians are experienced in diagnosing and treating acute carpal tunnel syndrome. Testing and diagnosis can be performed the same day. If you are experiencing pain in your wrist or hand, contact us to schedule an appointment. Personal Injury Physicians can help.

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