Wrist Pain Causes, Prevention, Complications & Treatment618
Sprains or fractures from unexpected traumas are frequent causes of wrist discomfort. However, chronic issues including carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis, and repetitive stress injuries can also cause wrist discomfort.
Finding the precise reason for wrist discomfort might be challenging because there are so many possible causes. However, a correct diagnosis is necessary for effective therapy and recovery.
Using your wrist and hand might be unpleasant and difficult if any part of it is injured or damaged. The harm might be caused by:
Abrupt effects. Wrist injuries are common when you fall forward into your extended hand. Sprains, strains, and even fractures may result from this. The scaphoid bone, which is located on the wrist's thumb side, is broken. This form of fracture might not be readily visible on X-rays obtained soon after the occurrence.
Persistent stress. Any wrist action that is repeated over time might irritate the tissues surrounding joints or result in stress fractures. Examples include driving cross-country, playing the cello, or striking a tennis ball. The movement increases your chance of getting hurt.
Repetitive stress. A repetitive stress injury known as De Quervain tenosynovitis produces discomfort at the base of the thumb.
Osteoarthritis. This kind of arthritis develops over time when the cartilage that protects the ends of the bones wears off. Osteoarthritis in the wrist is rare and often only affects persons who have previously hurt that wrist.
Arthritis rheumatism. The wrist is commonly affected by rheumatoid arthritis, a disorder where the body's immune system attacks its own tissues. Typically, both wrists are impacted if one is.
Additional ailments and disorders
Carpal tunnel disorder. When the median nerve experiences greater pressure as it travels through, carpal tunnel syndrome develops. The wrist's palm side has a channel called the carpal tunnel.
Cystic ganglions. The area of the wrist opposite the palm is where these soft tissue cysts most frequently develop. Ganglion cysts may cause pain, which may go better or get worse with exercise.
Kienbock illness. Young adults are frequently affected by this illness, which causes one of the wrist's tiny bones to gradually collapse. When this bone does not receive adequate blood flow, Kienbock disease develops.
How to check if you have Wrist Pain?
Not every wrist discomfort has to be treated by a doctor. The conventional treatment for minor sprains and strains is ice, rest, and over-the-counter painkillers. However, if discomfort and swelling persist for more than a few days or get worse, consult a medical professional. Delays in diagnosis and treatment may lead to ineffective healing, a loss in the range of motion, and long-term disability.
Everyone can get wrist discomfort, regardless of how active or inactive they are. The danger, however, might go up because of:
Involvement in sports. Numerous sports, including those involving impact and repeated wrist stress, can result in wrist injuries. Football, bowling, golf, gymnastics, skiing, and tennis are a few examples.
Monotonous labour. Almost any activity using your hands and wrists, including crocheting and haircutting, can cause incapacitating wrist discomfort if done repeatedly and with enough power.
Certain ailments or illnesses. Carpal tunnel syndrome is more likely to occur in women who are pregnant, have diabetes, are obese, have rheumatoid arthritis, or have gout.
Depending on the underlying reason, wrist discomfort might differ. For instance, arthritic pain is frequently compared to a persistent toothache. Typically, pins and needles are the results of carpal tunnel syndrome. The thumb, index, and middle fingers are typically where this tingling feeling manifests itself, especially at night. A further indicator of the cause of wrist discomfort is its specific position.
The unexpected situations that frequently result in wrist injuries cannot be avoided, but following these simple guidelines may give some protection:
Boost bone vigour. Calcium intake can lower the chance of fractures. That equates to 1,000–1,200 mg per day for the majority of individuals.
Avoid falling. The most common way wrist injuries happen is when someone falls forward into an extended hand. Wear smart shoes to help prevent falls.
Eliminate dangers within. Brighten up your home. Additionally, if required, add handrails to your stairways and grab bars to your restroom.
For sporting activities, wear protective equipment. For high-risk activities like football, skiing, and rollerblading, use wrist protection.
Be mindful of ergonomics. Take frequent rests if you work at a keyboard for extended periods of time. When typing, maintain a calm, neutral stance with your wrists. A wrist support made of foam or gel and an ergonomic keyboard may be helpful.
The nature, location, and severity of the injury, as well as your age and general health, all influence how your wrist problems are treated.
Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, and others) and acetaminophen (Tylenol, and others) are nonprescription painkillers that may ease wrist discomfort. Stronger painkillers are accessible. For some cases, corticosteroid injections may potentially be an option.
For wrist injuries and tendon issues, a physical therapist can administer particular treatments and exercises. Your physical therapist can assist with recovery from surgery if you need it. An ergonomic assessment that takes into account potential workplace issues that are causing wrist discomfort may be beneficial for you.
If you have a shattered wrist bone, the fragments will need to be in good alignment for the bone to mend. The bone pieces can be held together during healing with the use of a cast or splint.
You may need to wear a splint to preserve the damaged tendon or ligament while it heals if you have strained or sprained your wrist. Splints can be especially beneficial for overuse injuries brought on by repetitive activities.
Surgery may be necessary for specific circumstances. Examples comprise:
Broken bones. In rare circumstances, surgery may be required to fix bone fractures and allow for healing. The bone pieces may need to be joined together with metal devices by a surgeon.
Carpal tunnel disorder. You might need to have the ligament that creates the tunnel's ceiling cut open if your symptoms are severe. The nerve pressure should be reduced.
Ligament or tendon repair. Sometimes surgery is required to mend torn tendons or ligaments.
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Page last reviewed: Mar 21, 2023
Next review due: Mar 21, 2025