Wrist joint pain is a common complaint experienced by the majority of the population. It can range from a simple pain on the wrist area to numbness and tingling sensations as well as loss of range of motion of the wrist joint.

Causes of Wrist Joint Pain

Wrist joint pain can be caused by a number of factors including:

  • Sprain

Sprain is the most common cause of wrist pain and can be a mild condition. It involves the injury to the ligaments in the wrist joint.

  • Tendonitis

Inflammation in the tendons in the wrists can also lead to pain with accompanying swelling. When the tendon sheath is inflamed, the wrist often swells and cause significant pain.

  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Another common cause of wrist pain is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. It is the compression and injury to the median nerve that innervates the wrists and hands. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome occurs with sharp shooting pain, numbness and loss of range of notion of the wrist joint.

  • Fractures

Some who may suffer from a broken wrist may not know that they already have sustained fracture unless they feel wrist pain.

  • Ganglion cysts

A ganglion cyst is the presence of fluid-filled sacs on the ganglion in the wrist. They are usually benign; however, they can compress the nerves when they grow leading to wrist pain.

  • Arthritis

Arthritis is another cause of wrist pain that may be due to rheumatoid or gouty arthritis.

Managements for Wrist Joint Pain

Wrist pain can be managed at home using simple remedies such as rest, ice, compression and elevation; however, when you feel other unusual symptoms such as tingling and numbness, intense pain, deformity, loss of muscle strength, difficulty to move the wrist, redness, swelling and bruising around the wrist, medical consult must be sought to employ measures for the underlying cause of the wrist pain.

Orthopedic physicians will usually diagnose the cause of the wrist pain using various tests. A complete medial history will be taken followed by physical examination. X-rays and other tests may be done to specifically identify the cause of wrist pain. Managements are catered towards the root cause.

Medical managements may involve the use of medication such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and even cortisone injections to immediately relieve pain from carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, arthritis and the like. Arthroscopic surgery may also be involved in case of underlying deformities in the wrist and nerves.

At home, ice packs may be continued to offer pain relief. Wrist joint exercises should also be employed to help the wrist return to its optimum functioning. Rest should only be employed for 1 to 2 days followed by range of motion exercises on the wrist.

Prevention for Wrist Pain

Wrist pain can be easily prevented when other conditions such as arthritis are not present. Preventive measures may include:

  • Adjusting the mouse and the keyboard to avoid bending the wrists when typing.
  • Taking frequent breaks from work to help the wrists relax from time to time.
  • Participating in occupational therapy activities.

Wrist pain can be a negligible complaint; however, every pain in your body signifies something so never underestimate your wrist joint pain.