Wrist pain is any type of discomfort that is experienced in the wrist. In often cases, it is caused by carpal tunnel syndrome. There are a lot of causes that can lead to wrist pain, such as gout, arthritis, or a wrist injury.Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that occurs in cases where the median nerve suffers a compression or is pinched. It is one of the three major nerves that is found in the forearm. It is found on the palm side of the hand and can provide different parts of the hand with sensation, such as the index finger, the middle finger, the thumb, and a part of the ring finger.
It also has the function of providing electrical impulses to the muscle that leads to the thumb. It is a condition that can affect either one or both hands. Swelling in the wrist can sometimes be a cause of carpal tunnel syndrome. The pain that is experienced is caused by excess pressure being put on the wrist and the median nerve. Besides wrist pain, carpal tunnel syndrome can also be triggered by suffering from certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, arthritis, and an underactive thyroid, by being overweight, pregnant, or by going through menopause, or by performing repetitive tasks with the hands, such as sewing, drawing, and typing.
If you suffer an injury to the wrist, such as a broken bone, sprain, or tendonitis, it can also lead to wrist pain. Some symptoms of a wrist injury include bruising, swelling, or disfigured joints. Some wrist injuries can occur right away after an impact or after a trauma, while others might take time to develop.
Gout is a condition that is caused due to a buildup of uric acid; a chemical that is produced whenever the body breaks down foods that contain purines, an organic compound. Most of the uric acid is dissolved in the blood and removed from the body through urination. However, there are also cases where the body produces too much uric acid. This excess uric acid can then be deposited in the joints, which leads to pain and swelling. This deposition can also occur in the wrists. Some causes of gout include taking certain medications, such as diuretics, suffering from certain conditions, such as kidney disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes, drinking too much alcohol, or overeating.
Another cause of wrist pain includes arthritis. It is an inflammation of the joints, which can also affect the wrist. Some causes of it include overworking the hands, aging, as well as wear and tear.
Along with wrist pain, some other symptoms can occur, such as swelling and redness around the wrist, swollen fingers, a difficulty with gripping objects and making a fist, tingling or numbness in the hands, pain, tingling and numbness that worsens at night, sudden and sharp pain in the hand or warmth in a joint near the wrist. You must seek medical care if you suffer from wrist pain, have a fever of over 100°F (37.8°C), and the area is red and warm. This can be an indicator of septic arthritis, which is a very severe condition.
Dr. Raval is very kind and explains everything in layman’s terms, which is super helpful. Thanks so much, guys! 🙂
“PLEASANT AND PROFESSIONAL”
Best doctor visit I ever had. Staff was pleasant and the doctor was very pleasant and professional. Took his time and answered all my questions.
How is wrist pain diagnosed?
To diagnose wrist pain, your doctor will first perform a physical examination and might also need to order further tests to diagnose what is causing your condition. You might need to bend the wrist forward for a minute to check whether you experience numbness and tingling, might need to hold objects to check your grip, your doctor might tap the area over the median nerve t check whether this hurts, and more. Your doctor might also order an X-ray or an electromyography to evaluate the health of the bones, joints, and nerves. Nerve damage can also be checked with the use of a nerve conduction velocity test. Your doctor might also order a blood test or a urine test to check for underlying conditions and might also take a small sample of fluid to check for calcium or crystals in the joints.
How is wrist pain treated?
To treat wrist pain, it will be very important to diagnose what is causing it. If carpal tunnel syndrome is the cause behind the wrist pain, you might need to wear a splint or brace, as this was wrist pain and can help to reduce swelling. A hot and cold compress that is applied for up to 20 minutes at a time can also help with the symptoms. Some patients profit from taking anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving drugs. If nothing seems to help, having surgery might be needed to help repair the median nerve.Treating gout can include taking anti-inflammatory medications, such as naproxen or ibuprofen, drinking plenty of water, as this reduces the concentration of uric acid, cutting back on alcohol and high-fat foods, or taking medication, to help decrease the uric acid in the circulatory system.
If you have suffered a wrist injury, it can be helpful to wear a wrist splint, rest your wrist and keep it elevated, take a mild pain reliever or place an ice pack on the affected area.If arthritis is the cause of wrist pain, it can be very helpful to speak to a physical therapist, who can show you certain stretching and strengthening exercises that can help the health of your wrist.
Can you prevent wrist pain?
Some types of wrist pain can be prevented, such as wrist pain due to carpal tunnel syndrome. You must use an ergonomic keyboard, to rest your hands while you’re typing or doing similar activities or to work with an occupational therapist, that can help you stretch and strengthen the wrists.
If gout causes your wrist pain, it can help to only eat moderate amounts of protein, to take your medication as your doctor prescribed you to do, to cut back on alcohol and drink more water, and to avoid eating anchovies, liver, and smoked or pickled fish. Speak to your doctor about further lifestyle changes that might help you to avoid pain in your wrists.
The information on this website is to provide general information. In no way does any of the information provided reflect definitive treatment advice. It is essential to consult a best-in-class pain management specialist in New York regarding ANY questions or issues. A thorough evaluation should ALWAYS be performed for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Be sure to call your pain doctor to schedule a consultation.
Dr. Raj Raval, M.D.
- Board Certified
- Interventional Pain & Musculoskeletal Medicine Specialist
Education & training
- SUNY Downstate PMR Residency
- Rutgers University Fellowship