Do you often experience wrist pain? Identify the common causes and the best measures for treatment and prevention in this article.
In this article:
- How Does Wrist Pain Start?
- What Are the Symptoms of Wrist Pain?
- What Are the Common Causes of Wrist Pain?
- Who Are Likely to Develop Pain in the Wrist?
- When Should You See a Doctor?
- How Do You Treat Pain in the Wrist?
Get a Grip with the Common Causes of Wrist Pain and Treatment
How Does Wrist Pain Start?
When you go to the doctor to complain about wrist pain, it’s not unusual for them to request an X-ray. This is because the wrist is more complicated than you think.
The wrist is the part of the body that connects the hand and the forearm. It has two rows of small bones called carpal bones.
These bones connect to the two large bones of the forearm, the ulnar and the radial bones. Meanwhile, they attach to the metacarpal bones of the hands.
The wrist also has joints, which allow the limb to move effectively. Take, for example, the radiocarpal joint.
This joint is found between the radius bone of the forearm and the first row of carpal bones of the wrist. It helps the wrist extend or flex.
Because of the complexity of the wrist, many factors can cause its pain. This also explains why you can experience wrist and thumb pain.
Discomfort can radiate from any part of the wrist to the hands. Sometimes, it can also move toward the rest of the arms.
What Are the Symptoms of Wrist Pain?
You may have issues with your wrist if you experience the following symptoms:
- Sudden sharp pain in the wrist
- Feeling of warmth on the affected area
- Difficulty in gripping objects or forming a fist
- Challenges in extending hand or forearm
- Pain that radiates toward the fingers and the forearms
- Numbness and tingling
- Pain that worsens in the evening
- Redness of the affected area
What Are the Common Causes of Wrist Pain?
Whether you have ulnar wrist pain, left wrist pain, or wrist pain when bending, the causes are similar:
1. Sudden Impact
Many types of sudden injuries can result in pain in the wrist. These can include:
- Falling and landing on the wrist, hand, or forearm
- Suddenly extending the hand vigorously
- Gripping an object strongly
- Catching an object from a high place with your hands
- Bumping your wrist into a hard surface
These incidents may lead to a sprain, strain of the muscles, bruises, or even worse, fractures.
2. Repetitive Injuries
Every time you use your hand, you are moving the wrist. You can then imagine how hardworking it must be.
Like mechanical devices, however, wrists can undergo wear and tear. This can lead to musculoskeletal disorders, which leads to wrist pain.
What are musculoskeletal disorders? These are medical conditions that affect the skeletal system and the muscles.
Usually, inflammation occurs for two reasons: injury or medical condition. Swelling happens when the immune system goes into overdrive to treat the trauma.
Meanwhile, certain medical disorders have wrist pain as one of their symptoms. These include:
- Osteoarthritis – a degenerative disease of the joints
- Rheumatoid arthritis – an autoimmune disease where the immune system attacks the joints
- Carpal tunnel syndrome – develops when inflammation constricts the median nerve that runs through the tunnel
- De Quervain’s tenosynovitis – the inflammation of the tendon sheath around the thumb area
Who Are Likely to Develop Pain in the Wrist?
Anyone can develop pain in the wrist, but it is more likely to occur among the following:
- People with an existing autoimmune disease
- Workers whose work involves mechanical activities including typing
The following can also be risk factors:
- Age – Aging can result in the wear and tear of tissues, tendons, and joints, including those found in the hand.
- Obesity – The extra weight can increase the pressure to the hands and boost the risk of sudden injury.
- Diabetes – This disease can damage the nerves of the hands, arms, and wrists.
- Exercising – The wrong posture may only result in physical injury.
When Should You See a Doctor?
Not all types of wrist pain require a doctor’s appointment. However, you may require one if:
- The pain persists for more than a day.
- It persists despite medication and other types of treatment.
- You already have a deformed wrist as it can mean a fracture.
- The redness and swelling extend to the forearm and the fingers.
- You already have an underlying medical condition or the risk factors mentioned above.
- Wrist pain occurs without a known cause.
Why Should You Seek Treatment?
The wrist is probably one of the underrated parts of the body. This can be because people mistakenly think it’s the hands or the arms that do most of the movements.
In reality, the wrist contains the ligaments, joints, tendons, bones, and connective tissues so you can maximize the use of your limbs. If it’s in a bad shape, you cannot do basic everyday tasks.
These can include eating, combing your hair, or driving. You may even increase the risk of more severe injuries.
If your wrist doesn’t have strength or power, you cannot grip objects properly. You may drop them on your feet, or you can lose your balance.
If you’re a parent, wrist pain can mean the inability to carry your child. Worse, you increase the chances of dropping your baby.
Wrist pain relates to poor mobility, and this is a potential indicator of premature death, according to a 2016 study. A possible explanation is it decreases your quality of life.
How Do You Treat Pain in the Wrist?
Wrist pain relief can be a combination of the following:
- Rest your wrist for at least 48 hours. If the pain persists through the night, consider taking Relax & Unwind to help you sleep.
- Use an ice pack to help reduce the swelling and redness.
- Take pain medications according to the doctor’s prescriptions.
- Use a splint or a cast to keep the wrist from moving.
- Undergo surgery if the reason for the pain is a fracture or damaged nerves.
- Consume power blends such as Alkalizing Greens to help minimize the swelling and flare-ups (if you have an autoimmune disease).
You may also decrease the risk of injuring your wrist with these tips:
- Reduce your weight.
- Exercise properly. Follow the correct posture.
- Rest your hands and wrists regularly.
- Perform some low-impact exercises such as yoga or stretches to strengthen the arms and wrists. (Note: Don’t exercise an injured wrist.)
- Invest in ergonomic furniture to reduce the impact of repetitive movements on the wrist.
Wrist pain is not only uncomfortable but can also reduce the quality of life. Pay attention to it and treat it before it worsens!
How do you deal with wrist pain? Share your tips in the comments section below!