Because it is used in so many tasks, it is easy to notice when something is not quite right. If your wrist begins to hurt you are probably questioning what is going on. There are both minor and major things that could be causing your wrist pain, that could last for hours or even weeks.
Below you will find the six most common causes of wrist pain and solutions to fix them.
A fracture or a broken bone can happen from many things. An injury from impact is most common in the wrist and could happen when you are catching yourself from a fall or hitting something. If your wrist is fractured it could be from a broken scaphoid, radius, or ulna. If your wrist is broken you may feel pain of differing quality depending on the site and type of fracture. Your wrist may also look swollen, red, and be tender to the touch. You could also notice a visible misalignment in your bones or wrist.
The solution to a fracture varies depending on what your doctor suggests. Before you get to the emergency room or your primary care provider, you can ice the area for no more than 20 minutes to reduce the inflammation and swelling.
If you suspect a broken bone the first thing will be to have an X-ray done to identify and confirm broken bones. Afterward, your doctor may suggest pain medication, external fixation with a cast or splint, or internal fixation with surgery.
The best solution for you is personal and will be decided on based on your individual case.
A wrist sprain, unlike a strain, is a stretch or tear of the ligaments that support your joint. This can happen with large jerking movements such as in sports or catching yourself after a fall.
The pain can come from a tear in the ligament, or because your joints are not being adequately supported. Some symptoms of a sprain are redness, swelling, and pain that worsens with movement. Sprains can be serious or minor depending on if tears are present. Do know that it can take up to six weeks for your sprain to be healed and for the pain to subside.
A sprain should be diagnosed by your healthcare provider and treated accordingly. They will assess for pain and range of motion with a series of movements to see your range of motion. Most commonly the treatment will be ice, rest, and stabilize. You could also use Roll-on Pain Relief – Cold As Ice in place of ice for a more convenient anti-inflammatory product. Instead of having to sit idle while the ice is on your wrist, you can maintain activity while reducing your pain.
With a sprain, you will also want to keep your wrist in one position to help it heal. Your provider should give you a wrist brace to keep it stabilized and get you better in no time.
Strains and sprains often get confused, but a strain is a stretch or tear of the muscle or tendon. Wrist strains usually happen with an injury and can be worsened with overuse.
Common symptoms of strains are reduced ability to move the wrist, pain, swelling, and sometimes bruising. Depending on the severity you may or may not require medical treatment. If the pain is not severe and goes away in a few days you may not need to take a trip to the doctor. However, if you are worried, it is always best to check in with your health care provider to make sure everything is okay.
When dealing with a strain at home there are some basics to helping your wrist heal. Rest, ice, compression, and elevation are key.
Rest is self-explanatory, do your best to limit the amount that you use your wrist while it heals. This will prevent any further tears or pulls in the wrist muscles and let the current ones fuse together.
Ice is another important component that reduces inflammation and promotes healing.
Compression helps to reduce swelling that can be uncomfortable and painful. Compression can be done with a wrist brace or bandage wrap. Elevation helps to reduce the amount of fluid and swelling that accumulates in the wrist. An elevation pillow can be extremely helpful in ensuring that your wrist is elevated and comfortable.
If after a few days of rest, ice, compress, and elevate you are still having trouble, make sure to see your doctor right away.
Both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis can affect the joints in your wrist and cause pain. However, rheumatoid arthritis is more common of the two to occur in the wrists.
Arthritis causes inflammation in your joints and makes it uncomfortable and even painful to do basic everyday activities with the hands.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition where the immune system attacks your body’s tissues, including the joints. Common symptoms of RA are fever, loss of appetite, fatigue, tender and swollen joints, warm joints, and stiff joints that are worse in the morning. If you are experiencing this it is important to reach out to your health care provider to prevent future damage and help you feel better.
Treating rheumatoid arthritis can be challenging to treat, and a treatment plan should be created by your healthcare provider. However, there are some things that can be done in conjunction with prescribed medications and therapies to help soothe your RA associated symptoms.
Stretching can also be very helpful, and full range of motion gentle stretches should be implemented in your daily routine.
Arthritis compression gloves may also help to support and relieve achy hands, fingers, and wrists.
Your doctor may also prescribe a disease-modifying antirheumatic drug or DMARD. Physical therapy can also be helpful in reducing RA pain. Even though RA can seriously impact your life, there is hope in finding relief.
#5: Carpal Tunnel
Carpal tunnel is when the median nerve in the wrist is compressed by a narrowing in the wrist. This causes nerve pain in the palm side of the hand and can be very uncomfortable.
Carpal tunnel often happens when you do repetitive motions such as typing or working in an assembly line. It can also happen from a wrist fracture, rheumatoid arthritis, obesity, and many other causes. Some symptoms that may hint that you are experiencing carpal tunnel syndrome are numbness and tingling in the hand, as well as weakness. It commonly will happen in all fingers, except for the pinky or little finger.
The best chances for treatment are with early intervention, so as soon as you notice symptoms it is best to intervene. Early intervention includes changes in activity, topical pain relievers, icing, and splinting.
A change in activity includes doing things to not make the pain worse, for example working toward breaking up repetitive motions or even choosing a different tool to complete a task with. When pain is not relieved by a change in position or motion, you may want to consider a topical pain reliever such as the Hemp Pain Relief Cream. Topical pain relief is a good choice because it targets the affected area directly, even if only temporarily.
If your condition is very severe your doctor may also suggest surgical interventions.
Your wrist may hurt simply because you worked the muscles in your wrist and they are sore. If you are doing exercises that use your wrist it is easy for them to become sore because they are not commonly targeted during a workout.
To solve this problem, the most important thing is to rest. Allowing your muscle fibers to heal and become stronger should reduce your pain and leave you with even stronger wrists.
This is actually very helpful in preventing future wrist injuries and keeping them healthy. With this in mind, even though your wrists may be sore, consider implementing more wrist exercises into your regular workout routine.
Wrist pain is no joke and can get in the way of your ability to live your everyday life comfortably. Wrist pain can be caused by many things, so take the time to truly listen to your body and recognize the quality, severity, and location of your pain.
You should also think about what may be causing your pain, and events that led up to the pain so that you can have all the information necessary when your healthcare provider completes their exam. Overall, treating wrist pain does not always have to be difficult and is sometimes as easy as using a topical pain reliever or icing the affected wrist.