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Why Does My Wrist Hurt?

Updated: Jan 3, 2023

Wrist pain is a common complaint that can range from mild to severe and can have a variety of causes. If you're experiencing wrist pain, you're not alone. In fact, wrist pain is one of the most common types of pain that people experience. Whether you're experiencing wrist pain due to a sprain or strain, carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis, or another condition, it's important to get an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan in order to alleviate your pain and get back to your normal activities.

In this blog, we'll explore the common causes of wrist pain and discuss the different treatment options available. Whether you're dealing with chronic wrist pain or have just recently started experiencing wrist pain, there is hope for relief. Keep reading to learn more about the various causes of wrist pain and how to find relief.

Here are some of the most common causes of wrist pain:

  • Sprains and strains: These occur when the ligaments or muscles in the wrist are stretched or torn.

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome: This occurs when the median nerve, which runs from the forearm into the hand, becomes compressed or squeezed as it passes through the wrist.

  • Arthritis: Inflammation of the joints can cause pain and stiffness in the wrist.

  • Tendinitis: This occurs when the tendons in the wrist become inflamed or swollen.

  • Fractures: A fracture is a break in one or more of the bones in the wrist.

  • Overuse injuries: Repeated use of the wrist, such as typing or using a mouse for long periods of time, can lead to wrist pain.

  • Ganglion cysts: These are fluid-filled sacs that can develop on the wrist and cause pain.

  • De Quervain's tenosynovitis: This is a condition that occurs when the tendons on the thumb side of the wrist become inflamed.

Here are some ways to prevent wrist pain:

  • Take breaks: If you do activities that involve repetitive motion with your wrists, such as typing or using a mouse, make sure to take breaks and stretch your wrists regularly.

  • Use proper ergonomics: Make sure your computer monitor, keyboard, and mouse are at the correct height and distance to reduce strain on your wrists.

  • Use proper technique: When lifting heavy objects, hold them close to your body and use your larger muscles to lift rather than your wrists.

  • Strengthen your wrists: Exercises that strengthen the muscles in your wrists can help reduce the risk of wrist injuries.

  • Avoid activities that put excessive strain on your wrists: If certain activities cause you to experience wrist pain, try to limit or avoid those activities.

  • Avoid activities that put you at a higher fall risk: Wrist fractures are commonly caused by falling on an outstretched hand. If you have impaired balance and/or decreased bone strength, make sure to avoid activities that might put you off balance or cause a fall.

  • Participate in physical therapy quickly after experiencing wrist pain: A skilled physical therapist will be able to pinpoint the cause of your wrist pain. Early interventions after you experience pain will allow the rehab process to be much shorter.

In conclusion, wrist pain is a common complaint that can have a variety of causes. By taking steps to prevent wrist pain, such as taking breaks, using proper ergonomics, and strengthening the muscles in your wrists, you can help reduce your risk of wrist injuries.

If you do experience wrist pain or want to work on wrist injury prevention, it's important to see a physical therapist for hand therapy, for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan that will include a high quality, individualized, home exercise program. With the right combination of self-care and medical treatment, you can find relief from wrist pain and get back to your normal activities.

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