Wrist pain

Wrist pain is common and can have many different causes.

The wrist connects the hand to the forearm and allows finger movements during everyday activities, such as picking up objects, writing on the computer, painting pictures, etc.

The wrist is formed by small and short bones, also known as metacarpals.

These bones are arranged in two rows.
In addition to the bones, there is a network of nerves and ligaments.
Ligaments connect the two rows of bones and form the wrist.
An injury to these bones, ligaments or cartilage causes pain in the wrist.

Stabbing and severe wrist pain renders the hand unusable.


Wrist pain on the side
of the thumb

Wrist and thumb
Pain on the outside of the wrist and thumb can have various causes:

The pain on the wrist is acute or chronic. Acute pain can come from wrist injuries, while chronic pain is the symptom of another condition. The following are the main causes:

Carpal tunnel syndrome
Eight bones form the wrist together with the spoke and ulna (forearm bone).
The carpal bones form the carpal tunnel through which the median nerve passes.
If this nerve is pressed, it causes pain that radiates from the wrist to the fingers: thumb, index finger and middle finger.

The affected person feels burning, numbness or tingling on the palm, wrist, thumb, fingers.
The finger muscles become weak and it is difficult to grasp objects. If the carpal tunnel is not treated, the pain can radiate from the inside of the wrist to the elbow. Pressure on the median nerve causes pain and swelling on the thumb.
Compression of the nerve is caused by repetitive movements of the wrist.
Writing, painting and sewing are the activities that most often cause carpal tunnel syndrome.
For left-handers, sports such as tennis, handball and basketball cause this problem on the left wrist.

Some of the most common causes of this pathology are listed below:

  • recurring movements
  • Pressing a typing keyboard for several hours a day
  • Sports such as squash, handball, tennis, basketball
  • Paint
  • Sew

The tingling sensation worsens at night. Therefore, patients often wake up at 4 o’clock in the morning because of the complaints.
Other conditions that can cause carpal tunnel syndrome are listed below:

  • Overweight
  • Pregnancy
  • Menopause
  • Diabetes
  • Hypothyroidism

Quervain’s disease
This syndrome is characterized by inflammation of the tendons or tendon sheaths of the thumb.
This occurs when a movement of the wrist is repeated frequently within a short time.
If the tissue is inflamed, any renewed movement of the joint irritates the tendons.

This irritation causes pain in the tendons and leads to difficulty in hand movement.
Overuse of the muscles can cause tenosynovitis.
Women over the age of 50 are more likely to develop tendinitis de quervain.
Many golfers and guitarists develop Quervain’s disease.
Golfers overload their wrist due to arm movement; guitarists, on the other hand, move the fingers of their left hand to press the strings against the guitar neck.

What to do? The therapy of Quervain’s disease.
The doctor conducts various examinations to find the cause of the pain. There are some exercises to treat the disease.
These exercises reduce pain from thumb to wrist and should continue to be performed after healing to prevent recurrence.

Right or left wrist pain on the palm side (inside)

Inflammation of finger flexor tendons Tendinitis of the flexor tendons
of the hand occurs in people who perform repetitive movements, such as salespeople, athletes and musicians (pianists and drummers, etc.)
The pain arises when stretching the tendon, touching and exertion.
The therapy is carried out by physiotherapy, resting position and medically prescribed nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ketoprofen (Alrheumun), ibuprofen (Dolormin) or diclofenac (Voltaren).

Wrist pain on the side of the little finger

A heart attack can cause pain in the chest and arm down to the wrist and left hand.
Neuralgia of the ulnar nerve is a disorder characterized by pressure on the nerves in the elbow area. This can cause pain and tingling along the nerve course up to the fingers.

Dupuytren’s disease Dupuytren’s
disease causes thickening of the skin on the palms and fingers. The patient discovers nodules in the palm and fingers. This condition can also affect the little finger and ring finger.
Men develop this condition more often than women.

Wrist pain on the back of the hand (outside)

Causes and symptoms

Ganglia on the back of the hand and flexor side of the hand
A ganglion on the wrist arises on a joint capsule or a subcutaneous tendon.
The cyst manifests itself as swelling on the back of the hand or wrist.
Doctors do not know the cause of this pathology, but these cysts occur in very active people. The cyst is easy to diagnose.

Constant wrist pain and swelling

The wrist can suffer trauma and injury.
If a person falls, he involuntarily stretches his arm forward to prevent possible bodily injury.
Due to trauma, a wrist fracture may occur.
If the bone is broken, the person can no longer move his wrist and fingers and the wrist has an unnatural position.
Abnormal twisting of the joint can lead to compression of the ligaments and stretching of the nerves.
Ice can temporarily relieve pain, but not reduce inflammation.
A bandage protects the wrist and prevents violent movements.

Other causes
Swelling and pain on the wrist are main symptoms of osteoarthritis.
The articular cartilage wears off over time and causes the symptoms.
Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are the two forms of arthritis that affect the wrist.
Gout is a pathological phenomenon in which a large amount of uric acid is deposited in the wrists and causes arthritis.

A lesion on the wrist or thumb causes pain.
Signs of a lesion include the following:

  • Effusions of blood
  • swollen wrist
  • Joint pain
  • Heat

With a bone fracture, the most common signs are limited mobility due to severe pain in the area of the fracture.
Violent twisting can provoke similar pain.

Arthritis In this condition, a person suffers from stiffness, swelling and sudden pain in the thumb.
There are different types of arthritis that can show different symptoms.
Osteoarthritis is tied to age, even if it can be caused by overuse of the wrist.
If both hands are affected, it can also be rheumatoid arthritis.

Symptoms that occur along with the pain on the wrist

With distortion, the main signs are pain and swelling.
With the movement of the arm, the pain increases significantly. The symptoms of a fracture on a wrist bone are the following:

  • Swelling
  • Joint deformity
  • Movement restriction

If the symptoms are caused by arthritis, the patient feels a dull pain.
In tenosynovitis, the pain is severe and the inflammation in the tendon sheath causes swelling on the wrist.

Signs of carpal tunnel syndrome are reproduced below:

  • Pain in the wrist
  • Numbness
  • altered sensitivity up to the fingers

The wrist pain is felt:

  1. when using the mouse,
  2. during gymnastic exercises (for example, when bending),
  3. in some sports such as boxing or bodybuilding,
  4. exercises in the fitness centre, especially weight exercises (for example, bench press),
  5. during breastfeeding, when the mother supports the infant,
  6. when accelerating on the motorcycle,
  7. when opening and closing the fist,
  8. while writing,
  9. when a patient rises in bed and supports himself with his hand on the mattress.

What to do? Wrist exercises

Exercises for the wrist will help relieve pain.

A fracture
of the wrist is often caused by a fall or trauma.
The main features are as follows:

  • Inability to carry weight
  • severe joint pain
  • Swelling

The following are exercises that can help strengthen bones and muscles.

Exercise 1: Place your forearm on the table, with your wrist on the edge of the table and your hand over the edge of the table.
Bend the wrist and point your fingers to the ground.
Then raise your hand and point your fingers to the ceiling. Repeat 10 times.

Exercise 2: Place the palm of your hand on the table. Bend the hand from one side to the other, as when “polishing” the tabletop.
Make sure that the palm rests well on the table during the exercise.

For arthritis
There are two types of arthritis of the wrist. The first is called osteoarthritis, while the second is called rheumatoid arthritis.
Osteoarthritis occurs when the joint has been worn out too much.
Rheumatoid arthritis is caused by inflammatory diseases that inflame bones and joints.

The following are some symptoms of wrist arthritis:

  • Myasthenia
  • Movement restriction
  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • other minor symptoms

Exercise 1: Place the arm on the table so that the palm rests on the tabletop. Turn the wrist so that the palm “looks” at the ceiling.
Turn your hand back to the starting point. Repeat the exercise 10 times.

Exercise 2: Fold your hands as if in prayer. Press your right hand against your left.
The exercise consists of trying to bend the left wrist with the right hand while the left hand presses against the right.
Hold the position for 20 seconds at a time and perform the exercise with your right hand.

Physiotherapy for wrist pain

In the case of tenosynovitis, physiotherapy can be very helpful. Laser therapy or shock wave therapy promote the repair of tendon tissue and thus reduce inflammation.
In the case of a fracture, magnetic therapy is the most suitable therapy because it can reduce the time for the formation of the bone callus up to 50%.

Natural remedies and home remedies

Natural remedies for wrist pain caused by inflammation include arnica ointment and devil’s claw.
These substances promote the absorption of liquid. Nevertheless, it is important to eliminate the cause.

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