Updated: Jun 6
So many injuries can blight an active individual, including, but not limited to, wrist stress fractures, carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow and golfer's elbow (also a form of tennis elbow), and overuse injuries (like many tendinopathies). You may also be experiencing aches and pains in your wrists due to rheumatoid arthritis or other inflammatory conditions.
If something goes wrong with your wrist, the pain can be debilitating and even interfere with daily tasks. That's why it's important to know the symptoms of a problem with your wrist so that you can get help from a Manhattan pain management specialist as soon as possible. In this post, we'll show you symptoms you may be experiencing and will help you to understand the common causes of each.
The Wrist is a Complicated Joint
The wrist is a complicated joint that has quite a few bones and ligaments inside of it. With the help of some tendons, this joint allows you to fully move your hand, wrist, and fingers any way you desire. The wrist is an intricate part of your body that allows you to write, type, play sports, and do a whole host of other things.
If you have ever had pain in your wrist at any time, this can actually be one of the most painful areas to experience symptoms. It's also a common and debilitating wrist condition that many people suffer from each day. Without even knowing it, you may already have symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.
Pain with Movement
Pain in your wrist may be a result of swelling or inflammation in the joint. This is especially common if you've been participating in activities such as sports or household chores that require repetitive motions with your hands.
If you have pain in any direction when turning or flexing your wrist, it could be an indication of carpal tunnel syndrome. It occurs when there's pressure on the median nerve as it passes through the carpal tunnel — a narrow passageway at the base of the hand. The tunnel is formed by bones, ligaments, and tendons in the wrist.
The carpal tunnel becomes inflamed from repetitive use or from holding your hand in an awkward position for long periods of time. Certain medical conditions can also cause carpal tunnel syndromes, such as hypothyroidism or diabetes. If your symptoms don't get better after wearing splints and taking over-the-counter medications for four to six weeks, see a health professional for an examination and possible treatment options.
Numbness or Tingling in your Fingers or Hand
Wrist pain isn't always accompanied by numbness or tingling in hand, but if it is, it's often an indication of nerve damage. If this happens to you, seek medical advice immediately.
Numbness and tingling can be caused by compression of the median nerve, which runs from the forearm into the hand and controls sensation in the thumb, index finger, and middle finger. It often lasts for several minutes.
The symptoms may get worse when you repeatedly move your wrists and can be triggered by certain activities, such as washing your hair, putting on socks, or typing at work. You might start to feel pain and stiffness between your thumb and index finger that gets worse when you press down on them with your other hand. The pain often lessens after a while but may return again later in the day.
Pain Even when Resting
If your wrist hurts even when you're not doing anything, that's a red flag for inflammation and injury (specifically, micro-tears in the tissue). This kind of pain usually has no obvious cause. Still, it could be related to overuse or repetitive strain, especially if you're doing something unusual with your hand or wrist (like gripping too tightly).
If you experience pain or discomfort in your wrist, it's important to seek medical attention from a pain specialist. There are many different causes of wrist pain, so getting an accurate diagnosis is essential before beginning treatment.
Wrist pain that doesn't go away after a few days might be a sign of a more serious issue. If the pain persists and worsens, it could mean you have carpal tunnel syndrome or arthritis, which will require medical attention.
If you're experiencing hand pain, it may be due to the fact that you are experiencing tenderness in your wrist. It can mean that there is inflammation in the area surrounding the joint or tendon, which can restrict movement and cause pain when pressed upon by your doctor during an examination.
This is especially the case if you have been using your hands in a way that could put them at risk for injury, such as by lifting weights or doing pushups. The muscles and tendons that support the bones in your wrist are not very strong and, therefore, susceptible to injuries like sprains and strains.
Limited Range of Movement
The most common symptom of wrist pain is loss of movement. If your wrist has been injured or strained, you may notice that it is difficult to move your hand and fingers freely or that there is a sharp pain when you try to make a fist or grasp an object tightly. Damage to ligaments, tendons, and muscles can cause this type of stiffness in your wrist joint and may indicate that you have sustained a sprain or strain on your forearm or hand.
If you have limited range of motion in your wrist, you may experience pain while trying to move it. The most common type of loss of movement is carpal tunnel syndrome, which causes pain and tingling in the thumb and index finger. You may also experience swelling, which makes these movements even more challenging.
If you have swelling in your hand or fingers and stiffness in your wrist, this could be due to arthritis or tendonitis (inflammation of the tendons). If stiffness persists for more than two weeks without improvement after taking self-care treatment, see a pain specialist for further evaluation. A pain specialist may recommend treatment options to help ease the stiffness so that you can move freely again.
If you experience any of the above symptoms, it's important to see a Manhattan pain management specialist—especially if they're getting worse or aren't going away as you'd expected. Early treatment is vital to ensure that symptoms do not get progressively worse and lead to permanent damage to your wrist and hand.
Pain in the wrist and hand can be debilitating, but you have options. The trick is to figure out what's causing the pain so you can get the right treatment. So, if you have been experiencing pain in your wrist, book an appointment with us today!