wrist pain

My Wrist Hurts – 5 Common Causes of Wrist Pain

My Wrist Hurts – 5 Common Causes of Wrist Pain

Occasionally, the reason for your wrist discomfort is apparent—perhaps a fall where you instinctively used your hand to break the fall. Other times, the cause isn’t as clear-cut. If your wrist pain has developed gradually, you might be pondering over its origin. Numerous potential factors could underlie the pain in your wrist. Before delving into the 5 frequent causes of wrist discomfort, let’s briefly delve into the intricacies of wrist anatomy

Anatomy of the Wrist

The wrist constitutes the meeting point of two forearm bones: the radius (the larger bone on the thumb side) and the ulna (the smaller bone on the pinky side). This junction is where these bones encounter the carpal (wrist) bones. The wrist isn’t just a singular joint; rather, it’s a complex amalgamation of eight petite bones, encompassing ligaments, tendons, and muscles. The unique interplay of bones and ligaments imparts a wide spectrum of movements to your wrist: up and down, side to side, and rotational. Any impairment to these components can result in wrist pain.

5 Usual Origins of Wrist Discomfort

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: This stands as the most prevalent cause of wrist pain. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome materializes when the median nerve, traversing from the forearm through the wrist, undergoes compression and inflammation. Due to nerve damage, sensory signals don’t transmit as they should. Initial symptoms may include itching, numbness, or a burning sensation in your fingers and hand.

Repetitive Stress Injuries (or Overuse Injuries): These stem from activities or sports involving repetitive motions. The recurrent movement can irritate nerves and tendons, culminating in wrist pain, swelling, and muscle strength depletion. Whether it’s hammering, tennis, pickleball, typing, or even seemingly light activities like cleaning or gardening—repetitive actions can cause stress. De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis, commonly known as “Mommy’s thumb,” is an example of a prevalent overuse condition. It entails inflammation and swelling in the tendons on the thumb side of your wrist, extending to the wrist and forearm.

Arthritis: Arthritis can manifest as swelling, restricted mobility, and stiffness in any joint, including the wrist. While it might commence with mild symptoms, it can advance, inducing pain and limited movement.

Tendinitis: When repetitive stress injuries lead to tendon swelling or irritation, it’s termed tendinitis. Initially, tendinitis may cause sensations of burning, shooting pains, fatigue, or weakness. Prolonged stress, however, results in inflammation of the tissues around the joint, intensifying the pain.

Injury, Sprain, or Fractures: A fall on an outstretched hand can result in injury, sprain, or fractures of the wrist. Common symptoms encompass pain, swelling, reduced range of motion, and tenderness in the wrist. A TFCC (triangular fibro-cartilage complex) injury or tear can transpire during such incidents, causing chronic wrist pain. Termed a wrist sprain, TFCC injuries can be excruciating, leading to motion impairment.

Addressing Wrist Pain

The most effective approaches to mitigate wrist pain encompass prevention, rest, and wrist support. Wrist splints and braces offer the needed support, stability, and protection, allowing your wrist the time it requires to heal.

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