Wrist Pain

Why does my wrist hurt?

Your wrist is a skeletal wonder of bones, joints, tendons, muscles, and ligaments. We even have a tunnel running through the middle of our wrists – the carpal tunnel – that protects the nerves and connective tissues running from the wrist to our hands.

Wrist pain can stem from an injury to any of these components, or several of them at once. Some of the most common causes of wrist pain include:

  • Bone fractures
  • Injury or trauma
  • Sprains and strains
  • Ganglion cysts
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis

A regular culprit for wrist pain may be what seems to be innocent everyday activity. Overuse from repetitive work like typing on a keyboard can generate chronic conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome. Sports and hobbies that stress the wrist also create painful overuse conditions.

It’s important to have an exam if your wrist pain is:

  • Worsening or not improving
  • Keeping you up at night
  • Keeping you from work
  • Associated with hand weakness
  • Preventing the normal function of daily tasks

If not detected early, some wrist conditions such as tendonitis or carpal tunnel syndrome can lead to sharp pain in the thumb, fingers, hand, and forearm along with lasting nerve damage.

Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when tissues within the tunnel become swollen and put pressure on the median nerve. Symptoms may include:

  • Numbness, tingling, or a burning sensation in the thumb, index, middle or ring fingers
  • Pain or tingling that may radiate up the arm toward the shoulder
  • Weakness in the hand and tendency to drop things
  • Painful shock-like sensations in the hand
  • Difficulty straightening your wrist
  • Inability to carry, open or twist objects

Evaluation may include diagnostic testing such as nerve conduction study, Electromyogram (EMG) or Ultrasound. Nonsurgical treatments are highly successful, including physical therapy, wrist splints, and therapeutic steroid injections. If your condition doesn’t respond to treatment, our hand and wrist specialists may recommend surgical options to relieve pressure on the nerves.

With Gulf Orthopaedic’s collaborative and patient-focused care, your diagnosis, treatment, and recovery are seamless and on-site – all backed by the power of Infirmary Health Systems.

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