What is Wrist Pain?

Wrist pain is a common condition with various causes. The wrist joint plays a role in basic movements, from texting to writing. When pain occurs, it can interfere with day-to-day activities and even impact a person’s quality of life.

The wrist is not one joint. Instead, it’s made up of several small joints where the bones of the hand and forearm meet.

Wrist pain can develop due to a sudden impact or injury. For example, a wrist sprain can cause pain if a ligament is overstretched. This type of wrist pain usually comes on suddenly when the injury occurs. Here we will explore the common causes, symptoms, and treatment options.

Causes of Wrist Pain

The following conditions are common causes of wrist pain:

1. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

The median nerve is one of the three major nerves in the forearm. Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve becomes compressed, or pinched. It is located on the palm side of your hand, providing sensation to the following parts of the hand:

  • Thumb
  • Index finger
  • Middle finger
  • Part of the ring finger

It also provides the electrical impulse to the muscle leading to the thumb. Carpal tunnel syndrome can occur in one or both of your hands.

Swelling in the wrist causes the compression in carpal tunnel syndrome. The pain is due to excess pressure in your wrist and on the median nerve. Aside from causing wrist pain, carpal tunnel syndrome can lead to numbness, weakness, and tingling on the side of your hand near the thumb. Wrist swelling can occur and trigger carpal tunnel syndrome due to any of the following conditions:

Performing repetitive tasks with your hands, such as typing, drawing, or sewing being overweight, pregnant, or going through menopause

Having certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, arthritis, or an underactive thyroid

2. Wrist Injury

An injury to your wrist can also cause pain. Wrist injuries include sprains, broken bones, and tendonitis. Swelling, bruising, or disfigured joints near the wrist may be symptoms of a wrist injury. Some wrist injuries can happen right away due to the trauma of an impact. Others may develop slowly over time.

3. Gout

Gout is caused by a buildup of uric acid. Uric acid is a chemical produced when your body breaks down foods that contain organic compounds called purines.

Most uric acid is dissolved in the blood and removed from the body through urination. In some cases, however, the body produces too much uric acid.

The excess uric acid can be deposited in the joints, resulting in pain and swelling. This pain frequently occurs in the knees, ankles, wrists, and feet.

Common causes of gout include:

  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • Overeating
  • Certain medications, such as diuretics
  • Other conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and kidney disease
  • Arthritis

The condition can cause swelling and stiffness in the affected body part. Arthritis has many causes, including normal wear and tear, aging, and overworking the hands.

There are many forms of arthritis, but the most common types include:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that usually affects both wrists. It develops when the immune system mistakenly attacks the lining of your joints, including your wrists. This can cause painful swelling, which may eventually result in bone erosion.
  • Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative joint disease that’s common among older adults. It is caused by a breakdown of the cartilage that covers the joints. The protective tissue is damaged by age and repeated motion. This increases the friction as the bones of the joint rub against each other, resulting in swelling and pain.
  • Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is a type of arthritis that occurs in people with a skin disorder called psoriasis.

Symptoms of Wrist Pain

Wrist pain may be accompanied by the following symptoms:

  • Swollen fingers
  • Difficulty making a fist or gripping objects
  • Numbness or tingling sensation in the hands
  • Pain, numbness, or tingling that gets worse at night
  • Sudden, sharp pain in the hand
  • Swelling or redness around the wrist
  • Warmth in a joint near the wrist

Treatment for Wrist Pain

Wrist and hand pain can be the result of an injury, such as a fracture or a sprain, or of a medical condition, such as arthritis, osteoarthritis, or tendonitis. Surgery is often recommended as a treatment for several wrist and hand conditions. However, surgery requires hospitalization and the recovery may be relatively slow. There are always risks and complications associated with surgery, such as post-surgical pain, reactions to anesthesia, infections, or nerve damage, for example. Furthermore, in many cases, wrist and hand functionality may not be fully recovered after surgery.

Stem Cell Therapy can help provide new cells to degenerated regions of tendons and joints in the wrist and hand, helping to reduce pain and improve mobility, and doing so with an easier and faster recovery and with significantly less complications. The aim of using Stem Cell Therapy is to support the natural regeneration of our tissues to suppress inflammation, relieve pain, and restore mobility and full elbow functionality.