Why can wrist pain occur?

The wrist joint is the joint that connects the forearm to the hand. and makes it possible to carry out activities such as writing. Pain here is a common symptom that can stop you from performing daily activities, but why does wrist pain occur?

First of all, it is important to know that the wrist is not just one large joint, but is made up of multiple small bones that connect to each other. It also has ligaments and is traversed by tendons, nerves and blood vessels.

Education show it Wrist pain can affect all ages. Furthermore, the symptom will have a bone, joint, neurological or vascular origin depending on the affected component.

Possible causes of wrist pain

Any structure that makes up or spans the joint may be affected by a disease and cause pain. Thus, there are a large number of etiological origins for this symptom.

wrist injuries

The wrist joint has a very limited range of motion, only a few degrees. However, it is prone to sudden strains, which can injure its components and cause pain.

Wrist injuries can also be the result of direct trauma to the area. Among the most frequent you can find the following:

  • Fracture.
  • Distortion.
  • Tendinitis.
  • Bursitis.
  • Dislocation.
Woman with wrist pain.
Fractures, sprains, and traumatic strains are causes of wrist pain.

Carpal tunnel syndrome

One of the most common causes of wrist pain is carpal tunnel syndrome, that is a neurological condition caused by compression of the median nerve.

This nerve passes through the wrist in a narrow space called Carpal tunnel and is responsible for providing sensory innervation to the thumb, forefinger, middle finger, and outer side of the ring finger. Compression of this structure is often referred to as a tingling sensation or numbness in the fingers and palm.

Arthritis and osteoarthritis

Rheumatic diseases are capable of affecting any joint in the body, including the wrist. Arthritis and osteoarthritis are some of the most common joint diseases and affect the elderly, despite having arthritis it can also affect children.

Osteoarthritis is the degeneration of joint components, while arthritis is their inflammation.. Both processes are capable of causing pain in the wrist when the joint is affected, along with a limitation in its movement.


Gout is a special type of arthritis caused by the buildup of uric acid crystals in the joints. It appears when there are high levels of the compound in the blood, which causes inflammation.

Gouty arthritis generates great pain in the affected area and is capable of appearing in any joint of the body. The disease can raise the temperature and make the whole area red, making the sufferer very uncomfortable.

Other likely causes of wrist pain

The pathologies mentioned are the most frequent causes of wrist pain, however they are not the only ones. There are a large number of different conditions that can trigger pain., from local processes to systemic diseases. In this sense, other etiological origins can also be the following:

What are the risk factors?

Everyone is prone to wrist pain, as the causes are very varied and are not limited to a specific population group. However, this health problem is more common in older, sedentary and overweight people.

Those who perform activities that involve repetitive movements of the wrist joint can also present with the symptom. This type of pain has been associated with multiple activities, such as writing, knitting, haircuts, or painting.

High-performance athletes are more prone to injuries and health problems. Some sports put a strain on the wrist joint., which can trigger the pain. Injuries to the joint in question are common in sports such as golf, soccer, bowling and gymnastics.

Symptoms accompanying wrist pain

Joint pain is highly variable and its characteristics will be different, depending on the cause. It can be described in multiple ways, from a prick to a pins and needles.

It is important to take into account any symptoms that may occur along with the painbecause it is not specific to a particular pathology. In this sense, some of the signs that accompany this health problem are the following:

  • Swelling in the fingers.
  • Redness and increased temperature of the area.
  • Difficulty grasping objects with weakness in the affected hand.
  • Noises during movement of the wrist or fingers.

When to go to the doctor?

In most cases, Wrist pain is not the result of a serious condition and usually goes away on its own after a few days. However, on certain occasions it should be considered a medical emergency and specialized assistance should be sought.

First of all, it is important to go to the doctor in case of evident deformity of the wrist or of the fingers of the hand. This may be indicative of a bone fracture and the affected limb should be immobilized.

On the other hand also specialist assistance should be sought if body temperature rises sharply or if the redness and swelling do not improve. These symptoms are characteristic of a condition called septic arthritiswhich can endanger the patient’s life.

differential diagnosis

All diseases that can cause wrist pain have similar symptoms, so doctors have to study the presented symptoms very well to establish an accurate diagnosis. Some of the most important characteristics of pain are its duration, form of presentation, character and intensity.

Doctors can also use the techniques used in the physical examination to verify the suspected diagnosis. One of the examples of the results that can be obtained is the Tinel signwhich confirms the existence of carpal tunnel syndrome.

Wrist pain treatment

The therapy to follow in case of this condition is very varied, as it will depend on the cause of the problem. Immobilization of the joint is usually sufficient in case of injury. Also, use of the affected hand should be avoided to control the onset of pain.

On the other hand, taking analgesics reduces the repercussion of the symptom in people’s livesalways under professional prescription. In cases where there is an inflammatory process, oral consumption or injection of corticosteroids may be indicated.

Wrist pain may require surgery in severe cases, such as septic arthritis or a fracture. It also indicates the performance of Physiotherapy once the lesion heals in its entirety to regain joint movement.

Wrist injury rehabilitation.
Physical rehabilitation is important for wrist pain once appropriate medical treatment has been completed.


The best way to prevent wrist pain from occurring is avoid subjecting the joint to high pressures for a long time. When playing sports it is important to be very careful with your hands and avoid being hit by them.

It is also recommended to constantly exercise the joint to strengthen its components. In case of pain, some cold or hot water compresses help reduce the intensity of the symptom and reduce inflammation.

Interval use of hot and cold therapies throughout the day is beneficial For many people, however, it’s important to see a doctor to avoid making the underlying condition worse.

Wrist pain is a symptom with multiple causes

The number of diseases that can cause pain in the wrist joint is very largeHowever, let’s try to cover the most common ones. All symptoms presented by patients are similar, so it is important to study their characteristics to establish a differential diagnosis.

Fortunately, a number of treatments are available to lessen the impact and prevent it from interfering with life. In any case, the ideal is to prevent its appearance by reducing risk factors and strengthening the joint components.

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