Carpal tunnel syndrome is the most common cause of wrist pain. Long-term hand and wrist pain can also result from arthritis, overuse and repetitive stress. Sudden injuries and trauma can cause wrist sprains and fractures. Apart from these, there are many other causes of wrist pain. In many cases of wrist pain, diagnosing the exact cause can be difficult. For effective treatment and healing of wrist injuries and pain, an accurate diagnosis is indispensable.
What are the symptoms of wrist pain?
Pain and weakness in the wrist and forearms, tingling sensation, numbness, swelling, stiffness, and loss of movement. Fractured forearm bone and wrist fractures can cause severe pain, swelling, and inflammation.
Hand and Wrist Pain Causes
The most common causes of hand and wrist pain include the following:
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
The pain due to carpal tunnel syndrome is felt in the wrist, palm, and fingers of the hand and forearm.
Wrist pain due to fractures is severe. In addition to wrist and forearm pain, the other symptoms may include loss of movement, swelling, and stiffness.
It is the most common type of arthritis. If osteoarthritis affects the hands, wrist, and fingers, it can cause stiffness, swelling, and pain due to the deterioration of cartilage between the bones. Hand and wrist become weaker making it difficult to perform daily activities.
De Quervain’s Tendinitis
This type of condition causes pain on the thumb side of the wrist. The condition develops slowly, but the pain can become sporadic. If a person has this condition, it can become difficult for him to turn the wrist, hold or grasp objects and make a fist. De Quervain’s disease is a repetitive stress injury that causes pain at the base of the thumb.
In this condition, one of the small bones of the wrist collapses progressively. This happens when the blood supply to the small bone cuts off. This condition typically affects young adults.
Hand and Wrist pain from Holding a Baby
New mothers can get de Quervain’s tendinitis from holding their baby in an awkward position. You are most likely to get this type of tendinitis with wrist fractures.
Hand and Wrist Pain at Night
Wrist pain due to osteoarthritis is often very dull – just like mild inflammation. Pain due to carpal tunnel syndrome feels like a tingling sensation, or a feeling of pins and needles. These symptoms manifest usually at night. Orthopedic doctors try to find the exact location of wrist pain to get clues about the reason behind the cause of pain and other symptoms.
Hand and Wrist Pain Treatment
Orthopedic doctors provide treatments based on the severity of symptoms and discomfort. It includes the application of cold and warm compresses, the use of analgesic or anti-inflammatory painkillers, wrist or fingers splints, and physical therapy. In some cases, corticosteroid injections (steroids) can help relieve pain. If these treatments fail to provide any relief, surgery may be recommended.
Mild hand and wrist pain do not require medical care. Over-the-counter pain-relieving medications, taking rest, and application of ice packs can help relieve symptoms of minor muscle strains and spasms. However, if pain continues despite taking home treatment and care – and lasts longer (for a few days) or becomes worse, meet your orthopedic doctor. Don’t delay in seeking medical care because delayed diagnosis and treatment can lead to inefficient healing, reduced range of mobility, and long-term complications.