Reasons for Wrist Pain
Mayo Clinic defines wrist pain as often caused by sprains or fractures from sudden injuries. But wrist pain can also result from long-term problems, such as repetitive stress, arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome.
Because so many factors can lead to wrist pain, diagnosing the exact cause can be difficult, but an accurate diagnosis is essential for proper treatment and healing.
Wrist pain may vary, depending on the cause. For example, osteoarthritis pain is often described as being similar to a dull toothache, while carpal tunnel syndrome usually causes a pins-and-needles feeling or a tingling sensation, especially at night. The precise location of your wrist pain also provides clues to what’s behind your symptoms.
The following conditions are common causes of wrist pain.
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:
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:
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.
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:
Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints. 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:
Reasons for hand pain
The human hands are complex and delicate structures that contain 27 bones. The muscles and joints in the hand allow for strong, precise, and dexterous movements, but they are vulnerable to injury.
There are many different causes and types of hand pain. Hand pain can originate in different parts of the complex skeletal structure, including the:
Hand pain can stem from:
Many conditions contributing to hand pain can be treated. Depending on the cause of your hand pain, you may benefit from medications, exercises, or lifestyle changes.