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Wrist Joint Pain

Bidisha Mukherjee May 4, 2019
Wrist pain has become a very common condition in people who live a sedentary lifestyle. Sometimes, wrist joint pain can be so severe that it becomes difficult even to move the wrist or hold any object. Read on to learn about those factors that lead to this kind of pain.
Wrist pain is a common complain of many people today. The wrist joins the palm with the forearms and makes the movements of the hand flexible while doing various activities, like holding objects, typing, painting, and so on. It consists of small, short bones known as carpals arranged in two rows, which are joined together to form the wrist joint.
Any form of damage to these bones, surrounding ligaments or cartilage, leads to wrist joint pain. This kind of damage can result from traumatic injury, stress injury, or some underlying disease.


The treatment of wrist joint pain is entirely based upon the cause behind the problem. Here we shall discuss talking about the most common causes along with the symptoms of each one.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

This wrist joint problem arises when the median nerve passing through the wrist is compressed or gets pinched off. The median nerve is responsible for providing sensation to the thumb area and facilitates part of the hand movements. Therefore, the main symptom of carpal tunnel syndrome is wrist and thumb joint pain.
Sometimes, this pain may get extended up to the elbow. Activities that involves overuse of the wrist like sewing, writing, driving, or sports like handball are prone to this kind of injury. It is found more in women than in men.
If a woman gets wrist pain during pregnancy, the likely cause is carpal tunnel syndrome. It occurs due to hormonal changes during this period and usually gets cured on its own after pregnancy.

Wrist Injury

If wrist joint pain is accompanied by bruises and swelling, it could be a sign of injury. It can result in a bone fracture or tear in ligament or muscles. One symptom which is common in all forms of injury is that it makes movement of the wrist joint very painful and difficult. The probable causes of bone fracture are falls from a height or any accident.
Sometimes, the broken bone may protrude out of the skin and cause severe pain. Sprain is the tear in a ligament which occurs due to excessive pressure applied on the wrist or overuse of the joint.

Ganglion Cyst

This is a non cancerous growth that take place at the back of the hand which leads to the swelling of the wrist. These cysts are filled up with fluid substances and tend to grow over a period of time. Since they are not cancerous, they do not spread to any other part of the body. Except for the pain, it does not have any serious health consequences.


There are several forms of arthritis that can cause wrist joint pain like osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriatic arthritis. The symptoms of arthritis are swelling pain at the base of the thumb and it becomes worse in the morning.
If the arthritis get infectious then the swollen part turns red and is warm to touch. Rheumatoid arthritis usually occur in both the wrists.


This condition can be defined as inflammation in the tendon sheath of the wrist which results in pain and tenderness of the joint. The unique characteristics of this kind of pain is that it aches during the night and badly disturbs the sleep. The pain worsens further if the wrist is moved.
If the pain is mild, then give the wrist some rest and apply a hot or cold compress on the affected area. This will help in providing relief. In case there is severe and chronic pain, and abnormal swelling of the wrist, one should consult a doctor. For diagnosis, physical examination of the affected part and an X-ray is required.
Depending upon the severity and underlying cause, painkillers are given to bring down the pain and inflammation. Sometimes, injections are given for the same purpose. To heal injuries, support braces are given to restrict the movements of the wrist.
Disclaimer: This is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.