The wrist consists of 8 carpal bones which is supported by a passageway called the carpal tunnel. Although we may not notice, we use our wrist for performing nearly all the activities during the day like cooking, eating, typing, tying shoe laces, etc. Any disorder or overuse of the wrist can cause pain, swelling or inflammation which makes a person unable to move it and perform daily activities. Wrist injury is quite common given that this body part is utilized the maximum time every day.
Causes and Treatment Methods
A sprain is an unnatural stretching or tearing of a ligament that can be caused due to several reasons. Accidental injury is the most common cause of wrist sprain. Sudden movement, lifting of heavy objects, twisting or pressure can result in tearing of the ligament. Bone fracture due to accidents and sports activities is also commonly observed. Wrist sprains can be treated with painkillers and pain relievers. But, if the ligament is completely torn, a surgery is required.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
A person suffers from carpal tunnel syndrome when the nerves in the carpal tunnel get compressed due to specific reasons. Although the exact cause of this disorder is unknown, the possible causes include obesity, hyperthyroidism, pregnancy, and arthritis. Wrist joint pain, discomfort, burning or tingling feeling in the hand and fingers, numbness, etc., are the symptoms of this disorder. Carpal tunnel syndrome treatment depends on the underlying cause and its severity. In minor cases, rest, pain killers, etc., are used whereas sometimes, orthopedic treatment, or surgery is required.
Inflammation or irritation of the tendons of the wrist due to trauma and overuse of the wrist results in this disorder. Carpal tunnel syndrome is often confused with wrist tendonitis as the symptoms are more or less similar. Improper positioning of the wrist while driving or doing any repetitive action can cause this disorder. Wrist tendonitis is also one of the most common problems that arises due to typing. Pain and inability to move the wrist are the symptoms of this disorder. Apart from this, sometimes, soreness, swelling and stiffness is also observed. In minor cases, anti-inflammatory medications and exercises are helpful for treating wrist tendonitis, whereas in severe cases, a surgery may be required. One should remember that if wrist tendonitis remains untreated for a longer time, it can lead to a permanent damage.
Rheumatoid arthritis is the inflammation of the joints that can be caused due to a variety of reasons. It is very common in older people. There is no permanent cure for it. Severe inflammation and pain in joints like wrists and knees are the prominent symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Although it cannot be cured, the pain can be reduced by certain prescription medications. Anti-inflammatory medications are used to reduce the swelling and pain caused in the joints.
Apart from these, dorsal wrist impingement and bone fracture are the common wrist problems for gymnasts. One should also remember that repetitive overuse of the hands, wrists, driving for long time, writing, typing, etc., can also lead to chronic disorders.
Preventing Wrist Pain
One should remember that regular exercise of the wrist and hands can help in the prevention of pain and joint problems. One should be in a comfortable position while typing and writing, and also take regular breaks from it. On the other hand, a nutritious diet and strengthening exercises help in keeping muscles strong. Gymnasts and sports persons should be extra careful to avoid muscle injury. One should avoid sudden twisting or turning of the wrist and also should avoid sudden lifting of heavy objects. Lastly, if persistent pain is observed, one should immediately consult the doctor.
Nearly all the wrist problems can be overcome by exercises and proper treatment. But, it is equally important to follow precautions to prevent injuries. It is recommended to use this information only for educational purposes. Take care!
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.