The predominance of phones and computer-based jobs has caused an increase in wrist pain. Our wrist comprises tiny bones encased in very little protective tissue. It’s no surprise that many individuals complain about wrist discomfort.
If there is one thing you should remember, it is that wrist discomfort should not be ignored. This is because there might be an underlying issue causing it, and the longer you ignore it, the worse it will become. Because many factors can cause wrist discomfort, pinpointing the specific reason can be challenging.
The wrist is a complicated joint in the body. Many argue that there is nothing like a single “wrist joint” because the wrist has several joints that work together to move the hand. The wrist joints allow your wrist to swing up and down, like when you wave your hand. These joints let one rotate their hand and bend their wrist forward, backward, and side to side.
The carpal bones, often known as the carpus, are eight tiny bones that make up your wrist. These unusually shaped bones allow your hand to move in various directions. These bones connect your hand to the radius and ulna, the two long forearm bones. Carpal bones are tiny bones that come in square, oval, and triangular shapes. The wrist’s collection of carpal bones makes it both powerful and flexible.
Wrist pain can be infuriating and annoying, as, with any damage to the wrist, we lose normal levels of mobility and activity. To relieve wrist discomfort, consult your Doctor, figure out what’s causing it, and take actions to avoid it from happening again.
Though not every wrist injury requires immediate medical attention. However, you must know in detail about it to determine if the problem is severe or not. Keep reading to figure that out.
What can cause wrist pain?
Wrist pain is prevalent in those who are usually engaged in manual labor or manual work compared to those involved in non-laborious work. Below are some of the causes of wrist pain.
Arthritis causes discomfort and inflammation in the wrist joint. The wrist is made up of several tiny bones that connect your hand and forearm. Arthritis in your wrist produces severe swelling and inflammation in this joint.
This cartilage can be eroded by aging and certain medical diseases. When this happens, bone scrapes on bone, producing swelling, pain, and tightness. This is arthritis. Reduced range of motion, red, heated, or swollen joints, stiffness that worsens in the morning and improves during the day, and wrist and hand weakness are all possible symptoms.
Repetitive strain Injuries
A repetitive strain injury occurs when your muscles, tendons, or nerves are damaged due to repetitive actions and regular use. Swelling, tingling, numbness, stiffness, and joint weakness are all symptoms of a repetitive strain injury. It is common for athletes to get affected by this as they are constantly exposed to injuries and stress around the wrist area.
Ganglion cysts are noncancerous cysts that often form near the tendons or joints of your wrists or hands. Ganglion cysts are spherical or oval in shape and filled with a jellylike fluid. It might be painful if a ganglion cyst presses on a neighboring nerve. Their position, such as at the, can occasionally obstruct joint mobility. Ganglion cysts can form in anybody; however, they are more frequent in women aged 20 to 40.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a common disorder that affects hand function and is caused by pressurizing the median nerve at the wrist. The numerous bones produce the carpal tunnel in the wrist and the transverse carpal ligament, which creates the carpal tunnel’s ceiling. A median nerve and nine tendons pass through the carpal tunnel. Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by inflammation of the median nerve and tendons, thickening of the carpal ligament, the presence of a mass lesion within the carpal tunnel, or a combination of these factors.
Kienbock’s illness occurs when the blood supply to one of the little bones of the wrist, the lunate, is cut off. The lunate is a kind of carpal bone.
Bone is a tissue that requires a constant blood supply to survive. If a bone’s blood supply is cut off, the bone or sections of the bone may perish. This is medically known as osteonecrosis. When the lunate loses its blood supply, it loses structural support and collapses, resulting in a painful, stiff wrist. These modifications can eventually develop into arthritis of the wrist’s surrounding bones.
A broken wrist is a break or cracks in one or more of your wrist’s bones. When people try to save themselves after a fall and land hard on an outstretched hand, the most common of these injuries happen in the wrist. A fractured wrist may be very painful. Surgery may be required to help your wrist heal, and major fractures can take up to 6 months to heal. Broken wrists are treated with splints, casts, and pain medications in addition to surgery.
What are the symptoms of Wrist pain?
The following signs may accompany your wrist pain, depending on what is causing it:
Having trouble fisting or holding items
Hand numbness or tingling feeling
Numbness, tingling, or pain that worsens at night
a sudden and severe pain in the hand
Swelling or redness in the wrist
warmth to touch in the wrist joint
The above listed are some common symptoms, but they are not limited to these. The signs and symptoms will vary from individual to individual, and the root cause of the discomfort.
But, when to visit a doctor?
Not all types of wrist aches need medical assistance; some can be relieved by primary care and OTC medicine. You should visit a physician if you notice the following signs.
if the pain and discomfort are accompanied by fever
if there is bleeding
pain persists even after two weeks of home care
loss of mobility in the wrist
your doctor will use a combination of physical testing and imaging tests.
The physical test will involve :
the Doctor checking for swelling and tenderness
making you do some movement
asking you to hold something to check your grip
Imaging test will include:
X-ray; checks the bone for any fracture or symptoms of osteoarthritis.
MRI; is used to get an image of soft tissues and bones.
Ultrasound; is used to look at tendons and ligaments and to check for any cysts.
All these tests or more may be suggested by your Doctor, depending on your symptoms.
Managing Wrist pain at home.
Pain relievers include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen and paracetamol. You can apply NSAID gel to your hand and wrist. You can also take pills. When using gels and tablets, be careful not to overdo them because both enter your bloodstream. Always read the directions that come with any prescription, especially concerning dosing. See a doctor or pharmacist if you have any queries or concerns.
One should never continue any sort of activity while the pain is inflicted. Pain is usually said to be an indicator of an underlying problem. So it is essential to give yourself the time to rest, heal and recover from the trauma.
Use of Ice and Heat
Use of Ice or heat is a very basic ritual to combat any kind of pain that is inflicted on the body.
Applying an ice pack to your hands and wrists might help to minimize swelling and soreness. You might use a frozen pea package wrapped in a moist towel. Never apply ice to your skin directly since it might burn or irritate it. Ice can be applied up to twenty minutes many times each day.
Heat may be beneficial if your hands are uncomfortable and stiff. Wheat bags, for example, are available and may be heated in a microwave. To avoid scorching your skin, you need to cover it with a cloth or tea towel. Using a hot water bottle with the cover or a warm bath or shower may also bring comfort.
Hand and wrist splints are intended to protect and support sore, swollen, or weak joints and their surrounding tissues by appropriately positioning your hand and wrist. Splints can be used for arthritis-affected joints or other diseases.
Exercises to avoid wrist pain.
If your profession demands you to type regularly or you have arthritis, you may feel wrist discomfort. Wrist exercises can assist in enhancing strength and flexibility. Try these exercises for wrist pain treatment and prevention.
Put your forearm on a flat surface, such as a table, and hang your hand over the edge, palm down. A rolled-up towel beneath your wrist may give some relief. Move your hand upward, keeping your fingers relaxed, until you feel a slight stretch, then return to the starting position.
Start by placing your hand’s palm on a tabletop cloth or tissue with your fingers spread apart. You may pull your fingers together by pushing your palm down into the table and bunching up the towel between your fingers. Repeat. You may also accomplish this without a towel or tissue by pushing down on the table and pinching your fingers together before stretching them apart.
Bend your elbow at a right angle degree and place your palm down. Turn your forearm so that your palm is facing up, then down. You may do this while standing or sitting.
Support your forearm on a table with a rolled-up towel for cushioning or on your knee, thumb facing up. Waving the wrist up and down across its complete range of motion