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Hurt wrist when to see a doctor: Wrist pain – Symptoms and causes


Wrist Pain & Swollen Wrist

Your wrist is used every day all day long and, when you can’t move it without pain, it can affect just about everything you do, from getting dressed to working. This complex joint has eight small bones and many ligaments that allow you to move your hand up and down, and from side to side. Your wrist also stabilizes your hand for other functions, such as typing or lifting an object. If you have wrist pain or a swollen wrist, either from an acute injury, chronic use, or a disease, you may need to see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.

Common Causes of Wrist Pain

Wrist pain is common, oftentimes caused by repetitive movements, such as using your computer’s keyboard or mouse over a long period. Accidental injuries and chronic or long-term conditions are other causes of wrist pain.

Besides overuse injuries, here are the most common reasons why people experience wrist pain:

  • Sprains—a fall, particularly if you land on an outstretched hand, can stretch or tear the ligaments causing a sprained wrist.

  • Entrapment syndromes—irritation or compression of nerves traveling down your arm, through your wrist to your hand can cause significant pain. The most common nerve entrapment is carpal tunnel syndrome. It can cause pain in your wrist and numbness in your thumb and fingers except for the little finger.

  • Arthritis—the most common types of arthritis affecting the wrist are rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and post-traumatic arthritis, which is arthritis following a wrist injury.
  • Fractures (breaks)—most wrist fractures occur when you fall and land on an outstretched hand.

  • Ganglion cysts—cysts are small sac-like structures, often filled with fluid. They can form on your wrist, usually on the back of your wrist. They may or may not be painful.

  • De Quervain’s tendinosis—a condition marked by irritation and painful inflammation of the tendons around the base of your thumb.

Wrist Pain Treatment at Home

Self-care for wrist pain is very effective in most cases. Pain caused by a wrist overuse injury will often improve if you stop the activity. The longer you continue the activity, the worse the pain can be and the worse the damage may be to the wrist structure. The most common home-care recommendation for joint injuries is the RICE method:

  • Rest. Reduce your activity, alternate with your other arm if possible, or take a break altogether.

  • Ice. 20 minutes a few times a day or more, for several days. Take care with your skin to avoid direct contact—place a towel between the ice pack and your wrist.

  • Compress your wrist. Wrap your wrist with a compression or pressure bandage to help support it and reduce swelling if any is present. A wrist brace is another option that can limit movement, allow the area to heal, and prevent further injury. If you are unsure of what type of wrist support to use, ask your doctor, physical therapist, or an athletic trainer for their recommendation.

  • Elevate your wrist. Keeping your arm elevated above the level of your heart will help decrease swelling.


Pain relievers and heat therapy (20 minutes sessions) are two other at-home treatments for wrist pain due to arthritis, overuse, and minor injuries. Choose pain relievers containing acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin). Heat therapy is effective for tired, achy wrists. The warmth increases blood flow and helps with healing. For wrist sprain and swelling, practice RICE the first 24-48 hours until the swelling goes down, then alternate cold and warm therapy.

When to See a Doctor for Wrist Pain

You need emergency care for wrist pain after an injury caused by a fall or some other type of trauma, and there is an obvious deformity of your wrist (possible dislocation or broken wrist), swelling, severe pain, or loss of sensation in any part of your hand. Delaying treatment could cause permanent damage to and around your wrist.

See a doctor promptly if you have severe wrist pain (but no obvious injury) or trouble moving your wrist, or you are experiencing numbness or loss of sensation in your hand or fingers. Schedule a same-day appointment or go to an urgent care facility.

Contact your doctor for a regular appointment when:

  • Your wrist pain isn’t going away even after refraining from the activities that caused the pain.

  • The pain is present even when you’re not using your hand.

  • The type of pain changes or increases, such as minor pain and stiffness in the morning to sharp pain with any movement.

  • The pain returns when you resume activities, such as wrist pain from using a keyboard or mouse, or lifting something.

  • There is new swelling, a lump, or redness around the wrist, which are signs and symptoms of infection.

Who to See for Wrist Pain

Primary care providers can diagnose and treat most cases of wrist pain, but you may want to see a specialist for chronic conditions like rheumatoid arthritis. For more serious injuries or disorders, such as severe carpal tunnel syndrome with loss of sensation, your doctor will refer you to a hand surgeon or orthopedic surgeon.

If you go to an urgent care center, you’ll see a healthcare provider trained in urgent care—a nurse, doctor or physician assistant. If you go to the emergency department, an emergency medicine physician will evaluate you for the type of care you need and determine next steps, such as surgery to repair a broken wrist.

Other specialists who care for people with wrist pain and its causes include rheumatologists, physiatrists, sports medicine providers, physical therapists, occupational therapists, and athletic trainers.

Wrist pain can interfere with work and play activities, so it’s important to get your wrist checked if your pain doesn’t go away. The earlier you seek treatment, generally the easier it is to resolve the problem. If you have wrist pain or swelling and it’s not going away with self-treatment, speak with your doctor about your treatment options.

Causes, Treatment, and When to See a Doctor

Wrist pain is a frequent complaint, and there are many potential causes, with a wrist sprain and tendonitis being the most common ones. The reason behind your pain dictates exactly how it’s experienced—sharp pain, dull ache, pins and needles, or tightness, for example.

But due to the wrist’s complex anatomy, determining the “why” behind your wrist pain can be a tricky process. That is why the diagnostic process entails a detailed medical history and physical examination, followed by an imaging test. A treatment plan will follow, which usually involves medication for pain and inflammation control, and, rarely, surgery.

Illustration by Alexandra Gordon, Verywell​

Signs and Symptoms

If you are unsure of the cause of your wrist pain, or if you do not know the specific treatment recommendations for your condition, you should seek medical attention. Some signs that you should be seen by a doctor include:

  • Inability to carry objects  or use the arm
  • An injury that causes deformity of the joint
  • Wrist pain that occurs at night or while resting
  • Wrist pain that persists beyond a few days
  • Inability to straighten or flex the joint
  • Swelling or significant bruising around the joint or forearm
  • Signs of an infection, including fever, redness, warmth
  • Numbness and tingling of the hands and/or wrists

When to Seek Emergency Care

If you have an acute injury in which you cannot move you wrist and have extreme pain, deformity, numbness, and bluish color in the hand or fingers, go to your nearest emergency room or urgent care clinic. Do not wait overnight.


While the misuse and.or overuse of the wrist are the primary causes of wrist pain, there are many other causes a doctor may investigate.

Wrist Sprain

A ligament is tough, fibrous tissue that controls the motion around a joint. The ligaments around the wrist joint help to stabilize the position of the hand and allow controlled motions.

When a wrist sprain injury occurs, the ligaments of the wrist are stretched beyond their normal limits. This often occurs after an injury, such as a fall onto the hand.

Besides pain with movement of the wrist, other common symptoms of a wrist sprain include swelling around the joint, bruising or discoloration, or a burning or tingling sensations known as paresthesia.

Wrist Tendonitis

There are multiple strong bands of tissue called tendons that cross over the wrist, connecting the muscles in the forearms to the hand and finger bones. Flexor tendons are located on the palm side of your hand and allow your fingers to flex for grasping and gripping objects. Extensor tendons are on the top side of your hand and help your fingers straighten and release objects.

When one or more tendons becomes inflamed, wrist tendonitis develops, which causes a dull, aching pain, along with morning stiffness and, sometimes, mild swelling or warmth. Some people report crepitus (a popping sensation) when moving their wrist.

Occupational activities that involve repetitive wrist motion, such as typing or working with machinery, and sports that place repetitive stress on the wrist (golf, tennis) are the most common causes of wrist tendonitis.

Wrist Tenosynovitis

The term “tenosynovitis” is often used interchangeably with “tendonitis.” With tenosynovitis, the tendon sheath (a fluid-filled covering that your wrist tendons glide through) become inflamed, which causes the same symptoms as an inflamed tendon.

One specific type of tenosynovitis is called de Quervain’s tenosynovitis, which causes wrist pain on the thumb side that may move into the arm. This condition is most common in women between the ages of 30 and 50. Often times, a woman reports a history of a repetitive hand-based activity, such as picking up a child.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that results from dysfunction of one of the nerves in the wrist. The median nerve is compressed, or pinched off, as it passes through the wrist joint. 

Besides wrist discomfort that tends to be worse at night, a person with carpal tunnel syndrome may experience numbness and tingling in their palms, as well as their thumb, index, and middle finger.

According to the Centers for Disease and Prevention (CDC), carpal tunnel syndrome is one of the most common wrist injuries in the United States, affecting 7.8 percent of American workers.

Wrist Fracture

A wrist fracture is a common orthopedic injury. This may occur due to an injury and/or bone weakness, such as with osteoporosis.

One common type of wrist fracture is a scaphoid fracture, which may arise from a fall on an outstretched hand. Your scaphoid bone is a curved bone, shaped like a boat, that is located on the thumb side of your wrist.

A scaphoid fracture causes swelling, pain, and tenderness in the area just below the base of the thumb (called the anatomic snuffbox). The pain may worsen when a person tries to pinch or grasp something.


There are a few different types of arthritis that may affect the wrist. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) commonly affects the wrist joint, and gout (another type of inflammatory arthritis) may affect the wrist joint as well.

Osteoarthritis of the wrist is less common and is most likely to occur as a result of a prior wrist injury. Septic bacterial arthritis of the wrist (when the wrist joint is infected) is possible, but rare.

Ganglion Cyst

Ganglion cysts are benign, fluid-filled capsules that cause swelling and/or wrist pain. They usually occur over the back of the hand or wrist and often feel smooth and rubbery.

While they may grow, they will not spread to other parts of your body. Rarely, the cyst may compress a nerve, causing some muscle weakness and/or numbness and tingling

Cubital Tunnel Syndrome

Cubital tunnel syndrome, also known as ulnar neuropathy, results when your “funny bone nerve,” called your ulnar nerve, is compressed. It may cause wrist pain, along with numbness and tingling in your fourth and fifth fingers.

Carpal Boss

A firm, immovable bump on the back of the hand/wrist, a carpal boss is created by a small area of osteoarthritis occurring at the junction of the long hand bones and the small wrist bones.


The wrist, while small, is comprised of several bones, muscles, and tissues, making it quite an intricate area of the body.

A comprehensive medical history and physical examination are needed to make the diagnosis behind your wrist pain, followed often by an imaging test, usually an X-ray to start.

Medical History

During your appointment, your doctor will ask you several questions about your wrist pain. For instance, your doctor will inquire as to whether your wrist pain came on suddenly or gradually. Your doctor will also want to know whether you experienced any sort of trauma to your wrist, like a fall on an outstretched hand.

Physical Examination

During the physical exam, your doctor will first inspect your wrist, hand, and arm for bruising, swelling, skin changes, or muscle wasting. She will then press on the bones and muscles to check for tenderness or deformities, in addition to moving your wrist around to evaluate its range of motion.

Besides a thorough musculoskeletal exam, your doctor will check the pulse in your wrist and do a quick neurological exam on your hand, wrist, and arm to check for sensory problems or muscle weakness.

Imaging Test

Imaging is commonly utilized during the diagnosis of wrist pain. The first imaging test ordered is typically an X-ray, which, for instance, can diagnose a fracture, as well as, arthritis of the wrist.

Depending on the suspected diagnosis, an X-ray may be followed by a computed tomography (CT) scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), especially if a wrist fracture is suspected but the X-ray is negative. For example, sometimes, scaphoid fractures do not immediately show up on X-ray—a repeat X-ray in a few days or an MRI can usually reveal the bone break.

Special Tests and Procedures

Depending on your doctor’s suspicion for a particular diagnosis, she may perform a special test. For example, the Tinel test can help diagnose carpal tunnel syndrome. Your doctor will lightly tap on your medial nerve to determine if it is inflamed. The test is positive if you feel a “pins and needles” sensation in your first three fingers.

Another test, the Finkelstein test, can help a doctor diagnose de Quervain’s tenosynovitis. In this test, a person makes a fist around their thumb. The doctor then uses one hand to stabilize the forearm, while using the other hand to move the wrist towards the little finger. If this maneuver causes pain along the thumb, the test is positive.

If your doctor is worried about an infected wrist joint (called septic arthritis) or gout of the wrist, he will remove a sample of the synovial fluid within the joint. This procedure is called a joint aspiration and is most often performed in a doctor’s office.

With gout, the synovial fluid will reveal the presence of crystals and a moderately elevated white blood cell count. With septic arthritis, the white blood cell count will be extremely high.

Differential Diagnoses

Seeing your doctor for an evaluation of your wrist pain, whether it comes on suddenly or has been present for a while, is important. If the above issues have been ruled out or are not otherwise suspected as the source of your wrist pain, these diagnoses may be considered. Some are whole-body illnesses, while others are localized issues.

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

With RA versus other causes of wrist pain, a person will often have a positive anti-citrullinated protein antibody (ant-CCP), as well as other physical symptoms like unusual fatigue, unexpected weight loss, and other sites of joint pain.

Moreover, RA tends to affect joints symmetrically, while this would be uncommon for an isolated wrist sprain or tendonitis. All of these clues can help a doctor arrive at the correct diagnosis.

Thyroid Disease or Diabetes Mellitus

Besides RA, thyroid disease or diabetes (which can alter tendon structure) may cause or contribute to wrist pain. In order to rule out the above diagnoses, your doctor may order the following blood tests:

Cervical Radiculopathy

Another condition your doctor will consider when evaluating your wrist pain is a pinched C6 or C7 nerve root in your neck (called cervical radiculopathy). The pinching or compression of these nerve roots may occur as a result of cervical stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal in your neck), a herniated disc in the neck, or osteoarthritis in the neck.

Like carpal tunnel syndrome, a compressed C6 or C6 nerve root causes dull pain, as well as tingling and/or numbness in the palm and first three fingers. Besides a thorough neurological exam, an electromyogrpahy (EMG) and/or an MRI of the neck can be done to help sort out one condition from the other.

Soft Tissue Tumors

Bear in mind that while a ganglion cyst is the most common cause of a “rubbery” bump on the wrist, other soft tissues masses need to be considered, such as:

The good news is with a combination of transillumination (seeing if light is able to pass through the mass), ultrasound, and/or MRI, doctors can usually make a diagnosis. If there is any doubt, a surgical biopsy (a tissue sample) can be done.


Treating wrist pain depends entirely on the cause of the problem. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that you understand the cause of your symptoms before embarking on a treatment program.

Self-Care Strategies

To start, a few self-care strategies may soothe your wrist pain, especially if you have been diagnosed with a sprain or tendonitis.

  • Rest: The first treatment for many common conditions that cause wrist pain is to rest the joint and allow the acute inflammation to subside. It is important, however, to use caution when resting the joint because prolonged immobilization can cause joint stiffness.
  • Ice Application: If you have been diagnosed with a sprain or tendonitis, it’s a good idea to ice your wrist for twenty minutes every three to four hours for the first two days. While you may be tempted to extend the application time, doing so won’t help heal your wrist any faster, and it could actually cause damage to the tissues.
  • Compression: Your doctor may recommend wrist compression. Using an elastic bandage, wrap the wrist from the base of the fingers all the way up to the top of the forearm, overlapping the wrap by one half of its width. The wrap should be snug, but not cutting off circulation to the hand and wrist (tingling is a sign it’s too tight).
  • Immobilization: Support braces or splints may help people who have either experienced a recent wrist sprain injury or who have carpal tunnel syndrome or tendonitis. For people with wrist arthritis, wearing a splint during painful activities can be useful. A cast is needed in the event of a break, which—of course—would need to be applied by a medical professional.


Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory pain medications, commonly referred to as NSAIDs, are some of the most commonly prescribed medications, especially for patients with wrist pain caused by problems such as a sprain, tendonitis, and arthritis. NSAIDs are not used in the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome.

Cortisone is a powerful medication that also treats inflammation—and inflammation is a common problem in patients with wrist pain, like those with tendonitis. Some people with arthritis of the wrist or carpal tunnel syndrome also benefit from a cortisone injection.


Some wrist conditions require a surgical procedure for treatment, such as certain types of fractures, ganglion cysts (if removal is desired), and median or ulnar nerve decompression.

If you require wrist surgery, talk with your doctor about finding a hand surgeon—an orthopedic or plastic surgeon with specialized expertise in performing operations on the hand, wrist, and forearm.


Some activities are such that participants are at significant risk for sustaining a wrist injury. Wearing protective wrist splints or guards in sports such as rollerblading, street hockey, and snowboarding can help prevent many sprained wrists. While skiing, use a pole that has a low-profile grip and do not secure the poles to your wrists with tight straps.

In addition, people who have sustained a previous wrist injury may have a higher risk of further injury, especially if they do not regain full mobility of strength of their wrist. For that reason, it is important for active individuals, especially athletes, to ensure they regain full function of their wrist before resuming competitive activities.

Physical therapy, especially hand therapy, can be especially useful for strengthening the wrist joint.

Lastly, to prevent the development or worsening of carpal tunnel syndrome, avoiding repetitive motions, taking breaks, and using ergonomic devices like a wrist rest or mouse pad can be helpful.

Frequently Asked Questions

What causes outer wrist pain when twisting?

Ulnar wrist pain is on the outer wrist, the same side as the “pinky” finger. It may be caused by arthritis, nerve injuries, or a wrist fracture. Other common causes include:

  • Ulnar impaction syndrome: A condition in which the ulna bone is longer than the radius bone, causing it to push on other bones
  • Triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFCC) injury: An injury to the cartilage and ligaments that connect the ulna bone to other parts of the wrist
  • Ganglion cyst: A small fluid-filled sac that develops on the wrist joint

Check with your doctor if you’re experiencing outer wrist pain to get prompt diagnosis and treatment.

Why does my wrist hurt when exercising or lifting something heavy?

Sometimes your wrists may hurt with exercise if your hands aren’t positioned correctly. When lifting weights, make sure to keep your hand and arm in alignment and don’t overextend your wrists. If you’re doing weight-bearing exercises, like push-ups, use padding under your hands. You can also provide some support by wearing athletic tape or straps around your wrists.

A Word From Verywell

Not every patient with wrist pain will find relief with the treatments above. However, simple steps like ice, rest, and wrist support will be effective for the vast majority of people with common wrist ailments, like a sprain or tendonitis.

If you find your symptoms persist despite appropriate treatment, you may want to discuss with your doctor what the next steps might be. While surgery may be an option, most people choose this only if they fail to find relief with the steps listed above.

When is it Time to See a Doctor for Your Wrist Pain

When your wrist pain has intensified to the point of disrupting the performance of your normal daily tasks, you must seek out a doctor. brian_kessler – Medical Director of spine_and_sports_medicine – recommends seeking immediate treatment for persistent wrist pain. When wrist pain is chronic, delaying treatment may cause the forming of scar tissue and lead to radiating pain in your hand, arm, and shoulder

Wrist Pain Doctor

Dr. Kessler will accurately diagnose and treat the underlying cause of your wrist pain.

Common causes of wrist pain:

  • Everyday wear and tear and/or overuse of the hands and wrists
  • The natural aging process
  • Sports-related injuries

Symptoms of Wrist Pain

  • Tingling
  • Soreness
  • Numbness
  • Stiffness
  • Stinging
  • Tiredness
  • Weakness
  • Hot Sensation
  • Cold Sensation
  • Finger Pain

Common Medical Conditions Resulting in Wrist Pain

Underlying medical problems causing wrist pain:

  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Pressure on the wrist’s median nerve causing tingling, numbness, weakness, and pain of the fingers and hand.
  • Dupuytren’s Disease. A thickening of the tissue beneath the skin in the palm of the hand. Palmar fascia – the thickened skin and tendons – limit hand movement or prevent the fingers from straightening.
  • Ganglion Cysts. Small sacs filled with clear, jellylike fluid and appearing as bumps on the wrists and hands.
  • Tendon Pain. Tendinosis – small tears in the tissue around the tendon – decreasing strength and movement in the wrist and hand.
  • Repetitive Motion Syndrome. Pain, swelling, tenderness resulting from repeating the same movement over and over. Also known as writer’s cramp. Pain caused by repeated hand or finger motion – writing or typing.

Out-of-Network Coverage for Wrist Pain

At spine_and_sports_medicine, there is no requirement for you to delay treatment by having to obtain an outside primary physician referral. Most PPOs have out-of-network benefits covering the cost of your wrist pain treatment. Out-of-network benefits allow the cost of doctors not listed in your PPO directory to be covered by your insurance policy. Our insurance experts will help you determine your coverage, your deductible, and assist in processing your claims.

Premier Wrist Pain Treatment in NYC

Discover premier wrist pain treatment within the warm and inviting spa-like environment at spine_and_sports_medicine. We offer a vast array of pain management services in NYC at a time convenient for you.

  • Off-hours for scheduling appointments
  • Selected evenings appointments throughout the work week
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Please click the icon below to schedule your initial consultation at a time convenient for you – or – call 212.986.3888.

Wrist Injuries: When to Schedule an Appointment

Wrist injuries happen in all kinds of sports – football, basketball, gymnastics, cheerleading and even in sports like soccer where the hands don’t typically come into play. As with many common sports injuries, parents often choose to take the “wait and see” approach with a wrist injury. This is reasonable for less serious injuries, but there are steps that can be taken early to determine if the injury needs more attention. The following Q&A looks at courses of action for a wrist injury and the healing process.

How did it happen?

Knowing how a wrist injury happened will be helpful in making a diagnosis and identifying the correct options for treatment. The most common way a wrist injury occurs is with a fall onto an outstretched hand (FOOSH). Other mechanisms of injury include twisting and/or direct contact, such as a blow to the wrist.

Where does it hurt?

Signs and symptoms of more severe wrist injuries include:

  1. Pain at the base of the thumb or bruising and swelling in that area of the hand/wrist/forearm after an impact.
  2. Increased pain with movement.
  3. Decreased range of motion – meaning the movement of the wrist is limited in some way.
  4. Difficulty gripping an object such as a ball, bat, stick or bar.

If your child presents with one or more of these symptoms for longer than a couple of days, it’s best to seek medical attention.

What should we do until we can schedule an appointment?

If a coach or trainer is available to wrap or immobilize the injured wrist, that is an excellent thing to do until the injury can be fully evaluated. Ice on the injury will help reduce swelling.

An evaluation of a wrist injury can be performed by your child’s regular doctor if the injury occurs during their hours. If it is after hours or on the weekend, urgent care will be a good option. You can also call our injury line at 513-803-4878 (HURT) if you are in the Cincinnati area – we often have same-day appointments available.

How can we tell if it’s broken?

Wrist injuries left untreated can result in chronic pain and instability in the long run, especially if the underlying issue is a fracture or broken bone. Diagnostic imaging is the best way to tell if a fracture has occurred. If your physician suspects a break or fracture after a physical exam of the injured area, your family will be referred to a radiologist for tests which may include an X-ray, MRI or CT scan.

Which wrist bone is broken?

Your wrist is made up of many bones. The most commonly fractured bone with a sports-related wrist injury is the radius bone, accounting for roughly one-third to half of all wrist fractures in children. The radius bone runs from the elbow down the forearm to the base of the thumb. Though less common in children, wrist pain may also be associated with a scaphoid fracture (see image above). The scaphoid bone, located on the thumb side of the wrist, is one of the eight small bones connecting the hand to the forearm – a group known as carpal bones. Of the bones in this group, the scaphoid is most commonly fractured.

When can my child return to play?

Once a diagnosis is made, your doctor will determine the best treatment plan for your child. This may include bracing, having the wrist set in a cast – which can take between four to six weeks to heal – or surgery if necessary. Recovery times after a surgery will vary. Depending on the sport your child plays and the severity of her or his wrist injury, the length of time before he or she can get back in the game will also vary.

Following the treatment and rehabilitation plan after injury will be vitally important to a full recovery. Once strength and function have been restored to the injured wrist, your young athlete should be ready to get back to the sport he or she loves.

Can wrist injuries be prevented from occurring or re-occurring?

Injuries in sports are unavoidable, but there are things your child can do to decrease his or her risk of a wrist injury. Avoiding FOOSH is one of them. While it isn’t always possible to control a fall, encourage your young athlete to learn how to break falls without using their hands or outstretched arms. Try using the knees or forearms instead.

Strengthening the area around the forearm, wrist and hand with targeted exercises is another great preventative step athletes can take to avoid a potential wrist injury in the future. If your daughter or son has already had a wrist injury previously, a trainer or doctor may recommend taping or bracing before games and practices in order to prevent re-injuring the wrist.

Pain in Your Hand, Wrist or Elbow? When to Seek Help – Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic

Pain is your body’s way of telling you something is wrong. But it doesn’t always tell you if you need medical treatment.

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So when pain develops in your hand, wrist or elbow, how do you know whether to treat it at home or see a doctor?

Orthopedic surgeon William Seitz, Jr., MD, who specializes in upper extremity problems, says if something is seriously wrong, you’ll know it.

A wrist fracture, for instance, will cause pain you can’t ignore. “When the pain is so bad you can’t move past it, call your doctor or head to the emergency department,” he says.

If you don’t have that level of pain, then listen to your body. Take a moment to consider why you might be feeling pain and what it can tell you.

Did pain come after a fall, or out of the blue?

In some cases, the reason for your pain is obvious — maybe you’ve worked in the garden for several hours or had a bad fall. In others, pain seems to come out of the blue.

“You may develop pain from infection, inflammation or an underlying metabolic issue like gout or diabetes-related neuropathy,” Dr. Seitz says.

“Also, the pain may be unrelated to your arm — for example, a pinched nerve in the neck can cause pain anywhere throughout the arm.”

Your activity level and the wear-and-tear on your body can also factor in, especially with joint pain, or various forms of tendonitis.

If you’re highly active, you can typically expect some pain in your joints as you get older. “Mileage plays a role,” says Dr. Seitz.

However, you shouldn’t expect pain just because you’re aging — it may never develop.

Assess your pain like an expert would

Health professionals determine which of their patients need urgent medical care using a process known as triage. You can apply the same technique at home.

Dr. Seitz suggests asking yourself these questions to decide what to do for your hand, wrist or elbow pain:

  1. Does it hurt if you press on it?
  2. Is it inflamed (reddened)?
  3. Is it swollen or stiff?
  4. How would you rate your pain on a scale from 1 to 10 (with 1 being minimal discomfort and 10 being the worst pain you’ve ever experienced)?

“If your answers to the first three questions are “yes,” or if your pain level is in the upper half of the pain scale (6 through 10), then it’s time to call the doctor,” says Dr. Seitz.

“If you answer “no” to the first three questions and rate your pain at a 1 through 3, you can start with treatment at home.”

DIY care for hand, wrist or elbow pain

If your symptoms aren’t serious, start by reducing the pain. Dr. Seitz suggests the following steps:

  • Apply ice to the painful area (if new onset) or heat (if present more than a day).
  • Take over-the-counter pain medication like ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
  • Use a stretchy elastic bandage or other compression device to wrap the painful or swollen area.

If you can tie your pain to overexertion, or if you think it stems from repetitive motion (such as tennis elbow), take a break from that activity. Give your body a rest.

What if your pain won’t go away?

Even tolerable pain may signal a more serious problem when it persists. If home treatment doesn’t seem to address the issue after two or three days, contact your doctor.

Provide as much information as possible about your activities and other pertinent factors, including which medications or supplements you’re taking.

Your doctor will help to identify the problem, even if it’s an underlying issue causing the persistent pain.

“Most processes that aren’t worrisome tend to run their course in a few days,” Dr. Seitz says. “Acute symptoms — such as severe swelling, redness, pain or deformity — may need more urgent evaluation and care.”

Ultimately, taking a few minutes to assess your pain may help you avoid an emergency room visit for situations that aren’t serious.

What Type of Doctor to See for Wrist Pain

According to a study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, it’s estimated that 11 – 20% of emergency room visits in the United States are for hand and wrist injuries.

That may seem like a disproportionate percentage of visits, but Americans – especially service people, laborers and those in computer-based careers – injure their hands and wrists while at work every day. On-the-job accidents, repetitive wrist motions and excessive typing can cause acute or chronic hand and wrist pain and injuries. Additionally, many recreational activities and sports involve a higher risk of lower extremity injuries.

If you’ve suffered a wrist injury or are dealing with chronic wrist pain, you might be wondering if it’s time to see a wrist specialist.

What is a wrist specialist called?

While you might be inclined to see your regular doctor for your wrist pain, he or she may ultimately recommend seeing a specialist. That’s because the orthopedic systems of the hand and wrist are complex and may require an orthopedic specialist for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Per the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, orthopedics is “the medical specialty that focuses on injuries and diseases of your body’s musculoskeletal system. This complex system, which includes your bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles, and nerves, allows you to move, work, and be active.”

As such, orthopedic wrist specialists spend four years in medical school, five years training in an orthopaedic residency and one or two optional years of fellowship specializing in hands and wrists.


Not to See a Wrist Doctor

If you tweaked your wrist, had a small fall or suffered some other minor injury, you may not need to see an orthopedic specialist. Minor strains and sprains can typically be treated effectively at home with ice, rest and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NAIDs), such as ibuprofen (Advil), aspirin (Bayer), acetaminophen (Tylenol) and naproxen sodium (Aleve).

However, if your pain and swelling do not subside in a day or two – or if your symptoms become worse – you should see a hand and wrist specialist for proper diagnosis and treatment.

When to See a Wrist Specialist

If you’ve suffered an acute injury, such as a compound fracture, you should seek immediate medical attention.

Unfortunately, the symptoms of less obvious wrist injuries vary greatly and determining when to see an orthopedic specialist isn’t always clear cut.

If you’ve fallen on an outstretched hand or injured your wrist while playing a sport, you may be experiencing swelling, numbness and tingling, bruising and acute pain. If these symptoms don’t respond to elevation, rest, ice and NAIDs – or if they get worse – you should see an orthopedic wrist specialist as soon as you are able.

If you’ve been experiencing any sort of chronic pain for an extended period of time, it may be due time to seek treatment. Putting off proper diagnosis and treatment may only cause your condition to worsen or become permanent.

Wrist Injuries and Common Causes Wrist Pain


Tendon Injuries


Other Wrist Conditions and Diseases

The hand and wrist are such an integrated, delicate system of bones, tendons, ligaments and muscles – it can be difficult to know when to see a hand and wrist specialist for diagnosis and treatment. If you have any questions or concerns about your wrist pain, please contact us and we’ll be happy to provide our professional medical advice.

Wrist pain: Causes, symptoms, and treatment

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Wrist pain is a common condition with various causes. The wrist joint plays a role in basic movements, from texting to writing. When pain occurs, it can interfere with day-to-day activities and even impact a person’s quality of life.

The wrist is not one joint. Instead, it’s made up of several small joints where the bones of the hand and forearm meet.

Wrist pain can develop due to a sudden impact or injury. For example, a wrist sprain can cause pain if a ligament is overstretched. This type of wrist pain usually comes on suddenly when the injury occurs. Here we will explore the common causes, symptoms, and treatment options.

Pain may occur for many reasons, whether simple fatigue or an underlying issue. Commonly, injuries to the wrist are the main cause. Squashing the nerves that pass through the wrist can also produce pain.

The most common causes include the following:

Carpal tunnel syndrome

Share on PinterestThe most common cause of wrist pain is injury to the wrist, which can come with overexertion or exercise.

Carpel tunnel syndrome is a condition that develops when a ligament thickens and puts pressure on a nerve. The nerve is squeezed, which can cause pain, numbness, and weakness in the hand.

People who are obese or those who have diabetes or arthritis are at an increased risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome.

The condition is also linked with repetitive work that involves lifting, typing, or using equipment that vibrates the hand.


Osteoarthritis causes inflammation of the joints and occurs when the cartilage that covers the bones wears away. The condition can affect a wide range of joints, including the wrist. Osteoarthritis of the wrist tends to occur most often in people who are middle age or older, and those with a family history of the condition.

Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease where healthy tissues are broken down by the body’s immune system. This can cause wrist pain if the joints in the area are affected.

De Quervain’s disease

In this condition, tendons and their coverings on the thumb side of the wrist become inflamed and swell. The exact cause is not known, but it is often associated with an injury to the area or overuse. Symptoms include a grating feeling inside the wrist, swelling, and weakness along the wrist, forearm, and thumb.

Repetitive motion syndrome

As the name suggests, repetitive motion syndrome occurs from repeating a task over and over again, such as typing, or knitting. Overworking the joint can cause it to swell, putting pressure on the surrounding nerves.

It can affect many joints in the body, including the wrist.

Triangular fibrocartilage complex injury

The triangular fibrocartilage is located on the pinky side of the wrist. It acts as a cushion and support for the small bones. The cartilage can wear away over time or tear due to an injury.

Wrist tendonitis

Wrist tendonitis can occur when the tendons of the wrist develop small tears or become irritated and inflamed. The condition usually occurs due to repetitive movement involving the wrist.

Wrist bursitis

Bursa are small fluid-filled sacs that help cushion joints. When these become inflamed it is referred to as bursitis. These can occur in many areas of the body, including the wrist. Symptoms include tenderness over the tendons of the wrist, redenss in the region, and swelling.

Ganglion cyst

This cause of wrist pain is due to fluid-filled soft tissue cysts that often develop on the wrist opposite the palm but will occur on the palmar aspect of the wrist. Smaller cysts often tend to hurt more than large cysts.

Wrist sprain

According to the American Society for Surgery of the Hand, a wrist sprain is usually caused by falling and bending the wrist backward when the hand hits the ground. This movement overstretches the ligament.

Share on PinterestThe symptoms of wrist pain include soreness, aching, and swelling in the wrist.

Wrist pain symptoms can vary depending on the cause. Some people may have pain that they describe as achy or dull; others may have pain that is sharp. The location of the pain can also vary.

In addition to pain, other symptoms may develop. Symptoms of an injury, such as a wrist sprain, can include swelling and bruising. Numbness, tingling, and weakness of the hand might also occur when pain is due to carpal tunnel syndrome.

Some people may develop the following symptoms:

  • Stiffness – in the wrist and potentially the fingers.
  • Trouble gripping objects – grasping or holding on may be difficult or uncomfortable.
  • A clicking sound when moving the wrist – this can be more severe after periods of rest.

Depending on the cause, symptoms may be mild to start and become worse as time goes on.

At first, pain may only occur during certain activities. In time, as the condition worsens, pain might occur even at rest. Numbness can also progress to the point where a person cannot feel cold or heat and may drop things.

When to see a doctor for wrist pain

It’s important to see a doctor if:

  • Pain is interfering with everyday activities.
  • Numbness or tingling is becoming worse, and there is little or no feeling in the fingers or hand.
  • Simple hand movements are no longer possible.
  • Weakness makes holding things difficult.

Complications of wrist pain can include weakness and a decreased ability to carry out activities such as gripping objects and using a keyboard.

After a physical exam and symptom review, a doctor may also diagnose wrist pain and the underlying condition by:

  • Medical imaging scans – including an X-ray, CT scan, and MRI.
  • Arthroscopy – this procedure involves a small cut on the wrist. A small instrument that has a tiny camera attached is inserted in through the cut. The pictures from the camera are then projected onto a computer monitor for the doctor to see.
  • Nerve conduction studies – these measure how fast nerve impulses travel through the carpal tunnel region of the wrist.

Typically, invasive diagnosis techniques are only used after rest and recovery from injury have been unsuccessful.

Treatment for wrist pain depends on the cause of the pain and its severity. The least invasive treatment is given first before treatments are recommended. They include:

  • Home treatment – often simply resting the wrist as much as possible to allow it time to heal is effective. Pain medication and ice may also be recommended to reduce inflammation and pain.
  • Splints – in some cases, wearing a wrist splint can help. Splinting may prevent certain wrist movements that cause irritation. A splint might also reduce squeezing of the nerve.If you want to buy a wrist splint, then there is an excellent selection online.
  • Exercises – depending on the type of pain, wrist exercises may work. Certain exercises can be prescribed to stretch and lengthen muscles and tendons. When it comes to which exercises to do, patients should get recommendations from a doctor or physical therapist.
  • Additional treatment – cortisone injections, which decrease inflammation and reduce pain can be effective.
  • Surgery – only used if less invasive treatments have not worked. The type of surgery performed depends on the cause of the pain. Surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome involves cutting a ligament in the wrist to release pressure on the nerve.

Treatments are undertaken by process of elimination until the condition is resolved. Physiotherapy may also help in some cases.

  • Using proper posture when sitting at a workstation, and keeping the wrists in a relaxed position.
  • Considering a wrist-friendly keyboard if long hours are spent at the keyboard.
  • Learning how to use hand tools properly, so less stress is placed on the hands and wrists.
  • Taking regular breaks from using a keyboard.
  • Using wrist guards to prevent injuries when participating in sports, such as skateboarding, snowboarding, and rollerblading.

90,000 What to do if your wrist hurts?

Wrist discomfort is a common complaint of all ages. It occurs not only due to joint disease: more often the wrist hurts in those who write a lot at work or sit at the computer. How to correctly determine what caused the pain, and how to cope with it?

Possible causes of wrist pain

No one is immune from wrist injuries: in winter you can slip and land on your hand, athletes get sprains and fractures of the wrist in training, and in everyday life you can seriously hurt your hand even at home.The main injuries that cause pain in the arm are:

  • fracture,
  • dislocation,
  • sprain.

Often sprains come along with dislocations – the injured ligaments cannot support the joint normally.

A healthy wrist hurts from muscle spasms if the arm is constantly tense in an uncomfortable position. For example, if a person holds a pen for writing and a computer mouse in his hand all day. If you ignore the problem, you can develop “tunnel syndrome” – pinching of the median nerve.This is a more serious pathology that requires medical intervention.

Another cause of wrist pain is diseases of the joints, tendons, cartilage and bones. They can be of a different nature, affect all joints and cartilage of the body, or be observed only in one or two places. Most common:

  • tendonitis – inflammation of tendons,
  • synovitis – inflammation of the synovial membrane of the joint,
  • osteoarthritis – thinning of cartilage,
  • rheumatoid arthritis – inflammation of connective tissue,
  • neoplasms.

The disease has many other symptoms: body pain, weakness, fever, numbness and loss of sensation. Therefore, it is difficult to confuse them with injuries or muscle fatigue.

How to distinguish the cause of pain by symptoms

Pain in the wrist may be sharp or aching, occur with movement, or be felt all the time. The nature of the pain, the presence of redness, fever and general well-being are good indicators of the cause of the disease.The final diagnosis will be given to you by the doctor, but on your own you will be able to determine who to go to: a neurologist, a surgeon or a traumatologist.

  • Limited wrist mobility, aching pain and swelling are sure signs of a sprain. If you feel severe pain during movement, then this is a more serious injury: dislocation or fracture.
  • Mild pain and fatigue in the hand indicates overexertion of the wrist.
  • If you feel severe pain when moving your hand, a tingling sensation is felt at the base of the palm, and your fingers are numb and cannot support the weight – most likely you have tunnel syndrome.
  • If clicks and crunching during movement and a local increase in temperature are added to the pain in the joint, tendonitis is highly likely.
  • With osteoarthritis, deformity of the joint at the site of injury will be noticeable.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis may be suspected of pain, deformity of the wrist, decreased mobility, and swollen hands.
  • If, in addition to pain in the wrist, you also have a fever, weakness, headache – this is an inflamed tendon due to synovitis.
  • With neoplasms, mobility decreases, severe pain is felt, and the tumors themselves are clearly visible on examination.

Diagnosis of wrist diseases

All situations require medical visits except muscle spasms. Depending on the symptoms and indications, you may be prescribed a wide variety of examinations:

  • X-ray of the wrist in case of injuries;
  • Ultrasound, MRI or CT for joint diseases;
  • general and biochemical blood test to determine the presence of inflammation and infection;
  • analysis of synovial fluid in arthritis, osteoarthritis and tendinitis.

Thanks to these studies, it will be possible to find out exactly the cause of pain, the level of damage to bones and soft tissues, the presence of infection or necrosis. If at the first examination the doctor cannot immediately determine the cause of the pain, then he will prescribe both x-rays and blood tests. And according to the first results, it will already be clear how to continue the examination and start treatment.

What can help when your wrist hurts

Most importantly: keep the affected limb calm and motionless.Cold compresses help relieve the first attacks. With severe pain, you can take an analgesic (which one to take – ask your doctor).

In case of injury, the wrist should be fixed with a bandage or plaster cast and ensure complete rest for a long time. If your wrist is aching because of an old, improperly fused injury, your traumatologist will prescribe the appropriate treatment for you.

In other cases, the doctor will prescribe medications for you, focusing on the disease. It can be chondroprotectors, anti-inflammatory drugs, drugs to relieve edema.Do not self-medicate if you do not know the diagnosis – you can make a mistake with the chosen medications and aggravate the problem.

Well, if the discomfort is caused by muscle fatigue and an uncomfortable posture – just knead and massage your hands, take a break from work. The pain will go away in five to ten minutes, and you will feel great again.

90,000 Palm and hand (pain in the palms and hands)

A common question asked by people with painful sensations in the palms and hands is when and to which doctor should you seek help?

If you have a hand injury and after a course of appropriate treatment the painful sensations do not go away, most likely, this is the beginning of the development of joint disease or the possible consequences of vascular disorders.

Hand pain

Pain syndrome arises from prolonged work at the computer, perhaps you are a musician, or your work is associated with a monotonous movement of your hands, after which swelling appears? This constant stress on the joints of the hands can lead to pinching of the nerve endings in the wrist. The cause of painful sensations can be diseases of the spine – intervertebral hernia, osteochondrosis.

You can start taking pain relievers, which, of course, will bring you relief, but this is temporary.Without eliminating the cause of the pain, you will not be able to enjoy life as before, continue to work, play with children. The pain will return sooner or later!

Neglecting your own health and letting the disease take its course, you open the way for serious joint diseases!

Important information:

Dear patients! If you are diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis , you need to see a rheumatologist. With a rheumatological profile, in addition to joints, internal organs (heart, kidneys, etc.) can also suffer.), therefore rheumatoid arthritis should be treated by a rheumatologist. The treatment of allergic, gouty and infectious arthritis is carried out by specialists of the appropriate profile (allergists, rheumatologists and cardio-rheumatologists).

Orthopedic doctors are successfully treating all other types of arthritis in children and adults (caused by sports and household injuries, overweight, age-related changes in the joints).

Joint pain – UniMed

Joint pain can be a symptom of various diseases of the human osteoarticular system, which occur both in old age and in young people and children.Depending on the age at which joint pains appeared, as well as what symptoms they are accompanied by, a possible cause of their appearance can be assumed. Nevertheless, in most cases, to clarify the exact cause of joint pain, it is necessary to visit a doctor who, if necessary, will prescribe additional tests and recommend treatment. Remember: Treatment for joint pain depends on the cause.

When should I see a doctor immediately?

– If pain in the joint is caused by trauma, and is accompanied by severe swelling and deformation of the contours of the joint.These symptoms may indicate the presence of a dislocated joint or bone fracture. If these symptoms develop, see your trauma doctor.

– If joint pain is accompanied by fever or other symptoms (skin rash, conjunctivitis, etc.)

– If the pain in the joints is severe, it does not go away with the use of pain relievers.

– If joint pain does not go away on its own within a week and you do not know the cause.

Joint pain that arose after some time (several hours, days) after intense physical exertion occurs in all people without exception and does not require seeking medical help.

Joint pain in adults

Joint pain in adults may indicate the presence of some serious diseases of the musculoskeletal system, and therefore it is important to find out the cause of the pain as soon as possible and start treatment.

Joint pain in combination with fever, weakness and fatigue occurs in rheumatoid arthritis. If there is no temperature, but joint pains are accompanied by pain in the back and lower back, then this may be ankylosing spondylitis, a chronic disease that usually begins at a young age.

Often the elderly and obese patients complain of joint pain: in these cases, the symptoms are associated with the slow destruction of cartilage tissue. Such diseases are also called degenerative, and include, for example, osteoarthritis (osteoarthritis).

Pain in the shoulder or knee joint in capable adults is a serious problem and can interfere with daily activities. If the pain came on suddenly and you do not know the cause (there were no injuries or excessive physical exertion), then pay attention to other symptoms that are present.

In cases where shoulder pain is combined with pain in the back or neck, periodic “shooting” pains that radiate into the arm, then the likely cause of pain in the shoulder joint is osteochondrosis. If the same symptoms have arisen after excessive physical exertion or injury, the presence of plexitis, inflammation of the nerve roots passing in the shoulder joint, is possible.

Rheumatoid arthritis, infectious arthritis, or reactive arthritis are possible if knee pain is combined with redness, swelling of the skin in the joint area, and an increase in body temperature or a rash on the skin.If severe knee pain occurs suddenly, there is a lack of mobility in the knee joint, or the patient cannot lean on the affected leg, gout is a possible cause.

Examination for joint pain

When a patient complains of joint pain, the doctor may prescribe a general clinical blood test, which in most cases indicates various abnormalities, depending on the nature of the joint lesion and its severity.For the diagnosis of some inflammatory diseases of the joints and spine, a biochemical blood test is also prescribed, in particular, the determination of the content of C-reactive protein (CRP) and other indicators. Although all these tests do not indicate the specificity of the pathological process, when compared with other clinical and radiological data, they help in the diagnosis in the early stages of diseases of the musculoskeletal system and make it possible to judge the level of activity of the process.

Radiography is one of the reliable methods for examining joints.In fact, without it, the doctor cannot establish a diagnosis and conduct a differential diagnosis. Even more fully helps to present a picture of tomography, which allows you to accurately determine focal lesions.

Symptomatic treatment: how to relieve joint pain

Treatment of joint pain largely depends on the cause of their occurrence, so you should try to visit a doctor as soon as possible, who will make a diagnosis.
Resting the inflamed joint before visiting the doctor will reduce pain and speed up recovery.In some cases, an elastic bandage applied over the joint will help.
Pain can be relieved with pain relievers in the form of tablets, injections and ointments with anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects.
Intra-articular injections or “blockages” are an excellent way to relieve pain.

It is not recommended to carry out self-treatment with folk remedies for any pain in the joints until a preliminary or final diagnosis is made by the attending physician.Self-medication can lead to permanent, irreversible functional disorders of the joint.

Which doctor should you contact for joint pain

With pain in the joints, you should contact a surgeon, orthopedist-traumatologist, rheumatologist.

Prevention of joint diseases

In order to avoid the occurrence of all of the above diseases, each person must monitor their weight, eat right and actively move.

To prevent the progression of arthrosis, therapeutic gymnastics is very helpful, helping to improve the blood supply to the tissues around the affected joint and to provide the cartilage with oxygen. It is useful to go in for cycling, swimming, skiing and especially walking – the most useful and gentle sport that helps to strengthen the muscle corset and improve metabolism. But doctors do not recommend running, jumping, squatting and lifting weights.

Of the drugs for prophylaxis, we can recommend hondoprotectors – special drugs that stimulate tissue regeneration.They are used for arthrosis, joint pain, pain in the neck, lower back, poor joint mobility, radiculitis, osteochondrosis of the spine.

Traumatologist-orthopedist Yuri Nikolaevich Vetlugin

Take care of your hands. Carpal tunnel syndrome – MAUZ GKB 2

Numbness of the neck, pain in the shoulders, tingling in the legs and pain in the lower back are noted by people who spend most of their work and free time at the computer. They can also meet with another serious problem – carpal tunnel syndrome , which develops due to pinching, edema or infringement in the carpal canal of the median nerve that controls the sensitivity of the palm, thumb, index and middle fingers.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is an occupational disease of people who work mainly at the computer keyboard. As a result of a large number of repetitive movements or an uncomfortable position of the hands while working at the keyboard and mouse, the wrist is in constant tension due to the constant static load on the same muscles. This leads to swelling of the tendons that run near the median nerve, or swelling of the nerve itself.

This is a very common disease, especially among women: during their lifetime, about 10% of all women living on our planet face it.Men get this disease less often. Carpal tunnel syndrome can occur at any age, but most often during hormonal changes in the body, after 40-45 years.

At the very beginning of the disease, most patients complain of numbness in the fingers in the morning, passing by noon. A little later, nighttime numbness is added in all fingers of the hand except the little finger, as well as pain, tingling or burning in these fingers. Over time, “daytime complaints” are added to the night and morning symptoms:

  • severe numbness and pain in the fingers, if you keep your hands on the weight for a long time.
  • “Exhaustion” and “clumsiness” of the hand: it becomes more difficult for a sick person to hold small objects in their fingers, for example, a needle, pin, ballpoint pen, etc.
  • Objects often fall out of hands.
  • Subsequently, with severe damage to the median nerve, a noticeable decrease in the sensitivity of the fingers is added to numbness, tingling, burning and pain, up to a complete loss of sensations from a light touch, a pinprick, etc.

In the absence of adequate treatment, the syndrome carpal tunnel can lead to complete irreversible damage to the median nerve and severe dysfunction of the hand.Sometimes the pain is so intense that it makes it impossible for a person to work. In the presence of the above listed manifestations, we advise you to consult a neurologist.

To prevent the development of carpal tunnel syndrome, it is necessary to bring your workplace in accordance with the rules of ergonomics and interrupt work more often to perform simple exercises for the hands.

Basic rules for working at a computer

  • A chair or chair must be with armrests.
  • When working with a keyboard, the angle of the arm at the elbow should be straight.
  • When working with the mouse, the brush should be straight and lie on the table as far from the edge as possible.

Exercises for hands when working at a computer

  1. Raise your hands up, firmly clench your fingers into a fist, and then unclench.
  2. Relax your hands and shake them in the air, gradually raising them to the sides and up.
  3. Place your palms together in front of your chest and press on the ends of your fingers, tilt your hands to the left and right.
  4. Place your palms together, and then alternately take your fingers back to failure for a count of 1-4.
  5. Now connect the hands and, leaning on the ends of the fingers, move the bases of the hands to the sides, without moving the ends of the fingers.
  6. Stretch your arms forward and rotate your hands to the sides and inward.
  7. Make your arms bent, then firmly squeeze and unclench your fingers.
  8. Press your elbows to your sides, point your palms forward, and then gradually squeeze and unclench the phalanges of your fingers.
  9. Now interlace your fingers and make a few squeezing movements.
  10. Alternately knead your relaxed fingers from tip to base: first on the right, then on the left, and vice versa, ending with circular rotational movements.
  11. Now again press your elbows to your sides, clench your fingers into a fist and rotate your hands alternately in different directions.
  12. Relax your hands and shake them in the air, lifting them up and down.

All exercises should be repeated several times.

Tunnel cider can significantly complicate your life, worsen your well-being, reduce your ability to work, and will force you to spend time and considerable financial resources for treatment. It is easier to prevent than to cure. Follow the suggested recommendations and be healthy!

carpal, ulnar carpal tunnel syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition when compression occurs in the carpal (carpal) canal of the median nerve.It can be provoked by compression or injury.

The concept of tunnel syndrome is not universal for the area of ​​the wrist; this condition can also manifest itself in other anatomical areas, where the nerves run rather superficially and close to the bone structures at the same time. The syndrome in question manifests itself in the form of a decrease or lack of sensitivity in the thumb, index, middle and half of the ring finger, as well as impaired motor function in them.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common pathology and occurs in 1-3% of the population, and mainly in people, an occupation that is associated with fine, monotonous motor skills of the hand. Half of all those suffering from this syndrome are people whose type of employment is associated with the use of a computer. Also, this disease can be considered an occupational pathology in musicians, tailors, office workers, etc. The syndrome occurs in the active working-age population at an already mature age (40-60 years), and in 105 cases at a younger age.Scientists have concluded that active PC users have a 15% higher risk of developing the syndrome, especially in women.

Causes of carpal tunnel syndrome

The median nerve in the area of ​​the hand passes through the tunnel formed by the transverse ligament and the carpal bones of the hand. Compression of the nerve in the canal can be provoked by:

  • Traumatic injuries of the hand. Bruises, dislocations, sprains, fractures can provoke swelling of the ligaments and muscles, or even displacement of the wrist bones.All this can compress the nerve in the canal and cause impairment of its function. With proper treatment, all these processes are reversible, but if you do not provide help on time and correctly, then the contractures of muscles and ligaments, as well as deformation of the bones, can already be irreversible.

  • Arthrosis, arthritis and other pathological articular processes of various etiology and genesis. The edema and inflammatory reactions caused by these pathologies, up to tissue necrosis, can also cause compression of the nerve.With the permanent course of inflammation and the progression of degenerative-dystrophic processes, the articular surfaces of the wrist lose their properties and wear out, resulting in deformation and compression of the nerve in the canal by bone structures.

  • Inflammation of the tendons or tendovaginitis. Inflammation can be septic (caused by microorganisms) and aseptic (caused by exertion, hypothermia, etc.).Septic inflammation can be provoked by such diseases as purulent wounds of the hand, including panaritium, improper technique of drawing blood from a finger, etc. Non-infectious inflammation can be caused by chronic traumatic stress, for example, frequent monotonous hand motility, static load on it, temperature trauma.

  • Diseases that lead to water retention in the body can cause swelling of the extremities and, as a result, lead to an increase in soft tissue volume and compression of the median nerve.Violation of the water-electrolyte composition can cause: pregnancy, taking hormonal contraceptives, menopause, kidney disease, etc.

  • Rarely, but there are tumors of the nervous tissue and the median nerve in particular. Most of these are benign neoplasms (schwannomas, neurofibromas, perineuromas), but there are also malignant ones arising from the nerve sheaths. With its growth, the tumor compresses the nerve, which leads to its damage.

  • Diabetes mellitus. Under the influence of the enzyme protein kinase C, sorbitol and fructose accumulated in the course of the disease begin to break down in nerve tissues. Because of this, as well as due to a violation of the trophism of neurons and their processes, aseptic inflammation of the nerves and surrounding tissues occurs. Edema increases, which in turn leads to compression of the nerves, including the median.

  • Acromegaly. As a result of prolonged and intensive growth of a person suffering from acromegaly, processes of disproportionate growth of bone and soft tissues occur. The median nerve can become pinched in a narrowed carpal tunnel due to increased bone volume and narrowing of the lumen.

  • Congenital malformations . The transverse wrist ligament can be thickened from birth, and there is little production of tendon lubricant.One of the factors of predisposition to carpal tunnel syndrome can be an anatomical feature of the structure, the so-called “square wrist”.

Symptoms of the tunnel syndrome

  • Feeling of numbness in the fingers. The syndrome in question, as a rule, develops gradually and mainly the lesion manifests itself on one side. Basically, the pathological process occurs in that limb, which is the leading one, in the right-handed – the right hand, and in the left-handed – the left.Carpal tunnel syndrome develops gradually. However, a two-way process can also be observed, with diseases of the endocrine system, pregnancy, etc.

  • Paresthesia . Manifested as tingling sensations and loss of sensitivity in the fingers. Appear in the morning, after waking up and disappear within a few hours. But over time, these manifestations become more stable and more intense and can already become permanent.This can lead to disruption of the normal function of the limb: strength, dexterity, etc., the patient has to change hands when performing actions, to rest the affected limb. Special inconveniences are caused by manipulations requiring static tension of the limb.

  • Pain. With the manifestation of the disease, a burning sensation and tingling sensation may appear in the hand, which is rather quickly eliminated by lowering the limb down and shaking it.The blood flow in the arm resumes, and the painful sensations disappear. As a rule, this occurs during sleep due to the static position of the hand, or during monotonous work performed by the limb. Pain is not common in any specific joint and is common. As the disease progresses, pain can affect not only the fingers, but the entire hand and arm, up to the elbow joint, which often complicates the diagnosis. The patient cannot carry out his duties, because pain can occur during the daytime.

  • Loss of agility and strength. Over time, if the disease is not treated, the limb begins to lose strength and dexterity in movement. It is difficult for the patient to hold objects in his hands, especially small ones, they seem to spontaneously fall out. The ability to perform fine motor skills is lost (grabbing small things, opposing the thumb, etc.).

  • Decrease in sensitivity. Over time, the patient may begin to notice that he does not distinguish the temperature of objects well, ceases to feel touches or even pricks. There is a painful burning sensation in the hand, numbness.

  • Muscle atrophy. With advanced forms of the syndrome, atrophy of the musculo-ligamentous apparatus of the arm may develop, the muscles and ligaments not only lose strength, but also decrease in size. Over time, the hand deforms and takes on a shape resembling a monkey’s paw.

  • Change in skin color. Due to the fact that when the innervation of the hand is disturbed, the nutrition of skin cells also occurs, the color of the skin changes, they become lighter and unevenly colored.

Diagnosis of tunnel syndrome

For an accurate diagnosis, it is necessary to consult a neurologist. In this case, the doctor conducts a number of specific tests, and laboratory and instrumental research methods can also be used.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Tests:
  • Tinel test. In the narrowest part of the carpal tunnel, from the side of the palm, when tapping, there is an unpleasant tingling sensation.
  • Phalen test. When the wrist is bent as much as possible, pain and paresthesia appear in the wrist for a minute or less.
  • Cuff test. A cuff from a blood pressure monitor is placed on the forearm and inflated to the maximum.Within one minute, with a positive test and the presence of the syndrome, a feeling of numbness and tingling appears.
  • Raised Hands Test. The upper limbs are lifted vertically upward and held in this position for a minute. With a positive result, discomfort appears within 30-40 seconds.

All of the above tests can be done at home, and if you have at least one positive test, be sure to see your doctor.

From instrumental research methods used such as:

  • electroneuromyography;
  • X-ray examinations;
  • MRI;
  • ultrasound.

To identify the causes of the disease, the patient is prescribed a blood and urine test:

  • blood biochemistry;
  • blood and urine analysis for sugar;
  • analysis for thyroid-stimulating hormones;
  • clinical analysis of urine and blood;
  • blood test for rheumatoid factor, C-reactive protein, antistreptolysin-O;
  • blood test for circulating immune complexes;
  • blood test for antistreptokinase.

Treatment of tunnel syndrome

The most important thing in the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome is compliance with measures to prevent the development of the disease. Even with the best and highest quality treatment, preventive measures cannot be avoided, because the effect may simply not be achieved.

  1. Preventive measures for carpal tunnel syndrome. When the first signs of the disease appear, it is necessary to rigidly fix the hand so that there is no possibility of movement in the joint and, as a result, of nerve injury.The brace can be applied by a doctor or you can buy an elastic bandage from a pharmacy for temporary use. For two to three weeks, it is necessary to avoid activities that aggravate the symptoms of the disease. Also, to reduce swelling, it is recommended to apply cold to the wrist area for 2-3 minutes 2-3 times a day. In the subsequent period, treatment is prescribed depending on the severity of the pathological process and its severity. If necessary, the treatment is based on the treatment of the underlying disease (traumatic injury, hypothyroidism, diseases of the urinary system, diabetes mellitus, etc.)), causing compression of the nerve in the canal.
  2. Local treatment. Includes the use of compresses, the introduction of drugs into the canal cavity. These procedures can quickly relieve painful manifestations and relieve local inflammation.

  3. Drug therapy. Drug therapy in each case is selected individually, depending on the underlying or concomitant disease. At the same time, B vitamins, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, vasodilators, diuretics, anticonvulsants, muscle relaxants, glucocorticosteroids, antidepressants, etc. are often prescribed.
  4. Physiotherapy. Can be used both in drug therapy and in the postoperative period during rehabilitation. When this is used: acupuncture; manual therapy techniques; ultraphonophoresis; shock wave therapy. Before using physiotherapy procedures, you should consult a specialist for contraindications.

Surgical treatment of tunnel syndrome

If, for 6 months or more, conservative therapy does not give the desired effect, then it makes sense to think about the surgical resolution of the disease.The main task of surgery is to eliminate the pressure on the median nerve by expanding the carpal tunnel.

Most operations are performed under local anesthesia. The following methods are used:

  • By open access: through an incision (5 mm) in the region of the carpal canal, the carpal ligament is dissected.

  • Endoscopic surgery. There are two types of endoscopic intervention, two incisions and one incision. In the first case, an endoscope is inserted into one incision, and an instrument for dissecting the ligament into the second. In the second case, both tools are inserted in one hole.

At the end of the surgery, a plaster cast is applied to the arm to immobilize the limb. After removing the plaster, a course of physiotherapy exercises and physiotherapy is carried out. As a rule, full restoration of hand function occurs within six months.After recovery, the patient can return to work, subject to the observance of a protective regime so as not to provoke a relapse of the disease.In the modern world, where computer technologies have already been introduced everywhere, the pathology we are considering is becoming more and more common. Timely and qualified assistance and prevention in the event of carpal tunnel syndrome allows complete and sufficient remission to be achieved.


Hygroma (synovial cyst, ganglion or ganglion) is a benign tumor on the wrist filled with gel-like contents.Basically, this is a hernial protrusion associated with the wrist joint. It usually occurs on the dorsum of the wrist, but sometimes it can appear on the palmar or lateral surface, near the vessels and nerves.

The reasons for the appearance of the hygrom are not fully established. It is known that there is a hereditary predisposition, and hand injuries, including chronic injuries, also affect the development of the disease. According to statistics, hygromas occur more often in women than in men.

To diagnose the disease, a doctor’s examination is often sufficient, however, ultrasound or MRI is sometimes used for clarification (radiography in this case is not informative).

Typical signs of wrist hygroma:

  • “Lump” on the dorsum or palmar surface of the wrist

  • Most often, the hygroma is painless, soft and elastic, limited from the surrounding tissues

  • Sometimes, especially with supporting loads, the wrist hurts

  • Hygroma may decrease or increase in size

Hygroma Treatment:

There is a possibility of spontaneous disappearance of the hygroma, so if the wrist does not hurt, and the “bump” does not bother, it can be left untreated.But if pain occurs or you are worried about the very presence of a tumor, you should consult a doctor.

The fastest and safest method of treatment is hygroma puncture. However, after it, the likelihood of relapse is extremely high.

In our clinic, several types of surgical treatment for hygroma are used. In one case, a small incision is made over the formation and the altered tissues are removed. In another case, the most modern method is used – arthroscopic.After 2-3 skin punctures, using a small camera and instruments, the hygroma is removed from the side of the joint. The advantages of this method are almost invisible scars and faster rehabilitation.

All operations are performed under local anesthesia.

What is needed for treatment?

In our center, it is possible to treat a hygroma in one day. To do this, you just need to send pictures of your hands to the handcenter @ sogaz-clinic e-mail.ru or whatsapp (8 996 766 76 08), describe complaints and answer questions. Our specialists will study the information received and draw up an individual treatment plan.

Most likely, to clarify the diagnosis, you will need to undergo an examination (ultrasound or MRI). Also, for surgical treatment, it is necessary to pass a set of tests: a general blood and urine test (valid for 10 days), a biochemical blood test – glucose, uric acid, CRP, rheumatoid factor (valid for 10 days), risk factors – an analysis for hepatitis B, C, RW , HIV (valid for 3 months).

It is desirable to indicate in the letter:

  1. Full name and year of birth
  2. Contact phone number and city of residence
  3. How long ago did the formation appear on the arm?
  4. Does your hand grow numb and does it feel as if your hand was lying down?
  5. Do you have pain in your hand, especially at night?
  6. Did the disease start gradually or after an injury?
  7. Have you been operated on before? If so, where and when (it is advisable to send a copy of the discharge summary after the operation, and mark the postoperative scar on the photo of the hand with a marker)
  8. Specify the desired dates for the operation (consultation)
  9. Do you have any chronic diseases – rheumatoid arthritis, gout, diabetes mellitus, etc.P.?
  10. Attach pictures of hand

Describe the problem in free form: what worries and for how long, to whom they turned for help, what treatment they received (whether there was an effect), what studies were carried out (if any, copies of medical documents should be attached).

Also, by calling 8 (812) 406 88 88, you can simply make an appointment for a consultation, where we will make an accurate diagnosis and decide on a further treatment plan.

Hand Surgery Center

Wrist Pain – A Disease Guide – HealthInfo

There are many treatments for wrist pain, depending on the type, location and severity of the joint injury, as well as the age and health of the patient.

Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and acetaminophen (Tylenol) can help manage pain. Stronger drugs are only available on prescription.

Conservative treatment
In case of injuries of the wrist joint and damage to the tendons, the physiotherapist can prescribe special treatment and a set of exercises. If you require surgery, a physical therapist will provide rehabilitation after surgery.It is also helpful to assess the ergonomics of your workplace, as wrist injuries are often associated with professional activities.

For normal fusion of fractures of the wrist bones, their correct fixation is necessary. For this, the imposition of a plaster or plastic splint is used.

Wearing a splint is also indicated for sprains and injuries of the wrist tendons to protect the injured ligament or tendon during treatment. Also, wearing a splint can be useful if the damage to the joint is associated with repetitive movements.

Surgical treatment
In some cases, surgical intervention is necessary, for example:

  • Severe bone fractures. The surgeon performs fixation of bone fragments using metal structures.
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome. If the symptoms are severe, surgery may be required – dissection of the carpal ligament (wall of the carpal tunnel) to remove excess pressure on the nerve.
  • Tendon and ligament plasty. Surgery is sometimes necessary to restore the integrity of ligaments and tendons if they are torn.

Lifestyle and folk remedies
For pain in the wrist, medical attention is not always required.