Wrist Pain isn’t Always Carpal Tunnel

Wrist PainWrist pain can make it difficult to perform your daily work. Even simple things like carrying a bag of groceries or lifting your coffee cup could be difficult if something is amiss in your wrist. Usually, when the wrists become stiff and painful, there is an assumption that Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is the cause. This is not always the case. Here, we are going to look at a few of the common reasons for wrist pain that aren't Carpal Tunnel related.

Tendonitis
Tendonitis is an inflammatory condition that may affect the various joints in the body, including the wrists. It may also involve the development of micro-tears in the tendons that support the joint. Tendonitis usually occurs as a result of repetitive use. However, it could also be an age-related issue, or could stem from a sporting activity in which the wrist is under chronic stress. Individuals who use machinery that causes vibrations through the hands and wrists are also at risk for tendonitis.

Symptoms of wrists tendonitis include:

  • Localized pain that is exacerbated by movement of the wrist joint
    Swelling
  • A sensation of grinding or grating in the wrist
    Additional symptoms that are related to a specific type of tendonitis (De Quervain's) include:
  • Localized pain in the wrist that extends toward the thumb
  • Limited mobility of the thumb (extension)
  • Difficulty pinching or grasping
  • Snapping or locking sensation

Wrist Sprain
If pain and tingling are accompanied by bruising and swelling, it is possible that there is a sprain. Patients usually report that these symptoms follow some type of injury or heavy use of the hands. A wrist sprain occurs when the ligaments that support joints are overstretched.

Arthritis
Arthritic conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis may affect numerous joints in the body. Inflammation may cause pain and swelling that require rest to recuperate.

Triangular Fibrocartilage Complex Injury
The cartilage network in the wrist acts as a support, stabilizer, and cushion for the small bones in this area. If the complex is injured or broken down through degeneration, mobility may become somewhat limited, and pain may develop in the wrist, extending toward the pinky finger. This type of injury generally occurs after a fall onto an outstretched hand.

The team at Advanced Orthopedics and Hand Surgery Institute provides friendly care to patients from the Wayne and Clifton areas. For more information on our services, call (973) 942-1315.

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