The Causes of Wrist Pain and What You Can Do to Prevent a Serious Problem
sitting in your chair at work typing away when you feel a sudden and
sharp pain in your wrist. It really hurts. You sit back for a moment
nursing your hand and try to continue typing. Your typing is slow and
labored, but you need to get this project done. What went wrong here?
Why is this happening and above all why now?
the “now” may not have a definitive answer the “what” and “why” do.
Think about it, you use your hands for just about everything. These days
we’re using them so much more because of cell phones, tablets, and
other devices. So, what about that pain in the wrist? What could it be
and how does one prevent it from happening?
to the Mayo Clinic website, a non-profit organization, wrist pain is
often caused by sprains or fractures. Wrist pain can also be the result
of repetitive stress, arthritis, and carpal tunnel. All of which are
long-term problems. Unless it’s a direct injury, pain in this area
doesn’t just happen without a reason. Pain in this way could be the
result of cumulative trauma. Before we push any further into this, know
that there are other causes.
(think of the cartilage that cushions the ends of your bones
deteriorating over time) and rheumatoid arthritis (the body’s immune
system attacks its own tissue) are also causes for concern. While
rheumatoid arthritis commonly involves the wrist and if one wrist is
affected the other usually is too, osteoarthritis is uncommon and
usually occurs only in people who previously injured that area of the
Mayo Clinic website also mentions ganglion cysts (painful soft tissue
cysts) and kienbock’s disease (progressive collapse of small bones in
the wrist). Ganglion cysts can be worsened or improved by activity.
Kienbock’s disease occurs when the blood supply to the small bones of
the wrist fails. This leads to the progressive collapse of the small
bones in the wrist. This disorder generally affects young adults.
else to note here is the location of the pain and the way it feels.
These could provide clues to identifying the problem. Here’s a basic
example: Osteoarthritis is said to be similar to a dull toothache while
carpal tunnel feels like pins and needles or a tingling sensation.
back to the issue of repetitive stress, any activity that involves
repetitive wrist motion, like hitting a hammer, playing an instrument,
or typing on a computer especially in poor alignment, could lead to
inflammation of the tissues around the joint or even cause a stress
fracture. This is especially likely when the activity is performed for
hours without a break. Conditions like carpal tunnel (increased pressure
on the median nerve) can develop as a result of long term trauma caused
by similar activities.
alignment plays a role in this too. It’s one thing to sit for hours
typing your life away, but it’s another to do so while working for hours
daily in poor alignment. This is why paying attention to body alignment
is so crucial, even in your wrists. If your wrist is often below the
keyboard or bent over as you hover over the keypads when typing then you
need to make some adjustments. The wrists should be straight and not
bent one way or the other. You also need to take breaks. Move your
wrists around, stretch them out, and let them rest without any work. The
whole field of ergonomics was created for issues like this.
workers, musicians, and other workers who need to use their hands
repetitively and for long periods need to be aware of these issues. If
you’re an athlete, use protective gear. If you swing a hammer daily, you
may want to increase the cushioning on the tool so it softens the
ringing and force applied to your hands.
can also prevent issues like these by building bone strength. Exercise
in good posture and get adequate amounts of calcium. Most adults require
1,000 milligrams a day. That amount increases to 1,200 milligrams daily
for women over 50 as it can also help prevent fractures.
a sprain or strain may require the R.I.C.E (rest, ice, compression,
elevation) technique, or some over-the-counter medications. However, if
the pain and swelling lasts longer than a few days or becomes worse,
it’s time you saw a doctor. Don’t wait, delaying the diagnosis means
delayed treatment and this could mean the area won’t heal properly. Lack
of healing could mean a reduced range of motion and possibly long term
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