Think about how often you use your hands. Every day your hands go through the motions to help you get dressed, take care of your body, eat, and work. As your hand do the work, so do your wrists. Wrist pain can sometimes flare up unannounced and leave you feeling sore. Identifying what causes wrist pain can be difficult, but there are a few common causes.
During a fall, you’ll often notice that your first instinct is to catch yourself. Your hand flies up to brace yourself and soften the landing, though it usually causes a lot of strain on your wrists as they catch your fall. For example, if you’ve ever gone snowboarding or skiing, you know that your wrists will hurt by the end of the day from all the impact of falling on them. Falling onto outstretched hands can cause sprains and strains on your wrist and possibly even fracture bones near the thumbs.
As any golfer, tennis player, or knitter knows, repeating motions in the wrists and hands can generate pain. With golfers and tennis players, the repetitive swing against a dense object can lead to strains over time. Constantly rolling the wrists will have a similar effect for knitters. If you participate in an activity with repetitive wrist movements, consider using a wrist brace to provide more strength and protection from strains, sprains, and tendonitis.
For those with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, wrist pain is a common discomfort. Arthritis wears away the cartilage and tissues in the wrists and causes pain between the joints. Fortunately, for osteoarthritis patients, cartilage deterioration is typically found in patients who have suffered a wrist injury before. If your wrists are in a healthy condition, they should maintain their cushiony cartilage.
The best way to avoid these common causes of wrist pain is by being prepared and looking for ways to protect your wrists and prevent falls. Some ways to prevent wrist pain are:
- Get the recommended amount of calcium per day to build bone strength
- Wear sensible shoes to prevent tripping
- Remove tripping hazards in your home
- Make sure there is plenty of light in your home to make obstacles easy to see and avoid
- Install grab bars in your bathroom
- Wear wrist guards/braces during high-risk activities like snowboarding
- Take breaks when participating in repetitive wrist motion activities
If you do accidentally hurt your wrist, it can be helpful to know what some wrist-injury symptoms are. Knowing the symptoms can help you in making an educated decision of when to make an appointment and see your orthopedic surgeon. Not everyone feels wrist pain the same way, but common symptoms are stiffness in the wrist and possible fingers, uncomfortable feelings when gripping objects and clicking sounds when you move or roll your wrists.
When to Make an Appointment
Wrist pain can take a few days to make itself known. It may begin as mild pain and turn into something more intense. If your pain begins to interfere with daily activities or if you start to lose feeling in your fingers or hands, you should make an appointment to see your orthopedic doctor for a diagnosis and treatment plan. Prolonging a doctor’s visit can lead to complications and worsened wrist pain.
Wrist pain is uncomfortable and can keep you from participating in activities you enjoy. When your pain begins to flare up, use a home treatment of ice and pain relievers to minimize your discomfort. Hopefully, by taking caution and preventative measures, you will be able to avoid future wrist pain. If not, come in and see us for treatment.