Wrist Pain: 5 Common Causes

Is wrist pain affecting your work or your ability to participate in the activities you love?

The wrist joint is a complex structure, comprised of multiple bones, ligaments, tendons and muscles. Damage to any of these components can create pain and affect mobility.

wrist pain causes

A wide range of issues could be to blame for your pain, so a professional evaluation from an experienced hand doctor is a must. However, wrist pain is usually due to one or more of five common causes.

No. 1: Repetitive Stress Injuries

Pain in the wrist is often caused by overworking the joint. Any repetitive physical activity — such as typing, playing tennis, knitting and using vibrating power tools — can inflame the tissues around the joint. Stress fractures and De Quervain’s tendinosis are among the many types of repetitive stress injuries that can lead to wrist pain.

No. 2: Impact Injuries

Physical blows to the wrist are another common cause of pain in this area. Bracing yourself from a fall with your arms can result in a sprain, strain or fracture. A collision impact — when the wrist is forcibly hit — can also bring about damage to these tissues.

No. 3: Arthritis

Osteoarthritis, or the type of arthritis caused by general wear and tear over time, is uncommon in the wrists, but can be an issue for patients with previous wrist injuries. Rheumatoid arthritis, however, which is an immune system disorder, commonly affects the wrists. With this condition, both wrists are typically involved.

No. 4: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition caused by a lack of space in the passageway that houses the median nerve. When the tissues surrounding the nerve swell or thicken, the nerve is compressed or pinched as it passes through the carpal tunnel. This painful condition is often associated with jobs and activities that require repetitive motions.

No. 5: Ganglion Cyst

A ganglion cyst is a benign, fluid-filled lump on the back of the wrist or hand. These soft-tissue cysts aren’t cancerous, and they don’t spread to other areas of the body. But if one is near a nerve, it can create wrist pain. And though it seems the reverse would be true, small ganglion cysts can actually be more painful than larger cysts.

The Center of Orthopedic & Rehabilitation Excellence (CORE) in northern Utah provides leading-edge, comprehensive care for arm, hand and wrist pain — no matter the cause. Our expert, board-certified and fellowship-trained team has the skills and experience to successfully treat patients of all ages.

Dr. J. Douglas Burrows, a long-standing member of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand and the American Association for Hand Surgery, can diagnose your wrist problems and help you decide on an effective treatment approach. Contact our West Valley City office to schedule a wrist pain consultation today.

burrows orthopedic surgeon utah
Hand Surgeon at CORE West Valley
Dr. Burrows completed his residency training in plastic and reconstructive surgery, then completed a hand and microsurgery fellowship and an orthopedic hand and upper extremity fellowship.

Dr. Burrows has been in private practice on the campus of Pioneer Valley Hospital since 1994. He is a board-certified plastic surgeon, holding the certificate of added qualifications in surgery of the hand.

If you are in need of surgery for the hand or wrist, schedule a consultation with Dr. Burrows today.