Wrist Pain When Bending – Causes and Treatment
A wrist injury is an injury or damage to any of the structures in the wrist area, such as bones, ligaments, tendons, or cartilage. The wrist is a complex joint made up of multiple bones, ligaments, and tendons that work together to allow for movement and stability. Injuries to the wrist can range from minor sprains or strains to more severe fractures or dislocations.
In this article, we will discuss wrist injuries, the different causes for wrist injuries, what may be causing pain when bending your wrist, treatment options for wrist pain, as well as why treatment for a wrist injury is important.
Causes of Wrist Pain When Bending
Experiencing pain in your wrist when bending or engaging in any other movements can be indicative of a wrist injury or other underlying problem. There are several potential causes for wrist pain, and we will outline some of the most common causes below.
A common cause of wrist pain when bending is osteoarthritis. This degenerative condition occurs when the cartilage in the wrist joint is worn down, leading to pain, stiffness, and a limited range of motion. Osteoarthritis in the wrist can be caused by an injury, overuse, or even through the natural aging process.
Tendinitis is another cause of wrist pain. Tendinitis is an inflammation of the tendons in the wrist joint. Tendons are the fibrous cords that connect muscles to bones and allow for movement. When tendons become inflamed, it can cause pain, stiffness, and limited range of motion in the affected joint. Tendinitis in the wrist can be caused by a variety of factors, including overuse, injury, or repetitive motions. Common symptoms of tendinitis in the wrist include pain and tenderness in the affected area, as well as swelling and stiffness. The pain may be worse when using the affected hand or wrist to grip or lift objects.
Another cause of wrist pain can be Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS). This is a condition that occurs when the median nerve, which runs through the wrist, becomes compressed. This compression can cause pain, numbness, and tingling in the hand and fingers. The median nerve provides feeling to the thumb and fingers (excluding the little finger) and controls some of the small muscles in the hand that allow the fingers to move. Symptoms of CTS may include numbness, tingling, and weakness in the hand and fingers, especially at night or during the day when gripping something or holding it for long periods. CTS can also be exacerbated by repetitive motions and overuse.
Pain in the wrist can also be caused by a fracture. A wrist fracture is a break in one or more of the bones in the wrist. The wrist is made up of the distal end of the radius, the ulna and 8 carpal bones. Fractures to the wrist can occur in different bones and can vary in severity. Symptoms of a wrist fracture include pain, swelling, and tenderness in the affected area, as well as difficulty using the hand or wrist. In some cases, the wrist may appear deformed or out of place.
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in the joints, including the wrists, and can result in wrist pain. In RA, the immune system mistakenly attacks the lining of the joints, causing inflammation, pain, and stiffness. The inflammation can also lead to damage of the cartilage and bone within the joint, which can result in deformity and loss of function.
Another factor that can cause wrist pain is a ganglion cyst. A ganglion cyst is a fluid-filled sac that develops on or near a joint or tendon in the body, and it can affect the wrist. These cysts can become larger over time, which can lead to them pressing on surrounding nerves and tendons, which can result in pain, numbness, or tingling. They can also make it difficult to move the wrist or perform everyday tasks. The causes of ganglion cysts are not completely understood, but it is thought that overuse, trauma, repetitive motions, and degeneration can all be contributing causes.
Treatment Options for Wrist Pain
There are several treatment options for wrist pain, and the best option will depend on the underlying cause of the pain. It is imperative that the cause of your wrist pain is identified so that the correct treatment is given. Starting a treatment without knowing the cause of the pain in your wrist may exacerbate an injury or make a pre-existing condition worse.
One common treatment for wrist pain is medication. Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help to relieve pain and inflammation. In some cases, a doctor may prescribe stronger pain medications or anti-inflammatory drugs.
Physical therapy can also help with wrist pain. A physical therapist can teach exercises to help stretch and strengthen the wrist and hand muscles. This can improve flexibility and reduce pain.
A splint or brace can be worn to immobilize the wrist and reduce pain. This can be especially helpful for conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome or a wrist sprain.
In some circumstances, a corticosteroid injection can be used to reduce inflammation and pain. This treatment option is usually recommended for conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or ganglion cysts.
In some cases, surgery may be necessary to treat wrist pain. Surgery can be used to repair or remove damaged tissue, such as a torn ligament or a ganglion cyst. Surgery may also be used to realign or stabilize a broken bone.
It’s important to note that treatment options should be tailored to the individual patient and their specific condition, and that a doctor or a specialist should be consulted before starting any treatment.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) – Wrist Pain
How do I Know if My Wrist Pain is Serious?
It can be difficult to determine the severity of a wrist injury without a proper medical evaluation. However, some signs that your wrist pain may be serious include:
- Severe pain or swelling that does not improve with rest and over-the-counter pain medication.
- Inability to move or use the wrist normally.
- Numbness or tingling in the fingers.
- Bruising or discoloration of the skin around the wrist.
- Deformity of the wrist or fingers.
- A popping or grinding noise when moving the wrist.
If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. A doctor or physical therapist can perform an examination and imaging tests, such as X-ray or MRI, to determine the extent of the injury and the appropriate course of treatment.
What does Wrist Tendonitis Feel Like?
The symptoms of wrist tendonitis can vary depending on the specific tendon affected and the severity of the inflammation. Common symptoms include pain, tenderness, swelling, stiffness, and weakness in the wrist. Some people may also hear a cracking or popping sound when they move their wrist, as well as experience some numbness and tingling in the fingers as a result of compressed nerves in the wrist.
It’s important to note that wrist pain can have many causes, and it’s important to get an accurate diagnosis from a healthcare professional to determine the cause and appropriate treatment. This is where OPA Ortho can help you with getting an appointment with an orthopedic professional, to understand the causes behind your wrist pain and get you the most appropriate treatment.
How Can I tell if My Wrist is Sprained or Broken?
It can be difficult to determine whether a wrist injury is a sprain or a fracture without a proper medical evaluation. However, there are some signs and symptoms that can indicate a sprain or fracture.
The most prominent symptom is pain at the site of the injury, which is dull in the case of a sprain, and a lot more severe with a fracture. In addition, a snapping or popping sound may be heard at the time of the injury in the case of a fracture.
Swelling is another common symptom in both cases of sprains and fractures. Your wrist may be significantly swollen in the case of a sprain and may be less swollen in the case of a fracture. Bruising is also common in both cases, and generally appears a few hours after the injury.
In the case of a sprain, your wrist may feel still and unstable, and it may be difficult to move around, grip, or hold objects. Conversely, in the case of a fracture, you are likely to see a deformity at the site of the injury (such as a visible bump or angle), as well as feeling some tingling and numbness, which is another indication of a fracture.
It’s important to seek medical attention if you suspect that you have a wrist sprain or fracture. A healthcare professional will be able to properly evaluate the injury and provide appropriate treatment. They may order x-rays or MRI scan to determine if a bone is broken and if there is any soft tissue damage.
How OPA Ortho Can Help with Wrist Pain
Wrist pain is commonly experienced and can have a variety of causes. The best way to treat wrist pain is to determine the underlying cause, so that the best possible treatment option can be employed to get you mobile and back to normal as quickly as possible. It is important to have your wrist pain assessed, especially if it is persistent or accompanied by other symptoms such as tingling, numbness, or deformity.
At OPA Ortho, we can assist with any questions or concerns you may have around your wrist pain. Along with our resources that are available to help you understand the possible causes and treatment options for your wrist pain, we can also provide help in making an appointment with an orthopedic professional so that your wrist pain can be accurately diagnosed, and correctly treated, to ultimately get you back to functioning normally. Contact us today to see how we can assist you.