My Wrist Hurts – Common Causes of Wrist Pain

common causes of wrist pain

Sometimes you know exactly why your wrist hurts—you fell and used your hand to brace for impact. And sometimes you don’t know. If your wrist pain comes on more gradually, you may be wondering why? There are several potential reasons, but before we discuss the common causes of wrist pain, let’s take a quick look at the anatomy of your wrist.

Wrist Anatomy

The wrist is formed where the two bones of the forearm – the radius (the larger bone on the thumb side of the arm) and the ulna (the smaller bone on the pinky side) – meet the carpal(wrist) bones. Rather than a single joint, the wrist is a complex joint of eight small bones, with ligaments, tendons and muscles. The unique formation of bones and ligaments is what gives your wrist a wide range of movements: up and down; side to side, and around in a circle.  Damage to any of the components can cause wrist pain.

Check out our video  “Relieve TFCC & Wrist Pain with the Wrist POP Splint”View Video

Here are some common causes of wrist pain:

  • Osteoarthritis (OA) and Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) can cause swelling, loss of mobility, and stiffness, and can occur in any joint, including the wrist. Arthritis may begin with mild symptoms but can progress causing pain and loss of movement.
  • Repetitive stress injuries (RSI) – Activities and sports requiring the same motion over and over can irritate your nerves and tendons resulting in wrist pain, swelling, and loss of muscle strength. Activities ranging from hammering to playing tennis to typing – all done repetitively can cause stress. Even light activities such as cleaning, painting or gardening can cause wrist pain.
  • Tendinitis When RSI causes swelling or irritation of a tendon, this is called tendinitis. In the early stages, tendinitis may create burning feelings, shooting pains, fatigue or weakness, but continued stress causes the tissues around the joint to become inflamed, causing even more pain.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is another common cause of wrist pain. CTS develops when the median nerve that runs from the forearm through the wrist gets mashed and inflamed. Because the nerve is damaged, sensory impulses aren’t transmitted the way they should be. You may initially feel itchiness, numbness, or burning in your fingers and hand.
  • Injury, Sprain or Fractures falling onto an outstretched hand can cause injury, sprain or fractures to your wrist. Pain, swelling, decreased range of motion, and tenderness in your wrist are all common symptoms.

What Can You Do For Your Wrist Pain

The best treatments for wrist pain are prevention and support to your wrist. Understanding the mechanics of movement and reducing repeated stress on the same muscles, ligaments, tendons, and joints, can lessen the chance of injury.  Splints that support, stabilize and protect can be worn to give your wrist time to heal.

Splints that can help include the WS6 Compression Wrist Sleeve for light support and pain relief for arthritis, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, wrist strain or tendinitis; the 3pp® Wrist Wrap NP for moderate support for arthritis, tendinitis, Strains or Sprains and the 3pp® Carpal Lift  or the NEW 3pp Wrist POP Splint to reduce the pain from ligament injuries, specifically Triangular Fibrocartilage Complex (TFCC) injuries and other causes of wrist pain.

As with any health concern, if your pain and swelling continues, see your health care provider for a proper diagnosis and treatment.

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wrist compression sleeve for carpal tunnel syndrome
WS6 Wrist Compression Sleeve
3pp Carpal Lift
3pp® Carpal Lift™
3pp Wrist Wrap NP
3pp Wrist Wrap NP
3pp wrist brace for wrist problems
3pp® Wrist POP Splint







Our blogs are educational in nature and are not intended as a substitute for medical advice. Because your condition is unique to you, it is recommended that you consult with your health care provider before attempting any medical or therapeutic treatments. We are always happy to answer questions about products mentioned in our blogs, however, we cannot provide a diagnosis or medical advice.

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