Many people report feeling symptoms of wrist or hand pain and discomfort. In modern day times, injuries and conditions are being constantly diagnosed due to more individuals overexerting their joints through everyday activities which require constant use of the wrists and hands. Certain sports, gardening, and even texting and gaming can cause complications in the joints. The following 5 conditions are known as common reasons for wrist and hand pain.

Mallet Finger

Mallet finger is a condition that affects the extensor tendons located at the back of the fingers, causing the fingers to become permanently bent. The extensor tendon functions by straightening the fingers but, due to complications, the tendon could fail to extend the last knuckle and cause the joint to remain bent. This condition commonly results after trauma from injury. Finger sprains, fractures, or chronic conditions, such as arthritis, are common causes for injury. If the individual is unable to straighten the fingers, it could suggest a possible mallet finger injury.

Trigger Finger

Trigger finger, also known as stenosing tenosynovitis, is a condition that occurs when the tendon in the finger becomes irritated, inflamed, or scarred, which results in the thickening of the tendon. This common condition that can affect a single or multiple fingers at once, and is characterized by the triggering or snapping sensation a person describes who’s been affected by trigger finger. The natural function of the fingers is to open and close smoothly in order to grasp objects easily but with trigger finger, the fingers will have difficulty moving within the tendon sheath which will usually be accompanied by pain and clicking sounds.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition caused when the median nerve, found within the carpal tunnel of the wrist along with other tendons in the hand, becomes compressed due to irritation, inflammation, and swelling. The median nerve functions by controlling nerve sensations and impulses from the palm area of the fingers and the thumb as well as to the muscles in the hand, providing feeling and movement. A pinched median nerve may then develop a variety of symptoms most commonly associated to the condition. The most common symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include pain, numbness, a tingling sensation, and weakness on the hands, wrists, and forearms. Gripping object may also become difficult as the condition progresses.

Wrist Fracture

Wrist fractures are known to be among the most common broken bones experienced by individuals and usually in people under the age of 65. A broken wrist is characterized as damage or injury to the end of the radius bone or the ulna, both found in the forearm, resulting in a fracture. Sports involving constant and repetitive movements of the wrist joints may cause pressure that could lead to complications and possible bone fractures. Motor vehicle accidents are also frequent causes for wrist fractures. Diagnosing a wrist fracture may require multiple X-rays but various symptoms could suggest the presence of injury. Pain followed by swelling, bruising, tenderness, and deformity of the joint, such as a crooked or bent wrist, are the most notable symptoms of a wrist fracture.

Diagnosing a Wrist Fracture –

Wrist Tendonitis

Wrist tendonitis, also known as De Quervain’s tenosynovitis, is a condition caused when the synovium and tendons, found around the base of the thumb, become inflamed. The inflammation results from complications of the tendons which control the movement of the thumb and wrist. As with other types of tendonitis, De Quervain’s tenosynovitis is caused by overuse of the wrist. The most common symptoms of De Quervain’s tenosynovitis are tenderness and pain on the thumb side of the wrist, which may also radiate up the forearm. Wrist tendinitis may worsen when using the thumb to grasp an object or while twisting the wrist.

By Dr. Alex Jimenez

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The information herein on "5 Causes for Wrist and Hand Pain" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, or licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*


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