1 What is Wrist Pain?
Wrist pain is is a regularly occurring complaint. It mostly arises from strains or fractures from sudden injuries but it is known that it can also arise from long-term problems such as repetitive stress, arthritis and carpel tunnel syndrome.
Due to the fact that so many factors can lead to wrist pain, diagnosing the correct cause can be a difficult task. But accurate diagnosis is necessary for proper treatment.
Symptoms of wrist pain vary depending on its cause.
For instance, osteoarthritis pain is often described as being similar to a dull toothache, while carpel tunnel syndrome causes a pins and needles sensation especially during the night hours.
The exact location of wrist pain can help in understanding what might be the cause of the symptoms. Not all wrist pain requires medical care.
In case of minor sprains and strains, ice is recommended as well as over the counter medication and rest.
It is advised to see a doctor if one has experinced pain and swelling for longer than a few days. Any delay in diagnosis and treatment may lead to poor healing, reduced range of motion and long term disability.
Several causes exist for wrist pain.
The wrist is a very complex joint made op of small bones arrange in two rows, proximal and distal.
Tough bands of ligament connect these bones together with the hand bone as well. Tendon further attach muscles to bones. Any damage to the parts of the wrist can cause pain and affect the ability for one to use their hand and wrist.
Wrist injuries often occurs during fall, especially one that requires the hand's involvment. This causes sprains, strains and fractures. A scaphoid fracture takes place on the thumb side of the wrist, this fracture may not show up on xray images immediately following the injury.
Basically any activity that involves a great amount of wrist activity, from hitting a tennis ball to bowing a cello to driving for long periods of time can inflame the tissues around the joint and cause stress fractures.
4 Making a Diagnosis
Many factors can lead to wrist pain, so diagnosing the correct cause can be a difficult task.
In many cases one might initially seek the help of his or her family doctor who will inturn refer them to a specialist in joint disorders also known as a rheumatologist, sports medicine or even an orthopedic surgeon.
It is very important to write down detailed description on symptoms that one has experienced.
Information about any prior medical proplems of any member of their family especially parents and siblings all the dietary supplments and medications that one has been taking.
Doctors may ask some of the following questions during an appointment:
- When did the symptoms begin?
- Are they connected to a recent injury?
- Does any particulr wrist motion trigger the pain?
- Is there any sense of numbness or tingling in the hand?
- Are you left or right-handed?
- What is your occupation?
- Do you participate in sports or any hobbies that might endanger your wrist.
Treatments for wrist pain vary greatly, this depends on severity of the injury, age and overall health of an individual.
Over the counter medications are known to help relieve wrist pain, these include:
- iburofen (Advil, Montrin and others),
- acetaminophens like tyleenol and others.
Stronger pain relieving medication is always present by prescription. A physical therapist can recommend various exercises for wrist injuries and tendon pulls.
If surgery is necessary, one's physical therapist can help in the rehabilitation process after the operation.
One can also benefit by having an ergonomic evaluation. This addresses workplace factors that may be leading to injury of the wrist.
In case of broken carpal bones, the pieces will need to be aligned to fascilitate proper healing.
Furthermore, a cast or splint han aid in the processes of healing by holding the bones together.
It is impossible to predict the occurrence of wrist injury and prevent wrist pain. However, several measures if correctly put in place may offer some protection.
Building bone strength. It is very helpful to have strong bones, this is done by increasing the amount of calcium intake. Usually 1200 mg per day for women over the age of 50. Basically 1000 mg a day will be enough for most adults to help prevent fractures.
Another way of preventing wrist pain is by trying to prevent falls to begin with. Falling forward on an outstretched hand is the primary cause of most wrist pain. It is advisable to wear sensible shoes to do so.
Another way is by removing any available home hazards, lighting up the living space and adding grab bars in one's bathroom and rails on their staircase if necessary.
The usage of protective gear for sport activities. This goes especially for high-risk activities, such as football, snowboarding and rollerblading.
It is also key to pay attention to ergonomics. Taking regular breaks from long periods at a keyboard is advised too. Keeping the wrist in a relaxed in neutal position.
7 Lifestyle and Coping
Lifestyle modifications are necessary in order to cope with wrist pain.
It must be primarily stated that not all forms of wrist pain need medical attention.
Medical attention is necessary based solely on severity of the wrist pain.
For minor wrist pain one is always encourage to follow the self-care steps which include applying ice to the injury to reduce the pain and swelling.
Elastic bandages are also encouraged, these provide similar effects.
8 Risks and Complications
Several risk factors exist for wrist pain.
Wrist pain is a condition anyone have - It does not matter of one is very careful, very active or somewhere in between.
However, risk can be increase due to the following:
- Sports participation is the major activity that can possibly lead to a wrist injury. Wrist injuries are common in many sports, including bowling, golf, gymnastics, snowboarding and tennis.
- Another possible risk increasing factor is repetitive work. Almost any activity that involves your hands and wrists — even knitting and cutting hair — if performed forcefully enough and often enough can lead to disabling wrist pain.
- A good number of diseases and conditions can also increase the probability of getting wrist pain. Pregnancy, diabetes, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis and gout may increase your risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome.