Wrist pain is often caused by sprains or fractures from sudden injuries. But wrist pain can also result from long term problems, such as repetitive stress and arthritis. The wrist is a complex joint made up of eight small bones arranged in two rows between the bones in your forearm and the bones in your hand. There is minimal motion between all of these small bones that together allow for the extensive motion of the wrist. Arthritic or degenerative change at any of these small joints but especially at the base of the thumb can result in pain. These bones are attached by numerous ligaments and all the tendons of the fingers pass through the wrist. Repetitive strain type injuries from keyboarding, knitting, modeling in clay or any repetitive motion of the wrist or fingers can result in pain coming from these soft tissues. Wrist pain can affect your ability to use your wrist and hand, severely limiting your ability to carry on daily activities as well as athletic and sports participation.
Symptoms of wrist pain can vary quite a bit depending on the actual location and cause of the wrist problem. “Wear and tear” osteoarthritis of the wrist can cause a dull, aching pain that may become sharp with activity. It is not uncommon for your wrist pain to be accompanied by swelling of your fingers. Wrist pain can result in difficulty making a fist or gripping objects or with fine finger movements. It may cause pain with weight bearing on the wrist and prevent the use of a cane or the ability to lift weights or do planks or push-ups.