What are Common Causes of Wrist Joint Pain?

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  • Written By: Patti Kate
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 01 September 2018
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Wrist joint pain may be caused by several contributing factors, some of which include arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome. Acute trauma caused by injuries to the hand may also cause symptoms of wrist pain. Tendinitis and bursitis may also produce painful symptoms involving those areas. Although rare, malignant and benign tumors may also cause pain in the wrist.

Joint pain in the hands is a common complaint among the elderly. Osteoarthritis may occur when chronic inflammation causes a wearing down on joints over a long period of time. This deterioration may take several years to manifest into symptoms that include severe pain in the joints. Symptoms of wrist joint pain include swelling in the affected areas and pain and stiffness. The stiffness may lead to immobility of the affected joints.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) affects the body's immune system in such a way that it assaults areas of the connecting ligaments and joints. In certain cases, infection may trigger RA, while some experts also believe genetics are involved. This condition can be debilitating. A specialist generally can diagnose joint pain as rheumatoid arthritis. Treatment typically will consist of medications and anti-inflammatory drugs.


Many individuals who work in professions that require constant use of the hands can develop wrist and joint pain. In some cases, the pain may worsen over time and require aggressive treatment or even surgery. Surgery is typically performed to restore full function and mobility to areas of the wrists and hands that have become severely damaged.

Repetitive motion injury occurs through over usage of muscles, ligaments, tendons, and joints. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that causes severe wrist joint pain for many individuals. The median nerve becomes affected through constant use and repetitive activities. A loss of feeling may typically occur as an early symptom, along with a burning, stinging, or throbbing sensations. Moderate to severe wrist pain will generally be associated with carpal tunnel syndrome.

Many types of trauma to the hand and forearm may also cause joint pain involving the wrist. Crushing accidents and injuries that involve severed nerves, torn ligaments and broken bones may result in such pain. In such cases, surgery may be necessary to reconstruct the torn tendons, severed nerves, and connective tissue to the joints. Deformities that may have occurred may often require reconstructive surgical procedures as well.


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Post 3

My grandmother has chronic wrist joint pain due to arthritis. She is afraid that she will eventually need surgery for it. She started using a topical cream with glucosamine for arthritis that seems to be helping. So hopefully she won't need surgery.

Post 2

@stoneMason-- Absolutely. All repetitive movements have the risk of causing wrist joint pain. It could be due to straining the muscles or ligaments in that area or it could even be carpal tunnel syndrome. It could also be due to providing insufficient support for your wrists while typing.

You can treat wrist joint pain due with cold packs, pain relievers and by wearing a wrist splint for some time. But if you have to type on a regular basis, try to take some preventative measures. For example, remember to take regular breaks while working to rest your hands. And use a keyboard and mouse wrist rest to support your wrists while you work.

Post 1

Is it possible to develop wrist joint pain from typing? Wouldn't typing cause hand pain instead of joint pain?

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