Wrist tendinitis, also known as tenosynovitis, is an inflammation of the tendons in the wrist. People with wrist tendinitis experience pain in their wrists along with a limited range of motion, and over time, the wrists can become permanently damaged if the inflammation is allowed to persist. This condition is quite common, and there are a number of treatment options which can be used to address it, especially in the early stages.
Some of the causes of wrist tendinitis include trauma to the wrists, repetitive motion, overuse, and poor use of the wrists. For example, someone who holds the hands in a bad position at the keyboard, even when she or he does not type very much, can develop wrist tendinitis as a result of the awkward positioning. The early signs of wrist tendinitis include pain and stiffness, with soreness appearing above the wrist, and some people also experience swelling. The wrist may also feel hot and tender to the touch.
Treatment involves rest and the administration of anti-inflammatory medications to bring down the swelling and mitigate the inflammatory reaction occurring in the wrists. These medications can include steroids injected directly into the wrist to ease the swelling directly, along with oral medications. The medications should allow the tendons of the wrist to move more smoothly, allowing the patient a pain-free range of motion in the wrist. Gentle exercise may be recommended to keep the wrists healthy as they heal, and to strengthen the tendons.
Persistent wrist tendinitis can require surgical treatment. This is to be avoided, as surgery carries risks and the patient will need to complete wrist rehabilitation during the healing process. People can reduce the risk of developing wrist tendinitis by protecting their wrists from injury with the appropriate protective gear, including equipment which promotes proper wrist position so that people can perform operations such as typing safely.
Wrist tendinitis is sometimes confused with carpal tunnel syndrome. In carpal tunnel syndrome, nerves actually become pinched, leading to a tingly or numb sensation in the hand. People can also experience a burning feeling. With wrist tendinitis, there is pain, but no loss of sensation. Patients who experience wrist pain should see a doctor for an examination, which may include medical imaging studies to learn more about the origins of wrist pain. The doctor can make treatment recommendations, including prevention recommendations such as bracing to reduce the risk of reinjury.