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11 Causes of Wrist Pain

Anybody who uses their hands has probably had wrist pain in their life. If you frequently get wrist pain, you’re not alone. There are many daily activities that can cause wrist pain. These activities include picking up objects in an awkward way, typing, and sudden movements. Wrist injuries can also be caused by certain sports that involve flicking your wrist, such as tennis or ping-pong. Though, you don’t have to be active to get wrist pain.

Those who are at their keyboard for most of the day are also a suspect to wrist pain. Long times spent at awkward angles are more common than you think, which is why ergonomic chairs and desks are so popular. In this article, we will give you common causes of wrist pain. When it comes to curing this pain, knowing the cause is an important first step. That’s why it’s important to be aware of the causes and actively look out for them.

Repeated Stress

Frequent stress on the same joint will eventually cause pain. That is, if the stress is strong enough. Common movements are often found in sports such as bowling and tennis. If you find your wrist having to support a 16-pound bowling ball, you can benefit from better technique. Whatever this stress is coming from, know that it stems from using your wrists as support. Your wrists aren’t designed to support heavy objects on a frequent basis. You can alleviate the pain by self-care and stopping the source of stress.


Osteoarthritis is a type of arthritis that involves the cartilage in your wrist joint to deteriorate. Unlike other wrist injuries, osteoarthritis isn’t caused by excessive stress or force. However, it is more common in those who have had past wrist injuries. Those who have had past injuries may have already torn their tendon, which increases the risk for osteoarthritis. If you have arthritis, it’s best to rely on a doctor rather than self-care.

Sharp Impacts

A sharp impact can have different causes. More often than not, a sharp impact is caused by breaking a fall with your wrists. Your wrists aren’t designed to support the entire weight of your body, so the pressure can tear or even fracture your wrist. Any action that puts a large, sudden pressure on your wrists can cause wrist pain. In any case, it’s best to see a doctor since there’s no telling if you fractured your wrist or not.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is the most common cause of a wrist injury. Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by the pressure on the main nerve that connects to your carpal tunnel. This can be caused by awkward hand angles or blocking the main nerve. Carpal tunnel syndrome is associated with those who sit at their keyboard a lot for this very reason. Preventing carpal tunnel syndrome is as simple as incorporating ergonomics in actions that involve your wrists. Typing is the main culprit, but there are other activities to look out for.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a type of inflammation that involves your joints. Many of your joints take the fall, but your wrist is a common target when it comes to Rheumatoid arthritis. Often times, both of your wrists will be affected. If you have this type of arthritis, don’t rely on self-care. Arthritis is a more serious condition that requires more sophisticated means of care. Your doctor knows more than you in this case.

Kienbock’s Disease

Kienbock’s disease is one of the less common causes of wrist pain. Kienbock’s disease involves a collapse of the small bones in your wrist. This happens when the blood supply to your wrist is affected in some way. The blood supply can be affected in different ways, so it’s not always easy to tell what the exact cause is. Kienbock’s disease often occurs in young adults, so it’s smart to be more vigilant if you’re in that age range.

Wrist Strain

A wrist strain can be caused by a number of things. More often than not, they are caused by excessive physical activity. Physical activity itself isn’t the culprit. The real culprit is improper training and bad form. A sudden, excessive force can also cause a wrist strain. A strain can range from mild to severe. If you can’t treat a strain from home, it’s time to see a doctor. Though minor wrist strains can often be cured through common home remedies and proper care.

Joint Dislocation

A dislocation is one of the more serious causes of wrist pain. A joint dislocation is when one of your joints has been knocked from its socket or place. This can happen with any joint in your body, but can also happen to your wrist. A joint dislocation is often caused by a sudden impact, such as a fall or a strong force applied near your joint. If you think you have a joint dislocation, you should seek professional care immediately. A dislocation can get much worse if you knock that bone out of place even more.


Tendinitis can also affect any joint in the body, including the wrist. Tendinitis is essentially an inflammation in your tendon, which connects your bone to the muscles in your body. Tendinitis is characterized by a tenderness near your joint. This can cause pain and an uncomfortable sensation near your wrist. If you have tendinitis, you can try self-care methods. If that’s not enough, your doctor has treatments that can greatly reduce inflammation and pain.


A gout can affect any joint in your body, but is common for wrists. A gout is a collection of uric acid that eventually involves crystal build up in your joints. Gouts aren’t pleasant and can involve swelling and pain. If you’ve ever had a gout, you know how uncomfortable they can be. Doctors can’t tell you exactly how these crystals form, but there is a way to prevent them. Though, you’ll have to go to your doctor for a prescription.


Bursitis is an inflammation of the bursae, which is a sac that acts as a cushion for your wrist joints. Bursitis can be caused by many different things. Some of these include sudden pressure, inflammation, and repetitive activities that involve lots of weight. You don’t often need to visit a doctor since bursitis can be treated with common self-care methods. These methods include rest, an ice-pack, and physical therapy.

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