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Wrist and hand

Wrist pain is a common problem. It may be due to sprains or fractures from sudden injuries or from long-term problems, such as repetitive stress, arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome.


Wrist pain may vary, depending on what's causing it. For example, in osteoarthritis pain being degenerative condition the pain is similar to a dull toothache, while in carpal tunnel syndrome pain being of neurological origin feels like pins-and-needles especially at night. The precise location of your wrist pain also can give an idea to what might be causing your symptoms.

Causes of Wrist Pain


Sudden impacts. Wrist injuries often occur due to fall on a  outstretched hand. This can cause sprains, strains and even fractures. A scaphoid fracture involves a bone on the thumb side of the wrist. This type of fracture may not show up on X-rays immediately following the injury it gets visible after few days of injury. 

Repetitive stress. Any activity that involves repetitive wrist motion — from hitting a tennis ball or bowing a cello to driving cross-country — can inflame the tissues around joints or cause stress fractures, especially when you perform the movement for hours on end without a break. De Quervain's disease is a repetitive stress injury that causes pain at the base of the thumb


Osteoarthritis. This type of arthritis occurs when the cartilage that cushions the ends of your bones degenerates over time. Osteoarthritis in the wrist is not common and usually occurs only in people who have injured that wrist in the past due to joint misalignment.

Rheumatoid arthritis. A disorder in which the body's immune system attacks its own tissues, rheumatoid arthritis commonly involves the wrist. It usually involves both wrists

Other diseases and conditions

Carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel syndrome develops when there's increased pressure on the median nerve as it passes through the carpal tunnel, a passageway in the palm side of your wrist.

Ganglion cysts. These soft tissue cysts occur most often on the part of your wrist opposite your palm. Smaller ganglion cysts seem to cause more pain than larger ones do.

Kienbock's disease. This disorder typically affects young adults and involves the progressive collapse of one of the small bones in the wrist. Kienbock's disease occurs when the blood supply to this bone is compromised.