Considering how much we use our hands in daily life, it’s no wonder that so many people feel pain in their wrist for one reason or another. And while in some cases the cause is pretty easy to identify (like if you fell and landed on the joint), others are a little more mysterious. So, if you’ve been asking yourself, ‘Why does my wrist hurt?’ Here are some potential answers.
What is it
Carpal Tunnel affects the median nerve, which runs through the arm and extends into the thumb and index, middle, and ring fingers. The condition develops when the housing containing the nerve constricts due to inflammation in the surrounding tissue. This type of inflammation is usually brought on by repetitive strain (like typing, cleaning, or any other activity where you move your fingers and hands for many hours a day). It can also develop due to pregnancy and some thyroid disorders.
With Carpal Tunnel, you’ll usually feel:
- Tingling in the hands and arms
- Numbness in the hands and arms
- Pain in the hand and wrist that worsens with repetitive use, strain (like lifting a heavy object), and long hours of inactivity.
How to treat this condition
ManuLoc Wrist Brace
You can manage Carpal Tunnel symptoms by taking over-the-counter pain relievers. Be mindful, though: these will just mask the pain without addressing the underlying condition.
You can also incorporate some hand and wrist exercises into your routine. These include:
- Wrist flexor stretch. You can check out how to do this in our Golfer’s Elbow article. This exercise will help relieve some muscle tension and pressure in your wrist.
- Shakes. All you need to do is pretend you’re shaking water off after washing your hands. Simply bend your elbows, hold your hands in front of you, and quickly flick them up and down (rotating them inward) while keeping your fingers loose. This exercise will loosen your flexor muscles and keep the pressure off your median nerve.
But most importantly, brace. Our ManuLoc Wrist Brace’s anatomically contoured splints will stabilise your wrist, letting damaged and irritated tissues heal. However, your hand won’t be fully immobilised, so you can still do most activities without risking your median nerve.
Wrist strain (tendonitis & tendinitis)
A wrist strain is a wrist tendon injury. As with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, frequent use of the hands and fingers is a common culprit, as this can fatigue the support network of forearm muscles and make your tendons overstrain. Over time, the tendons develop micro tears and inflame, leading to tendonitis.
You can also strain your wrist through an acute injury, like falling over and landing hard on the joint. In this case, the condition is called tendinitis. In both tendonitis and tendinitis, you’ll likely experience tenderness, weakness in the hand, and pain that worsens when you try to rotate your wrist. Generally, the pain will be worse if you sprained your wrist through injury, and you’ll likely see some swelling around the joint.
How to treat this condition
ManuTrain Wrist Support
Rest, ice, and elevation are great for giving your tendons a break and relieving some symptoms. But bracing is the best course of action in the long term, as your damaged tendons will need extra support to heal. In more severe cases, opt for a splint brace like the ManuLoc. But for mild cases, a softer compression brace like the ManuTrain will serve you well. Its compression fabric will reduce swelling and activate your muscle support network. Its wrist strap, meanwhile, will stabilise the wrist joint. You should also go see your physio, as they can prescribe specific exercises to build up your strength and mobility.
As you probably already know, arthritis is a condition in which the smooth cartilage disks responsible for cushioning wrist movement degrade, becoming rough. What you might not know is that arthritis is caused by three things:
- Natural wear and tear (Osteoarthritis). As we age and go about our lives, some tissues in our body (like cartilage) will naturally degrade.
- Injury (Posttraumatic arthritis). The cartilage in the wrist starts degrading because something in or around the joint (like a tendon, ligament, or bone) is injured, preventing the joint from moving correctly.
- Inflammatory and autoimmune disorders (Rheumatoid arthritis). Unfortunately, some medical conditions can turn your body’s immune system against your body. With rheumatoid arthritis, your immune cells start attacking your cartilage tissue.
Arthritis often comes with stiffness, pain, and swelling. The severity of these symptoms can vary drastically from person to person. In more severe cases, the symptoms may be constant. In mild cases, they may come and go.
How to treat this condition
There’s no cure for arthritis. However, there are some steps you can take to alleviate pain, improve mobility, and slow degeneration.
- Rest. It can be difficult to pinpoint which activities worsen your symptoms, especially in more severe cases. It can also be difficult to cut them out of your life entirely, as we use our hands a lot in daily tasks like cleaning, cooking, and typing. But if you can, see which movements seem to agitate your condition and try to adjust them accordingly. You should also take time out of your day to let your hands rest.
- Exercises. While rest is important, you should also incorporate some exercises into your routine to help avoid stiffness. Wrist stretches, rotations, and squeezing a stress ball are all relatively gentle.
- Heat. Taking a bath or applying a heat pack to the affected area will help relieve stiffness.
- Brace. According to The Journal of Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, The Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine, and our customer reviews, a good brace will provide additional support for your wrist and unload the joint, helping you get more mobility while reducing pain. For more severe cases, we’d recommend the ManuLoc. For milder cases, try out the ManuTrain. It won’t provide as much stabilisation as the ManuLoc, but it will improve muscle activation and boost circulation to improve your mobility.
- Occupational therapy. A professional occupational therapist can help you relieve tension and adjust the way you move the affected joint.
Some important things to note
First and foremost, you should always consult your doctor to get a proper diagnosis. And second, when selecting a brace, always keep quality, sizing, and purpose in mind. A medical-grade brace that perfectly fits your wrist and is built for your condition will always, always work better.
Learn more: Why You Should Reconsider Your Neoprene Brace
To sum up
Wrist pain can result from many conditions. It can develop for a variety of reasons, happen suddenly or come on gradually, and may sometimes be difficult to treat. But at least for some conditions, taking necessary precautions like resting, bracing, and of course, seeking specialist advice can go a long way to addressing the underlying cause. Or at the very least, helping you manage this symptom.
See our collection of wrist braces: Bauerfeind Wrist Supports
If you require assistance selecting the right product for your needs or wearing the brace, call us on 1300 668 466 or contact us via live chat.
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