There are a variety of causes of wrist pain ranging from sports and repetitive injuries to medical conditions such as gout or pseudogout. The treatment for wrist injuries depends on the degree and cause of the discomfort and includes interventions such as home-applied first aid to emergency room visits.
Wrist pain is common and some of the more frequent causes include:
- Sprains, strains, and fractures -- these can be the result of sports injuries or accidents such as falls.
- Tendinitis -- this is typically an overuse injury resulting from sports such as tennis or racquetball, or those that place weight on the wrist like gymnastics.
- Arthritis -- rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and post-traumatic arthritis are all common culprits of wrist pain.
- Gout -- this is caused by a buildup of uric acid crystals in the joint causing pain and burning. It is more commonly seen in the big toe but can also affect other joints such as the wrist.
- Pseudogout -- similar to gout, this is caused by an excess of calcium pyrophosphate crystals in the joint space.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome -- repetitive injuries can be caused by everyday activities such as typing, sewing, or performing certain types of repetitive motions during work. It is more common in women than men.
- Osteoporosis -- this results in weak, brittle bones which can lead to fractures. It is more commonly seen in older women but can occur in anyone.
Treatment for each of these conditions varies and depends on the degree of pain and discomfort and the type of injury. This can range from using over-the-counter pain relievers and splints to support the wrist to obtaining medical intervention through an emergency room physician.