Wrist Pain: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Join Breanne Kelley, DC as she reveals some of the causes, risk factors, and traditional treatment methods for alleviating wrist pain. She also discusses Airrosti’s approach to resolving wrist pain and how we allow our patients to stay active during treatment. Click here to learn more about what to expect at your first visit to Airrosti.

Our wrists are an intricate combination of bones, ligaments, muscles, nerves, and connective tissue. As ellipsoidal synovial joints, they connect our arms to our hands, giving them the ability to lift, bend, and twist. While the wrist’s structure allows for a broad range of movement, it is also more susceptible to injuries compared to other joints in the body.


There are many factors that can influence the health and strength of joints like the wrist. Most wrist injuries are caused by either repetitive use or an acute injury that generates more stress than the joint can handle. Other factors that can lead to wrist pain include age, medical history, and the presence of certain diseases or conditions, such as arthritis or diabetes.

Because of the wrists’ heavy involvement in most daily activities, stiffness and pain can affect athletes and office workers alike.

Your profession may increase your chances of developing a wrist injury. At work, jobs that involve repetitive motions, such as typing or writing, can easily cause inflammation and pain.

Wrist injuries are also extremely common in athletes. Sports that involve heavy use of the wrist, such as gymnastics, tennis, and weightlifting, are especially hard on the joints.


When a wrist injury occurs, pain is usually the first and most noticeable symptom. Depending on the condition, wrist pain can be chronic or acute and is often described as either sharp, burning, or dull.

Besides pain, other signs of a wrist injury include:

  • Stiffness
  • Swelling
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Redness or discoloration
  • Loss of strength or coordination
  • Visible deformities

Depending on the cause, pain can start suddenly or develop slowly over time. Wrist pain can also originate from another injury to the arm or elbow.

Some injuries often associated with wrist pain include:



Some wrist injuries can be treated conservatively, with rest and ice, while others may need more extensive tests and procedures for relief.

The most common treatment methods for wrist pain involve:

  • Anti-inflammatory or pain-relieving medication
  • Applying a hot or cold compress to reduce swelling & pain
  • Physical therapy to strengthen the wrist and improve mobility

In some cases, your doctor will prescribe a compression brace or immobilizing splint to reduce swelling and prevent further injury to the area. These braces are most used for sprains and fractures.

Some wrist injuries may be severe enough to require surgery, including certain types of fractures and nerve compression injuries.


Chronic wrist pain can make everyday tasks feel unbearably painful. At Airrosti, our skilled providers specialize in diagnosing and treating the root cause of your wrist pain. Our providers will also develop customized rehab exercises to help strengthen your wrists and prevent future injuries. To avoid lengthy, costly, and invasive pain management methods, schedule an appointment with us today, and find rapid, long-lasting relief.

Reviewed by Casey Crisp, Doctor of Chiropractic

Disclaimer: Always consult with your doctor before starting any exercise program. If you experience any numbness, tingling or reproduction of your symptoms, please contact your doctor.


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