Wrist Joints – Stiffness & Pain
The wrist is made up of a mechanically complex configuration of muscles, bones, and ligaments. When we say “wrist joint,” we are actually referring to many small joints that bridge the carpal bones of the hand with the ulna and radius bones in the forearm. There are a total of 15 bones that connect the arm with the hand, and the wrist joint must be capable of a wide range of movements without sacrificing stability. Wrist pain and stiffness can occur when any of these tiny joints wear down and start to grind against one another, causing the immune system to signal inflammation.
Causes of wrist pain
The most common causes include the following:
Carpal tunnel syndrome
Carpel tunnel syndrome is a condition that develops when a ligament thickens and puts pressure on a nerve. The nerve is squeezed, which can cause pain, numbness, and weakness in the hand.
Osteoarthritis causes inflammation of the joints and occurs when the cartilage that covers the bones wears away. The condition can affect a wide range of joints, including the wrist. Osteoarthritis of the wrist tends to occur most often in people who are middle age or older, and those with a family history of the condition.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease where healthy tissues are broken down by the body’s immune system. This can cause wrist pain if the joints in the area are affected.
De Quervain’s disease
In this condition, tendons and their coverings on the thumb side of the wrist become inflamed and swell. The exact cause is not known, but it is often associated with an injury to the area or overuse. Symptoms include a grating feeling inside the wrist, swelling, and weakness along the wrist, forearm, and thumb.
Triangular fibrocartilage complex injury
The triangular fibrocartilage is located on the pinky side of the wrist. It acts as a cushion and support for the small bones. The cartilage can wear away over time or tear due to an injury.
Wrist tendonitis can occur when the tendons of the wrist develop small tears or become irritated and inflamed. The condition usually occurs due to repetitive movement involving the wrist.
Bursa are small fluid-filled sacs that help cushion joints. When these become inflamed it is referred to as bursitis. These can occur in many areas of the body, including the wrist. Symptoms include tenderness over the tendons of the wrist, redenss in the region, and swelling.
This cause of wrist pain is due to fluid-filled soft tissue cysts that often develop on the wrist opposite the palm but will occur on the palmar aspect of the wrist. Smaller cysts often tend to hurt more than large cysts.
According to the American Society for Surgery of the Hand, a wrist sprain is usually caused by falling and bending the wrist backward when the hand hits the ground. This movement overstretches the ligament.
Prevention of painful wrist joints
Stretching and range of motion exercise can help keep the wrist joints lubricated and resilient to damage. These can be as simple as rolling the wrists or resting the wrist on the edge of a flat surface and stretching the hand up and down as far as the wrist is willing to extend.
Getting plenty of rest, exercise, and eating a balanced diet can all contribute to pain relief. Foods rich in Omega-3’s and fatty acids, as well as natural food supplements like Flexiqule, can help target wrist pain directly to relieve inflammation, and promote healing.