Wrist Joints – Stiffness & Pain
Our wrist is made up of a mechanically complex configuration of bones, muscles and ligaments and wrist joint referred as many small joints that bridge the carpal bones of the hand with the ulna and radius bones in the forearm. There are 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 wrist joint pain 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 Wrist Pain
Many exercises like desk press, tennis ball squeeze, Thumb flexion/extension, Hand/finger tendon glide and any more can help to improve hand mobility, keep the wrist joints lubricated and resilient to damage. Eating a balanced diet, good exercise and plenty of rest can 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.