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Wrist pain can be a painful, frustrating and limiting injury. Often caused by sudden injuries, resulting in sprains or fractures, it can also be a result of long-term problems such as repetitive stress, arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome. Because the causes are varied it’s often difficult to pin down a diagnosis making treatment and healing a difficult process. We’re here to offer our knowledge to help you diagnose an injury and figure out when you should see a doctor.

Causes

Damage could be caused through overuse, strong impact or a number of other things from day to day use.

Symptoms

Wrist pain varies depending on the cause. The precise location can offer guidance to what’s behind the pain. Conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome can cause a tingling sensation in the wrist, whereas osteoarthritis is more of an aching feeling.

When to see a doctor

Minor strains and sprains should usually be treated with I.C.E. Ice, compress, elevate – with plenty of rest. But if pain and swelling last longer than a few days or worsen, see your doctor. Delayed diagnosis and treatment can lead to poor healing, reduced range of motion and long-term disability.

Injuries and conditions

Repetitive stress: If you use repetitive wrist motion at work or when exercising it can inflame the tissue around your joints or cause a stress fracture.

Osteoarthritis: This type of arthritis occurs when the cartilage that cushions the ends of your bones deteriorates over time. Osteoarthritis in the wrist is uncommon and usually occurs only in people who have injured that wrist in the past.

Rheumatoid arthritis: A disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks its own tissues. Usually occurs to both wrists.

Carpal tunnel syndrome: Carpal tunnel syndrome develops when there’s increased pressure on the median nerve as it passes through the carpal tunnel, a passageway in the palm side of your wrist.

Prevention

Sport: Always use protective gear and correct footwear. Wearing wrist guards for sports such as snowboarding, skiing and rollerblading is recommended.

Ergonomics: When spending long periods of time at a desk or on a computer, an ergonomic keyboard and gel wrist supports may help.

Bone Strength: Getting enough calcium in your diet can help reduce the chance of fractures. 1,000 milligrams a day for your average adult is recommended.

Reduce the chance of falls: Especially for elderly people, wearing sensible shoes and installing handrails in your home are ways to prevent unnecessary falls.

Putting preventative measures in place can drastically reduce the risk of injury. If you are suffering from any injuries, contact us today to make an appointment.

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Here at Physio Connect, everything that we do is built off the belief that all New Zealanders should have equal access to expert, specialised musculoskeletal services that utilise the latest clinical evidence and treatment protocols.

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