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Experiencing Wrist Pain? Here Are the Common Causes

man experiencing the common causes of wrist painThe wrist is a complex joint made up of many bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments. All of these components work together to provide functionality and ensure a wide range of motion. Damaging any part of your wrist can cause pain and affect your ability to use your wrist or hand, and since the wrist does have so many components, there are many possible scenarios that can cause wrist pain. Arthritis, fractures, carpal tunnel syndrome, and trigger finger are all common causes of wrist pain.

In this blog, the wrist specialists at Mirza Orthopedics will explain the common causes of wrist pain.

What is arthritis?

Arthritis is a disease affecting the tissues inside the joints. In arthritis, the cartilage covering of the articulating surfaces of the joint—the parts which slide across each other—is degraded, resulting in bone grinding on bone. This can be due to either acute or chronic inflammation in the joint or its surrounding tissues. It sometimes follows trauma to the joint, or it can be the product of environmental issues such as long-term wear and tear. Arthritis may also have a genetic component.

Who is affected by arthritis?

Although we may think of arthritis as only affecting older people, arthritis can actually affect people of all ages. There are many different types of arthritis, including juvenile arthritis–which affects children and teenagers—and rheumatoid arthritis, which is an autoimmune disease.

Osteoarthritis, however, is the most common type of arthritis. It can affect joints anywhere in the body, but most often occurs in the hands, hips, knees, or spine. Osteoarthritis typically occurs later in life and is often the result of repetitive use or excessive wear and tear on the joint.

What is a fracture?

“Fracture” is the technical term for a broken bone, and is one of the common causes of wrist pain. A fracture can be anything from a thin crack to a complete break, and occurs when there’s more force applied to the bone than it can withstand.

Fractures happen in people of all ages, but may be very different in children than in adults. Children’s bones are much softer than adult bones, and thus more likely to bend and break. This makes some types of fractures much more likely in children.

Pediatric patients are at risk for a specific set of fractures for a variety of reasons, and fractures can be particularly troublesome in children since if a fracture involves the ends of the bone—where the growth plates which allow the bone to grow longer are located—it can affect the growth of the bone.

What raises your risk for wrist pain?

Although joint issues are a possibility for anyone, those with diabetes may be at higher risk for certain joint conditions that are common causes of wrist pain including:

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome – a painful condition of the hand in which the median nerve is compressed in the carpal tunnel, a narrow opening in the bones of the wrist and palm of the hand. Carpal tunnel syndrome is generally associated with repetitive use and activities such as typing, which force the wrist into an unnatural position.
  • Trigger finger – another condition often associated with repetitive use—in this case, gripping–trigger finger involves the tendons that control the flexing of the fingers. In trigger finger, one or more fingers may “catch” and refuse to straighten, then suddenly “click” and release. This condition is often painful and may be worse in the morning.

Looking for wrist pain treatment?

Mirza Orthopedics is the premier orthopedic hand, elbow & shoulder center on Long Island, serving patients of all ages from Suffolk County, Nassau County and beyond.

To learn more about treatments for all types of wrist fractures, schedule your consultation at Mirza Orthopedics today.

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