Wrist Pain: Causes, Symptoms, Treatments, and Diagnosis

Common Causes For Sharp Pain in Wrists


Common Causes For Sharp Pain in Wrists

There are many different causes of wrist pain. The most common include carpal tunnel syndrome, overuse injuries, and fractures. (3)

Carpal tunnel syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that results from compression of the median nerve as it passes through the carpal tunnel in the wrist. The most common complaints of CTS are numbness and tingling (pin prick sensations) in the hand and fingers, pain in the hand or arm, weakness in the hands, and difficulty gripping objects. These symptoms can vary from person to person and may come and go over time.

The symptoms are caused by pressure on the median nerve as it passes through the carpal tunnel, a narrow passageway in the wrist. Carpal tunnel syndrome is estimated to affect 3-6% of the U.S. population, making it one of the most common nerve disorders that cause wrist pain. It is more common in women than men, and most often occurs in people between the ages of 30 and 60.

Overuse injuries

Overuse injuries can occur when you use your wrists too much or in an improper way. They can cause pain, swelling, and stiffness in the wrists.

If you’re experiencing wrist pain, there’s a good chance it’s from an overuse injury. The repetitive motions of activities like typing, using a mouse, or gripping a tool can cause inflammation and pain in the wrist.

If you’re experiencing wrist pain due to overuse, it’s important to see a doctor to determine the cause and get appropriate treatment. In the meantime, there are some essential steps you can take to help relieve the pain and inflammation due to the condition. Ice the area for 15-20 minutes several times per day, take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications as directed, and wear a brace or splint if recommended by your doctors.


Fractures are a common type of injury that can cause wrist pain. A wrist fracture is a break in one or more of the bones that make up the wrist. A fracture can occur when you fall and land on your outstretched hand, or when you hit your hand against something hard. The most common fracture in the wrist joint is a broken radius, which is the larger bone on the thumb side of the forearm. A broken ulna, which is the smaller bone on the little finger side of the forearm, is another common type of wrist fracture.

Wrist fractures are very common and can occur from a variety of injuries. The most common symptoms of a wrist fracture are pain, swelling, and bruising. You may also notice that your wrist is not able to move as freely as it once could. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention right away. A wrist fracture can often be treated with rest and ice, but in some cases surgery may be necessary.

Wrist drop

One potential complication of wrist pain is wrist drop, a condition in which the fingers become limp and cannot be straightened. This can make it difficult to perform everyday tasks, such as opening a door or picking up a cup.

Wrist drop may be caused by damage to the nerves that run through the wrist or arm. This damage can occur due to an injury or illness, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, polio, or diabetes. Some medications can also cause wrist drop by damaging the nerves.

If you are experiencing wrist pain, see your doctor to find out what is causing it and how best to treat it. If you are diagnosed with wrist drop, there may be treatments available that can help improve your mobility and quality of life.


If you are experiencing wrist pain, you may be wondering if it is due to arthritis. Arthritis is a common condition that causes inflammation and pain in the joints. It can affect any small joint in the body, including the wrist.

Several types of arthritis can cause wrist pain, including rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and gout. Each type of arthritis has its own unique symptoms and causes.

The most common symptom of arthritis is wrist pain. The pain may be dull or achy, and it may come and go. Other symptoms include swelling, redness, warmth, and stiffness in the wrist joints.


Uric acid is a compound produced in the body when the body breaks down purines. Purines are found in many foods, including red meats, seafood, and beer. When uric acid levels become too high, it can crystallize and form kidney stones. Uric acid can also accumulate in other tissues and fluids of the body, including the joint spaces and cause gout. When this happens, it can cause inflammation and pain.

The wrist is one of the joints that is most commonly affected by uric acid crystals. The pain from gout can be severe and may keep you from using your wrist normally. Treatment for gout includes medications to help reduce uric acid levels and ice and/or heat therapy to help reduce inflammation and pain.

Ganglion cysts

One possible cause of wrist pain is a ganglion cyst. A ganglion cyst is a fluid-filled sac that can form on the joints or tendons in the body. Ganglion cysts most commonly occur on the wrists, ankles, and fingers.

Ganglion cysts can cause pain, stiffness, and swelling in the affected area (in this case, wrist joint). In some cases, the ganglion cyst may even limit movement in the joint or tendon it is located on. If you are experiencing wrist pain and suspect that you may have a ganglion cyst, see your doctor for diagnosis and treatment.


Tendonitis is one of the most common causes of wrist pain. The condition is caused by inflammation of the tendons that attach the muscles to the bones. This can lead to pain, joint stiffness, and swelling around the wrist. Tendonitis is often caused by overuse or repetitive movements, such as typing or gripping objects tightly. It can also be a result of an injury, such as a fall or car accident. Treatment for tendonitis usually involves rest, ice, and medication to reduce inflammation. In some cases, surgical intervention becomes necessary to repair damaged tendons.

Kienbock’s disease

Kienbock disease is a condition that affects the wrist. The cause of the disease is unknown, but it is believed to be caused by a decrease in blood flow to the wrist. This can lead to damage to the bones and ligaments in the wrist.

One of the most common symptoms of Kienbock disease is wrist pain. The pain may be felt along the side of the wrist, and may worsen when you move your hand or fingers. You may also experience swelling and stiffness in the wrist. If you are diagnosed with Kienbock disease, your doctor will likely recommend treatment options such as rest, ice, and medication. In some cases, surgery may be necessary.

Ligament tear

Ligaments are connective tissues made of tough fiberous material that connect bones to other bones. They provide stability and strength to the joint. A ligament tear in the wrist can cause pain and instability.

The most common ligaments that are injured in the wrist are the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) and the radial collateral ligament (RCL). The ulnar collateral ligament or UCL is located on the inside of the wrist and connects the ulna bone to the humerus bone. The RCL is located on the outside of the wrist and connects the radius bone to the humerus bone.

A ligament tear can occur from a sudden injury, such as a fall, or from overuse of the wrist. Symptoms of a ligament tear include pain, swelling, and instability in the wrist joint.