What are the Different Wrist Symptoms?

Malcolm Tatum

Wrist pain can be triggered by a number of different causes. When it comes to symptoms, there are several likely indicators that will appear, even if the problem is a relatively minor one. While it is true that some forms of wrist pain do not require professional medical attention, it is a good idea to see your doctor when your wrist symptoms seem to linger and show no signs of improvement.

A person with wrist pain.
A person with wrist pain.

One of the more common wrist symptoms is a swollen wrist. This can be caused by some sort of wrist injury sustained while engaging in sports or some other form of physical activity. The wrist inflammation can indicate a simple sprain that can be managed by applying ice, then wrapping the wrist to inhibit movement while healing takes place. However, if the swelling does not subside in a couple of days, examination by a physician is recommended.

Stiffness and shooting pain can accompany wrist arthritis.
Stiffness and shooting pain can accompany wrist arthritis.

Common wrist symptoms also include dull aching in the joint, sometimes accompanied by periods of tingling and numbness. This is not unusual when a strain or sprain has taken place. Normally, resting the wrist for a day or two will cause the symptoms to disappear, especially if the numbness and tingling is due to repetitive use of the hands that create pressure on the wrists, such as typing on a keyboard for several hours each day.

At times, the wrist symptoms may originate with the wrist, but spread up the arm or into the hand. This is fairly common when a sprain has taken place. A sense of burning may center at the wrist, but spread to the thumb, or possibly move up the arm as far as the elbow. This can be an indication of some type of serious damage along with the sprain, and should be checked out by a qualified physician. Often, painkillers and some type of anti-inflammatory medication will help to ease the burning and help facilitate the healing process.

When wrist arthritis is present, the patient often exhibits wrist symptoms like stiffness, shooting pain when the wrist is moved at certain angles, and possibly some swelling. Medication to help minimize the symptoms while also easing the tightness that arthritis brings to the joint is often necessary. Since this is an ongoing medical condition, there is a good chance that lifestyle changes will be necessary in order to compensate for any loss in the range of motion.

All too often, people treat various wrist symptoms as indicators of something minor. While this is true in many cases, seeking the advice of a physician is a good idea. When no ongoing medical treatment is required, the physician can often make recommendations of simple ways to relieve the pain, including the use of over the counter medications. However, if the symptoms are signs of something more serious, early detection and the implementation of treatment will go a long way toward limiting the chances for permanent loss in the range of motion, as well as long-term disability.

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