Causes of Hand and Wrist Pain

Causes of Hand and Wrist Pain

Posted on 10/16/2017

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

One of the biggest contributors to hand and wrist pain is a condition known as carpal tunnel syndrome. The symptoms of carpal tunnel start off slowly and include numbness, tingling and pain in the fingers, palm of the hand and wrist.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by the compression of the median nerve. This is the main nerve that delivers movement and sensation to the wrist and hand. When it becomes compressed, the flow of signals through the nerve become blocked which can attribute to the numbness, tingling and discomfort that the patient feels.

Sadly, there are no proven strategies to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome. Instead, it is advised to take steps to reduce stress and strain on the hands and wrists, such as taking regular breaks from using them, reducing your force and grip and keeping your hands warm and joints supple.


Our hands and wrists are in near-constant use during our waking hours, and so it is little wonder that they are often subjected to injury. This is especially true if we trip or fall, as our natural instinct is to put out our hands to protect us. Doing so places great sudden strain on our wrists, and falls are one of the primary causes of wrist sprains and fractures.

Unfortunately, injuries usually happen out of the blue so prevention is very difficult. If you work in an environment where injury to the wrist or hands is possible, ensure adequate safety checks and equipment are provided.

Repeated Stress

Also known as repetitive strain injuries or RSI, repetitive motion is another common cause of hand and wrist pain. People who spend a long time typing on a laptop or computer keyboard, people who play tennis, golf or musical instruments and manual laborers are often affected. Repeated stress on your hands or wrists can cause the muscles and tissues to become inflamed, and in some cases bones can even fracture.

The best way to prevent hand and wrist pain caused by repetitive stress is to ensure that you take regular breaks from what you are doing, which will give the muscles and soft tissue an opportunity to change position and relax. There are some specific exercises which you can do which will help to improve repetitive strain injuries.


Osteoarthritis is condition that causes pain and inflammation in the joints. It can occur in virtually any part of the body and most frequently affects the base of the thumb, joints closest to the fingertips and middle joints of the fingers.

Patients who suffer from osteoarthritis find that their fingers become swollen and feel stiff and painful. They may even begin to develop bumps and cysts on their fingers. All of the symptoms of osteoarthritis can make it painful and difficult to use the hands.

Osteoarthritis is a chronic and slowly evolving disease. Although it is not possible to prevent osteoarthritis completely, there are steps you can take to minimize your risk including maintaining a healthy BMI, avoiding repeated stress and strain on your joints and, in the case of the hands and wrists, follow the guidelines for avoiding carpal tunnel syndrome.


If you are experiencing hand or wrist pain, determining the cause will help you to get the best treatment possible, and care to prevent further problems occurring. Don’t delay, seek professional attention today by giving our experienced and friendly team a call.


Please contact us today to schedule an appointment or get more information about our hand and upper extremity surgical services.