How to Fix Wrist Pain for Good
Dealing with wrist pain? Fortunately, there are things you can do to prevent and manage your aching joints. You'll wish you knew these earlier.
To find out how to protect your wrists, roll up your sleeves and continue reading.
All You Need to Know About Wrist Pain
What Does Wrist Pain Feel Like?
Are your wrists aching? Does it hurt when you try to bend it?
A tingling sensation, numbness, and pain could point to problems with your wrist or hands. The pain could either be needle-like or dull.
Your wrist pain may not even be constant, coming and going at different times of the day. Some wrist pains might be worse during the nighttime.
Weakness in your wrists could also cause some trouble, making it difficult to enclose your fingers around an object. It might also be challenging to achieve a full range of motion.
What Are the Possible Causes of Wrist Pain?
Don't worry just yet if your wrist is feeling under the weather. There are many possible causes, ranging from overusing your wrist to more serious conditions and everything else in between.
- Overworking your wrists could definitely result in wrist pain. Holding them in an unnatural position for a long time could stress your joints.
- Sports you love may not love your wrists right back. Weight-bearing sports and other contact sports may also stress the tissue in your wrists, inflaming them.
- Accidents put your wrists at a higher risk of injury. When you fall, you're likely to attempt to catch yourself with your hands and wrists. Unfortunately, trying to break your fall could break your wrists in the process.
Being more careful and giving your wrists a break once in a while could help keep your wrists safe. However, sometimes some causes are more difficult to avoid.
- carpal tunnel syndrome
- ganglion cysts
- arthritis (osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis)
- Kienbock's disease
What Can I Do for My Wrist Pain Now?
There are things you can do for your aching wrists now while waiting for your doctor's appointment.
Some first aid could help ease the pain while you await proper diagnosis and treatment.
If your wrist is injured, here's what you can do:
- Place your wrist across your chest and above your heart.
- Wrap the injured area with an ice pack, and replace it every 10-15 minutes.
- Take some painkillers.
Go to the doctor if the pain is unbearable and it doesn't seem to be getting better. It's never too early too for a checkup, but it may be too late.
If you're suffering from arthritis, here's what you can do:
- Consult with a physical therapist to strengthen your wrist,
- Take warm showers to loosen your wrist.
- Avoid using your wrists as much as possible.
- If you're a fitness buff, avoid the gym and just focus on the nutrition part of your routine. The iron will have to wait.
Are you dealing with carpal tunnel syndrome? Here's how to give your wrists a break:
- Avoid bending your wrists. If you sit in front of a computer all day, make sure your keyboard lays flat on your desk.
- Get up from your desk, and rest your wrists once in a while.
- Wear a splint around your wrist (with approval from your doctor).
- Take painkillers as needed, but no more than the directions allow.
If your tendonitis is flaring up, here are some things you can do to ease the pain:
- Place an ice pack over your wrist.
- Avoid using your wrists.
- Ask your doctor for anti-inflammatory medicines or a splint.
Though often pain-free, ganglion cysts might still give you some wrist pain. If this happens, you may want to use a splint. But if the pain persists, book an appointment with your doctor.
Keep in mind that for more serious conditions like gout and carpal tunnel syndrome, administering first aid is not the same as treating it. This is simply your first line of defense, but your doctor is definitely your most important last line.
Exercises to Prevent Wrist Pain
One of the best ways to prevent wrist pain may be to strengthen the tissue surrounding them.
Grab your resistance bands or dumbbells.
- Wrist Flexion. Take a seat and step on one end of the resistance band. Grab the other end with our fist facing upward. Pull up as high as you can for three seconds before bringing it back down. Repeat.
- Wrist Extension. This is similar to the first exercise, but this time make sure your palm is facing the floor. Lift the band as high as you can for three seconds. Repeat.
- Forearm Supination and Pronation. Hold a dumbbell with the hand you will be exercising. Place your forearm on top of your thigh facing upward. Holding your elbow in place with your other hand, twist your wrist so that it faces the floor. Repeat.
- Wrist Flexor Stretch. Stretch out your arm with your palm facing the sky. With your other hand, pull on your fingers backward until you feel the stretch. Repeat.
- Wrist Extensor Stretch. Stretch out your arm with your fist facing the floor. Tug on your hand backward to stretch your forearms and wrist. Repeat.
- Curls. Sit down and place your arms at your sides. Hold your dumbbells with your palms facing forward. Slowly bend at the elbows, bring your dumbbells up to your upper arms. Lower your arms. Repeat.
Keep in mind that these are things you can do to prevent wrist pain and not things you can do to treat wrist pain.
If you suffer from arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome, rest and plenty of TLC are the best things you can do for your wrists.
Habits to Prevent Wrist Pain
Strengthening your muscles could do wonders to prevent injuries—and it's not exclusive to your wrists. But practicing good habits may also help care for your wrists and keep them from working too hard.
- Take your daily dose of calcium. According to the National Institute of Health, here is how much calcium you should take daily:
- 31-50 years old, 1000 mg
- 51-70 years old (men), 1000 mg
- 51-70 years old (women), 1200 mg
- 70 years old and above, 1200mg
- Be wary of your surroundings, preventing accidents and injuries. For older adults, you may want to install handrails where you need them most. For example, you may place them by the tub or beside the toilet.
- Apply ergonomics. Sitting in front of your desk for extended periods could strain your muscles, including those around your wrists. Make sure your keyboard lays flat in front of you. If you need to bend your wrists upward to reach the keys, consider lowering your keyboard or investing in a wrist rest.
How to Live With Wrist Pain
First of all, chronic wrist pain warrants a trip to the doctor's office.
But if you've been diagnosed with a condition that an ice pack can't fix, know that there are things you can do to help manage your symptoms.
Consult with a physical therapist who can recommend exercises and a splint to ease your pain.
If your pain is unbearable, you may want to take a sick leave from work so you can get proper treatment. Ask your doctor if surgery or medication will help treat your wrist.
Otherwise, consider a career change if your work is physically taxing.
One of the worst pains of wrist pains is how it can disrupt your daily life. Thankfully, there are things you can do at home to deal with the pain. Even better, there are exercises and good practices you can adopt to prevent pain for good.
Did you just discover that you have unhelpful habits? Have you reached for your dumbbells yet? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below!
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