Wrist Pain: Causes & Treatment

Medically Reviewed By : Dr Sravya, MBBS, MS 


Have you been struggling with wrist pain while doing your daily activities? Trust me wrist pain leaves you in discomfort. It may or may not have any underlying medical conditions, but you should see the symptoms and the severity of the pain before deciding to see your doctor. Wrist pain may be due to a sprain or any sudden injuries. Wrists that are sprained do not need any medical treatment. An ice pack or a topical ointment works for sprains but any sudden injury caused to the wrist requires immediate medical attention. It is crucial that your healthcare provider evaluates the cause of wrist pain. To learn in detail how a wrist is sprained or injured let us delve into the anatomical structure of the wrist.

The anatomical structure of the wrist:

The wrist is a complex joint known as a radiocarpal joint connecting the forearm and the hand. It is known as a condyloid joint which means the surface of the joint where the bone meets.

It is made up of bones arranged in two rows: distal (upper) radius, ulna, 8 carpal bones, and proximal (lower) 5 metacarpal bones.

wrist pain

Causes of wrist pain:

Causes of wrist pain may have various reasons. It may be associated with long-term problems like:

Some of the common types of arthritis associated with wrist pain include:

Wrist Pain Treatment:

Wrist pain treatment may vary from a simple ice pack to surgery depending on the
degree of damage to your wrist.


The wrist is a complex joint in our body and it is made up of 8 bones. A painful wrist hinders your day-to-day activities and leaves you in discomfort. It may have several reasons including injury from falling with outstretched hands, stress to the wrist, or any underlying medical conditions like arthritis (osteoarthritis, post-traumatic arthritis or rheumatoid arthritis), ganglion cysts, and tendonitis. For the pain associated with sprained wrists or repetitive stress on wrists, the treatments include applying heat packs or ice packs or taking medications like anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants, corticosteroids, or cortisone injections.

Wrist pains associated with injuries eg; broken bone or bone dislocation are treated by prescribing wearing casts. In case, if there is damage to your other body parts or depending on the severity of the wrist pain and its underlying cause, your doctor may use surgical treatments like endoscopic surgery or an open surgery. You should immediately see a doctor for wrist pains that are severe, but painful wrists caused due to strains do not always need treatment. They can be resolved at home with simple remedies. Before deciding the treatment yourself, check the symptoms and severity and see the doctor for a severe wrist pain to avoid any further complications.