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"Why do my wrists hurt?"


I am a 19 year old healthy male. I am physically active and have no medical problems. I woke up this morning with very sore wrists. The pain is light when they are stationary, but when I twist or move them, there is heightened pain. I suspect that I may have simply slept on my wrists and caused them to be bent for many hours, but it seems unlikely that I would have slept on both of them in the same exact way. The pain has decreased throughout the day, but is still present. Should I look into this further of let it run its course?


I would let it run its course. It does not sound like you have previously had any wrist problems and you cannot think of any particular injury, so it is likely that you just laid on your wrists wrong while sleeping. If so, this stiffness and soreness should continue to improve over the next few days (it sounds like it is already improving in fact).

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You could take an anti inflammatory medicine like ibuprofen or naprosyn to help hasten recovery. You would only need to worry if the pain does not improve or persists, if there is fever, if there is redness or swelling of the wrists, or if you develop symptoms in other joints. If any of these things occur, these might be signs that something else is going on and you would need to get in to see your primary care doctor. In the meantime, while you are recovering, you may want to limit your physical activity involving these joints until the pain has subsided, otherwise you may risk further straining them and prolonging recovery. In addition to the anti inflammatory medicines that I mentioned, icing the wrists may also provide some additional pain relief and anti inflammatory effect. Please see your doctor if you don't see improvement in the next few days.

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