Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Does wrist pain signify some type of nerve injury?"
I have experienced random bouts of wrist pain and numbness. Could I have injured a nerve?
Repetitive use injuries, caused by performing similar actions over and over again, are very common in the wrist. They are often causes by the types of actions found in office work, such as typing on a keyboard. However, they also occur in weight lifters, tennis players, dishwashers, and dozens of other professions! Sometimes, the repetitive use injury is just tendonitis, which is an inflammation of the tendons running through the wrist. This is usually easily treated by resting the wrist and by using anti inflammatory medications like ibuprofen or naprosyn. Occasionally, however, the nerve running down the middle of the wrist can become inflamed by the repetitive motions. This can lead to a condition known as carpal tunnel syndrome. Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include pain, weakness, and numbness or tingling in the thumb side of the palm. Carpal tunnel syndrome can also sometimes be treated with rest, ice, anti inflammatory medications, and wrist bracing or splinting. However, some more serious cases that do not improve with these measures will require a referral to an orthopedic wrist specialist for steroid injections or even surgery. I recommend that you talk to your primary care doctor if you are experiencing wrist pain; they will help you figure out what needs to be done.
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