ZocdocAnswersWhat's wrong with my wrists?

Question

What's wrong with my wrists?

When I wake up in the morning, my wrists are achy and sore. Am I doing something to them when I'm sleeping? I work with a computer all day, but never really noticed any pain. What could be causing this soreness?

Answer

I think the most likely bet is that you have an overuse injury which is causing inflammation of the tissue on the inner surfaces of the wrists. This is very common in people who have office jobs which involve typing on a computer keyboard all day long. If the inflammation is pronounced or prolonged it can cause some pressure on the median nerve, which is a large nerve that runs down the inside of the wrist and provides motion and sensation in the thumb and first two fingers. When this inflammation is severe, we call it carpal tunnel syndrome, which is a condition you have probably heard of. Symptoms can include pain in the hand, especially in the fingers I mentioned, weakness, and numbness or tingling. It is common to have symptoms in the morning, as twisting the wrist or otherwise positioning it while asleep in a way that worsens the nerve compression is common. If the symptoms persist, you should go see your primary care doctor. They can recommend medications, which will likely at first be anti inflammatory medications. They will also suggest some modifications to your work environment and they might recommend splinting your wrists, especially at night.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.