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Why does my wrist hurt when I bend it?

my wrist hurts when i bend it
3 minutes, 54 seconds

Wrist hurts when you bend it? There are a few possible reasons why that’s happening. In this article, we’ll discuss a few of them and help you find relief for your wrist pain.

So let’s get into it. Here are five possible reasons why your wrist hurts when you bend it:

  1. Carpal tunnel syndrome

Many people know the term “carpal tunnel” exclusively as a wrist disorder, but the term actually describes a part of the hand. It’s a narrow, inch-long opening that runs horizontally across the palm of your hand, right above the meeting point of your hand and wrist. This opening houses the median nerve, which provides sensory function from the elbow down, and the flexor tensions, which give us the ability to bend our fingers.

Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the flexor tendons swell and place pressure on the median nerve. This can be caused by repetitive hand movements such as typing. The effect is a combination of pain, discomfort, or numbness in the hand, wrist, or arm. It can limit mobility in the wrist, causing the wrist to hurt when bent.

  1. Gout

Gout is a form of arthritis, which means that it is characterized by inflammation in the joints. This specific form of gout occurs when the body contains an excess of uric acid, a waste product created in the kidneys during the digestive process. This excess creates sharp crystals that accumulate in the joints, which tends to generate swelling.

Although gout most commonly affects the toes (namely, the big toe), it can also cause inflammation in the wrist joints. This inflammation leads to significant pain, especially when the wrist is bent.

  1. Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is another form of arthritis. In this case, inflammation occurs when the flexible tissue that cushions a joint wears down, leaving the bones to grind against each other. This condition can occur in any part of the body, including the wrist.

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis among people over the age of 45, affecting more than 3 million people each year. If you fall into that age bracket and you’re wondering why your wrist hurts when you bend it, this could be your answer.

  1. Wrist tendinitis

Tendinitis is a condition characterized by inflammation in your tendons — the soft tissue that connects your muscles to your bones. This inflammation may stem from a strain, injury or overuse. For example, you may experience tendinitis after doing too many pushups at the gym. While tendons are designed to help you perform repetitive motions, they can wear out or become injured.

Tendinitis is a common culprit in cases where the patient’s wrist hurts when they bend it. It is often accompanied by visible swelling and a burning sensation, although not always.

  1. Scaphoid bone break or fracture

It may seem strange that you could break your wrist without realizing it, but it’s possible. According to the experts at University of California San Francisco, that’s often the case when people break their scaphoid bone, which is the bone on the outside of your thumb where your thumb meets your wrist.

When left untreated, scaphoid bone fractures can lead to significant problems in the wrist. You may find that your wrist hurts significantly when you bend it or grip objects.

Can physical therapy treat my wrist pain?

Yes, physical therapy can be an effective form of treatment for wrist pain. Here are some of the benefits it offers:

  • Evaluation and assessment — Your physical therapist will assess your wrist to determine what might be causing your pain and how your pain can be managed.
  • Muscle strengthening — Your wrist may hurt when you bend it due to a lack of muscle, especially if you avoid using it due to chronic pain. Physical therapy can help you to rebuild strength in your wrist, which may reduce your pain.
  • Improved range of motion — Stiffness in your wrist can make it hard to move without pain. Physical therapy often involves flexibility training to help you achieve a better range of motion.
  • Movement coaching — A physical therapist can help you to correct any bad habits that are worsening your wrist pain. For example, they may be able to offer some tips on how to type without putting unnecessary pressure on your median nerve.
  • Manual therapy — Manual therapy is a physical therapy technique that can offer varying degrees of pain relief. Your physical therapist will manually manipulate your joints and muscles to relieve any tension causing pain to your wrist when you bend it.

Alliance PTP is ready to help you find top-notch PT for wrist pain

At Alliance Physical Therapy Partners, we’re proudly bringing together physical therapy practices across the country to help people get the high-quality PT they need. Want to see a physical therapist in person? We can put you in touch with an Alliance PTP partner that’s close to you and that can help you address wrist pain. 

Not keen on in-person PT sessions or not close to an Alliance PTP partner? No worries. We also offer effective and affordable virtual physical therapy through our Agile Virtual Physical Therapy platform. 

Contact our team today so we can help you find the most effective physical therapy services for your injury or condition

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