Tips and products to help alleviate wrist pain
According to the Mayo Clinic, anyone can experience wrist pain. It doesn’t matter if you are “very sedentary, very active or somewhere in between.” It can result from something sudden, such as a fall, or it can come about from repetitive stress.
Whatever the cause, even a little wrist pain can be debilitating. When that pain flares up, it can be enough to stop you from participating in an activity that you enjoy. To help you live a more robust life, there are a few tips and products to help. It is important to understand that wrist pain can be serious, and you must always consult with your doctor before trying any new type of relief.
Types of wrist pain
There are different types of wrist pain. Depending on how your wrist feels, it can be a clue that helps your doctor understand what might be happening. Here are some common reasons for wrist pain and descriptions of how that pain might feel.
Arthritis: Arthritis is an inflammation of one or more joints. It results from wear and tear, an infection or an underlying disease. The symptoms can be stiffness, intermittent pain and a reduced range of motion that worsens with age.
Carpal tunnel syndrome: Carpal tunnel syndrome is a pinched nerve in the wrist that produces pain in the hand and arm. It is accompanied by a numbness or tingling sensation.
Repetitive strain injury: Repetitive strain injury damages muscles, nerves, ligaments or tendons resulting from performing a repetitive action or overusing the hand and wrist. It can be identified by tenderness or pain in the wrist accompanied by pins and needles.
Sprained wrist: A sprained wrist is a stretch or tear in the tissue that connects bones and joints in the wrist. The symptoms are typically swelling, bruising, pain and tenderness.
Tendinitis: Tendinitis is an inflammation or irritation of the tissue that connects bones and joints in the wrist. You can identify it by wrist pain or tenderness and joint stiffness.
As you can see by the examples, wrist problems have overlapping symptoms. Stiffness can be arthritis or tendinitis; tingling can be carpal tunnel syndrome or a repetitive strain injury. This is why a doctor needs to evaluate persistent symptoms.
Tips to help reduce wrist pain
According to the Mayo Clinic, “Not all wrist pain requires medical care. Minor sprains and strains usually respond to ice, rest and over-the-counter pain medications.” If your wrist pain results from an activity rather than an infection or an underlying disease, there may be some things you can do to reduce or eliminate that pain.
- Reduce repetitive actions. If you engage in any repetitive actions, reducing or eliminating these actions may be the key to reducing or eliminating your pain.
- Make adjustments to your workspace. If your fingers are higher than your wrists while typing, you are adding unnecessary strain to your wrists.
- Use ergonomic accessories. Split keyboards and wrist pads were invented for a reason: they work. If you have chronic pain, consider adding an ergonomic keyboard or mouse to your setup.
- Take breaks. If you spend long hours using your hands for work, make sure you schedule regular breaks to give your wrists a rest.
- Try a wrist brace. If your doctor gives you the OK, a wrist brace can help with wrist pain. It supports the wrist and helps reduce irritation and inflammation.
- Exercise. Under a doctor’s care, exercise your wrists to strengthen them and increase your range of motion. However, if you have pain due to inflammation or overuse, skip this tip as it may exacerbate your condition.
- Soak your wrist. Warm water can reduce muscle stiffness. If inflammation is an issue, do not apply any heat, as this will increase the inflammation.
Products that may help reduce wrist pain
If strengthening your wrists is what you want, this wrist roller can help. It uses a coil spring to give your fingers, wrists and forearms a workout. You can choose from 15 to 400 pounds of exercise force. Sold by Amazon
Another option to strengthen the muscles in your hands, wrists and forearms is DMoose’s forearm exerciser. When used as directed, this device may reduce the chance of developing chronic wrist pain. It is a portable exercise machine that you can adapt to your specific needs. Sold by Amazon
When the majority of your workday is spent with your hand hovering over a mouse, you can develop chronic wrist pain. This ergonomic mouse has an adjustable hinge that lets you customize the trackball to fit your hand and reduce wrist strain. It is compatible with Mac and Windows computers. Sold by Amazon and Staples
This split, domed keyboard helps keep your forearms and wrists in a natural, relaxed position while working. The cushioned palm rest offers the support needed to maintain a neutral wrist position. Even the keys are sculpted to promote effortless keystrokes, making this an excellent option for individuals who spend long hours on a keyboard. Sold by Amazon and Staples
Mueller’s wrist brace can help reduce pain and swelling associated with carpal tunnel syndrome. It has two straps to adjust the fit, and the light, latex-free materials allow you to wear this brace all day long. Sold by Amazon
If cryotherapy and compression are what your doctor recommends, this Polar ice wrap can help. The fleece wrap contains encapsulated ice packs that you can secure over the affected area with a hook-and-loop closure. Sold by Amazon
Erase the Pain is a roll-on that provides instant topical relief from minor aches and pains. The 3-ounce container is TSA-approved, and this evaporating roll-on does not stain clothing. It contains anti-inflammatory extracts, such as Boswellia and arnica along with aloe vera, MSM and vitamin E to provide cooling relief on contact. Sold by Amazon
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