Wrist pain

Wrist pain is a common complaint. It's often caused by sprains or fractures from sudden injuries. But wrist pain can also result from long-term problems, such as repetitive stress, arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome.

Because so many factors can lead to wrist pain, diagnosing the exact cause can sometimes be difficult.  But an accurate diagnosis is essential for proper treatment.

Symptoms Causes Risk factors Prevention

Wrist pain may vary, depending on what's causing it. For example, osteoarthritis pain is often described as being similar to a dull toothache, while carpal tunnel syndrome usually causes a pins-and-needles feeling, especially at night. The precise location of your wrist pain also can give clues to what might be causing your symptoms.

When to see a doctor

Not all wrist pain requires medical care. Minor sprains and strains, for instance, usually respond to ice, rest and over-the-counter pain medications. But if pain and swelling last longer than a few days or become worse, see your doctor. Delays in diagnosis and treatment can lead to poor healing, reduced range of motion and long-term disability.

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