What is Wrist Tendonitis?

Wrist tendonitis is caused by the overuse of tendons in the wrist or repetitive motion.  The tendons become inflammed which causes a painful feeling in the area of the wrist.  Here is a more in-depth definition/explanation of wrist tendonitis:

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The forearm comprises of two long bones known as the radius and the ulna. These bones connect with several small bones known as the carpal bones forming the wrist (figure 1). Many muscles of the wrist and hand originate from the radius and ulnar and cross the wrist to insert into the bones of the wrist, hand and fingers via the wrist tendons. These muscles fall into two broad groups known as the wrist and finger flexors (which lie on the palm side of the forearm and wrist) and the wrist and finger extensors (which lie on the opposite side of the forearm and wrist) (figure 2). Generally, the wrist and finger flexors are responsible for bending the wrist and fingers (e.g. making a fist), whilst the wrist and finger extensors are responsible for straightening the wrist and fingers and bending them backwards. Collectively, the muscles are responsible for gripping activity, general movement and use of the wrist and fingers.  This information was taken directly from http://www.physioadvisor.com.au/14838650/wrist-tendonitis-physioadvisor.htm

Causes of Wrist Tendonitis:

A number of activities can cause tendonitis of the wrist.  Most all of them involve repetitive motion on the wrist.  Some common activities that cause this type of tendonitis are the ones that use the hands–carpentry, painting, sewing crocheting, working at a computer, gymnastics or activities that require gripping action such as in golf or racquet sports.

Wrist tendonitis can develop quite suddenly, especially if you fall on an outstretched hand or due to a heavy gripping force of the wrist.  If you have a history of shoulder, neck or back injury, you are also susceptible to wrist tendonitis.

Wrist Tendonitis Symptoms:

There are a number of symptoms you could experience if you have this type of tendonitis.  Some common symptoms are stiffness of the wrist, weakened grip in the wrist area when carrying groceries, working at a computer of even a simple procedure like opening a jar.  Pain is usually more intense in the morning and evening because the tendons are not warmed up.  Pain may also be more prominent when the wrist tendons are firmly touched, a mere handshake can send a sharp and painful sensation in the wrist area.



You could also experience a pins and needles sensation in the fingers which can lead to frequently dropping objects.  This usually happens because of a weak grip and lack of feeling in the wrist and fingers.

Treatment for Wrist Tendonitis:

First is to refrain from performing the activity that caused your wrist tendonitis issue in the first place.  Second is to use the “RICE” method:

  1. Rest the wrist
  2. Ice the affected area
  3. Compress the wrist, i.e.,use a wrist brace or splint
  4. Elevate the wrist

Do not go by the old “No pain, no gain” theory.  Performing the activity through chronic or increased pain could lead to a more serious injury or condition.

Massaging the wrist, as well as increasing the range of motion by flexibility and stretching exercises will also help play a part in recovery.  Once the pain has subsided substantially, then you can go back to a regular routine.