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Wrist pain - what could be causing it and what could it be?

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I am going to tell the whole story because I want to figure out what could be causing it and if it's anything serious so sorry for a long post. I will give the exact description of the pain, where it originates, where it spreads and what mainly "triggers" it at the bottom of my post so you don't have to read the whole story, but I'd greatly appreciate if you did.

I've had wrist pains for a couple of months now. The pain was completely unnoticeable when it 1st started and I only felt it when putting pressure on my arm while bending it in any direction. After about 2 months the pain was almost completely gone, I should also probably mention that I was doing pushups every other day and the pain made it impossible to continue, and since it did put a lot of pressure on my wrist I considered it as a possible cause and stopped completely in hope that the pain would go away in a week or two, though as I said earlier it didn't.
About a month later it started again and seem to be getting worse than it was before. Now the pain is present even if my arm stays completely still and is extreme when I bend it. Movement also seem to be greatly restricted, I lost about 60% of mobility in my wrist. So at 1st after doing a quick research I thought that it could have been Carpal Tunnel Syndrome but after looking at images that highlight the area of effect I am now in a bit of a doubt. The images that I've seen highlight the underside of the palm, while my pain originates slightly higher of top, middle part of my right hand wrist joint.

Could you please help me identify what could be causing it or what it is? I am actually starting to worry that it could be something serious as I am right handed.

Here are some sympotms which I'm having (I want to mention every detail):
-The pain originates slightly higher from the top of my right hand wrist joint and seem to start spreading up to my thumb, index finger and middle finger, once again on the top of my right palm, as well as sometimes appearing to go half way up to my elbow but this time on the bottom side(as if you flipped your hand nuckles down) starting from the wrist joint.
-My arm is constantly aching with dull pain when idle and sharp stabbing, unbearable pain in the wrist joint when I bend it. I can also feel slight bearable pain in my thumb, index and middle fingers when I move them and holding small objects such as a pen or a fork for longer than few minutes becomes irritating, uncomfortable and painful.
-There is no visible swelling anywhere on my hand.
-I can easily form a fist with my right hand, thought it does feel slightly weaker than normal and brings a bit of pain on the top of my right palm.
-Reduced mobility in my right wrist. I can no longer bend it more than about 30 degrees up and down, which normally would be about 90 degrees up and 80 degrees down, judging from my left hand as I never really paid attention to that... I can't tell exactly if it's just the pain barrier, a physical barrier or both I just can't bend it past that degree.

The post turned out to be pretty large, but I wanted to include as much detail as I could.
Thanks for your help in advance!
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First Helper User Profile Gaelic
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replied July 8th, 2012
It sounds like you have aggravated the muscles in your lower arm with the pushups. You can massage those muscles yourself, you can apply cold packs to your lower arms (or heat but monitor whether the heat makes it feel slightly worse.) If you can, go to a well-trained massage therapist who will help you relax those muscles and any others that are involved.
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replied November 1st, 2012
Why don't you consult an orthopedic doctor? Their treatment work much quicker than any other therapy. I too had carpal tunnel 2 months back but now it is healing, thanks to Lewis Orthopaedics.
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replied July 8th, 2012
Hi, just to give a slightly better idea I found a picture that highlights the area where the pain occurs.
(http://www.dieselcrew.com/wp-content/uplo ads/2012/02/wrist-pain.jpg)
I'm not sure if pushups could be the reason for the pain to come back as I weren't really doing them after that anymore.
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replied July 9th, 2012
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Dmitriy007,

Unfortunately, the wrist is a very complex region of the body, with many structures that can be injured and cause problems.


Carpal tunnel syndrome is the compression of the median nerve within the carpal tunnel. The carpal tunnel is located at the base of the palm. Its hallmark of symptoms is numbness and tingling in the radial digits of the hand (thumb, index finger, middle finger, and the radial half of the ring finger). The pain associated with CTS is usually described as a dull, deep aching pain in the hand. The pain can become sharp and even radiate up the forearm (or higher). But, again, it is the numbness and tingling that is the hallmark of CTS. And, usually, patients will say that shaking out the hand or moving it will make the pain from CTS better, not worse.


You could be having a couple of problems.

You state, “…I can also feel slight bearable pain in my thumb, index and middle fingers when I move them and holding small objects such as a pen or a fork for longer than few minutes becomes irritating, uncomfortable and painful…”. This could be focal dystonia, or writer’s cramp. When patients complain of pain in the hand from the use of small utensils or pen/pencils, the first thing we do is change the way they grasp the object. Most patients with this problem try to strangle their pen. If you fingers blanch when you write, you are squeezing the pen too tightly, relax a little. Also, try to use your whole are when writing, not just the fingers. Back in the old days, when script writing was taught in school, the pupils were taught to use the whole upper extremity to write. Try sitting at the desk, with your forearm supported. Start making circles and O’s without moving your fingers, just your shoulder. Get used to not using your fingers so much when your write. Also relax your grip.

Another thing with this type of problem, is the size of the pen. Remember the big pencils and crayons you used in kindergarten? You should still use a large caliber barrel on your writing instrument. Most of the expensive writing pens (like MontBlanc) are of a large caliber. Small, thin pens place a lot of pressure/stress on the hand muscles. If you have a particular pen that you like, but it is small, you can purchase foam or rubber tubes to put around the small pens. You can get them at any office supply store. You might give these a try.


But, as to the pain in the middle of your wrist, there are just too many causes to list. Without a thorough hand examination, it is just not possible to tell you what is wrong.

Tendonitis is very common around the wrist. Since both the flexor and extensor tendons have to course through tight tunnels, they are a set up of inflammatory problems. It is not uncommon for the extensor tendons (the ones on the back of the hand/wrist), to be pinched at the edge of the extensor retinaculum when the wrists are hyperextended under pressure (like when doing pushups). Then, just repetitive motion keeps the inflammation going, despite the fact that the patient has stopped the pushups.

The multitude of small intrinsic ligaments which hold all of the carpal bones in the wrist together can be injured. There is a small cartilage disc in the wrist, the TFCC (triangular fibrocartilage complex), that acts a lot like the meniscus cartilage in the knee. But, it usually causes pain on the ulnar side of the wrist.

The DRUJ (distal radial ulnar joint) is another area that is commonly injured with hyperextension actions. Injuries to the carpal bones are common in young males. Fractures of the scaphoid can occur with seemingly minor trauma and dismissed as a “sprained wrist” for a long time (till x-rays are finally taken). Impaction syndromes involving the lunate carpal bone are also common in young males and others who are physically active. Avascular necrosis (AVN) of the lunate may even occur (called Kienbock’s disease).



Again, there are just so many structures in the wrist that can cause problems. The best way to determine what is actually going on, is to have your wrist/hand examined by a hand surgeon. Because the wrist and hand are so complex, most physicians are just not adequately trained in its examination and treatment. So, while you may have to start with your primary care physician, it is best to see a hand surgeon for a definitive answer.


Good luck. Hope you find out what is wrong with your wrist.
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replied July 9th, 2012
Thanks!
That was very informative. I will see a doctor about this soon but don't mind if I just ask one more question as I don't use a pen much, could excessive use of computer, keyboard and mouse to be specific, be the cause of this? The only thing is that I've used it my whole life for working and gaming but never had anything like this.
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replied July 9th, 2012
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Dmitriy007,

There is nothing evil about the computer and the mouse. It is not an infectious organism that causes problems. But, when people do not use proper biomechanics, then problems can develop. This is true with any machine or tool that one uses constantly.

So, you have to make sure that your forearms are well supported; that the monitor is at the proper height, so you do not strain your neck and back; that your wrists are in a neutral position (neither flexed nor extended); that you do not use the mouse so extensively, without a break, that you set yourself up for developing problems.

When secretaries used to use typewriters, they got a lot more exercise and breaks. They used to have to bend over and stretch to get paper for the machine, reach up and put it in, push the carriage back at the end of each sentence, and stop to correct mistakes when they occurred. When a document was finished, they took the paper, got up, went to the filing cabinet or mail room, and sent the document on its way. So, the workers were always moving, bending, reaching, stretching, walking around, etc.

Now, persons sit at the computer, looking at the screen, moving the fingers alone, rarely getting up or stretching. At the end of a document, they hit the enter button and send it electronically on its way.

It is no wonder that people get stiff, sore, and have problems from using the computer. But, you can't really blame the machine. It's our own fault.


So, it is always possible that you have developed problems with using the mouse and computer for extended periods of time. Tendonitis is very common in the wrists.


But, if the usual treatments have not done much for your problem, then you probably need to have a good, thorough evaluation by a hand surgeon. And since the hand/wrist is so complex, you need to see someone well versed in ailments of the upper extremities.

Good luck.
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replied July 10th, 2012
Thank you
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replied November 29th, 2012
Wrist pain is caused by sudden event or an acute injury, which over time may cause undue strain on the wrist. What can result is commonly referred to as Repetitive Strain Injuries, which include Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, and DeQuervain’s Disease.


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Orthopedic surgeon at Lewis Orthopaedics
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