Carpal tunnel syndrome: A common cause of wrist pain is carpal tunnel syndrome. You may feel aching, burning, numbness, or tingling in your palm, wrist, thumb, or fingers. The thumb muscle can become weak, making it difficult to grasp things. Pain may extend up to your elbow.
Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve gets compressed at the wrist because of swelling. This is the nerve in the wrist that allows feeling and movement to parts of the hand. Swelling can occur if you:
- Do repetitive movements with your wrist, such as typing on a computer keyboard, using a computer mouse, playing racquetball or handball, sewing, painting, writing, or using a vibrating tool
- Are pregnant, menopausal, or overweight
- Have diabetes, premenstrual syndrome, an underactive thyroid, or rheumatoid arthritis
Injury: Wrist pain with bruising and swelling is often a sign of an injury. Signs of a possible broken bone include deformed joints and inability to move the wrist, hand, or a finger. Other common injuries include sprain, strain, tendinitis, and bursitis.
Arthritis: Arthritis is another common cause of wrist pain, swelling, and stiffness. There are many types of arthritis:
- Osteoarthritis occurs with age and overuse.
- Rheumatoid arthritis generally affects both wrists.
- Psoriatic arthritis accompanies psoriasis.
- Infectious arthritis is a medical emergency. Signs of an infection include redness and warmth of the wrist, fever above 100°F, and recent illness.
- Gout: This occurs when your body produces too much uric acid, a waste product. It forms crystals in the joints, rather than being excreted in the urine.
- Pseudogout: This occurs when calcium deposits in the joints, causing pain, redness, and swelling. The wrists and knees are most often affected.