Wrist pain can be a frustrating and debilitating condition. We rely so much on our hands that any issue or discomfort affecting our wrists can significantly impede our daily functioning.
Whether wrist pain is hindering your productivity at work, affecting your routine at home, or limiting your ability to participate in the activities you enjoy, it’s crucial to address the problem. Leaving wrist pain untreated can further complicate your recovery and take a toll on your overall quality of life.
If you are ready to get back to living pain-free, Kansas City Orthopedic Alliance can help. As the Midwest’s premier provider of orthopedic care and the largest orthopedic practice in Kansas City, we treat thousands of patients each year across our 6 locations: Overland Park, Merriam, Leawood, Belton, Kansas City, and Blue Springs.
Using the latest technology, our physicians can evaluate, diagnose, and treat nearly any type of wrist pain. In this blog, our orthopedic experts will discuss some of the most common causes of wrist pain and the treatments that can help.
Causes of Wrist Pain
Before we can determine the wrist pain treatment in Kansas City that is right for you, it’s first necessary to diagnose your wrist condition. This will help us understand the root cause of your pain and select the best treatment for your needs.
You can schedule an appointment at any of our 6 locations for a full evaluation and diagnosis. During this visit, your provider will collect your medical history, evaluate your injury, and complete diagnostic testing if necessary. After we have all the necessary information, we can make an accurate diagnosis of your condition.
Some of the most common wrist conditions we see include:
Arthritis causes pain and inflammation in the joints, making it difficult to move. The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis (other types include psoriatic arthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis). Each type has a different cause and set of symptoms, but some of the most common symptoms of wrist arthritis include:
- Pain in the wrist that can worsen with movement
- Swelling and tenderness in the wrist
- Stiffness that makes it difficult to move the wrist freely
- Limited range of motion in the wrist
- Weakness in grip or strength
- A feeling of warmth in the wrist
Related: Arthritis Treatment in Kansas City
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
The carpal tunnel is a structure in your wrist that houses bones, ligaments, and nerves. Carpal tunnel syndrome is when the carpal tunnel becomes narrow and crowded, compressing an important nerve in your wrist and hand.
Carpal tunnel syndrome commonly affects individuals who do repetitive motions with their hands (such as typing, working on an assembly line, playing an instrument, etc.). However, trauma or injury to the wrist can also contribute to this condition.
Some of the most common symptoms of carpal tunnel include:
- Pain and numbness in the fingers and/or hands
- Weakness in grip and strength
- Tingling or “pins and needles” feeling in the fingers, the thumb, index and middle fingers in particular
- Difficulty with fine movements
- Radiating pain up the hand
- Swelling of the hand
- Cold or burning sensation in the fingers
If you think you have carpal tunnel, it’s important to seek wrist pain treatment in Kansas City. Leaving carpal tunnel untreated can lead to worsening symptoms.
Sprains can occur when you overextend a ligament, making it tear or stretch beyond its normal range. Wrist sprains can happen due to sports injuries, falling on an outstretched hand, car accidents, or other trauma to the wrist.
Some of the most common signs of wrist sprains include:
- Pain in the wrist
- Swelling around the wrist joint
- Bruising around the wrist
- Tenderness to the touch
- Stiffness (especially after rest or immobility)
- Limited range of motion of the wrist
- Weakness of the wrist or hand
Tendonitis is a condition where tendons become irritated and inflamed. It most commonly develops because of repetitive movements, but it can also be caused by an acute injury.
Tendonitis can occur nearly anywhere a tendon connects to a bone. The wrist is a common place for tendonitis to develop, often causing the following symptoms:
- Pain in the wrist
- Swelling and inflammation of the wrist
- Stiffness and difficulty moving the wrist freely
- Weakness of grip strength and overall function
- A feeling of warmth near the wrist
Related: Tendonitis Treatment in Kansas City
The wrist is a complex joint made up of multiple bones. If any of these bones are fractured (or broken), it can significantly impact the function of the hand.
Wrist fractures usually occur as a result of trauma or impact to the wrist, such as falling on an outstretched hand, a sports injury, or forceful twisting of the wrist. The most common signs of wrist fractures include:
- Swelling, bruising, or discoloration around the wrist
- Visible deformity of the wrist
- Difficulty moving the wrist
- Weakness in the hand
- A sensation of warmth
Ganglion cysts are fluid-filled bumps that commonly form on the back of the wrist, although they can be found on the front or sides as well. These round or oval bumps usually aren’t painful themselves, but they can put pressure on surrounding nerves, leading to pain and limiting the mobility of the hand.
Signs that ganglion cysts require wrist pain treatment in Kansas City include:
- Weakness or tingling in the hands or fingers
- Pain in the wrist
- Limited range of motion
- Discomfort with movement or activity
- Pressure on the surrounding joints
Treatments for Wrist Pain
After we have a diagnosis for your wrist pain, we can determine the right treatment for you. At KCOA, we offer a wide variety of treatment options for your needs. Surgery isn’t always necessary—we help most patients overcome wrist pain with non-surgical treatments.
Your wrist pain treatment in Kansas City may involve any combination of the following:
RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation)
Resting the injured wrist is essential for the healing process. Your provider will recommend avoiding certain activities that cause further strain to the affected area.
Along with intentional periods of rest, at-home treatments involving ice, compression, and elevation can play a pivotal role in managing the inflammation, swelling, and pain. These highly accessible treatments can be easily incorporated into your daily routine.
Over-the-counter or prescription nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can help reduce swelling and alleviate wrist pain. Your provider can prescribe or recommend the best medication for your injury. If you plan to start any over-the-counter medications for pain, be sure to talk to your doctor first.
Splints, Braces, and Casts
Your provider may have you wear a splint, brace, or cast to immobilize or restrict movement in the wrist. Splints and braces can give the wrist support and stability while allowing the injured tissues time to heal. Casts offer a higher level of immobilization and ensure the injured bones and tissue remain in proper alignment.
Physical Therapy or Occupational Therapy
Physical therapy and occupational therapy can both help increase flexibility, strength, and range of motion in the hand and wrist. In addition to physical exercises and manual therapy, physical therapists and occupational therapists can help you modify your activities to minimize pain and help prevent further injury to the wrist.
If you have an inflammatory condition of the wrist, corticosteroid injections directly into the joint can suppress inflammation, reduce swelling, and offer significant relief. Depending on your injury, your provider may recommend a series of injections. Everyone’s body reacts differently, but for some patients, steroid injections can offer relief for up to 6 months.
PRP (platelet-rich plasma) injections are an orthobiologic treatment that uses your body’s own resources to promote healing. It works by taking platelets from your own blood and injecting them directly into the treatment area to alleviate pain and promote cellular growth.
If we have exhausted all non-surgical treatment options and you are still experiencing wrist pain, it may be necessary to consider surgery. At KCOA, we routinely perform wrist surgeries, with some even being performed using a minimally invasive wrist arthroscopy technique. Wrist surgery procedures allow us to treat:
- Torn ligaments
- Joint dislocations and fractures
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Ganglion cysts
- Wrist/thumb/hand arthritis
If you decide to pursue surgical options, your KCOA surgeon will walk you through every step of the process. You’ll feel confident under the care of our experienced and knowledgeable providers.
Visit Kansas City Orthopedic Alliance for Wrist Pain Treatment in Kansas City
At Kansas City Orthopedic Alliance, we’re dedicated to creating a superior patient experience for all. Whether you need immediate treatment for an acute injury or are looking for a solution to manage chronic pain, our team will work with you to ensure the best possible outcomes.
We’ve helped thousands of patients treat their pain, restore their function, and improve their quality of life. Are you next?
For a thorough evaluation, call us at (913) 319-7600 or schedule an appointment today. If you’re struggling with shoulder pain but don’t know where to start, use our symptom tracker for treatment recommendations.