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What Are the Common Causes of Wrist Pain?

September 17, 2020

Hand in wrist brace

When patients experience problems with their wrists, they can have difficulty picking up and holding items, driving, working, and cooking. These patients often have a diminished quality of life. Since there are several causes of wrist pain, patients should reach out to our office to schedule an appointment.

During your visit at Orthopaedic Specialists of Austin, serving Austin, TX, Cedar Park, TX, and surrounding areas, our doctors can assess your wrist to find the cause of your pain and to customize a treatment plan. We have an array of high-tech equipment to diagnose you. For patients with severe pain, we offer minimally invasive wrist surgery. Our medical team works diligently to minimize pain and discomfort to allow patients to be more productive.

Common Causes of Wrist Pain

Wrist pain can be caused by several injuries, diseases, and repetitive movements. Since there are various reasons for wrist pain, patients need to visit our medical practice as soon as they experience pain to pinpoint the root cause.


Rheumatoid arthritis can affect one or both wrists. With this condition, the immune system attacks the joints and surrounding tissue. Patients can experience pain, inflammation, and stiffness.

While osteoarthritis in the wrist is not very common, it can occur when the cartilage that surrounds the bones breaks down over time. Patients who have had a wrist injury in the past are more susceptible to this type of arthritis.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is the result of extra pressure on the median nerve. This is the nerve that passes from the front of the forearm through a tunnel in the wrist. Many patients visit our office with this condition since it can be caused by things like typing, arthritis, and some assembly line jobs.

Repetitive Stress Injury

When individuals participate in activities like tennis, golf, or playing instruments like the violin, repetitive actions might cause wrist pain. The tissues around the joints can become inflamed, leading to discomfort. In some cases, these repetitive activities might lead to painful stress fractures.


Car accidents and falling on the wrist are common reasons that bring patients into our practice for treatment. These types of trauma can lead to breaks, strains, and fractures that can be painful.


Ganglion cysts are soft tissue cysts that can form on the wrist. Patients can experience varying amounts of pain with this cyst regardless of whether they are actively using their wrist or not.

When Should I See a Doctor?

At Orthopaedic Specialists of Austin, we encourage patients to visit us when wrist pain is affecting their ability to handle routine tasks. Individuals with limited mobility of their wrist should schedule a consultation. It is also important for patients with pain that has not gotten better or worsened over time to see the doctor for an assessment.

What Types of Treatment are Available?

Our team of specialists offers a wide range of treatments for wrist pain, regardless of the cause. After we examine and diagnose you, our physicians work closely with you to develop a customized treatment program.

For some patients with minor to moderate arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome, we can prescribe anti-inflammatory medication to minimize swelling and pain. We also recommend braces to provide relief and stability.

When patients do not respond to therapeutic treatments, we can perform surgery in-house. Our surgeons perform carpal tunnel surgery to alleviate pain. We can also provide joint replacement surgery for joints that have deteriorated. When possible, we offer endoscopic procedures, which are less invasive so patients can heal faster and more effectively.

Schedule an Exam

If you are suffering from wrist pain, you should contact our office as soon as possible at (512) 476-2830. During an examination, we can determine the cause of your pain and offer the best possible solutions.