The treatment of a sore wrist can be tricky, especially since there can be several different causes of this common problem, and not all treatments might work exactly the same or as well as one another. Persistent wrist pain, as with any other continuing ailment, may warrant a trip to the doctor for a better diagnosis and for a more specific cure. Once healed, it may also be necessary to take proper precautions to prevent more wrist pain in the future.
There are practically as many causes of wrist pain as there are ways to use your hand, and the level of pain can range from slight discomfort to severe pain, and even to loss of movement of the wrists and hands. Further complicating matters, there may be other preexisting conditions such as arthritis or previous broken bones. The first step to treating a sore wrist must be to accurately determine the cause of the pain.
Severe wrist trauma, for example, may have led to a sprain, fracture or ligament tear, which will typically result in swelling, bruising, disfigurement and limited movement. For these types of wrist injuries, it is essential to visit a hospital or even an emergency room in order to begin proper treatment, since left alone they have the potential of becoming much worse. Basic types of treatment will be pain medication, ice or splints, but a wrist that is sore due to a break or a ligament tear will more typically need a cast, or even surgery, when the wrist is not healing on its own.
Other types of sore wrist problems are more elusive and ongoing. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a highly reported cause of wrist pain due to a nerve that has been compressed from a variety of activities. It has several symptoms, including numbness, weakness, and sharp pains, all emanating from the wrist to the hand and arm. Since this ailment usually has been caused by repetitive actions of the wrists, its treatment requires giving the wrists a break from these types of activities, or at least making changes in the way they are done. A splint can help also, as it will limit actions that aggravate the pain, and a doctor may recommend pain medication or, in some cases, cortisone shots into the affected area.
Arthritis is another common ailment that can worsen the pain and numbness from a sore wrist through the breakdown of wrist cartilage. Along with anti-inflammatory drugs and surgery, a doctor will typically prescribe a regiment of wrist rehabilitation for wrists that are sore due to arthritis or from any of the other causes. There are many exercises that are designed to gently stretch and strengthen ligaments and cartilage of the wrists while they lessen the pain. Other notable types of physical therapy for the wrists may include massages and medicated soaks to restore partial, if not full, function of the wrists and hands.