7 Most Common Wrist Conditions…


Carpal Tunnel Syndrome      

There is a tunnel called the carpal tunnel in our wrist, containing nerves that supply our hands’ sensations and hand muscles. Due to certain causes, this nerve (Median) gets compressed in this tunnel which results in loss of sensation and weakness in hand movements. Among many of the causes of these conditions, most common are Pregnancy, over-use, heredity, and trauma.

Pain, tingling, numbness in the hand along with weakness in certain grips are commonly seen in carpal tunnel syndrome. There could be difficulty in performing fine movements with hands like buttoning clothes, holding small objects with fingers, typing, cutting/styling hair, scanning for cashiers.

Ganglion Cysts 

A ganglion cyst is a benign swelling that is often seen on the joints or tendons in hands and feet. The most common site of the cysts is the dorsum of the hand/wrist. The size of the cyst differs with every person, it can totally disappear with time.

It could appear without any cause and women are 3 times more prone to get it than men. Ganglion cysts are usually present with mild symptoms like, dull aching pain, change in size, sensory nerve dysfunction and spontaneous drainage.


Gout is a form of acute inflammatory arthritis, which presents with frequent painful attacks. People older than 40 and especially male population is more pronounced to get the Gout. Individuals with Diabetes, Hypertension, Chronic kidney disease, heart disease is more prevalent for this condition. It presents with a red, inflamed, swollen joint. Night pain is usually common which lasts around 10 days in the acute phase.

Wrist & Hand Fractures

Hand & wrist fractures are very common and are results of various injuries. Either there is break or crack in one or more bones of wrist and hand joints, a common mechanism of this fracture is people save themselves from falling by outstretching their hands.

Another is falling with a bent wrist. Common fractures seen in these joints are: Distal radius (Colles/Smith), Scaphoid (One of the 8 bones in hand), Metacarpal or Phalangeal (Bones in fingers).

Person presents with common signs and symptoms of fracture like, swelling, Bruising, redness, tender to touch, warm by touch. Depending on the type of fracture, the wrist might be in an unnatural position.


OA is a disorder, which involves the whole joint, but major effects on articular cartilage. Changes like, narrow joint space, bony spurs, cartilage thinning, Bone cysts are common to see arthritic joints. Hand and wrist are one of the common joints to get chronic OA. Middle-aged women are at greater risk than men for getting OA in wrist and hand. Study shows that your dominant hand has more probability of getting this condition.

Wrist and Hand OA involves clinical characteristics like pain, loss of movement in joints, stiffness, reduced grip strength, which eventually results in impaired functional activity level.

Sprain & Strains

A wrist sprain means partial or full tear in ligaments of wrist joint, ligaments which connect carpal bones with each other and ligaments which connect carpal bones with radius and ulna (forearm bones). On the other hand, A wrist strain is a condition where muscles and tendons at the wrist joints are injured. Either via trauma or by overuse of stress.

The most common mechanism in wrist sprain/strain is falling on an outstretched hand. Person can show symptoms like, painful motions in wrist and hand, swelling, tenderness and redness.


Wrist and hand joints have numerous muscles and tendons which are popular to get these Tendonitis: For e.g., De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis, Trigger finger, Dupuytren’s contracture and many more. Common causes of these conditions could be Overuse due to sports, profession, or leisure activities.

Person can get pain while using or doing that particular motion which involves inflamed muscle or tendon and in result those activities become difficult to perform due to pain level and soreness.

If you are struggling to manage pain from any of the above diagnosis, our Physiotherapists can help. Please book a free consultation and we can discuss your options.

    Written by:

    Anjali Patel. Registered Physiotherapist Resident. Orthopaedic Physiotherapist. Concussion Management


    Orthopaedic Division Canadian Physiotherapy Association. Theory Manual




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