Experiencing Swollen Wrists? Here's What it Means

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Swollen wrists are often a result of traumatic injuries like sprains, bone fractures, or even bruising. You may also experience swelling due to overuse or arthritis, which results from inflammation of the joints.

Sometimes, wrist swelling can occur even without any underlying injury. Stress caused by repetitive activities like typing or knitting can also contribute to wrist pain and swelling. 

Fluid accumulation in your body's tissues is what causes swelling or edema in general. The small blood vessels inside the body start leaking fluid whenever a body part becomes injured, inflamed, or damaged. White blood cells appear to help repair the damage, starting to cause more fluid leakage and swelling. 


Causes of wrist pain and swelling

If you are experiencing wrist pain and swelling after a fall, an X-ray may reveal that you're suffering from a sprain, fracture, or partial ligament disruption. However, sometimes unexplained wrist pain and swelling occur. Such symptoms could come and go, worsening throughout the day, or seemingly never go away. It might be difficult to determine the causes of chronic wrist pain. You must visit your physician, who will thoroughly examine the problem. Here are a few causes of wrist pain and swelling:

  1. Osteoarthritis: When cartilage, the connective tissue that covers the bone's ends, begins to break down, this kind of arthritis develops. Osteoarthritis occurs when one bone rubs against another, causing pain, swelling, and stiffness.

  2. Rheumatoid arthritis: This is another autoimmune condition that frequently begins in the joints of the hands and wrists. It typically affects both hands and perhaps even both wrists. Rheumatoid arthritis in the wrist can cause swelling, joint pain, and stiffness.

  3. Psoriatic arthritis: It may develop in individuals suffering from psoriasis. Wrist pain and swelling are all symptoms of psoriatic arthritis. It can cause stiffness as well as a reduction in range of motion.

  4. Carpal Tunnel syndrome: This is one of the most common wrist problems and causes pain, tingling, numbness, and weakness in the wrists and hands. It is an interval pressure phenomenon caused by swelling that results from repetitive movements or excess weight that squeezes the median nerve inside its canal. 

  5. Tendinitis: Several tendons cross your wrist to enable movement in your wrist and fingers. These tendons can swell if they are irritated, causing discomfort with movement or a severe, sudden rupture.

  6. Contusion of the wrist: Wrist contusions can cause wrist pain and swelling, as well as bruising around the wrist. Wrist bruises are common and are often caused by minor injuries. A bruise is caused by damage to the blood vessels, which return the blood to the heart, resulting in blood pooling. This explains why most bruises are blue or purple. So, if you notice bruising, swelling, or pain in your wrists, you should see a doctor for treatment to avoid further discomfort.


Let’s look at a few treatment options for wrist pain relief:

  1. To reduce wrist pain and swelling, you may opt for non-prescription pain relief medicines available over the counter. 

  2. Stronger painkillers can be prescribed to you by your doctor.

  3. You may also opt for over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for your wrist pain relief.

  4. Physical therapy will help you get relief from your wrist pain and swelling, as well as tendon problems.

  5. You may even make use of a splint or brace to help protect your injured ligament or tendon. Wrist braces like the Hansaplast Sport Wrist Brace will help provide strength, support, and protection to the injured wrist. This will also help you relieve wrist pain and swelling. 

  6. You can also try cold compression for wrist pain relief.

  7. For certain cases like bone fractures, carpal tunnel syndrome, and tendon or ligament repair, surgery may become necessary.

Rest is vital for healing injured wrists, so refrain from carrying out stressful activities until the swelling declines. If the swelling is persistent, visit your healthcare provider as soon as possible to get to the root of the problem, and begin wrist pain relief treatment.


Please note that the above recommendations are general care tips. Consult a healthcare professional in case of any uncertainty around wound treatment and healing.

Always see your doctor if a wound is deep, bleeding profusely or showing signs of infection. For diabetic patients especially, proper wound care holds the utmost importance. Do not hesitate to discuss any concerns you may have with your doctor or your podiatrist, even when it comes to minor wounds and cuts – especially if they’re on your feet.
The information provided through this website should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Although compiled with great care, it is not a substitute for professional advice. If you have or suspect a health problem, consult your doctor immediately. 

For further information regarding Hansaplast products, please contact us via email at customer.care@bdfindia.com