Hand Pain and Wrist Pain Causes and How to Get Relief

Dr. Jen Palmer, ND

Medically reviewed by Dr. Jen Palmer, ND -  Naturopathic Doctor

In today’s increasingly digital world, more and more people are working on laptops, computers, and phones for extended periods of time than ever before. This increased use of personal electronics can be detrimental to your wellness, especially your hands and wrists. Typing on keyboards and navigating a computer with a mouse for extended periods of time can lead to hand and wrist pain due to some of the unnatural positions required.

Unfortunately, the use of computer keyboards and mice is not the only way to cause hand and wrist pain. Continue reading to learn more about the causes of hand joint pain and wrist pain and how to relieve them:

Main Causes of Hand Joint Pain and Wrist Pain

Struggling with hand pain, wrist pain, or both? You’re not alone. In the United States, hand and wrist pain is a leading cause of work disability, with arthritis alone affecting more than 54 million people. Here are the main causes of hand and wrist pain:

  • Repetitive Strain Injuries: Also called Repetitive Stress Injuries, this type of injury frequently occurs among avid computer users. They are caused by repetitive motions such as typing and moving the mouse. These repetitive motions can lead to deterioration of tendons and ligaments, causing pain and stiffness. Over time, these injuries can contribute to the more serious conditions that follow if unaddressed.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Three times more likely to occur in women than men, Carpal tunnel syndrome, or median nerve compression, results from many different causes ranging from repetitive motions to pregnancy. Carpal tunnel can cause weakness, tingling, or numbness in your hand, as well as shock-like sensations that move into your fingers.
  • Tendonitis: Tendonitis is the irritation and swelling of a tendon or tendon lining and occurs due to an injury or overuse. The two main forms of hand and wrist tendonitis are:
    • De Quervain's tendinosis: This type of tendonitis causes pain on the thumb side of the wrist that can travel the length of the thumb and up the forearm. De Quervain’s tendinosis can make it difficult to make a fist or grasp on to things.
    • Trigger finger: This type of tendonitis causes a finger or thumb to lock in a bent position due to inflamed and irritated flexor tendons in the hand.
  • Arthritis: This condition is a leading source of hand pain and is a result of deteriorating cartilage within your hands’ joints. Painful swelling and stiffness occur as the cartilage deteriorates.
  • Fractures: Generally unrelated to the above, fractures mostly occur due to physical trauma like a fall. Fractures can sometimes go unnoticed or mistaken for regular aches and pains because they can be minor.

How to Relieve Hand Joint Pain and Wrist Pain

There are many ways to relieve pain in your hands and wrists. Based on your condition, simple stretches or balms may help relieve pain while more serious cases may require medication or, most likely, a combination of all three. Let’s discuss some of the best ways to relieve pain in your wrists and hands:

  • Rest: Relaxing and avoiding tasks that cause your pain to flare up is one of the best ways to relieve pain associated with conditions like arthritis and tendonitis. But we know that isn't always possible...
  • Alternate heat and ice: Heat helps to relax stiffness in hands and wrists while ice helps relieve pain. A hot gel pad or hot shower can effectively relieve stiffness, while a flexible frozen gel pad is best for pain relief.
  • Keep moving: Continuous movement of your hands and wrists helps stimulate blood flow and decrease stiffness. Exercises and stretches for hands and wrists also help to build flexibility and strength.
  • Take pain relievers: If you have pain that gets in the way of doing the things you want, over-the-counter pain relievers like Advil or Motrin can help temporarily relieve pain. However, long-term use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like ibuprofen, is linked to things like ulcers and liver damage.
  • Try CBDMEDIC™ CBDMEDIC™ products that combine the pain-fighting power of over-the-counter ingredients like menthol and camphor with the all-natural skin conditioning benefits of CBD. Topical pain relief ointment like our Arthritis Aches and Pain relief ointment was specifically formulated for effective absorption, offering penetrating short-term arthritis pain relief from minor arthritic symptoms, including joint pain and stiffness.

Joint and wrist pain can put a huge damper on your ability to enjoy life to its fullest and get work done. However, with the right techniques, you can minimize that pain and get back to doing the things you love. For more information on CBDMEDIC™ products, please read our blog post on back pain relief with CBDMEDIC™, take a look at our selection of OTC topicals for pain relief, or contact us directly.