- Sports Injuries
- Wrist Pain & Hand Injuries
- RSI - Repetitive Strain Injury
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Trigger Finger
- Colles Fracture of the Wrist
- Mallet Finger
- Scaphoid Fracture
- Trigger Thumb
- Boutonniere Deformity
- Broken Finger
- Broken Wrist
- Sprained Wrist
- Wrist Tendonitis
- Sprained Finger
- Sprained Thumb
- Ganglion cyst
- See More Wrist Pain & Hand Injuries
- Wrist Pain & Hand Injuries
- Rehabilitation & Exercises
- Treatments & Therapies
- Clinics Directory
- Symptom Checker
- Sports Specific
- Expert Interviews
- About us
If you are not sure what your wrist or hand injury is try our Wrist Pain Symptom Checker. Simply tick the symptoms that apply to you and view the possible wrist injuries.
Or use the menu on the left to view all wrist and hand injuries. Below we outline the more common causes of sudden onset wrist pain, gradual onset wrist pain, hand, thumb and finger pain. Wrist and hand injuries are usually either sudden onset caused by a traumatic fall or twisting, or they are gradual onset overuse injuries or repetitive strain injuries.
Sudden onset wrist pain
Wrist pain that comes on suddenly is usually caused by falling onto an outstretched arm. Wrist injuries of this type can range from a mild wrist sprain or wrist strain to a severe broken wrist.
A broken wrist is a general term that can describe a number of specific wrist fractures. A Scaphoid fracture, a Colles fracture and a fracture to the Hook of the Hamate bone are the most common wrist fractures and symptoms will include sudden pain and swelling. Immediate first aid should be undertaken and if a fracture is suspected seek medical attention immediately.
A sprained wrist is a tear of any of the ligaments in the wrist which attach bone to bone. The usual cause is a fall onto an outstretched arm. Symptoms will include pain in the wrist at the time of injury and swelling which is likely to come on very quickly.
Many people use the term wrist strain to describe any pain in the wrist area that is not a fracture. A strained wrist is an injury to a tendon in the wrist which can be sudden onset or gradual.
Gradual onset wrist pain
Wrist pain that comes on gradually is often referred to as repetitive strain injury or RSI. It usually involves inflammation or degeneration of the tendons in the wrist. The more common causes are described below:
Carpal tunnel syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is one of the most common causes of wrist pain. Symptoms include a dull ache in the wrist and forearm with pain which may radiate into the hand and fingers. The pain is often worse at night.
Wrist tendonitis is inflammation or sometimes degeneration of the tendons in the wrist which attach muscle to bone. They become inflamed and painful through over use.
The most common cause of thumb pain in sport is a thumb sprain. Often the thumb is bent backwards in rugby or similar contact sports causing damage to the ligaments at the base of the thumb resulting in thumb joint pain. Another common cause of thumb pain is Trigger thumb.
Trigger thumb is a hand injury which occurs when the thumb gets stuck in a bent position due to an inflamed tendon thickening.
Trigger finger occurs when the tendons in the finger become inflamed and thickened. This prevents them from moving properly so they contract, sometimes suddenly causing the finger to snap in a bent position. Mallet finger occurs when the patient is unable to straighten the tip of the finger without assistance. Pain is felt on the back of the finger where injury to a finger tendon has occurred.
A sprained finger is one of the more common hand injuries in contact sports and results in damage to any of the ligaments in the finger which attach bone to bone. Sprained fingers are often not serious and respond well to a finger taping technique which protects and aids healing.
Wrist & hand rehabilitation
We have a range of specific information to aid in the rehabilitation of wrist and hand injuries.
Strapping & taping
Professional therapists will use wrist strapping and taping techniques to help in the rehab of wrist and hand injuries. We have video demonstrations of finger taping and wrist taping techniques.