OSPI offers the top orthopedic surgeons in Gilbert AZ and the East Valley. Drs. Mahoney, Macqueen, Stewart and Clouse offer minimally invasive General, Sports and Hand Surgery expertise.

Physical Therapy

Whether you are pre or post-operative, OSPI’s East Valley physical therapy team works with you on both active and passive treatments. Your will be in the best hands with our licensed physical therapists!


The Gilbert chiropractors at OSPI offer a plethora of nonoperative pain relief options such as manipulations, laser therapy, physiotherapy and electrical stimulation.


Crossfit Broken Bones powered by OSPI Orthopedics is an innovative performance center that is dedicated to helping individuals achieve their health and fitness goals.

Medical Weight Loss

Patients routinely experience dramatic, healthy weight loss with the customized programs at OSPI. The programs combine nutrition, exercise and prescription weight loss options.

Performance Training

OSPI’s integrated team of healthcare providers work with both amateur and professional athletes to maximize one’s performance with sport specific programs.

Pain Management

OSPI’s Board Certified, Fellowship Trained pain doctor offers both medication management and interventional procedures with exceptional outcomes!

Wrist Pain

FAQs on Wrist Pain


Wrist pain is the most reported occupational illness in the United States associated with repetitive strain injury. Hand and wrist pain lead to about 200,000 non-fatal occupational injuries every year, claims the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Traced to a variety of medical reasons, it saps vitality of your hand leading to weakness and restricted activities.


What is wrist pain?

Pain, discomfort, or any condition leading to soreness in the wrist preventing its unrestricted use is categorized as wrist pain. A dolorous wrist prevents you from using your hand and even the pain worsens with stress on the wrist.

The source of wrist pain is traced to repeated strain caused by “too strong a functional demand.” Wrist injury, including forcibly bending or blow, tendonitis, arthritis, injured wrist bones, or the carpal tunnel syndrome may lead to wrist pain.

What are the symptoms of wrist pain?

  • Dull, achy, intermittent, severe, or constant pain in the wrist
  • Pain worsens when trying to flex or unbend the wrist
  • Swelling and tenderness around the wrist
  • Presence of discoloration and warmth in the wrist area
  • Bruising, numbness, or tingling in the wrist
  • Worsening pain even while resting
  • Restricted ability to grip or carry things

What are the structures involved in wrist pain?

The complicated anatomy of the wrist is one of the factors in causing painful conditions. The wrist structure comprises of eight complex carpal bones squeezed into the carpal tunnel, five metacarpal bones, two retinaculums, a snuff box, and a series of joints, including radiocarpal joint or the wrist joint, where the radius meets the carpus. Ligaments and tendons provide support to these joints and the bones while nerves interconnect them.

All these structures are packed into a small space making it prone to injury. An injury to any of these structures due to stress or degeneration or medical condition results in wrist pain.

What are the causes of wrist pain?

  • Activities: Forceful and repetitive tasks causing stress and overburden on the wrist.
  • Wrist injury: Sudden blow, fractures, sprains, ligament tears, thumb bone fracture, inflammation of joint tissues
  • Arthritis of the wrist: Degenerative osteoarthritis in cartilage, rheumatoid arthritis
  • Other medical conditions: Carpal tunnel syndrome, ganglion cysts impacting soft tissues on the palm side, Kienbock’s disease or crumbling of wrist bones due to lack of blood supply, Preiser’s disease or scaphoid necrosis, thoracic outlet compression syndrome
  • Neurologic disorders: Compression or injuries impacting the median nerve, radial nerve, and distal posterior interosseous nerve
  • Systemic factors: Amyloidosis in the wrist, Guyon’s canal syndrome, metabolic disorders, such as gout, diabetes, and hypocalcemia, osteomyelitis or bone inflammation, peripheral neuropathy, ulnar nerve entrapment
  • Wrist tendonitis

Who are at the risk of wrist pain?

Wrist pain is more likely to impact those engaged in weight lifting, typing, drawing, writing, or sewing. Obesity also put people at the risk due to potential gouty arthritis affecting the wrist.

When to see a doctor?

Minor wrist sprains heal with self-care. You should visit a doctor if the pain continues over a few days and worsens leading to trouble in gripping. Swelling in the wrist or fingers, worsening sudden pain, and wrist stiffness are other indications for immediate wrist pain treatment.

How is wrist pain diagnosed?

Your doctor examines the wrist for physical symptoms. The wrist is bent to test numbness or tapped to verify pain on the median nerve. Grip test is another way to check the wrist pain. An x-ray of the test may be recommended to check fractures in the wrist bones and joints. There may be electromyography for nerve conduction and fluid test for crystals or calcium in the wrist.


What are the treatment methods available for wrist pain?

  • Medication: Wrist pain and swelling can be reduced by taking anti-inflammatory medicines and steroid painkillers. Muscle relaxant gels applied to the pain area also helps.
  • Self-care: Regular ice therapy or use of heating pad is beneficial. Rest is the foremost condition to allow pain to subside. Avoid activities that worsen pain.
  • Braces and Splints: These orthopedic devices rescue the wrist from further stress and strain while allowing it to heal.
  • Physical Therapy: Exercises help in post-injury rehabilitation and wrist strength restoration and overcoming of functional limitations.
  • Epidural Steroid Injection: Corticosteroid and local anesthetic injections are used for semi-permanent pain relief.
  • Prolotherapy: The regenerative therapy administered through platelet rich plasma or stem cells injections help restoration of damaged tendons, cartilage, and ligaments.
  • Surgery: Surgical treatment is resorted to when the wrist pain is caused by broken bones, carpal tunnel syndrome, or complete ligament rupture.


Forman TA, et al. A Clinical Approach to Diagnosing Wrist Pain. Am Fam Physician. 2005 Nov 1;72(9):1753-1758.

Cooney, W.P., Dobyns, J.H., Linschield, R.L. Arthroscopy of the wrist: anatomy and classification of carpal instability. J Arthrosc Rel Surg. 1990;6:133–140.

Mazet, R. Jr, Hohl, M. Conservative treatment of old fractures of the carpal scaphoid. J Trauma. 1961;1:115–127.

Almquist EE. Painful conditions of the forearm, wrist, and hand. In: Loeser JD, Bonica JD. Bonica’s Management of pain. 3d ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2001.

Cooney WP 3rd. Scaphoid fractures: current treatments and techniques. Instr Course Lect. 2003;52:197–208.

Zlatkin MB, et al. Chronic wrist pain: evaluation with high-resolution MR imaging. Radiology. 1989;173:723–9.

Rettig AC. Athletic injuries of the wrist and hand. Part I: traumatic injuries of the wrist. Am J Sports Med. 2003;31:1038–48.

Cassidy C, Ruby LK. Carpal instability. Instr Course Lect. 2003;52:209–20.

Shoulder Arthroscopy and Debridement with Top Arizona Orthopedic MDs

Shoulder arthroscopic debridement is a procedure used to relieve pain and restore function to the shoulder joint. This surgery is best for patients who have rotator cuff tears that cannot be fully repaired. The procedure… Read more >

Current Concepts in Anterior Cruciate Ligament Repair

Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) repair is a procedure used to rebuild the ligament in the center portion of the knee. The ACL keeps the tibia (shinbone) in place. When this ligament is torn or damaged,… Read more >

Female Triad: What Is It?

In recent years, there has been a steady rise in female participation in the world of sports. While this is taken as good news, but with the increase in participation, increased occurrence of a triad… Read more >