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wrist pain

Wrist Pain: Causes and Prevention

Wrist pain is an exceedingly common problem among people who regularly use their hands and wrists for sports, exercise, hobbies, and daily activities. Repetitive motions and sustained awkward positions place enormous stress on the sensitive tendons, nerves, and small bones in the wrist area leading to acute and chronic pain. By understanding what activities commonly cause issues and learning some preventative best practices, you can help keep your wrists healthy.

wrist pain

Common Activities That Can Lead to Wrist Pain

Wrist pain is a common complaint that can significantly impact daily activities and overall quality of life. Engaging in certain activities can increase the risk of developing wrist pain or exacerbate existing discomfort. Understanding these common activities can help individuals take preventive measures and seek appropriate care when needed. In this article, we will explore some of the activities that commonly contribute to wrist pain and discuss strategies for managing and preventing this condition.

Gaming/Computer Use

Staring at a screen tapping keys and frantically maneuvering a mouse or controller for hours on end while gaming and completing computer work inevitably strains wrist tendons. The repetitive nature causes inflammation and damage over time. Maintaining awkward stationary wrist positions for prolonged periods also heightens irritation and risk of injury. This explains the high rate of discomfort reported by gamers, programmers, and general computer users.

To prevent technology-related wrist adversity, be sure to take routine 5-10 minute breaks every hour to gently stretch and reorder posture. Making an effort to vary wrist positioning throughout sessions also helps reduce strain. Some even find wearing a light brace or taping beneficial for extra support and stability. Setting reminders aids consistency with such preventative measures. Ultimately striking a balance between productivity and self-care prevents long term discomfort.

Playing Guitar

Gripping thin guitar necks with the left hand to press taut metal strings in complex chord shapes and patterns naturally inflames a guitarist’s wrist tendons. The intricate finger and hand movements required to progress through songs, solos, and riffs forces tense muscular exertion. This makes even experienced guitar legends prone to progressive issues like tendonitis and carpal tunnel syndrome over decades of play without preventative actions.

The best guitar injury prevention tactic remains actively working to avoid tension and overexertion when possible. Warming up with less complex finger stretches helps prepare. Regularly shaking out hands between songs or sets also gives micro breaks. Nylon string guitars place less friction stress on nerves. When inflation flares, icing after sessions helps calm. If discomfort persists, modifying technique or even wearing a brace may provide relief without requiring complete rest. Being in tune with your body helps catch problems early.


Few modern activities demonstrate highly repetitive wrist motion as much as typing. Ticketing away endlessly on a keyboard for work or leisure inevitably inflames tendons and strains joints. The cumulative stress places typists, programmers, writers and anyone who types all day at heightened risk for debilitating upper body repetitive strain injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome.

The preventative keys for avid typists involve actively working to limit repetition strain. Take regular 2-5 minute stretch breaks every 30-45 minutes typing to decompress nerves, joints, and muscles bearing the brunt. Gentle wrist and finger rolls help refresh. Standing and stepping away from the computer when possible also provides micro recovery periods. Ergonomic equipment improvements like split keyboards, responsive keys, padded wrist rests further reduce strain. But listening to body signals and not typing through numbness or sharp pains may prove most vital. Being able to enjoy and meaningfully use your hands pain-free for decades requires pacing presently.


Any activity requiring tightly sustained grip of small implements like pens, pencils, and paintbrushes risks inflaming wrist tendons. The unnatural angles and slight movements involved with writing, sketching, coloring and other manual artistry taxes the area. Students, authors, artists and other creators often push through mild occasional discomfort without considering cumulative impact. But the recurring strain builds, eventually leading to conditions like tendonitis.

To curb escalation among the creatively inclined, make sure to schedule regular short breaks specifically to stretch wrists and fingers when undertaking projects. Gentle range of motion exercises get blood flowing to nourish the joint. Varied grips also help avoid overuse patterns. Those experiencing more persistent pain may need to temporarily splint at rest to calm aggravated nerves. Anti-inflammatories like NSAIDs can also provide relief. But addressing the root issue requires reassessing materials and techniques to prevent reoccurrence. A little altered approach goes a long way to ensure minimal disruption in cherished activities.

a person giving a hand massage

Sports and Exercise

Sports and exercise are crucial in maintaining a healthy lifestyle and promoting overall well-being. Engaging in physical activities helps improve physical fitness and enhances mental agility and emotional balance. Whether it’s participating in team sports, pursuing individual athletic endeavors,  nor simply engaging in regular exercise routines, the benefits are numerous. Sports and exercise provide a holistic approach to achieving a balanced and fulfilling life, from boosting cardiovascular health and strengthening muscles to reducing stress and improving sleep patterns. In this article, we will explore the various aspects of sports and exercise, highlighting their significance and the positive impact they have on our lives.

Weightlifting/Bench Pressing

The raw physicality of strength sports assurance challenges tender wrist joints. Stabilizing and leveraging heavy free weights like barbells and dumbbells for chest presses, curls and marsh lifts generates enormous shearing forces through the area. Lifting too aggressively too soon without adequate joint conditioning and proper form vastly escalates risk of both acute traumatic injury and long term arthritis. But even disciplined powerlifters must remain vigilant about inflammation.

The preventative protocol begins with progressive overload using reasonable increments for muscular adaptation without overtaxing connective tissues. Building foundational capacity before max attempts reinforces stability. Consistently utilizing great form is also crucial – flared elbows, straight wrists, firm midline bracing, controlled motion. Wraps support during feats of strength but should not replace developing intrinsic capability. Regular load variations, stretching, and icing further bolster longevity. Patience for sustainable gains keeps wrist health a top priority.

Rock Climbing

With climbing’s explosive popularity, gyms witness many excited newcomers jumping the walls and challenging grip strength. But the extreme wrist extensions and flexions paired with sustaining full body weight often overtaxes untrained connectors. Pulley systems catching falls further jerk the joint. It’s no wonder climbers so often require surgery for debilitating injuries like ruptured tendons.

However, technique tweaks help mitigate risks while still scaling heights. Always thoroughly warm up wrists before climbing with gentle circles and pressure point massage. Tape up problematic areas for support. Use controlled motion on holds instead of relying fully on finger strength. Take ample rest days for regeneration even while building calluses. Ice down tender zones after. Listening for the warning signs of pain early allows for correction before chronic impairment. With some prudent adjustments, even the most devoted climbers can continue cultivating their climbing career.


The speedy back and forth volleys in net sports like tennis, pickleball and baseball present wrist strain risks from various angles. Gripping handles tightly to connect bats and racquets challenges wrists to absorb vibration impacts. The twisting serving motion also requires forceful exertion at awkward angles. Returning blistering serves and smashes pushes joint mobility limits. Even anticipating placement strains arm muscles communicating down through connective wrist tissues. It’s thus no surprise these sports cultivate so many overuse maladies.

Thankfully some straightforward preventative steps help athletes lasting access their beloved courts and diamonds while protecting wrists from damage. Always make sure to properly warm up wrists pre-play with gentle circular rotations and light grip and release repetitions. Proper stroke form is also crucial for maximizing power transmission while minimizing torsion. Taking occasional breaks for active recovery also gives connective tissues needed relief between rallies. If soreness flares, icing frequently helps control inflammation alongside oral anti-inflammatories. With prudent care, wrist health woes need not obstruct enjoying these lifetime activities.


Bowling appears deceptively graceful until examining the underlying anatomy at play. Generating sufficient speed for a ball weighing up to 16 pounds requires harnessing centrifugal force through the wrist. The final underarm rotation right before release sustains enormous torque through the joint – often double or triple body weight. Performing this motion repetitively over games, weeks and years understandably takes a cumulative toll. The result remains one of bowling’s most common injuries.

However, with proper form and preventative measures, bowlers can spare their wrists from the trauma. Using the optimal combination of stepping knee drive, swing extension, elbow lift and wrist flexion maximizes power transmission down the lane while minimizing individual joint forces. Tape and braces also offer supplementary structural support when needed. Additionally, committing to regular wrist stretching and stabilization exercises bolsters a bowler’s resilience. Taking occasional games fully off allows symptomatic areas to heal. Learning to listen when the wrist says enough prevents playing through damage. Being attentive ultimately helps every bowler continue enjoying their favorite lanes for seasons to come.


The speed, force, and impact sustained in the sweet science of boxing assuredly takes a toll on wrists over time. Punching heavy bags and mitts strengthens muscles but also strains tendons adjusting to the sharp motions. Poor wrist alignment on hooks, uppercuts and jabs also heightens fracture risks. Even deflecting blows with rigid guard positions or tight wraps aggravates the area. Seasoned fighters inevitably develop arthritis and neurological wrist damage if ignoring warning signs.

Thankfully several basic preventative measures help boxers safeguard longevity in the ring. Wrapping hands and wearing well-fitted gloves reduces impact shock down the arm. Stretching wrists before training and icing after sessions alleviates strain. Building up punching volume gradually allows adaptation without overexertion. Learning to strike using neutral wrist alignment also proves essential. And most vitally – respecting pain by taking ample rest periods early often circumvents permanent impairment later on. With prudent precautions, fighters can continue competitively punching for years.


As one of the most physically demanding sports requiring peak conditioning, gymnastics unavoidably strains wrists through necessity of bearing bodyweight in dismounts. The high impact landings from flips and vaults sends enormous ground reaction forces up through still developing joints. Frequent load tolerance easily causes microtears and inflammation. Young artistic athletes also commonly utilize wrist push ups in training which adds further overuse damage without intervention.

However, a multifaceted preventative approach helps gymnasts continue chasing gold medals without career jeopardizing disability. Always proper warm up wrists gradually before events with massage and gentle mobilization. Build foundational strength over time. Use supplementary aids like wrist wraps, tape and grips during peak strain sets. Monitor swelling and pain diligently rather than ignoring signals. Cross train alternative movement patterns to allow symptomatic rest when needed. And perfect landing technique to disperse ground reaction forces evenly through contact points. With proactive injury mitigation habits instilled early on at the developmental levels, gymnasts can help safeguard lifelong mobility.


The temperamental wrist endures golf’s ultimate double edged sword – necessary for generating substantial swing speed yet highly vulnerable injuring if form falters. Repeatedly rotating at extremes of flexion and extension torques tissue. Gripping clubs too tightly heightens dorsal compression. And impact vibrations through club on ball contact transmits directly up the joint. Improper mechanics and overtraining vastly multiplies these wrist health hazards for golfers.

Thankfully, straightforward preventative techniques help keep golfers swinging smoothly for seasons. Always warm up gently before rounds and range sessions with light stretches – saving max effort exertions for when muscles are ready. Gripping clubs gently without death squeezes also proves critical. Work on smoothing out transitions throughout the kinetic chain rather than overly relying on wrist strength alone. Also avoid over practicing through pain or fatigue. Supplementary aids like braces and kt tape reinforce structure during play if necessary. Prioritizing foundational conditioning ensures golfers can continue excelling on courses without enduring needless injury setbacks.


Cyclists subject their wrist joints to prolonged stability demands bearing body weight on handlebars for hours grinding along various terrain. The sustained flexion eventually fatigues muscles communicating down through connective tissues. Traversing bumpy paths also jars the wrist through micro vibrations. And impact crashes always carry falls risk directly onto vulnerable outstretched hands. Thus nagging overuse discomfort and traumatic damage both plague cycling enthusiasts unless addressed.

The simplest preventative tactics involve improving bike fit alignment and grip vigilance. Handlebars and seats positioned to distribute torso weight more through core and glutes alleviates wrist burden. Gripping loosely is also crucial – just firm enough for control without sustained death holds that cutoff circulation. Taking micro breaks when possible further allows decompression. Wraps stabilize wrists over long hauls. And knowing proper fall technique protects palms from the brunt on crashes. With some accompanying conditioning for joint resilience, wrist woes need not obstruct pursuing two-wheeled adventures.


Wrist pain represents an exceedingly common but manageable challenge for regular hobbyists and athletes alike. By understanding root causes and taking proactive injury prevention measures early on, most can continue participating in beloved activities pain-free for years. Prioritizing sustainable form, technique modifications, supportive gear, rest cycles, strength training, and listening to body signals ensures optimal longevity. Remaining vigilant and responsive when discomfort flares allows for prompt personalized adjustments keeping your wrists healthy for the long run. With some thoughtful care, wrist pain should pose minimal interference pursuing passions.