Wrist Pain

Most athletes probably wouldn’t think about their wrists as an area that is particularly susceptible to injury. Knees, yes. Ankles, yes. Shoulders, definitely. But wrists just take care of themselves.

This sadly isn’t the case. In racquet sports and contact sports, wrists are under an enormous amount of strain, and without proper care and attention, injuries are a possibility. Whereas worrying about wrists in sports such as running may be low down on the priority list, it’s important to keep this part of the body in mind if it’s frequently in use.

Who suffers from wrist pain?

In terms of sport, the people most likely to suffer wrist injuries are those partaking in sports where the wrist features heavily. Examples would be tennis players and golfers, who put repeated strain on the area both in practice and while playing.

There is also a danger in contact sports, such as rugby, where repeated blows to the wrist or straining of the joint could cause long-term damage. So it’s important, when tending to bumps and knocks after contact sports, that the wrists aren’t neglected.

But wrist pain can come about in any number of environments, including just through day to day life. The repeated movement of the wrists involved in our lives puts the area at increased risk of injury even when performing the most mundane tasks.

Wrist injuries can arise in many different contexts and for different reasons, but there are a few common reasons for pain which are useful to keep in mind.

Wrist Recovery Compression Sleeve

What are the causes of wrist pain?

Wrist injuries can arise in many different contexts and for different reasons, but there are a few common reasons for pain which are useful to keep in mind.

Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI)

Repetitive strain injuries can occur anywhere on the body, but mostly in the upper body when muscles and tendons are overused. When one of these injuries is centred on the wrist, there could be a range of reasons for it.

For racquet sport players, the repetitive motion of swinging a racquet over and over again could cause some soreness in the wrist. While contact sports naturally put strain on all parts of the body, including wrists, and even the motion of passing a rugby ball could cause a repetitive strain injury. 

Symptoms can include pain, stiffness, throbbing and cramp when carrying out a specific task. If you feel these symptoms and they continue, you should probably contact a GP for some advice. Repetitive strain injuries usually aren’t serious and can be relatively simply remedied with a few tweaks, but it’s worth getting them checked out to avoid them impacting performance.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome 

This condition is caused when the carpal tunnel inside your wrist swells and squeezes the median nerve; it’s often associated with professions where tools need to be tightly gripped for long periods.

Some of the symptoms include pins and needles, aches in the hand and arm and difficulty gripping. According to the NHS website, these symptoms come and go, and are worse at night.

There are also specific sports which put significant and sustained pressure on the wrist, such as gymnastics and cycling, where the handlebars are gripped for long periods. So if you experience any symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome during or after these sports, be sure to give your wrist some rest, and contact a GP if the symptoms persist.


Perhaps the most worrying of the causes of wrist pain, arthritis is an inflammation of the joints. There are many types of arthritis, but the ones that most commonly affect the wrist, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and posttraumatic arthritis.

Both osteoarthritis and posttraumatic arthritis are more environment-based, and are as a result of either general wear and tear or trauma to the wrist. They both arise due to damage to a joint’s cartilage.

Rheumatoid arthritis, however, is a chronic autoimmune disease which often affects the joint between the radius and the ulna in the forearm, causing loss of function in the hand.

Symptoms of arthritis in the wrist could include pain, stiffness, weakness or swelling, and any of these symptoms should be checked out with a GP in order to get a head start on treatment.

Some causes of wrist pain are more serious than others and may require some drastic intervention, but there are a few tips and tricks for managing pain in the wrists. 

Wrist Compression Sleeve For Recovery

Wrist Pain Relief

Some causes of wrist pain are more serious than others and may require some drastic intervention, but there are a few tips and tricks for managing pain in the wrists. 


In all cases of wrist pain, no matter how serious, the first port of call is always rest. If pain arises from a certain activity, for example gripping tools too tightly at work or from swinging a tennis racquet, it’s always best to limit those activities, even for a little while. This will give the wrist time to recover and possibly heal.


A wrist compression support will provide stability and increase blood flow to the joint. The increased stability will reduce the risk of injury and provide protection to further injury. While the increased blood flow will increase the fresh oxygenated blood which will help flush toxins and repair cell damage while providing pain relief.


Whether it’s arthritis, repetitive strain injury or carpal tunnel syndrome, painkillers can be a quick remedy to allay some of the more surface level symptoms. Anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin or ibuprofen will also work to reduce the swelling associated with wrist pain. This is more of a short-term fix and if the symptoms persist after the painkillers have worn off, then maybe further intervention will be needed.


Certain exercises, prescribed by a doctor or physiotherapist, may be useful in alleviating the symptoms of wrist pain and increasing the range of motion. Even in the most serious cases, these exercises can prove helpful.


This is of course a last resort if other remedies have failed, and it probably wouldn’t be required on repetitive strain injuries, but surgery can be effective on carpal tunnel syndrome and arthritis. Though surgery won’t necessarily cure arthritis, it can relieve symptoms, and it can completely cure carpal tunnel syndrome, with the carpal tunnel itself being cut to relieve pressure on the nerve. Surgery isn’t a magic fix, but it’s always useful to keep in mind if wrist pain becomes unmanageable.

Bearhug offers wrist compression support sleeves, providing compression and stability to avoid potential wrist injuries.