Understanding Wrist Tendonitis Pain

Understanding Wrist Tendonitis Pain

Also known as tenosynovitis, wrist tendonitis pain can be caused by the tendons of the forearm which control wrist and hand movement becoming inflamed. The tendons can generally be divided into two categories: the flexors, which bend the wrist, and extensors, which extend the wrist.

The wrist tendons come together in groups within protective sheaths which are situated on either side of the carpus. These sheaths promote smooth coordinated low-friction motion to allow unrestricted wrist movement. Wrist tendonitis occurs when one or more of the wrist tendons become swollen and aggravated, especially in cases where they have been overused by constantly gripping something hard such as a mouse or writing implements.

What Causes Wrist Tendonitis?

Common sites of irritation of the wrist tendons include areas where they come together or even cross. Additionally, bony prominences or areas subject to repetitive motions are also at higher risk for developing symptoms of tendonitis. Situations that may cause a person to experience pain or tenderness in these areas include activities such as repetitive movements and/or direct pressure on the area.

Common causes of wrist tendonitis include:
  • Repetitive hand and wrist use from activities like sports, work, household chores, and hobbies can all eventually lead to wrist tendonitis
  • Changes in connective tissue health secondary to age, poor health, or previous injury
  • A high-impact activity such as a car crash or fall is an example of one of the most dangerous types of road accidents.
  • Medications such as NSAIDs and cortisone that affect tissue quality

Wrist Tendonitis Symptoms

Wrist tendonitis symptoms may vary slightly depending on which tendon or areas are affected. It's hoped that the following information will serve as a starting point for identifying whether you might be suffering from wrist tendonitis:

  • Trouble using the wrist with normal activities of daily living
  • Minor to severe pain that is exacerbated with wrist movement
  • Heat or warmth near affected tendons
  • A sensation of grinding or popping (crepitus) in the wrist with use
  • Swelling around the wrist joint and possibly into the hand or forearm


Your doctor will assess your hand to determine if you have pain in the tendons close to the wrist. This includes measuring how well your wrist can move, feeling for tender areas, testing your grip strength, and so on. By pinpointing specifically where the problem is, treatment is more effective. For example, one of the most common problems that involve tendons near the wrist is called DeQuervain's Tenosynovitis.

Typical diagnosis is done through observation of the symptoms and history of injury. Diagnosis may be aided by X-rays to rule out other potential complications, such as a broken sword or arthritis. To assess the severity of wrist inflammation, ultrasounds or MRIs can help determine levels of pain and swelling if necessary.

Recovery Time

Recovering from an injury to a tendon will take anywhere from two to four weeks depending on the severity of your condition. Typically, it takes about six weeks (or more) for tendonitis symptoms to become significantly reduced or eliminated. To know you're fully healed is when you can perform all the activities that you used to do before without pain and any other impairment.

Managing Wrist Tendonitis

Wrist pain can cripple even the most hard-working people as it makes it near impossible to manage a lot of everyday activities, such as typing at a keyboard, stirring in a pot, driving, drawing, and pretty much everything else you might have on your daily to-do list! If you are suffering from wrist soreness, which many do due to repetitive movements in everyday life or specific sensitive positions for example when holding tools like a pen or phone – some simple things can be done, So that quality of life may quickly return to normal for you.

What works as a healing process will vary depending on the patient's condition, but some common treatment options will include a herbal heating pad, Cold therapy packs, rest, and immobilization of the affected area combined with pain relief. Over time, your surgeon will more slowly start to work you back into daily activities by allowing you to use your wrist while stretching it and strengthening it bit by bit. As you recover, prevention elements will become key in minimizing the risk of future symptoms!

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.