Wrist Pain: Causes and what to do

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Pain in the wrist can have many reasons - sports or stress in everyday life (for example, daily work at a desk) are among the most common causes. However, injuries to muscles, ligaments, tendons and bones, along with various other diseases, can also trigger wrist pain. Fortunately, there are some simple measures affected people can take to alleviate and positively influence movement restrictions and wrist pain.

What are the causes of wrist pain?

Woman doing push-up

Wrist pain can have a variety of causes. Below, you will find a short list of the most common causes of wrist pain :

  • Tendinitis
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Injuries to tendons and ligaments
  • Bone fractures, sprains or bruises
  • Hyperkinesia
  • Degenerative changes in the wrist


A common cause of wrist pain is overuse during exercise. Excessive training, improper execution or poor posture can provoke ligaments and tendons. A typical scenario for sports-induced wrist pain is overuse during push-ups. Beginners, in particular, may experience wrist pain when propped up due to the unaccustomed strain. Wrist sprains or bruises are other typical sports injuries that can often be self-treated with the help of wrist supports or (kinesiology) tape. When it comes to persisting wrist pain or acute injuries, such as a sprain or suspected fracture, you should always consult a doctor.

What helps against wrist pain?

The following three simple tips can help you getting rid of wrist pain, relieve discomfort, support the joint in the healing process and prevent reoccurring pain.

Wrist support packshot

Tip 1: Stabilise with wrist supports

Support aching wrists by wearing a wrist support. Braces and supports often help with acute and chronic pain. Wrist supports reduce pain, stabilise and relieve sore or weakened wrists. Amateur and professional athletes can also benefit from the supportive function of a wrist support during, for example, daily training.

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Cohesive bandage packshot

Tip 2: Immobilise and mobilise the wrist alternately

In case of pain caused by overuse, stabilising the wrist can be helpful. With elastic or a self-adhesive cohesive bandages, you can immobilise the wrist without restricting its range of motion. In addition to wrist supports, you should also make sure to exercise regularly; if the function of your wrist is persistently limited, doctors and physiotherapists can help restore normal wrist functions with specific exercises and pain-free mobilisation.

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Man on chair

Tip 3: Specific exercises against wrist pain

Especially when you are sitting at your desk for a prolonged period, loosening up the joints in between is invaluable. While doing so, please also do not neglect the shoulder neck region as it has a direct influence on the wrist. In this region, simple shoulder circles and neck stretching can work wonders.

Short exercises such as regular stretching of the forearm muscles and simple active movement of the wrist, which you can do in between work, also positively affect pain, tension and stiffness.

In addition, you can also do alternative exercises to strengthen the forearm muscles to support your wrist, such as squeezing an anti-stress ball. Squeeze the ball with your hand ten times every two hours to strengthen the muscles that support your wrist.

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Wrist taping

Applying tape to your wrist is an easy way to relieve discomfort and allows you to actively participate in sports and everyday life. Most often, wrist tape is recommended for an unstable or overworked wrist as well as conditions such as tendon and muscle irritation. There are a variety of application techniques depending on the cause of the discomfort.

How can I prevent wrist pain?

In various sports, overloading of the muscles and tendons - and thus also pain in the wrist - can be easily prevented. Preventive measures such as wearing a wrist brace can mitigate abrupt strains characteristic of various ball sports. Warming up before and stretching muscles after exercise can also help prevent wrist pain and injuries.

In general, if you are starting with a new sport or developing symptoms in the wrist area during a sport you are already doing, you can independently try to counteract those with a wrist brace. Sports and regular exercise make the structures in our body, such as muscles, tendons and ligaments, healthier and more resilient. It also contributes to more balance and psychological well-being. Therefore, the diverse positive effects of physical activity should not be disregarded.

Reviewed by experts: Dr. Michael Richter

Dr Michael Richter has been a state-certified physiotherapist since 1999 and works at the renowned "Rückenzentrum Am Michel" in Hamburg, Germany - an interdisciplinary centre specialised in the treatment of acute and chronic musculoskeletal conditions.

He is an expert in manual and exercise therapy and has been treating people with back and joint pain for over 20 years.

In addition to his passion for manual treatment, pain education is very close to Michael's heart, who displays an extraordinary commitment to sharing the latest news and state-of-the-art information with his colleagues and patients. Next to his practical work with patients, Michael also works as a substitute professor in physiotherapy at the Münster School of Health in Münster, Germany.

Please note that the tips and advice given on this website have been compiled with great care but can in no way replace medical advice and treatment. If you have or suspect a health problem, see a doctor and follow medical advice regardless of what you have learned on this website.
If there is a serious injury, it must be assessed and treated by a (specialist) doctor. If you are unsure about the cause of your pain, you should also consult a doctor.
If the symptoms are accompanied by redness, swelling, overheating of the joints, persistent or severe pain and/or neurological symptoms (e.g. numbness, tingling) or if the pain radiates to the legs, a doctor should be consulted immediately.
The information on this website is not intended as a basis for self-diagnosis, treatment and medication.
Please always read the instructions for use or package inserts of our products carefully and comply with them.
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