Reports on chronic pain, both in the mainstream news and in scientific articles, tend to focus on the shoulders and knees. In all likelihood, this is due to the greater incidents of shoulder and knee pain over other body joints.
But chronic pain can occur in any joint. One of the most overlooked but debilitating locations of chronic joint pain is the wrist.
A study reported in Nov., 2019 noted that "Wrist pain is highly prevalent in groups who partake in physically demanding activities from day to day such as manual laborers and sportspeople." (RJ Ferguson, et al, BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, Nov. 2019)
Though the study results are accurate - wrist pain is highly prevalent in those groups - chronic wrist pain is also prevalent in those who conduct simple repetitive motions such as typing. The prevalence of wrist pain among those who use a keyboard at work and at home is so great that a cottage industry of pain relieving products has developed.
These items, such as wrist bands and ergonomic keyboards, may help provide short-term relief for chronic wrist pain. Ultimately, however, they are effective only in relieving chronic wrist pain symptoms such as aching, burning, numbness and tingling but do not address the root cause of the pain.
Other options such as finding a different job that does not emphasize heavy use of the hands or wrists - is a difficult task in any economy. And Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) can often produce dangerous side effects.
Chronic wrist pain may also be age-related and science has yet to provide an alternative to growing older.
If you are suffering from chronic wrist pain, you should consider a lifestyle check of your work and play habits:
- Does your work require repetitive motions involving the hands and/or wrists?
- Do you participate in high impact sports or other leisure activities that depend on the heavy use of the hands and/or wrists?
- If so, you may want to develop a plan to replace these wrist-dependent motions.