Tendonitis in the Wrist: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Tendonitis in the Wrist: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Do you experience pain in your wrist when you move it in certain ways? You may be suffering from tendonitis. Tendonitis is a condition that results from inflammation of the tendons, and it can cause a great deal of pain. In this blog post, we will discuss the causes, symptoms, and treatment of tendonitis in the wrist. We will also provide some tips for preventing this condition from occurring.

What Is Tendonitis In The Wrist?

What Is Tendonitis In The Wrist?Tendonitis in the wrist is described as inflammation or irritation of the tendons located in the wrist. The condition is common among individuals who perform repetitive hand activities such as typing on a computer for long periods or playing certain sports, such as tennis or golf. In simple words, tendonitis in the wrist is a result of repetitive motion or strain.

The simple word “tendonitis” is actually a combination of two words – “tendons”, which are cords that attach muscle to bone, and “itis”, meaning inflammation. So, it is the inflammation of the tendons in the wrist.

How Does It Feel?

It might be difficult to determine if you have tendonitis in the wrist since many of its symptoms are similar to other conditions, such as carpal tunnel syndrome. Common signs and sensations include:

  • Pain that worsens with movement or when pressure is applied
  • Weakness in the affected area
  • Swelling, warmth, or redness around the joint
  • Tenderness in the area
  • Difficulty making a fist or gripping objects
  • A grating sensation when moving your wrist

These symptoms may be accompanied by a clicking or popping sound when you move your wrist. The feeling is often varied, ranging from a mild and occasional ache to severe and persistent pain.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is best to see a doctor as soon as possible for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.

What Causes Tendonitis In The Wrist?

There are several causes of tendonitis in the wrist. These include:

Repetitive movements

Repetitive movements

This is one of the most common causes of tendonitis in the wrist. Repetitive motions such as typing, playing a musical instrument, or using tools can cause tendons to become irritated and inflamed. This happens because the tendon isn’t given enough time to heal between movements.

Injury or trauma

Acute injuries such as a fracture or sprain can cause the tendons to become inflamed and irritated. This inflammation can lead to pain and discomfort in the wrist. For example, if you have had an injury where your hands are in a curled or bent position for an extended period of time, this can cause tendonitis.


Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout are three of the most common causes of tendonitis in the wrist. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that often affects the hands, including the wrists. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that can cause inflammation and damage to joints throughout the body, including the wrists. Gout is a type of arthritis caused by an accumulation of uric acid crystals in the joint, which can cause inflammation and pain.

Overall, the causes of tendonitis in the wrist can be varied, but the main causes are typically overuse, injury, or an underlying medical condition. If you think you may have tendonitis in the wrist due to one of these causes, it is important to speak with a doctor so that you can receive an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment.

How Is It Diagnosed?

The diagnosis of tendonitis in the wrist is clinical and can be suspected based on the patient’s history, physical examination, and imaging studies. Imaging tests such as X-rays and MRIs may help to identify any underlying abnormality or structural damage that could be contributing to the symptoms.

Blood tests may also be ordered to rule out other causes of pain or inflammation. In some cases, a tendon biopsy may be needed to confirm the diagnosis.

Though it is not always necessary, a referral to an orthopedic specialist may be required. You should always remember to keep your doctor informed of any changes in your condition. With an accurate diagnosis, your doctor can create an effective treatment plan that will help reduce pain and improve function.

How Can You Treat Tendonitis In The Wrist?

How Can You Treat Tendonitis In The Wrist?There are several treatment options available for treating tendonitis in the wrist. They include:

RICE method

It is important to rest the wrist as much as possible and avoid activities that provoke pain. The RICE method includes rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Ice should be applied for 15-20 minutes every 2-3 hours in order to reduce inflammation. Compression with an elastic wrap or brace can also help to reduce swelling and discomfort. Elevation of the wrist should also be done to reduce swelling and inflammation.

Anti-inflammatory medications

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or naproxen can help reduce pain and inflammation caused by tendonitis in the wrist. It is important to consult with your doctor before taking these medications, as there may be side effects associated with their use. Generally, the medications are required in palliative dosages, which means they help to reduce the symptoms but do not necessarily treat the underlying condition.

Stretching and strengthening exercises

Exercise can be used to increase strength and flexibility in the wrist. This can help to reduce tension on the tendons, as well as prevent further strain or injury. Stretching the wrist should be done at least twice daily while strengthening exercises can be done with light weights or resistance bands. A physical therapist may also recommend specific exercises to target the affected area. Common stretching and strengthening exercises for tendonitis of the wrist include:

  • Wrist flexion and extension—with one arm straight out, slowly bend your wrist up and down for 10 to 20 repetitions.
  • Wrist circles—using your hand, make tight circles with your wrist in both directions for 10 to 20 repetitions.
  • Finger curls—tuck your fingers into a fist and then slowly open them while trying to keep your wrist straight. Do this for 10 to 20 repetitions.
  • Wrist curls—holding a lightweight (2-5 pounds) with your palm facing up, curl your wrist up and down for 10 to 20 repetitions.

These are just a few of the exercises that can be used to help reduce symptoms associated with tendonitis in the wrist. A physical therapist may recommend more specific exercises depending on an individual’s needs and goals.

Manual therapy

In some cases, especially in the early stages of tendonitis, manual physical therapy may be recommended by a doctor. Manual therapy is a form of physical treatment that involves the therapist manipulating soft tissues and joints in order to reduce pain and restore range of motion. It can also help improve circulation and stimulate healing. Techniques used include:

  • Joint mobilization
  • Muscle energy techniques
  • Massage
  • Soft tissue techniques
  • Trigger point therapy
  • Myofascial release

Functional training

Functional trainingOne of the common treatment options for tendonitis in the wrist is functional training. This works by strengthening the muscles and tendons in the wrist, allowing them to better tolerate stress. Functional training can involve exercises such as grip strengthening, range of motion exercises, and stretching. It is important to make sure that these exercises are done properly and in proper form in order to avoid further injury or aggravation.

While there are a variety of treatments available, it is important to consult with a physician or physical therapist before attempting any type of treatment. With the right treatment plan in place, tendonitis in the wrist can be managed and symptoms reduced.

Can Tendonitis In The Wrist Be Prevented?

Tendonitis in the wrist can be prevented with a few simple steps. Some of these prevention tips include:

  1. Strengthening the muscles in your wrist and forearm: Regular stretching and strengthening exercises can help build up the muscles and prevent them from straining due to overuse or repetitive motions.
  2. Wearing a brace: A wrist brace can provide additional support and stability for your wrist, helping to reduce strain on the tendons.
  3. Avoiding excessive use of the wrist: Try to limit activities that require repetitive use of the wrist, and take regular breaks throughout the day.
  4. Maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle: Eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables and exercising regularly can help keep your muscles strong, reducing your risk for tendonitis.
  5. Practicing good posture: Poor posture can result in strain on the wrist muscles and tendons. So it’s important to sit up straight and maintain proper body mechanics when typing or working with your hands.

By following these tips, you can help reduce your risk of developing tendonitis in the wrist. However, if you do experience symptoms of tendonitis, it’s important to seek the advice of a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment. With the right care, tendonitis in the wrist can be managed and prevented from becoming more serious.


To conclude, tendonitis in the wrist may seem like a minor inconvenience, but it can have severe consequences if not treated appropriately. To reduce the risk of developing this condition, individuals should ensure that they are using the proper technique when performing any activities involving their wrists and arms.

Additionally, stretching and strengthening exercises may help to prevent symptoms from occurring in the first place. If tendonitis in the wrist does occur, it is important to recognize the signs and symptoms quickly so that effective treatment may begin.

Physical Therapy has always been proven to help patients recover from pain. Hence, if you’re experiencing Back painShoulder painKnee painNeck painElbow painHip pain, or Arthritis pain, a physical therapist at MantraCare can help: Book a physiotherapy session.

Try MantraCare Wellness Program free

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.