Symptoms A-Z

Wrist Weakness Symptoms, Causes & Common Questions

Understand your wrist weakness symptoms, including 7 causes & common questions.

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  1. 7 Possible Wrist Weakness Causes
  2. Questions Your Doctor May Ask
  3. Statistics

7 Possible Wrist Weakness Causes

The list below shows results from the use of our quiz by Buoy users who experienced wrist weakness. This list does not constitute medical advice and may not accurately represent what you have.

Wrist sprain

Wrist sprain is often associated with traumatic events such as falls or sporting accidents. However, wrist sprain can also stem from chronic issues such as repetitive stress and the normal aging process. The wrists are so necessary and used so frequently that sometimes it may be difficult to differentiate simple aches and pains from a wrist sprain that requires prompt medical attention.

Symptoms include.

Treatments may include practicing better form when using the wrists, protecting the wrists themselves, limiting dangers in your home or environment, applying ice or heat, and taking calcium supplements and over-the-counter painkillers. Physical therapy, surgery, or a prescription for anticonvulsants may also be recommended.

Rarity: Uncommon

Top Symptoms: wrist injury, wrist pain, wrist pain from an injury, swollen wrist, pain in the back of the wrist

Symptoms that always occur with wrist sprain: wrist injury

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Carpal tunnel syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition of numbness and tingling in the hand and arm caused by compression of the mediannerve as it travels through the carpal tunnel. Causes include overuse of the wrist and hand, especially highly repetitive activities such as typing or working on an assembly line. Injuries can damage the carpal tunnel, as can arthritis, diabetes, and obesity.

Symptoms include( when trying to hold an object. Carpal tunnel syndrome gets worse over time and may lead to permanent damage if not addressed.

Treatment options include supportive devices, stretching exercises, medications, and surgery.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: spontaneous shoulder pain, hand weakness, wrist pain, weakness in one hand, pain in both hands

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Rheumatoid arthritis

Arthritis is a general term for multiple conditions that cause painful inflammation and stiffness throughout the body. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic condition that is autoimmune in nature, meaning that the body's immune system which normally protects the body by attacking foreign pathogens mistakenly begins attacking the own body's tissues. In adults, RA is the most common form of inflammatory arthritis caused by autoimmunity.

RA is caused by the immune system attacking the lining of the joints (synovium). This immune activity results in inflammation in the synovium that causes it to thicken and expand. The thickening destroys the cartilage and bone of the joint and causes the tendons and ligaments of the joint to weaken and stretch.

Over time, the cartilage loss continues, the space between bones becomes smaller, and eventually the joint becomes loose, painful and unstable. As the condition becomes more advanced, RA can also affect multiple organ systems, including the eyes, skin, lungs and the cardiovascular system.

Diagnosis is through physical examination, blood tests, and X-rays.

Treatments include lifestyle modifications, several classes of medications, and sometimes surgery.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: fatigue, depressed mood, joint pain, muscle aches, daytime sleepiness

Urgency: Primary care doctor

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Psoriatic arthritis

Psoriatic arthritis is a condition which causes inflammation of the joints. In most circumstances, psoriatic arthritis presents between the ages of 30 and 50 years and occurs after the manifestation of the symptoms of psoriasis, which is a disease of the skin. Psoriatic arthritis typically causes redness, swelling, pain, and stiffness of certain joints. Most commonly, the fingers and toes are affected and may appear "sausage-like." Psoriatic arthritis is predominantly a genetic disease but it can be activated by certain environmental triggers. Avoidance of these triggers could delay or prevent disease onset. Treatment includes symptom management with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and steroids. In more severe cases, other drugs to halt the disease progression such as methotrexate are used.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: shoulder pain, lower back pain, joint pain, upper back pain, hip pain

Urgency: Primary care doctor

De quervain's tenosynovitis

De Quervain's tenosynovitis is a painful condition affecting the tendons on the thumb side of the wrist. If you have de Quervain's tenosynovitis, you will feel pain upon turning your wrist, grasping anything, or making a fist.

Rarity: Uncommon

Top Symptoms: hand numbness, thumb pain, hand weakness, weakness in one hand, numbness in one hand

Symptoms that always occur with de quervain's tenosynovitis: thumb pain

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Repetitive strain injury of the upper arm

Repetitive strain injury of the upper arm is caused by consistent repetitive use.

Rarity: Uncommon

Top Symptoms: upper arm pain from overuse, upper arm weakness, upper arm numbness

Symptoms that always occur with repetitive strain injury of the upper arm: upper arm pain from overuse

Symptoms that never occur with repetitive strain injury of the upper arm: upper arm injury, severe upper arm pain

Urgency: Self-treatment

Septic arthritis

Septic arthritis is also called infectious arthritis. "Arthritis" simply means inflammation of a joint. In septic arthritis, the inflammation is caused by a bacterial, viral, or fungal infection. The most common is Staphylococcus aureus or staph. These agents reach the joints either from another infection in the body or from a traumatic injury that contaminates the wounded joint.

Symptoms include severe pain in the affected joints, along with redness and swelling. The knees are most often affected but septic arthritis can occur in any joint. This condition is common in infants and the elderly, and medical attention should be received promptly.

Treatment involves draining the infected fluid from the joint, either with a needle (arthrocentesis) or surgery in order to prevent or reduce any joint damage caused by swelling, which can occur very quickly. This procedure is often followed by antibiotics in order to fully eradicate the infection.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: fever, spontaneous shoulder pain, chills, knee pain, joint pain

Urgency: Hospital emergency room

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Wrist Weakness

To diagnose this condition, your doctor would likely ask the following questions:

  • Did you just suffer from a high impact injury (e.g., a fall, collision, accident or sports trauma)?
  • Have you been feeling more tired than usual, lethargic or fatigued despite sleeping a normal amount?
  • Have someone else watch you during this physical exam. Try to close your eyes tightly. Can you close both eyes fully?
  • Does your pain continue into the night?

The above questions are also covered by our A.I. Health Assistant.

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions

Take a quiz to find out why you're having wrist weakness

Wrist Weakness Symptom Checker Statistics

People who have experienced wrist weakness have also experienced:

  • 14% Hand Weakness
  • 12% Forearm Weakness
  • 12% Upper Arm Weakness

People who have experienced wrist weakness were most often matched with:

  • 40% Wrist Sprain
  • 30% Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • 30% Rheumatoid Arthritis

People who have experienced wrist weakness had symptoms persist for:

  • 45% Over a month
  • 18% Less than a day
  • 16% Less than a week

Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

Wrist Weakness Symptom Checker

Take a quiz to find out why you're having wrist weakness