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Learn about your wrist weakness, including causes and common questions. Or get a personalized analysis of your wrist weakness from our A.I. health assistant. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the right care.

Wrist Weakness Checker

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Your Wrist Weakness May Also be Known as:
Arm becoming weak
Arm getting weak
Arm losing strength
Arm not as strong
Arm weakness
Lost strength in arm
Lost strength in wrist
Lost strength in wrists
Strength lost in arm
Strength lost in wrist

Top 9 Wrist Weakness Causes

  1. 1.Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

    Thoracic Outlet Syndrome is the compression of the nerves and/or blood vessels that run through the upper chest. It can occur as a result of trauma, surgery, growths in the body, or just randomly.

    You should seek medical care soon to determine whether the compression is of the nerve or the blood vessels. You may need imaging using x-rays, CTs of the blood streams, or MRIs. Treatment depends on the extent of the injury, but usually includes physical therapy. Surgical treatment may be required if a blood vessel is compressed.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    pain in one shoulder, spontaneous shoulder pain, arm weakness, pain in one shoulder blade, arm numbness
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  2. 2.Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Als)

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease. This progressive, neurodegenerative disease affects nerve cells.

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis can't be cured but symptoms can be managed.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, decreased exercise tolerance, arm weakness, shortness of breath, difficulty concentrating
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  3. 3.Fibromyalgia

    Fibromyalgia is a disorder that causes widespread pain, tenderness, and fatigue.

    Fibromyalgia is treated symptomatically. Medication, therapy, and stress reduction may reduce symptoms.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, anxiety, trouble sleeping, depressed mood, headache
    Symptoms that always occur with fibromyalgia:
    hidden: arthralgias or myalgias
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  4. 4.Andersen - Tawil Syndrome

    Andersen-Tawil Syndrome is a rare inherited disorder that predisposes patients to cardiac arrhythmias such as long QT intervals, as well as unusual facial features.

    You should visit your primary care physician who will likely coordinate care with a specialist. The goal of treatment is to reduce the severity, frequency, and duration of weakness and paralysis attacks with a variety of approaches and medications.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    leg weakness, abnormally high heartrate, arm weakness, racing heart beat, facial asymmetry
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

    Wrist Weakness Checker

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

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  5. 5.Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

    The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway filled with ligament and bones at the base of your hand. It contains nerve and tendons. Sometimes, thickening from irritated tendons or other swelling narrows the tunnel and causes the nerve to be compressed. Symptoms usually start gradually, and as they worsen, grasping objects can become difficult.

    Early diagnosis and treatment are important to prevent permanent nerve damage. Your doctor will diagnose carpal tunnel syndrome with a physical exam and special nerve tests. Treatment includes resting your hand, splints, pain and anti-inflammatory medicines. If symptoms do not improve with these less invasive treatments, your physician may recommend surgery.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    spontaneous shoulder pain, hand weakness, wrist pain, pain in one hand, weakness in one hand
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  6. 6.Herniated (Slipped) Disk in the Upper Back

    The backbone, or spine, is made up of 26 bones called vertebrae. In between the bones are soft disks filled with a jelly-like substance. These disks cushion the vertebrae and keep them in place. Although people talk about a slipped disk, nothing actually slips out of place. The outer shell of the disk ruptures, and the jelly-like substance bulges out. It may be pressing on a nerve, which is what causes the pain.A slipped disk is more likely to happen due to strain on the back, such as during heavy lifting, and older individuals are at higher risk.

    For treatment of a slipped disk, you should consult with your primary care physician (PCP). Your doctor will perform a thorough physical examination to localize the slipped disk and rule out dangerous complications. Most people do not require surgery for a slipped disk. Treatment involves pain relief with an over-the-counter pain medication such as ibuprofen (Advil) and/or acetaminophen (Tylenol), using heat treatments, and keeping active. It is best to avoid sitting still for long periods. Walking or swimming may help as well.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    upper back pain, neck pain, arm weakness, back pain that gets worse when sitting, upper spine pain
    Symptoms that always occur with herniated (slipped) disk in the upper back:
    upper back pain
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  7. 7.Limb - Girdle Muscular Dystrophy

    Limb-girdle muscular dystrophy is an inherited disorder that involves varying muscle weakness and wasting.

    You should visit your primary care physician to confirm the diagnosis and discuss treatment options for managing symptoms.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    weakness, arm weakness, muscle aches, shoulder weakness, leg weakness
    Symptoms that always occur with limb-girdle muscular dystrophy:
    weakness
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  8. 8.Brachial Plexopathy

    The brachial plexus is a complex nerve network located in the upper chest deep to the collar bone, which supplies the shoulder, arm, forearm, and hand. Damage to the brachial plexus is usually due to mechanical injury or trauma, and can interfere with normal nerve function causing numbness, pain, and/or weakness.

    You should visit your primary care physician to discuss these symptoms. It is likely the doctor will perform a thorough physical exam, and in many cases refer you to a specialist, physical therapist, or both. A professional evaluation is very important, as surgical treatment might be required for a brachial plexus nerve injury.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    pain in one arm, shoulder pain that shoots to the arm, arm weakness, numbness in one arm, shoulder pain
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  9. 9.Kienbock Disease

    Kienbock Disease is a condition where the blood going to one of the small bones in the wrist is disrupted, causing the bone to die and the wrist to become stiff and painful. The cause is not known but may be related to trauma to the wrist.

    You should visit your primary care physician because most people wait too long to be seen for a chronically painful wrist. It's hard to distinguish with a sprained wrist, but x-rays and MRIs will identify the problem. Treatment depends on severity, ranging from pain meds and splinting to surgery.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    hand weakness, pain in the back of the wrist, wrist pain from an injury, wrist pain that gets worse when gripping something, difficulty moving the wrist
    Symptoms that always occur with kienbock disease:
    wrist pain from an injury, pain in the back of the wrist
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Wrist Weakness

  • Q.Is your wrist weakness constant or come-and-go?
  • Q.How long has your wrist weakness been going on?
  • Q.How weak does your hand feel?
  • Q.How long has your hand weakness been going on?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, check our wrist weakness symptom checker.

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Wrist Weakness Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced wrist weakness have also experienced:

    • 11% Hand Weakness
    • 10% Upper Arm Weakness
    • 9% Forearm Weakness
  • People who have experienced wrist weakness had symptoms persist for:

    • 45% Over a Month
    • 24% Less Than a Day
    • 11% Less Than a Week
  • People who have experienced wrist weakness were most often matched with:

    • 12% Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
    • 10% Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Als)
    • 4% Fibromyalgia

Wrist Weakness Checker

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

Take a quiz