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Wrist Tendonitis
Wrist pain is not only caused by fractures, nerve compression, or strain. It can also be caused by inflamed or irritated tendons. If you have been experiencing a dull-aching pain in your wrist, followed by swelling, redness, tenderness, or wrist weakness, your wrist tendons may be inflamed. Physical therapy is effective for treating and preventing wrist tendonitis without having to use surgery. Contact a physical therapist right away to examine your wrist and get you started on a treatment plan to relieve the pain, so you can go back to performing your everyday activities.
What is Wrist Tendonitis?
Wrist tendonitis happens when one or more tendons in the wrist joint become inflamed and irritated. This usually a result of the tendons rubbing against other bodily tissues such as bones. Tendons are thick fibrous cords that connect muscles to bone. Several tendons in the wrist connect the muscles of the forearm and hand to the bones of the wrist and fingers. These tendons make allow for movement of the fingers, wrist, and hand.
Causes of Wrist Tendonitis
The major causes of inflamed wrist tendons are overuse or injury. Repetitive movements involving the wrist can strain the tendon, and make it irritated. Some examples of such movement include:


Writing with a pen on paper

Using a computer mouse and typing

Playing video games

Physical activities such as chopping wood or hammering

Sports that require repetitive motions with the wrist such as golf, tennis, football.

For tendonitis caused by injury, examples include a fall on your arm or a direct hit to the wrist. Other risk factors that could contribute to tendonitis are:

Poor wrist posture




Poorly aligned bones or joints

It is important to note that tendonitis is different from arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome.


is a degenerative disease where the joint is inflamed

Carpal tunnel syndrome

occurs when the nerve is compressed


is an inflammation of the tendons

Symptoms of Wrist Tendonitis
The common symptom associated with wrist tendonitis is a pain in the wrist. Other symptoms you may experience includes
Diagnosing Wrist Tendonitis
At Polygon PT, a physical therapist will evaluate your wrist, arm, elbow, and shoulders. You’ll be asked questions about the activities you do, which one causes the pain, and how long you have had the pain. You may be required to move your wrist in a certain way for your therapist to feel and identify which tendons are causing the pain. The strength and motion of your upper arms will also be checked.
Treatment for Wrist Tendonitis
Once tendonitis has been diagnosed, your physical therapist will create a treatment plan to relieve pain, strengthen muscles and joints, and improve motion. This plan will likely include:

Rest from activities causing the tendon inflammation

Wearing splints or braces to limit wrist movement while it heals

Tips to managing your pain, avoiding painful movements, and correcting improper wrist posture

Manual therapy includes gentle stretches of the wrist and soft-tissue massage

Strengthening and motion exercises to restore flexibility and get you back to your normal activities

Education on how to prevent tendonitis subsequently.

Preventing Wrist Tendonitis
Some prevention tips by your physical therapist will include:

Avoid or reduce repetitive arm and wrist movement that can contribute to or cause wrist tendonitis

Take short regular breaks during long repetitive movements

Warm-up the muscles around the wrist before your activity

Maintain proper wrist posture when performing any activity

Wear supporting braces for repetitive activities

Discontinue activities that hurt your wrist and hand.

Get Started with Physical Therapy for Wrist Tendonitis Today
If you have been experiencing most of the symptoms listed above, it’s time you saw a physical therapist. Physical therapy is not only effective for treatment, but it also helps for prevention. Request an appointment with one of our physical therapists right away. We are excited to get you started on a pain-free journey