An Overview of Wrist Bursitis
(Ulnar and Radial Bursitis)
What are Wrist *Bursae?
The wrist is made up of eight small bones several tendons and ligaments, and 2 bursae; the ulnar bursa and the radial bursa. The ulnar bursa covers the tendons of the index, middle and ring fingers. The radial bursa covers the thumb tendon and extends to the wrist crease. Infection in the radial bursa and ulna bursa is known as a "horseshoe abscess".
The wrist is constantly in motion throughout the day. Simple everyday activities such as getting dressed, tying shoes, opening a door and preparing dinner are difficult to do when you have a painful wrist. The extensive use of the wrist puts it at a considerable risk for injury; athletes are at an even higher risk: 9% of all athletic injuries involve the wrist.
Your bursae* play an important role in leading a healthy, active life. When the bursae are not irritated and working properly, your joints move smoothly and painlessly. However, when a bursa becomes swollen and inflamed, the condition is known as bursitis. When pressure or friction is too great, excess fluid can build up in the bursa sac causing swelling and inflammation. When a bursa becomes inflamed, moving your wrist becomes very painful and movement can be difficult. Any actions that put pressure on the inflamed bursa in your wrist can increase irritation and cause further inflammation and pain.
*Bursae is the plural form of bursa.
Do You Really have Wrist Bursitis?
Visiting your doctor when you have wrist pain is always recommended, as there are many possible issues that can happen within the wrist and arm. Sometimes, one set of symptoms can result in multiple diagnoses. Some conditions exhibiting symptoms similar to wrist bursitis are as follows:
What Causes Wrist Bursitis?
Repetitive wrist movements (Repetitive Stress Injury) during work or activities that you do frequently (i.e. mouse movements, typing, sewing) is also a major cause of wrist bursitis. Sports with throwing or wrist twisting movements, such as baseball, badminton, and tennis can lead to wrist bursitis.
How Do I Diagnose Wrist Bursitis?
When you are experiencing wrist pain, visiting your doctor is always recommended, as there are many conditions that can cause wrist pain such as carpal tunnel syndrome, a fracture, a sprain, or bursitis.
To begin with, your doctor will gather a medical history about you and your current condition and symptoms. He/she will inquire about the intensity of your wrist pain, the duration of your symptoms and the limitations you are experiencing. Details about what what may have started the pain, when it started, and whether or not you have ever had treatments for this or a similar condition in the past, are very helpful in assessing your injury.
A physical examination will be performed to determine if you have any signs of wrist bursitis or other wrist injury. He/she will visually assess and palpate (feel) the bones and soft tissue in both your wrists to evaluate symmetry and recognize any differences. This will identify any abnormalities, such as swelling, bone deformities, atrophied muscles, redness and/or warmth on the skin. In many cases, the first sign that you have bursitis is swelling in the wrist.
An x-ray may be recommended to rule out a fracture, bone spur, or other foreign body as the cause of your wrist pain.
Therapies that decrease swelling and inflammation, treat scar tissue, and restore strength and movement in your wrist will help you beat bursitis and get rid of your wrist pain.
Wrist Bursitis Symptoms
If you have wrist bursitis you may be experiencing
- Pain in the wrist especially if the wrist is bent back and weight is put on it
- A small lump or swelling at the top or side of the wrist
Learn More About Bursitis Injuries & Treatments
I want to learn more about Post-Surgery Recovery
I want to learn more about T•Shellz Wrap® Blood Circulation Boost
I want to learn more about Ice & Heat: Which Is Better For Treatment?
I want to learn more about Bursitis Treatments
I want to learn more about Bursitis Surgery
FREE SHIPPING ON ALL OUR PRODUCTS
During your recovery, you will probably have to modify and/or eliminate any activities that cause pain or discomfort at the location of your soft tissue injury until the pain and inflammation settle. Always consult your doctor and/or Physical Therapist before using any of our outstanding products, to make sure they are right for you and your condition. The more diligent you are with your treatment and rehabilitation, the faster you will see successful results!
Product Advisors are available 9:00 am to 5:00 pm Eastern Standard Time Monday to Friday.