Wrist pain isn’t uncommon, yet in many cases, the most challenging aspect is figuring out what’s wrong.

Wrist bursitis can be very uncomfortable, but many sufferers don’t even realize they have it. There are various treatments, so if you can determine that this is the issue, you can get on the road to recovery.

In this guide, we’ll go over some of the common symptoms of wrist bursitis so you can get an idea of whether you have it or not. Keep reading for more.

Causes of Wrist Bursitis

A bursa is a small cushion that sits between tendons and bones, and bursitis is when these become inflamed. We have more than 150 bursae in the body, so this can occur in other areas too.

It’s often difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of wrist bursitis. It’s generally linked to overuse, strain, or repetitive movements. As we’re always using our wrists, it’s one of the more common types of bursitis.

There are some issues that can make bursitis more likely, such as:

  • Previous injury or surgery
  • Bacterial infection (called septic bursitis)
  • Weak wrist muscles
  • Trauma (such as a hard fall)
  • Rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis
  • Gout complications
  • Improper sports technique
  • Thyroid conditions

Wrist bursitis can occur in anyone, but it’s worth noting that it becomes more common with age.

Wrist Bursitis Symptoms

One of the most common symptoms of wrist bursitis is pain; particularly weight-bearing pain. The wrist may feel fine at rest but could hurt when in use, though in bad cases there can be constant pain.

Wrist swelling is also common. This can manifest as swelling of the entire wrist, or there may be a small lump. It’s often warm and tender to the touch.

Wrist Bursitis Diagnosis

Even if you have these exact symptoms, the issue may not be bursitis as various other health issues can be similar. You’ll want to get a diagnosis from a trained professional to be sure.

One common test is bursa aspiration. This involves collecting a small amount of fluid from the joint and testing it for infection or gout.

An X-ray is also a common approach. Tendons don’t show up, but this is a good way to see if there’s any sign of a bone fracture or other damage.

Wrist Bursitis Treatment

Wrist bursitis treatment typically focuses on reducing pain and inflammation. There are various approaches, and a professional will be able to make suggestions based on your situation. Some common treatments include:

  • Rest
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Pain medications
  • Cold therapy
  • Physical therapy
  • Antibiotics (if the cause is infection)
  • Cortisone injections

In cases of severe bursitis, surgery may be the best approach. It’s usually recommended to try less invasive treatments first, but these prove ineffective for a lot of people. Surgery can then serve as a more reliable treatment.

Professional Help With Wrist Bursitis

If you think you have wrist bursitis, you’ll want to seek professional assistance for a diagnosis. Some rest and recovery may be enough to treat it, but this may not be the case.

At the Idaho Shoulder to Hand Specialists, we can provide diagnosis, treatment, and surgical repair for wrist bursitis and a range of other conditions. Book your appointment with us today.