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Arthritis in your wrist is better known as osteoarthritis. It's not as common as rheumatoid arthritis, but it can be very painful.
If you have osteoarthritis of the wrist you are likely to have pain and stiffness in the joint, and you will notice that your range of motion is limited. This can be quite debilitating as it can have an impact on the type of everyday activities you can carry out. It is generally found in people over the age of 45 but can also be caused by a broken or sprained wrist.
Wrist arthritis can be exacerbated by playing sports like tennis or golf, which require a grip, and you may notice wrist pain when you are opening a door, or taking a lid off a jar. The symptoms are often worsened by these activities, and you may notice a sudden flare up of wrist pain. This will usually settle given some rest and you may benefit from some anti-inflammatories to help reduce the swelling.
You can also apply ice packs to the affected area to try to settle any inflammation. Try applying for 20 minutes at a time every few hours - just make sure you wrap the ice in a towel and never apply it directly to your skin.
Depending on the severity of your symptoms, you may have a long time in between flare ups, or you may get another quite soon after. This is when resting will no longer have any positive impact on your condition and instead of alleviating the symptoms resting can actually bring them about.
From here you will need to see a specialist who can pinpoint your problem after taking X-rays and MRI scans. Once they have identified the specific areas affected by the arthritis they can recommend treatment. This could involve lifestyle changes such as getting cutlery, tools or sporting racquets with larger grips, which can relieve the pressure on your wrist.
You can help to try to prevent wrist injuries by avoiding repetitive movements during work or sport, and take regular breaks from the computer to avoid too much pressure on your wrists.
Physiotherapy can also help to keep your wrist mobile, as can corticosteroid injections. You may also be suitable for wrist fusion surgery, which should relieve the wrist pain. Wearing a wrist support in the form of a wrist brace is essential following surgery as this will help to heal and strengthen your wrist. You will need to wear this for about six weeks and after around three months following the surgery you will be able to resume your normal activities, including a gradual return to sport.