Wrist Pain: Causes and what to do

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Pain in the wrist can have many triggers - sports or stress in everyday life (for example daily work at a desk) are among the most common causes. But injuries to muscles, ligaments, tendons and bones as well as various diseases can also trigger wrist pain. Fortunately, there are some simple measures that affected people can take themselves to alleviate and positively influence movement restrictions and pain in the wrist.

What are the causes of wrist pain?

Woman doing push-up

Wrist pain can have a variety of causes. Below are common causes of wrist pain summarized for you:

Overuse or poor posture, e.g., during sports or at work.

  • Tendinitis
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Injuries to tendons and ligaments
  • Bone fractures, sprains or bruises
  • Hyperkinesia
  • Degenerative changes in the wrist


A common cause of wrist pain is overuse during sports. Excessive training, improper execution or poor posture can provoke ligaments and tendons, causing sufferers to experience wrist pain when moving or leaning on something. A typical scenario for sports-induced wrist pain is overuse during push-ups. Beginners, in particular, may experience wrist pain when propped up due to the unaccustomed strain. Wrist sprains or bruises are other typical sports injuries that can often be self-treated with the help of wrist supports or (kinesiology) tape. For persistent wrist pain or acute injuries such as a sprain or suspected fracture, you should always consult a doctor.

What helps against wrist pain?

With three simple tips against wrist pain, you can relieve the discomfort yourself and support the joint in the healing process and prevent recurrent pain.

Wrist support packshot

Tip 1: Stabilize with wrist supports

Support aching wrists by wearing a wrist support. These often help with acute pain as well as chronic pain. Wrist supports reduce pain, stabilize and relieve aching, weakened and overworked wrists. Amateur and professional athletes can also benefit from the supportive function of a wrist support during daily training.

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Cohesive bandage packshot

Tip 2: Immobilize and mobilize the wrist alternately

In the case of pain caused by overuse, additional stabilization of the wrist can help. With elastic bandages or a self-adhesive cohesive bandage, you can immobilize the wrist without restricting movement. In addition to supporting the wrist with the above methods, you should make sure to exercise regularly; if the function of a wrist is persistently limited, doctors and physiotherapists can help restore normal wrist functions with specific exercises and pain-free mobilization.

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Man on chair

Tip 3: Specific exercises against wrist pain

Especially when you are sitting at your desk in the (home) office, loosening of the joints in between is indispensable; here it is purposeful to consider not only the wrists but also the shoulder neck region, which has a direct influence on the wrists. Here, simple shoulder circles and neck stretching can already work wonders. Short exercises such as regular stretching of the forearm muscles and simple active movement of the wrist, which you can do in between work, have a targeted effect on pain, tension and stiffness.

In addition, you can do other exercises to strengthen the forearm muscles to support your wrist. Anti-stress balls are a helpful tool. Squeeze the ball hard with your hand ten times in a row every two hours to strengthen the muscles that support your wrist.

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Wrist taping

Applying tape for wrist pain is an easy way to relieve your discomfort and allows you to actively participate in sports and everyday life. Wrist tape is often recommended for an unstable or overworked wrist and conditions such as tendon and muscle irritation. There are a variety of application techniques depending on the cause of the discomfort.

How can I prevent wrist pain?

In various sports, overloading of the muscles and tendons - and thus also pain in the wrist - can be prevented in a simple way. Preventive measures such as wearing a wrist brace can mitigate abrupt loads, such as those that often occur in various ball sports. Warming up before and stretching muscles after sports can also help prevent wrist pain and injuries. 
In general, if you are starting sports or if you develop symptoms in the wrist area during the sports you are already doing, you can independently try to positively influence them with a wrist brace. Sports and regular exercise make the structures in our body such as muscles, tendons and ligaments healthier and more resilient, and also lead to more balance and psychological well-being. The many-sided significance of the positive effects of physical activity can therefore by no means be denied.

dr. richter
Reviewed by experts: Dr. Michael Richter




Dr. Michael Richter has been a state-certified physiotherapist since 1999 and works at the renowned “Rückenzentrum Am Michel” in Hamburg, Germany - an interdisciplinary center specializing in the treatment of people with acute and chronic musculoskeletal complaints.

He is an expert in manual therapy and exercise therapy and has been treating people with back and joint problems for 20 years. In addition to his enthusiasm for the manual treatment of patients, pain education is very close to Michael's heart and it has been his ambition for years to inform patients and colleagues with the best and scientifically sound facts on the subject of pain.

In addition to his practical work with patients, Michael was involved in teaching and research as a substitute professor in the field of physiotherapy at the Münster School of Health in Münster, Germany.

Please note that the tips and advice given on this website have been compiled with great care but can in no way replace medical advice and treatment. If you have or suspect a health problem, see a doctor and follow medical advice regardless of what you have learned on this website. 
If there is a serious injury, it must be assessed and treated by a (specialist) doctor. If you are unsure about the cause of your pain, you should also consult a doctor.
If the symptoms are accompanied by redness, swelling, overheating of the joints, persistent or severe pain and/or neurological symptoms (e.g. numbness, tingling) or if the pain radiates to the legs, a doctor should be consulted immediately.
The information on this website is not intended as a basis for self-diagnosis, treatment and medication.
Please always read the instructions for use or package inserts of our products carefully and comply with them.  
For more information about our products, please contact us via the Elastoplast hotline 040/ 4909 7570 (Mon.-Fri. 8.00 - 18.00h) or via e-mail at Elastoplast@Beiersdorf.com.

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