Bursitis of the Wrist
(Ulnar and Radial Bursitis)
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.
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
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 elbow will help you beat bursitis and get rid of your wrist pain.
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.
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.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is the name for a group of problems that includes swelling, pain, tingling, and loss of strength in your wrist and hand. This condition will happen when the median nerve, which runs from the forearm into the hand through the carpal tunnel, becomes squeezed (compressed) by damaged tissue inside or outside of the carpal tunnel.
Flexor Tendonitis two sets of tendons, called flexor tendons, which are responsible for the fine movements of the hand. They are located on the palm side, and are made up of tissue called collagen and elastin. When the tendons become irritated, causing wrist and hand pain during movement and tenderness when direct pressure is applied.
Extensor Tendonitis. In the top of the wrist and back of our hands, there are a set of tendons, called extensor tendons, which are responsible for the fine movements of the hand. The extensor tendons at the wrist level are strained and tendon sheaths become inflamed. A more forceful wrist flexion with something like a small garden shovel in a repeatedly drawn toward the body, while planting a garden. This strains the wrist flexor tendons which may become painful with wrist motion, tender to direct pressure and possibly swollen.
Ganglion Cyst. Are the most common mass or lump in the hand. They are not cancerous and, in most cases, are harmless. They occur in various locations, but most frequently develop on the back of the wrist. Repeatedly apply stress to the wrist can cause a ganglion cyst. The cyst rises will out of a joint, like a balloon on a stalk. It grows out of the tissues surrounding a joint, such as ligaments, tendon sheaths, and joint linings. Inside the balloon is a thick, slippery fluid, similar to the fluid that lubricates your joints. Although many ganglions produce no other symptoms, if a cyst puts pressure on the nerves that pass through the joint, it can cause pain, tingling, and muscle weakness.
How Do You Treat Wrist Bursitis?
What You Can Do!
The most important factor in healing bursitis is resting your wrist. During your recovery you will probably have to modify or avoid the activities that stress your bursa until your pain and inflammation settle.
Treatments should involve decreasing swelling, relieving stress on your wrist and then restoring strength and movement in your wrist.
For non-infectious bursitis, the treatment starts with non-operative options such as
RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) has been recommended for years by doctors, trainers, and other medical professionals to treat the pain and swelling, chronic pain from injury and after any re-injury. Bursitis injuries need rest and time for the tissue to heal. If your bursitis is caused by an infection (septic bursitis), the doctor will probably drain the bursa sac with a needle and prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection.
When it comes to temperature therapy what's better to treat your wrist bursitis - heat or cold?
Cold Compression Therapy with a Freezie Wrap®
Although RICE can help to treat these symptoms, ice and freezer gel packs reach temperatures so low they can cause cryoburn, an ice burn on your skin. The problem is, up until now there hasn't been any other option to treat painful conditions and injuries, so ice and blue gel packs (full of anti-freeze and chemicals) have been the only choice up until now.
Fortunately you no longer have to settle for these ice cold methods that are uncomfortably cold against your skin, provide short term relief, cause ice burns, numb your skin and underlying tissue beyond feeling so you don't even notice the ice burn until it's too late and pool around your injury putting the cold everywhere except for where you need it most.
A Wrist Freezie Wrap® allows you to treat your wrist in an effective and convenient way. Our Freezie Wraps® will wrap around your wrist and palm keeping the cold right over your bursitis injury for the entire length of your treatment. Our food-grade, non-toxic gel packs can be chilled in the fridge or freezer to tailor the amount of cold that you need for your injury. It doesn't matter how you cool it down, because our gel packs are chock full of gel that's designed to cool down into millions of tiny snowflakes. This method of cooling means our gel packs aren't icy-cold and stay flexible even right out of the freezer! The cushioned gel will wrap around your wrist and it won't budge for the entire treatment period. You'll no longer have to deal with annoying pooling around your wrist
or have to hold a hard block of ice on your injury!
Tailor your treatment to your own level of comfort - use a Wrist Freezie Wrap® out of the fridge OR freezer. It's important to treat yourself with whatever your body is comfortable with. So if that means you can't handle a lot of cold, then use your cold packs for 10 minutes out of the fridge instead. You'll stil get all the benefits of cold compression therapy but with a treatment that's tailored for your needs. It's as simple as that.
Applying cold to your inflamed bursa will help decrease the swelling and redness in your elbow. Cold therapy will also help to numb the pain in your wrist and help to control the inflammation. In addition, the deep cooling effect provided by the Wrist Freezie Wrap® reduces tissue damage.
The Wrist Freezie Wrap® is soft and adjustable which makes it comfortable to wear and allows you to control the compression. This is important when treating an inflamed bursa because too much pressure can cause you further pain. You control how much pressure the bursa receives so you can benefit from the compression to hold the cold where you need it, without increasing your pain.
Applying cold to your tender bursa and wrist is the first step in treating your bursitis. Next, you can begin using the Inferno Wrap® to accelerate the healing process.
Click Here to learn more about Freezie Wrap® ColdCure Technology®
Inferno Wrap® Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™
Once the inflammation of your bursitis has been reduced with the Freezie Wrap® cold compression therapy treatment it is time to start BFST® treatments with the Inferno Wrap®. Regular treatments with the Inferno Wrap® will improve blood flow and improve the elasticity of your surrounding soft tissue. Your body needs a fresh supply of blood to improve the health of your tissue and get your wrist bursa back to normal.
Unfortunately, when you are suffering from bursitis in your wrist it can be painful to lift a cup or type. When you limit movement in your wrist because of the pain the blood flow is reduced, starving your tissue of the necessary oxygen and nutrients. The trick is to find a way to increase blood flow without causing pain and/or further irritating the bursae. This is where Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™, or BFST®, becomes a powerful tool.
BFST® compliments your body's natural healing process by promoting blood flow while you give your wrist the rest it needs.
The Wrist Inferno Wrap® uses a patented process to generate the same energy that is part of the sun's spectrum of light, the same energy that is necessary to all living things for optimum health. The energy emitted from the Energy Web® stimulates blood flow to your wrist, more than your body would ever be able to generate on it's own. This gives your body the boost it needs to continue the reconditioning process. The healing energy reaches into your wrist to speed tissue repair, whisk away the toxins and dead cells, and rejuvenate the tissue in your wrist for improved elasticity.
With these easy therapies, you will notice significantly reduced pain and an incredible improvement in your wrist pain and range of motion.
Learn More About SUPERIOR Bursitis Treatments
Learn more about how the Wrist Freezie Wrap® is designed to be the most effective cold compression wrap on the market today.
Learn more about how the WristInferno Wrap® helps with the healing process.