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What causes bilateral wrist pain?

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Posted on Mon, 24 Feb 2014
Question: Bilateral Wrist Pain. I am suffering severe swelling, stiffness and pain in my left wrist for 3 months and now the right wrist is now hurting much more. Both wrists were swollen and bent inword. I have been under the care of both Orthopedic Surgeons and Rheumatologists for most of that time. Diagnosis includes bloodwork, Xrays and MRIs. The Orthopedic Surgeon sees some irritation from the bone structure in the outer wrist; he applied a steroid shot which did reduce swelling which has lasted now for two weeks. I will get a steroid shot in my right wrist when I see my Orthopedic Surgeon next week. My Rheumatologist did not see the usual markers for RA but concluded that she needed to proceed with course of treatment which includes Predisone for swelling and Arava for inflammation. Both medicines have hit me with severe side effects including head pain, stomach pain, joint pain and sleeplessness. After taking these meds my head feels like it is going to explode which will go on for hours. I started the Arava a month ago with 1/2 a tab for 10 days and then stepped up to whole tablet and now for a week have been taking 2 tabs ... daily. Things are only getting worse ... both the severe side effects and the wrist pain, stiffness and swelling. Could there be other causes for this wrist pain other than RA ? There has been no injury that I know of ... but while the left wrist has been hurting and in a brace I was no doubt using the right wrist more. Other than that what are some other causes that I could consider?
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Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal (3 hours later)
Brief Answer: Due to inflammation. Detailed Answer: Hello, Thanks for posting your query. The bilateral wrist pain that you are having is likely to be due to RA. If there is no history of injury to the area then inflammation is the cause. It can happen due to overuse of the wrist joint in daily activities; excessive use of computer keyboard; inflammation of the tendons or tendon sheaths. Diabetes; hypothyroidism; raised uric acid levels can also aggravate the problem. The treatment you are getting is correct. Local steroid injection do provide a relief for 3-4 weeks. Soft tissue therapy can be used to break down adhesions that may be restricting the nerve. Neural stretching exercises are helpful under the care of a physiotherapist after the acute pain subsides. Make a note of which movements aggravate the pain, and try avoiding them to the fullest. Stick to your treatment plan and go for regular follow up. I hope this answers your query. In case you have additional questions or doubts, you can forward them to me, and I shall be glad to help you out. Wishing you good health. Regards. Dr. Praveen Tayal. For future query, you can directly approach me through my profile URL http://bit.ly/Dr-Praveen-Tayal
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T
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Dr. Praveen Tayal

Orthopaedic Surgeon

Practicing since :1994

Answered : 12368 Questions

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What causes bilateral wrist pain?

Brief Answer: Due to inflammation. Detailed Answer: Hello, Thanks for posting your query. The bilateral wrist pain that you are having is likely to be due to RA. If there is no history of injury to the area then inflammation is the cause. It can happen due to overuse of the wrist joint in daily activities; excessive use of computer keyboard; inflammation of the tendons or tendon sheaths. Diabetes; hypothyroidism; raised uric acid levels can also aggravate the problem. The treatment you are getting is correct. Local steroid injection do provide a relief for 3-4 weeks. Soft tissue therapy can be used to break down adhesions that may be restricting the nerve. Neural stretching exercises are helpful under the care of a physiotherapist after the acute pain subsides. Make a note of which movements aggravate the pain, and try avoiding them to the fullest. Stick to your treatment plan and go for regular follow up. I hope this answers your query. In case you have additional questions or doubts, you can forward them to me, and I shall be glad to help you out. Wishing you good health. Regards. Dr. Praveen Tayal. For future query, you can directly approach me through my profile URL http://bit.ly/Dr-Praveen-Tayal