Understanding Your Wrist Pain: Pinky Side vs. Thumb Side

Understanding Your Wrist Pain: Pinky Side vs. Thumb Side

Man Suffering With Wrist Pain

Wrist pain can be frustrating and debilitating, especially when it comes on suddenly or interferes with everyday tasks.

We use our hands for a lot of tasks that we take for granted, and pain in your wrist can make activities like carrying groceries, cooking dinner, and exercising painful.

While there are many different types of wrist pain, one of the most common distinctions is between pain on the pinky side versus the thumb side of the wrist.

Understanding the difference between these two types of pain can help you identify the cause and find long-term pain relief so you can get back to your normal life.

What Causes Pinky Side Wrist Pain?

Pain on the pinky side of your wrist is often related to an injury to the ulnar side of the wrist. This can include damage to the ulnar collateral ligament, which attaches the wrist bone to the pinky finger.

Wrist pain on the pinky side tends to be caused by tendinitis or fractures. Tendinitis occurs when a tendon becomes inflamed due to overuse or injury. Fractures occur when there is a break in one of the bones of your wrist from a fall or accident.

What Causes Thumb Side Wrist Pain?

Pain on the thumb side of the wrist is often related to an injury to the radial side of the wrist. This can include damage to the radial collateral ligament, which attaches the wrist bone to the thumb.

Wrist pain on the thumb side is often caused by conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome and arthritis which are chronic conditions that often develop over a period of time.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition in which the median nerve in your wrist gets pinched, leading to numbness, tingling, and burning sensations. Arthritis involves inflammation of the joints in your wrist, which can result in stiffness and swelling.

At-Home Remedies For Wrist Pain

No matter which side of your wrist is affected, there are several at-home remedies you can try to help relieve your symptoms that don’t involve pills – that we know people want to avoid at all costs!

Here are three tips to get you natural wrist pain relief at home:

Ice Your Wrist

Apply a cold compress or ice pack to the affected area for up to 20 minutes at a time, several times a day.

This can help reduce swelling, inflammation and acts as a natural pain reliever for your wrist.

Stretch And Strengthen Your Wrist

Gentle stretches and exercises can help improve flexibility and build strength in your wrist.

Try wrist flexion and extension exercises, as well as grip-strengthening exercises like squeezing a stress ball.

It’s not possible to say which specific exercises to do without seeing you in person, however, exercises and stretches are extremely effective, and our patients are able to achieve outstanding results thanks to the personalized exercises and stretches we can provide (where relevant).

Wear A Wrist Brace

In the short term, a wrist brace or splint can help support your wrist and keep it stable while you heal, and if you must continue to use your wrist.

Be sure to choose a brace that provides adequate support without restricting your movement too much, and most importantly try to limit your use of a wrist brace to the absolute minimum.

Becoming dependent on a wrist brace can actually lead to the muscles that support the wrist becoming weaker over time, and contribute towards more wrist pain in the future.

Important – If you try these tips and your wrist pain becomes worse, or the pain spreads to other areas of your body, then contact us immediately as there may be a more serious issue that needs addressing.

How To Get Long-Term Relief From Wrist Pain

Hopefully, your wrist pain is a short-term problem, and the tips from this blog give you fast relief.

However, some of these tips are still inconvenient to practice and are unlikely to address the underlying problem causing your wrist pain.

Ice packs can be helpful but not very practical during a busy day.

Wrist braces can also be uncomfortable, difficult to get used to, and also may make you feel self-conscious in public.

Exercises and stretches, while great, can be powerful but only if you are doing the right exercises and stretches at the right times, and in the correct manner.

To get truly lasting relief from wrist pain, we can help!

With the right care and treatment, you can get back to your normal activities and enjoy life pain-free without worrying over your wrist pain flaring up, or being distracted by a nagging ache in your wrist during the day.

At our physical therapy clinics in Boise and Meridian, we are currently offering a limited number of Free Wrist Pain Consultations where you can speak to an expert 1-1 for free.

You are given the time to ask questions, understand why your wrist is hurting, and how to get fast, drug-free pain relief.

Simply complete our simple webform, or call us on 208-939-0533 to speak to a member of our team.

Not Sure Whether Physical Therapy Is Right For You?

We understand that you may not have experienced physical therapy before (certainly not to the standard at our clinic), and might be unsure whether it’s right for you, and your wrist pain.

If so, we have a free report which contains the 50 Most Frequently Asked Questions Of Physical Therapy, which can help you decide what the right steps forward are.

Click Here To Download Your Free FAQ Report About Physical Therapy

More Resources For People Wanting For An Active, Pain-Free Life

Read our blog – Relieve Your Arthritis Pain

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