When Should I See a Doctor for Wrist Pain?

Wrist PainOftentimes, we don’t realize how much we use our wrists until we start to experience pain. Then, every movement—from typing out emails to turning a key in a lock—becomes a nightmare. However, since many minor cases of wrist pain can be treated through immobilization and compression, you may find yourself wondering whether you need to seek out a doctor or even a wrist specialist for your condition. Fortunately, you don’t need to waste time with endless debate. There are a few tell-tale signs that you should seek out a medical professional for your condition.

Traumatic Wrist Injuries

Severe wrist pain caused by a traumatic injury—like a fall or a blunt impact—always requires immediate medical attention. If you experience any of the following symptoms, it’s best to visit a wrist doctor at an emergency care center immediately:

  • Obvious deformity
  • Severe pain
  • Numbness
  • Limited movement
  • Weakened grip

These symptoms usually indicate a fracture which, if improperly set, will not heal correctly and leave you with lingering pain and permanent mobility limitations.

Non-Traumatic Wrist Injuries

What if your wrist pain isn’t severe, though? Well, you may still need to consult a wrist specialist. Try resting and elevating your joint at home, applying ice and compression as necessary. If, after 24 hours, you still experience any of the following symptoms, then you should schedule an appointment with a board-certified wrist doctor:

  • Lingering pain and swelling that persists even when you aren’t using your hand
  • Pain that changes or increases with movement
  • Pain that prevents you from resuming your normal, everyday activities
  • New swelling, redness, or heat around your wrist

These symptoms may indicate the presence of a more severe underlying condition, which your wrist specialist will be better equipped to diagnose and treat. Swelling and redness should be monitored particularly closely, as they may indicate an infection.

Of course, if you’re experiencing regular wrist pain and you live in Wyoming, you can always turn to the board-certified and fellowship-trained physicians of Premier Bone & Joint Centers. Schedule an appointment at one of our conveniently located clinics today.