3 signs that you have a bone spur on your wrist bone

Bone Spur on Wrist

When you think of bone spurs, you may immediately think of heel pain. That’s because many bone spurs develop in the heel, where weight and gravity strain the joint. However, bone spurs can occur in any place where two joints meet or where ligaments and tendons meet the bone. Sometimes, this can include the wrist. 

Knowing some of the telltale signs of a bone spur can help you find treatment more quickly and effectively. Physical therapists can also help you determine whether you have a bone spur and the best exercises to address your wrist pain

What is a bone spur?

After a wrist injury, your body may overcompensate in the healing process by creating calcium deposits at the site of injury. These calcium deposits can build into a bone spur that protrudes from your wrist. A bone spur is a hard, bony growth that can grow as a result of repetitive strain injuries. However, they can also occur due to underlying conditions, especially those that have caused joint damage over time. As a result, arthritis is a major cause of bone spurs. You may be at a higher risk of developing a bone spur as your age or weight increases. You can also suffer from a bone growth because of poor nutrition.

Bone spurs tend to grow slowly. Over time, the growth can get big enough that it rubs against surrounding bones, tissue and nerves, leading to intense pain. In addition, a spur can break off from your wrist bone and get stuck on the lining of your wrist joint, leading to worsening pain. 

While a bone spur in your wrist may not initially be accompanied by major pain, pain can develop if left untreated. Bone spurs may cause permanent damage of the nerves that run through your wrist. Sometimes, you may need surgery to remove your bone spur and resume functioning. 

How do you know if you have a bone spur on your wrist bone? 3 signs to look for

Often, bone spurs can occur with few to no symptoms, making diagnosis difficult. However, if you’re experiencing the following symptoms in your wrist, they’re signs that you may have a bone spur:

  • Pain when moving your wrist — If you have a bone spur on your wrist bone, you may experience significant discomfort and pain when moving your wrist. This symptom is often accompanied by tenderness and swelling, which may limit your mobility.
  • Weakness and tingling — A bone spur can cause weakness or numbness in your hand or fingers. Sometimes, it may even feel like your hand has fallen asleep. This symptom is most likely caused by the bony growth squeezing a nerve in your hand. The tingling sensation can occur suddenly and get worse over time.

  • Stiffness — Bone spurs in the wrist can lead to joint stiffness, especially first thing in the morning or after resting for long periods throughout the day. In turn, this joint stiffness can tighten the muscles around your joint and lead to more pain. 

It’s important to talk to a physical therapist or other medical professional to explore treatments that may help manage your pain and limit the bone spur’s growth on your wrist bone.

3 benefits of physical therapy for wrist bone spurs

Bone spurs in your wrist can be treated through a variety of methods including rest, ice packs, and steroid shots that help reduce inflammation. Physical therapy can be an effective nonsurgical treatment for a bone spur on your wrist; physical therapy can also help you achieve a faster recovery if you do require surgery. Some of the benefits physical therapy can offer include: 

  • Improved wrist mobility — Physical therapists can use manual therapy techniques to help you improve your mobility and reduce your wrist inflammation. This kind of therapy is achieved by applying deep pressure to the tissue around your joint and releasing tightened muscles around your bone spur. In addition, joint mobilization techniques can allow a physical therapist to slowly move your wrist joint, even if it’s difficult for you to do yourself.
  • Education on managing pain at home —Physical therapy treatments don’t stop in the clinic. Your physical therapist will also provide you with advice on how to manage your condition at home to help prevent further complications. They may also prescribe a program of therapeutic exercises designed to improve your wrist’s range of motion and ease your pain.

  • Improved strength and endurance — Your physical therapist can treat muscle weakness caused by a bone spur on your wrist and inflammation around the joint. Strengthening exercises can be an effective way to reduce inflammation. In fact, a study found that grip strengthening exercises eased patients’ chronic wrist pain. 

Excel PT can help you recover from bone spurs on a wrist bone

If you think you may have bone spurs on your wrist, contact us. Excel Sports & Physical Therapy can provide a one-on-one consultation and a thorough evaluation. Our physical therapists are skilled and fully dedicated to your recovery process.