Causes of Wrist Pain/Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
      Wrist pain is a very common pain disorder in modern daily life. Many job related activities such as using a computer, cutting hair, and carpentry, can overload the muscles of the forearm with daily repetitive tasks. Trigger points that refer pain to wrist are likely to develop from the muscular overload. Unfortunately, many people are misdiagnosed with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in these situations, and undergo needless surgeries.
      Symptoms such as numbness and tingling sensations in the fingers may also result from trigger points in muscles of the neck and shoulder region. People with these symptoms are often diagnosed as having Thoracic Outlet Syndrome.
       Both Thoracic Outlet Syndrome and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome are disorders that are more likely to be created by trigger points than by anatomical or structural malformations. Not only can trigger points refer pain that mimics these disorders, but the muscle tension created by these trigger points will frequently compress nerves as they travel in the neck, shoulder, and forearm regions, and produce the other symptoms associated with these syndromes.

The Muscles and Trigger Points that Cause Wrist Pain
     There are over ten muscles that can contain trigger points that produce wrist pain and/or numbness in the hand or fingers. The following four muscles are the most commonly involved.
  • The Wrist Extensors
  • The Wrist Flexors
  • The Scalenes
  • The Pectoralis Minor
      The Wrist Extensors are the muscles that are located on the back of the forearm. They attach on the lower portion of the upper arm bone (the humerus) and run down the forearm to attach to the wrist bones. These muscles contract to flex the wrist backward (like the motion of working the throttle on a motorcycle). Trigger points in these muscles refer pain to the back of the wrist region. They also can cause a person's grip to be weak.
      The Wrist Flexors are the muscles that are located on the inside of the forearm. These muscles attach to the lower portion of the upper arm bone, and run down the inside of the forearm to attach to the wrist bones. Contracting these muscles causes the wrist to flex or curl. Trigger points in these muscles cause pain that is felt on the inside of the wrist, thumb, and fingers. People with these trigger points will have difficulty using scissors.
    The Scalene muscle group is found deep in the lower neck. It flexes the neck to the side and helps to lift the rib cage when you inhale sharply. Trigger points in the Scalene muscles can produce strong pain in the chest, shoulder, and shoulder blade regions. Pain, numbness, or tingling sensations may also travel down the arm to the wrist. Tension in this muscle may compress the nerves as they exit the neck region. This may contribute significantly to Thoracic Outlet Syndrome.
     The Pectoralis Minor muscle is a small muscle that lies underneath the larger Pectoralis Major muscle group. This muscle attaches to the Shoulder Blade behind the collar bone, and runs downward to attach to the upper ribs in the front of the upper body. This muscle can contain two trigger points that refer pain over the chest and shoulder regions, and sometimes the pain may extend down the inside of the arm. Trigger point produced tension in this muscle may cause it to compress nerves and blood vessels as they pass through the shoulder region. This nerve compression is frequently a component of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, which causes pain and/or numbness in that travels down the arm and into the wrist, hand, and fingers.
Important: The following content is provided for information purposes only. A proper diagnosis of any condition requires a physical examination by a licensed doctor.