wrist pain but no swelling

by lisa
(lake forest ca)

hello, i have been experiencing pain in my right wrist, on the inside, below my thumb for about 2 weeks. i am not quite sure what i did to it. i do work out 5 days a week, and train with weights, this has been my routine for over 15 years so i thnk my bones are pretty strong?

but i think i may have strained or maybe sprained it? but i have not had any swelling, or bruising, or bumps, the vein on the side of my wrist swells a bit occasionally.

i have iced it, i have been wearing a wrist brace for a few days now , which helps. but it still hurts.

i,m trying to just wait it out for a few weeks and not go to the dr. what do you think it could be considering the absence of swelling, etc



Joshua Answers:

Hi Lisa.

You don't have to have swelling to have a Process of Inflammation.

You can have pain, even debilitating pain, without injury, without swelling, etc. Then again, you can have injury and pain and no swelling WITH injury.

Having said that, it's unlikely that Wrist splints and braces are going to fix anything.

So I don't know what it could be, let's find out.

1. Do you think that it's Dequervains Tendonitis?

2. Do you think that it's Wrist Tendonitis?

3. Did you do anything that would have strained or sprained it?

4. How heavy do you lift?

5. How's your nutritional/caloric intake?

6. History of pain or injury?

7. Overall health?

8. What's your Vitamin D level?

9. How exactly have you iced it?

10. Describe the pain. Details details details.

11. Anything else relevant or interesting?

Please reply using the comment link below. Do not submit a new submission to answer/reply, it's too hard for me to find where it's supposed to go.

And, comments have a 3,000 character limit so you may have to comment twice.

Joshua Tucker, B.A., C.M.T.
The Tendonitis Expert

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Comments for wrist pain but no swelling

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Jan 04, 2013
Does Tendonitis cause swelling, wrist pain and swelling in fingers
by: Katelyn P

Okay so I've had pain in my wrist and forearm for about a week now, and it seems to be getting worse to where I can barely open a soda or turn a steering wheel. I can't bend it back or forward because it causes pain and across the top of my hand I have pain.

I thought I might have sprained it, but I don't recall doing anything to sprain it. I'm debating on going to a Dr because I would hate to go if it's nothing serious. Also I just recently noticed the ring that used to be kind of loose is now so tight around my finger it leaves marks and I can't where it.

So my question is does Tendonitis cause swelling in the fingers?


Joshua Comments:

Hi Katelyn.

Generally speaking, tendonitis does not cause swelling.

Having said that, the Process of Inflammation is a factor in the Tendonitis Pain Causing Dynamic.

So it's not impossible that the nervous system thinks there's a problem and kicked in some inflammation, which traps fluid in the area and releases pain enhancing chemical.

But, could also be protein insufficiency, hormonal, or a whole host of other issues.


1. A little swelling, or a lot?
2. What do you do with your hands/arms that might be related to wrist tendonitis?
3. Overall health?
4. Age?
5. How's it gone in the two weeks since you posted the question?

The more details, the better.

May 13, 2014
Wrist pain, weakness, hurts to bend back
by: Steven

This morning on 03/02/2013. I suffered pain with my wrist when i bent it back. I tried using my hands to sit up and my wrist was in pain. I feel like i lost strength.

I feel like it needs to crack but it will not, i feel like its just uncomfortable. I tried going to the bathroom and pulling the nob i felt slight pain for a second. I grew up playing video games since i was 5 i think. I am 21 now. I type allot on keyboard for pc or playstation 3. I do do allot of repetitive things. I maybe exercise 2 or 4 times a month for the past 4 years. i have been eating process foods, frozen dinners my dad and i buy.

I dont smoke but i drink 3 times a month average and in the drinking i have 1 to 4 beers or 2 shots of liqueur. I drink wine sometimes maybe 3 times a month. have frozen vegetables with my dinners sometimes, but sometimes its all pasta like foods or chicken.

What do i do? I have allergies started last year i am allergic to dust mites, cat, grass pollen. I have mild scoliosis. I ride my bicycle in spring/summer


Joshua Comments:

Hi Steven.

What to do? Make it better.

Reverse the tightness, reverse the inflammation, reverse the nutritional insufficiency.

Right off, learn How To Reduce Inflammation

New onset of allergies may be a sign that your immune system isn't up to snuff/is overtaxed. I wonder how much gluten you eat and how that inflammatory agent is affecting your immune system function.

I'm not too worried about the tendonitis symptoms, do some effective self care and see what happens with that.

It's been a good while since you posted this. Give us an update (has it gotten better, has it gotten worse?), and we'll go from there.

See related: Can't Lift A Coffee Mug Due To Wrist Tendonitis

Sep 10, 2014
Wrist pain, no swelling, wrist popping
by: Gina

Hi Joshua,
For the past week I have been experiencing pain in my wrist on the lateral side from my 1st metacarpral to the trapezius and scaphoid area that seemed to come on suddenly and without injury that I can recall. There is no swelling, no redness, no tingling/numbness, just a continuous aching pain that turns into a very sharp stabbing pain when performing certain actions such as abduction and adduction of my hand and when I lift my sons. This morning i was feeling a very interesting 'pop' in my wrist when I made those movements. I'm not sure what it is and if I should wait it out or have it looked at.


Joshua Comments

Hi Gina.

-Probably- there's just some chronic spasm going on, such that muscles are tight and staying tight. So it's like you have a clenched fist (the muscle is clenched, anyway) and then you try to clench some more (by moving to do something) and then all of a sudden you feel pain, which is muscle spasm essentially.

THis also explains the wrist popping, as tight muscles cause other muscles to tighten, so structures crossing the joint are tightening up and compressing the joint. Compressed joints have to 'jump' through their range of motion when they're compressed...thus the pop.

Start massaging the area. Find the tight spots and see if you can feel a twitch and/or constant twitches in there.

See: Magnesium For Tendonitis

Mar 19, 2015
wrist pain in the joining of your lower arm to the wrist/hand
by: Gaby

Hi. I fell down the stairs the other day and hit my wrist against the banister and there has been no swelling or bruising along my arm.

And the pain doesn't go away and I cannot move my wrist . Do you perhaps know what has happened?


Joshua Comments:

Hi Gaby.

Did you hit the wrist against something, or did you land on it (get hit with a bat, or fall and catch yourself in something like a push up position)?

Describe what the impact looked like (did you impact against bone, or more the 'meat'_=)? Where exactly did the impact happen?

How bad is the pain?

How limited is the movement?

Apr 19, 2015
Wrist Pain from setting weights down
by: Cess

Hi, my wrist hurts when i twist it, it happened last march 29, 2015 when i used to do push-up row at the gym.

i used 10lbs each for my left&right arm, i think i put all my weight on my right arm after in doing the push up row, because i didnt carefully put down the barbell gently on the floor while doing that and that maybe the reason why mg wrist hurt.

the pain on the first one week is tolerable (2/10) but now i really feel the pain when i twist it (7/10) what could be the remedy for this?


Joshua Comments:

Hi Cess.

Read the thread, follow the links you find in the thread. Keep reading.

There's plenty to learn and do.

Then come back with questions, updates, etc.

Oct 10, 2015
pain in my right wrist, no swelling, I presume it's tendonitis
by: Liz

Hi Joshua

I'm 55 years old and I've recently been getting pain in my right wrist which I presume is tendonitis. There's a tender point on the inside of my right wrist directly underneath my little finger. There's no swelling or numbness.

The pain usually lasts for a couple of days and then subsides with rest. I'm right handed and I think the pain is caused by my spending a lot of time drawing and painting.

I try to work for no longer than an hour without a break, but the pain is occurring more frequently and I'm worried that it'll become permanent.

I think it might go if I stopped drawing and painting but it's an important part of my life and I really don't want to do that. The artwork that I do is detailed and involves frequent small movements of my wrist with my fingers curled around a thin pencil or paintbrush.

I would be interested to know if you could recommend any treatments or exercises and if you think any adaptations to my work tools might help - I've seen somewhere recommended that a wider pencil or brush so that the fingers are less curled could help.

I'm otherwise fit and healthy and take no medication. (I'm reluctant to take anti-inflammatories due to the potential side effects of long term use.)


Joshua Comments:

Hi Liz.

1. The pain isn't caused by drawing etc. It's present because your body is not functioning optimally/can't function at the level that you are active at. It's not working right, and it's not recovering.

2. Anti-inflammatory drugs like Ibuprofen are fine to get you through the day, but are not a good long term option, plus they come with potentially negative side effects.

3. I wouldn't worry that it will become 'permanent' in the sense of the word, but it is predictable that things won't get better. Meaning, taking time off won't help/won't allow symptoms to go away. And/or they will go away but will come right back with use.

Tendonitis is 100% reversible, so even if you've had pain for 20 years, I don't consider that 'permanent'. I consider it 'not reversed yet'.

4. If you stop drawing it predictably won't go away. The pain might, but will return with use. Tendonitis is a dynamic, made up of multiple factors, and some of those factors are strucutral changes (shortening and tightening) that aren't reversed with Rest.

There's a big difference between Rest and Relaxation

May 07, 2016
wrist arm and neck pain
by: Anonymous

My mom picked up a bottle by the cap because there was no handle on it. She is 66 has diabetes and a heart problem along with being a typist for years.

Now 30 years later, she picks up a 5litre bottle and her whole hand from the thumb, wrist , arm and neck hurts!

I have checked for everything I can think of. There is very little swelling to the thumb, but there is no swelling to the wrist and no bumps, bruises, cuts or any indication of injury, The healthy wrist and the painful wrist look identical.

I gave mom an Excedrin but she says it does not help. I even put a magnetic wrist band on the wrist to hep some. But the pain does not make sense! What is going on?


Joshua COmments:

Hi Anonymous.

It totally makes sense.

1. She has diabetes, so her entire system isn't working right and lacking nutrition.

2. She has heart issues. I don't know what they are, but in general, that points to the body not working correctly and lacking nutrition.

3. She has tendonitis symptoms. Tendonitis can show up most anywhere.

It's a dynamic made up of multiple factors. And one can have debilitating pain without anything visible like redness or obvious swelling.

See: What Is Tendonitis?

4. Read this thread. Follow the links and read those pages too. That will help you make sense of what's going on.

May 10, 2016
wrist pain but no swelling..
by: Anonymous

So this morning I was getting dressed and I felt something pop in my left wrist (underneath my thumb).

I Don't know much about wrist problems but this pain is unbearable. Ice doesn't help nor does ibuprofen. Please help.


Joshua Comments:

Did you injure yourself? Meaning, did something rip/tear?

You can have bad pain without a tear injury, but at this point, having said only what you've said, you need to get an MRI or otherwise determine what's going on (or isn't) in there.

Jun 09, 2016
3 years of pain after push ups
by: Anonymous

so about 3 years ago in the middle of my workout I was doing pushups and felt a pop in my wrist.

after that I had this lump on my wrist and it would protrude when I would bend my wrist forward.

eventually the lump went away but ever since then, no more push ups, no more dips.. I am unable to put all my weight on it.

If im in push up position (for example) I cant extend my arm completely because the pain in my wrist is too much... almost like my brain isn't receive the information to bend my wrist any more..

I know I should have went to the doctors -yes I am silly. however its getting to the point that even lying in bed normal- doing nothing with my wrist i'm feeling an ache all the way up my forearm..


Joshua Comments:

Hi Anonymous.

Well, it sounds like you either:
A. tore a tendon
B. tore some connective tissue that held the tendon in place.

It makes sense that it would be a good move to verify what's going on in there.

Depending on what exactly is affected in there, treatment options vary.

Having said that, have you done any self care to make things better?

Jul 06, 2016
wrist Pain
by: Anonymous

HI . i’ve been experiencing wrist pain for four months now . my wrist is not swelled , but when i twist it i felt a brisk pain at the wrist area like my tendons/ veins / arteries got tear ( below my pinky/baby finger ) however i can move my wrist upwards and downwards without feeling pain .

I’ve visited several chinese doctors , although it did recover a lil , but still it didn’t fully recover . and while i rotate my wrist , it produces lots of cracking sound ( might be because i didn’t use it for a long time?) .

When i visit the hospital , the doctor told me that it might be due to nervous thingy , so i’m really unsure of what's happening inside my wrist , what could be the problem?


Joshua Comments:

Hi Anonymous.

Sounds like a tendonitis dynamic to me.

Meaning, too tight muscle and connective tissue, inflammation process, and lack of nutrition.

TIght muscles in the forearm pull on the tendons that connect to the hand. That compresses the wrist joint and causes the cracking sound.

Read this entire thread and follow the links (and read those pages).

Sep 07, 2016
Wrist feels sprained, no swelling
by: Daytona

A few days ago I noticed a bad pain in my wrist when I bent it. I don't know how, but I thought I sprained it.

The pain has been getting worse as the days go by, and I've lost more movement in my hand (but there's been no swelling or bruising).

I can barely bend my wrist forward or back, and my fingers are weak. I type a lot for work, so that hasn't helped it.

I have wrapped it in a tensor bandage for a few days, but I don't think that's doing anything. I'm 19 and don't have a lot of time to go to the doctor. It's only been about three or four days since the pain started. Is it serious enough that I should get it checked out?

It's starting to hurt bad, and I don't remember doing anything that could've sprained/ hurt my wrist.


Joshua Comments:

Hi Daytona.

If you're worried enough to think about getting it checked out by a doctor, that's never a bad idea.

They'll (probably) do an xray (though that will only show a bone fracture scenario).

They'll unlikely do an MRI (which will show tendon issues etc) because it's far more expensive.

The problem with seeing a doctor in your described scenario is there's not much they can do anything about it other than tell you to rest and suggest painkillers and anti-inflammatories.

The problem with not seeing a doctor, is that if it's something medically dangerous there's a likelihood they can catch it.

Maybe you're actually injured, -probably- you're just having an acute tendonitis symptom (from a change in nutritional status or something).

1. Have you taken any fluoroquinolone antibiotics recently or ever?

2. Do you have any other health issues going on?

Sep 25, 2016
Wrist pain from 200lb box falling on it
by: Anonymous

Two days ago was loading an 18 wheeler and when we were all lifting a 200 lbs wooden box into the truck, it fell and landed on my right wrist.

At first I couldn't move anything at all but it wasn't and still isn't bruised, swollen, etc.

I can move it around but it hurts to the touch.

Most of the pain is on the right inside of my wrist straight down from thumb and on the back of my hand in a line coming down my ring finger. Not sure if sprained.

I don't want to go to the doctor for them to say nothing is wrong with it.


Joshua Comments:

Hi Anonymous.

Did the box -fall- on your wrist? Like an impact and we should worry about crush injury?

Or were you holding it all the way down?

Oct 14, 2016
Wrist Pain
by: Laisa

I woke up two days ago with this acute pain in my left wrist.

Since then i cant'bend my wrists down as i can feel the pain instantly however i can move it backwards.

The pain starts at the base of my thumb even when i bring my mu pointer and thumb together in a bending formation.There is no swelling.

What can i do and is it serious?


Joshua Comments:

Hi Laisa.

I don't know if it's serious. Presuming it's not a blood clot or something weirdly medical, you're probably just having a 'weird' pain dynamic.

Slept on it wrong maybe such that something was problematically compressed for to long a time, or one or more muscles were stuck firing really hard all night, or both, and/or your nutrition has finally hit a low and your body can't work properly, etc.

I'd ice dip A LOT as described on the How To Decrease Inflammation page for a few days, and let me know what happens.

Oct 17, 2016
Wrist pain after fall
by: Stephanie

My wrist pain started after a fall.

While dancing I twisted my ankle and came down on my hands.

They hurt the next day pretty good but I knew they took a big hit, no swelling or bruising. A week later they still hurt.

It got considerably better, but now the pain radiates up my arm. It comes from the thumb side, although I do get some pain on the finger side as well. I'm just wondering why it would feel better from the initial hit then start getting worse.

I do have 2 small children that I am lifting on a regular basis.

Thank you.


Joshua Comments:

Hi Stephanie.

The answer to your question is 'The Pain Causing Dynamic'. See the link to that topic in this thread.

Basically, your body adapted to the initial acute pain, but while that was happening, the body was also responding in different ways.

Which ultimately lead to tightness and pain somewhere down the road.

And, 'considerably' better doesn't mean better...it just means 'less pain'.

Also, see the 'how to reduce inflammation' link and do a bunch of ice dipping.

Let me know what happens.

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