Shooting wrist pain and numbness when I rotate wrist or push buttons or holding a spatula or knife

by Kathy
(Midwest USA)

Hi! I think I have wrist tendinitis: I cannot rotate my wrist without pain, and I especially cannot do many things right now without shooting pain and weakness, such as holding a bowl, pushing buttons, fluffing up pillows in bed, or using a spatula or steak knife.

The pain is in my right wrist, and I have had this problem for 5 years, although I have learned how to avoid 'tweaking' my wrist so that I don't end up in the situation I am in right now.

I am 43, in good shape, not great diet, do all handyman work and housekeeping work for two houses, recently started a group power class using dumbbells although I am careful with the wrists in all my activities.

History of right arm: since late teens, experience dull throbbing numbness in whole arm when standing at attention, sitting in dentist chair or hair salon chair. Chiropractor addressed this in my spine but it's still there. Three months ago, I swung off a stepladder and smashed my elbow into a brick wall...could not bend the arm further than 90 degrees for more than a week. Still feel soreness when I am on the elbow in bed, for example.

I will see a hand expert in two weeks. What do you think I have? Should I self-cure or go see the doc, too?

Thank you!!!


Joshua Answers:

Hi Kathy.

I would never tell someone to not go see a doctor, but I'm curious, what is s/he going to do? Other than take an xray, what is going to happen?

You'll be told to take it easy and Rest it, maybe put it in a sling or Wrist splint or brace, and to take some Anti-inflammatory drugs like Ibuprofen.

Will any of that help? It's worth a shot, I guess.

PROBABLY the elbow hurts
because you banged it on the wall and have some bone bruising, which means it's going to hurt a good long while, slowly getting better over time. You can speed that up with icing and massage.

Lack of range of motion if the elbow is inflammed etc is unsurprising.

Is it worth getting checked out by a doctor? That's your call. Just all depends on A. how bad it is and B. what exactly they're going to be able to do for you.

Granted, I'm a fan of self-cure. If I get shot by a gun or hit by a car, I WANT to go see the doctor.

If I have something more subtle, like Wrist Tendonitis or Tendonitis in general, not so much.

Make sure to see: What Is Tendonitis


1. What exactly did the chiropractor address in the spine?

2. If you lift one/both hands/arms up over you head to the ceiling, does that increase the numbness?

3. When you sleep at night, do your fingers and/or wrist curl into the 'claw'?

4. Describe the sensation of not being able to press buttons etc. Painful? Weak? Etc. Details details details.

5. More details.

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 Shooting wrist pain and numbness when I rotate wrist or push buttons or holding a spatula or knife

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Mar 13, 2019
by: Sheila

Hello. I am a 17 year old female in JROTC, and I have the exact same problem. Rotation of my right wrist to the left creates sharp pain that feels intense within the bone. I am worried as I have PT tommorow, and there is no way I can avoid push ups.

A quick question: Would push ups damage my already hurt wrist? I can push things and hold things as well, but it only creates pain when I rotate it to the left.

Thank you for anyone’s help!


Joshua Comments:

Hi Sheila.

How'd push ups and go? It's been a couple weeks since you posted this.

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