Who do I have wrist pain when performing push-ups?

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Many individuals experience wrist pain at some point in life. In case there is wrist pain while performing push-ups, there might be an underlying health condition. While performing push-ups, the body weight is transferred to the feet and hands, thus resulting to excessive pressure on the supporting tissues in the wrists.

Many fitness buffs often perform repeated movements while exercising that can contribute to common conditions that trigger wrist pain while performing push-ups. It is vital to consult a doctor in order to determine the exact cause of the wrist pain.

Wrist tendinitis

The tendons are the fibrous tissues that connect muscles to bone. If wrist tendinitis is present, it involves irritation and inflammation of the tendon sheath due to repeated strain or excessive extension of the tendons in the wrist.

Wrist pain
Carpal tunnel syndrome causes wrist pain due to the pressure placed on the median nerve.

Always bear in mind that tendinitis is the usual cause of wrist pain and swelling among individuals engaged in various sports. In most cases, there is piercing or aching pain when the wrist is bent or when pressure is applied to the area. The pain often manifests abruptly and increases during movement such as twisting and bending of the wrists during certain exercises. The treatment involves resting the swollen wrist, application of a cold compress and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

Carpal tunnel syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome causes wrist pain due to the pressure placed on the median nerve. It is important to note that the median nerve is responsible for providing sensation to the hand and travels via a constricted passageway known as the carpal tunnel.

Performing push-ups adds pressure on the wrists and compresses the median nerve, thus resulting to symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. There is tingling sensation or numbness in the fingers or palm, wrist pain and weakened grip.

Wrist sprains

Due to the weight-bearing during push-up, it adds a lot of pressure on the wrists that can sometimes result to torn or stretched ligaments. A wrist sprain develops once the ligaments in the wrist that connect one bone to another ends up strained or injured.

There is also the possibility for several ligaments in the wrist to end up sprained due to the excessive load or force on the wrists, especially during push-ups. The individual can experience wrist pain, bruising, stiffness and swelling right after an acute sprain.


Many individuals suffer from arthritis of the hands, fingers and wrists. Two kinds of arthritis affect the wrists – rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Both forms of arthritis cause stiffness, weakness and pain in the wrist joint.

Performing push-ups adds extra pressure on the wrists and trigger the flare-up of arthritis. Osteoarthritis is considered as a common form and managed with steroid injections and anti-inflammatory medications while rheumatoid arthritis is managed with immune-suppressing drugs.

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