Common Causes of Shooting Pain in the Wrist

shooting pain in the wrist Twin Boro

Shooting pain in the wrist can develop from a number of causes. Wrist sprains and strains often result from sudden injuries, such as falling or sport accidents. Aching wrist pain can also be a result of chronic conditions, such as repetitive stress. Sharp, shooting pain into the hand, however, is frequently due to nerve disorders, such as carpal tunnel syndrome.

Learn about common causes of shooting pain in the wrist, treatment options and when to seek treatment.

Why Do I Feel Shooting Pain in my Wrist?

For people suffering with tingling, numbness or shooting pain in their fingers, wrist or forearm, carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is the first diagnosis to come to mind. CTS is one of the most common entrapment neuropathies —  a condition resulting from direct pressure on a nerve. CTS sufferers often complain about gradual symptoms that affect the dominant hand first. As symptoms worsen, they may experience decreased grip strength, temperature differences and a feeling of swollen fingers, even though no swelling is apparent.

Other symptoms of carpal tunnel include dull aching pain, as well as shooting pain in the wrist, palm, fingers and up the forearm. Weakness, tingling and numbness may also occur. If not addressed properly, this condition can get worse over time, leading to permanent nerve damage.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is not the only cause of shooting pain in the wrist. Some other health problems may present similar symptoms as carpal tunnel syndrome, including:

  • Arthritis
  • Ligament damage
  • Neuropathy, nerve problems
  • Wrist injuries, such as a fracture
  • Cervical (C6-7) root compression in the neck

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by compression of the median nerve as it travels through the carpal tunnel (a small area in the wrist). CTS results in numbness and tingling in the hand and/or arm. This pinched nerve can lead to acute, radiating pain.

CTS often results from overuse of the wrist and hand, particularly from repetitive activities. Repeated motions like typing or computer use, driving, long-distance cycling, sewing or working on an assembly line can increase instances of CTS. Carpal tunnel can also result from sudden injuries, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, pregnancy or obesity.

Women are three times more likely than men to develop carpal tunnel syndrome. This is possibly because the carpal tunnel itself may be smaller in women than in men.

How Can Physical Therapy Help Shooting Pain in the Wrist?

The first step in treating shooting wrist pain is rest. Minimize use of your wrist and stop any activities that are causing obvious shooting pain. Early treatment is important and will depend on the severity of your symptoms. Consult with a physical therapist to develop a customized wrist recovery plan.

Your physical therapist will begin with an in-depth wrist evaluation. After a full assessment, the physical therapist will create a unique treatment plan, which may include non-surgical treatment options such as:

  • Wrist splinting to reduce the pressure on the median nerve
  • Nerve gliding exercises to help the median nerve glide more freely in the tunnel
  • Hands-on physical therapy treatment such as massage therapy and stretching.
  • Anti-inflammatory medication can also help to reduce inflammation and pain.

As one of the top physical therapy centers in NJ, Twin Boro utilizes a unique One2Four approach to help patients suffering with shooting pain in the wrist get to the root cause and find the relief they need.

Call the skilled experts at 1-877-304-3000 or schedule an appointment to learn more about Twin Boro Physical Therapy in NJ and receive a treatment plan made specifically for you.

Twin Boro Physical Therapy: Voted Readers’ Choice Best of New Jersey

Voted Readers’ Choice Best of New Jersey, Twin Boro has provided NJ residents with high quality physical therapy and rehab for over 38 years! It’s our award-winning approach, proven results and reputation that sets us apart. By incorporating the One2Four program into each patient’s program, the latest and most reliable scientific research and techniques are incorporated into effective evidence-based practice. We deliver only the highest standard of care with the unique One2Four approach.

It’s no surprise that Twin Boro Physical Therapy has also been voted the best physical therapy practice in New Jersey by the readers of

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