Wrist Tendonitis (wrist pain)

Woman holding her wrist in pain

What is Wrist Tendonitis?

Tendons are the thick cords that bind our muscles to our bones.  Inside our wrists, there are several tendons that are responsible for helping us make many varied and subtle movements with our hands and fingers.  Wrist tendonitis (or tendinitis) is when there is inflammation in one of the tendons in your wrist.  Keep reading to learn more about wrist tendonitis and how acupuncture can help.

Wrist Tendonitis Symptoms:

If you have wrist tendonitis, you may not experience any severe symptoms.  Some people observe a dull, achy pain in their wrist, especially after waking up in the morning.  Your wrist may also feel stiff and may hurt when you apply pressure.  Other symptoms of wrist tendonitis may include:

  • A creaky noise when you move your hand
  • Limited range of motion
  • Mild swelling
  • Weakness when performing motions like gripping, typing, throwing, or pinching.

What Causes Wrist Tendonitis?

Inflammation of your wrist tendons may occur for different reasons.  One of the main causes of the condition is repetitive movements such as writing, using a computer, playing sports, or doing physical work.  However, wrist tendonitis may also be caused by:

  • Injury
  • Diabetes
  • Arthritis
  • Poor wrist posture
  • Age

When a tendon is inflamed, this can also affect the sheath around the tendon.  If this occurs, you may have trouble moving your hand.

Wrist Tendonitis Treatment

You’ll be glad to hear that there are many options when it comes to treating wrist tendonitis.  Each treatment is different and can help you manage your condition in different ways.  Common treatments include:

  • Heat and cold therapy to minimize swelling
  • Splints that can give your wrist stability and time to heal
  • Exercises and stretches to improve motion and flexibility
  • Occupational therapy to address motions that may cause your condition
  • Medications to reduce inflammation
  • In severe cases, surgery may also be an option

Chinese Medicine is an ancient system of medicine which has been used to treat many different health conditions.  One of the main techniques in Chinese Medicine is acupuncture, in which your practitioner places thin needles into specific sites on your body.  Acupuncture is a great way to treat wrist tendonitis, because not only can it address the external symptoms (such as stiffness or pain), it can also address underlying issues that may be contributing to the problem.

By accessing the complex network of energy meridians in your body, acupuncture can adjust the flow of energy and circulation of blood.  Improving blood flow means more blood can flow to your tendons, giving greater resources for healing.  Acupuncture is also ideal for providing natural pain relief, by adjusting energy imbalances or stagnations.  Researchers have found that, “Acupuncture may be effective and safe for short-term pain reduction and functional improvement in hand-and-wrist conditions.”


Overall, wrist tendonitis is an inflammation of the tendons in your wrist.  It can cause symptoms like stiffness, pain, and reduced range of motion of your hands and fingers.  Wrist tendonitis can be treated in many ways, but acupuncture is a natural and effective way to treat the condition.


Trinh, K., Zhou, F., Belski, N., Deng, J., & Wong, C. Y. (2022). The effect of acupuncture on hand and wrist pain intensity, functional status, and quality of life in adults: A systematic review. Medical Acupuncture, 34(1), 34–48. https://doi.org/10.1089/acu.2021.0046

Snyder, A. (2018, June 20). Tendonitis of Wrist. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/tendonitis-of-wrist