The wrist is a very complex hinge joint that consists of 15 bones between the forearm and hand. When there is inflammation-the body's natural way of trying to protect itself-anywhere in the wrist, it's called wrist arthritis. There are over 100 different kinds of arthritis, but when it occurs in the wrist, it's usually due to either osteoarthritis (OA) or rheumatoid arthritis.
The most common symptom of osteoarthritis is pain in the wrist. This pain usually gets worse when performing movements like turning a door handle, opening a jar or during gripping sports like tennis and golf, but it may be relieved with rest. Some patients will also experience swelling, tenderness when the wrist is touched, or lose their ability to move the wrist well. As a result, the pain and loss of motion can lead to weakness in the wrist, which makes it difficult to perform certain tasks. Symptoms are mainly similar in rheumatoid arthritis, but there may also be some stiffness in the morning, general discomfort, and pain and swelling in the knuckles as well.