Wrist/Forearm Pain

Wrist and/or forearm pain, numbness, tingling, and/or weakness can be caused many things. These include but are not limited to: falls, overuse, non-ergonomic work stations, underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, thyroid disease, and arthritis, awkward positions and postures, and certain activities and sports. Common problems include wrist/forearm tendinitis and/or strain, carpal tunnel syndrome, tenosynovitis of the thumb, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, "trigger finger," fractures, sprains, and ligament injuries.


May include pain in the forearm, wrist, and/or digits (fingers), swelling, numbness and/or tingling, diminished strength, diminished range of motion, popping, clicking, and catching.


If the employee is unsure regarding what is causing or aggravating his/her symptoms, he/she should first be evaluated by his/her primary care physician. If the physician and employee think the condition is occupational, the employee should file a worker compensation claim and contact Employee Health Services to make an appointment. If the employee does computer work such as keyboarding, data entry or reports, the first step is to make sure that the workstation and computer are set up to fit the employee. This can be checked by reviewing the Computer Workstation Self Evaluation. These are given to every new employee who does computer work during his/her physical at employee health. If after reviewing the checklist the employee still has questions or concerns, he/she should contact the Workers' Compensation unit and arrange for an onsite workstation evaluation. If the employee's symptoms persist after the workstation has been adjusted, he/she should be further evaluated as discussed above.

Work status

The employee may work. If the condition is not occupational, the employee's personal physician is responsible for determining if the employee needs any work restrictions. If employee health is treating the employee, the employee health treater will make this determination.
Developed by Employee Health Services