Wrist Bursitis Explained

Wrist bursitis (also known as 'horse-shoe abscess') is not as common as bursitis of other joints.

But when it hits, it can still cause a lot of pain, and only then you really realise how much work the wrist does for you every day.

In terms of anatomy, the wrist is made up of eight small bones, a couple of ligaments, tendons and two sacs of bursa. The radial bursa (fingers covered: thumb) and the ulnar bursa (fingers covered: index, middle, ring).


  • Daily motions

The fact that our wrists are constantly in motion during the day puts a large risk of overuse aliments, such as bursitis or tendonitis, on them.

This risk grows even stronger if your work or hobbies involve activities with repetitive wrist movements (e.g. mouse clicking, keyboard typing or gardening).

Natural wear and tear of the joints over time with age is normal.

  • Injury

Sudden trauma of the wrist - such as from a fall or blow into the area - can trigger bursitis.

Did you know that about 10% of all athletic injuries are somehow connected to the wrist?

Sports with throwing or twisting movements, such as tennis, weight lifting, cycling or baseball put the most strain on the wrist.

  • Other medical conditions

Pre-existing inflammatory conditions (e.g. arthritis or gout) can increase the occurrence of bursitis in the body, including the wrist.


  • Pain and tenderness in the wrist when bending the hand back
  • Pain in the wrist when lifting objects
  • Wrist pain even at rest and at night
  • A lump or swelling on the top or side of the wrist

Treatment & prevention

The inflammation of wrist bursa responds well to all the conventional and natural bursitis treatments.

However, the most important factor in recovering from this aliment is simply resting your wrist as much as possible, letting the aches and inflammation settle and heal.

In order to prevent the wrist bursitis flares from returning back in the future, you will need to limit - or avoid - the activities that caused the irritation in the first place.

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