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Wrist pain while wearing Apple Watch

revdlc

macrumors newbie
Sep 29, 2006
6
0
Washington State
I've been wearing a Series 3 Watch for several years, and just upgraded to a Series 6. I have a dim memory of some discomfort from the Digital Crown poking me, especially when typing or doing anything that had me bending my hand back. I solved the problem by turning the watch around (there's a setting for that) and the pain went away. YMMV...

The other reason I turned my watch around was because the mic was opposite the Digital Crown, so more aimed toward things I might want to record. The newer watch has its mic on the same side as the Digital Crown and the crown is thinner, so I might try it the other way again, but at this point I'm used to it being on the left.
 
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edhchoe

macrumors 65816
Oct 28, 2011
1,252
722
I know a person who said she could not wear an Apple watch because of the pain it causes.
 
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Puonti

macrumors 65816
Mar 14, 2011
1,068
599
...I'm now wondering if it might have to do with some of the frequencies being emitted from the device (not sure if this is scientifically sound...).

No, it does not. And no, that's not scientifically sound.

You did the right thing to react to pain - that's what pain is for - but your attribution is simply inaccurate.
 
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wilberforce

macrumors 6502
Aug 15, 2020
371
283
NVM
Curious if anybody else on here has had wrist pain while wearing their Apple Watch?
I guarantee the answer to this question will absolutely be yes.
In fact the answer to the following question will almost always be yes:
"Has anybody else had XXX pain while wearing their YYY?"
Someone, somewhere, will have had pain due to just about everything. We are a jumble of nerves.
Yours is a reasonable question, but the answers may not mean much. :)
 
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Brookstar

macrumors newbie
Nov 14, 2019
26
6
I received my SB TI yesterday and I must say that after 10 mins or so of wearing it I had a ‘wierd’ pain in the underside of my wrist where the back of the pin is ( black sport band) and tingling / numbness in my little finger
The watch is not too tight and I am used to wearing a Seamaster on a regular basis

I turned it off and kept in on for a while and the ‘weird’ pain and numbness in my little finger subsided - yet even after taking it off last night my my wrist and little finger still feel odd !

I will trying it again today while at work with a spell of it turned on and off
 
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Dobbel

macrumors member
Dec 13, 2018
33
23
Netherlands
To rule out the “ frequencies being emitted” put a piece of aluminium between your wrist and the aw and try again to wear it.
 
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wilberforce

macrumors 6502
Aug 15, 2020
371
283
I received my SB TI yesterday and I must say that after 10 mins or so of wearing it I had a ‘wierd’ pain in the underside of my wrist where the back of the pin is ( black sport band) and tingling / numbness in my little finger
The watch is not too tight and I am used to wearing a Seamaster on a regular basis

I turned it off and kept in on for a while and the ‘weird’ pain and numbness in my little finger subsided - yet even after taking it off last night my my wrist and little finger still feel odd !

I will trying it again today while at work with a spell of it turned on and off
Sounds like pressure on the ulnar nerve (as it innervates the little finger and half the ring finger)
 
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Richard Peters

macrumors 6502
Jul 18, 2010
428
500
Surrey, UK
Just to add my nephew received his first watch recently. He almost immediately started to complain that it ‘felt weird’ on his wrist. Tingling etc. Then developed a rash all the way around his wrist after several days of wearing.

It turned out he is allergic to the material in the OEM sport bands (we aren’t entirely sure if it’s the pin or the band). He then purchased a 3rd party stainless steel strap and 3rd party ‘Nike’ sport band and hasn’t had a problem since.

For those with odd sensations, it might be worth noting what band you’re wearing and if other bands of different materials reduce the sensations.
 
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Richardlench

macrumors member
Jun 20, 2016
70
64
Turn the watch off, and wear it for 24 hours. See if it still happens. That will determine if it's the watch pushing on a nerve (unlikely, but possible), or electrical signals causing it (impossible)
 
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wilberforce

macrumors 6502
Aug 15, 2020
371
283
nvm
Turn the watch off, and wear it for 24 hours. See if it still happens. That will determine if it's the watch pushing on a nerve (unlikely, but possible), or electrical signals causing it (impossible)
This may not be a good test.
The most common cause of tingling along the ulnar nerve (especially in the little finger) is pinching of the ulnar nerve where it passes around the elbow joint (cubital tunnel), or damage/compression of the exposed nerve at the elbow due to a strike ("funny bone"). Bending of the elbow can further aggravate the pinching.
Bending of the elbow is also needed to observe/operate the watch, and is likely to be much less frequent if the watch is not on, or if a regular classic watch is used instead of an Apple watch (which would also be used more frequently when new).
Thus this test may falsely conclude that having the watch on is somehow radiating something that causes tingling of the ulnar nerve, whereas in fact it is the act of frequently using the watch (and bending the elbow to do so) that is causing the tingling. The former is a spurious correlation, whereas the latter could be the actual causation.
This is not just some far-fetched conjecture of mine: I have had constant tingling of my left little finger for the past 10 years due to cubital tunnel syndrome, and is worsened by elbow bending. It can be corrected by surgery to reroute the nerve past the elbow joint, but there is a small risk of severing the nerve, so I just live with it.
If this is the OP's problem also, hopefully it will naturally subside (which can take months, for nerves), by avoiding aggravating it.
A doctor can provide a proper diagnosis (as there are specific medical tests such as measuring the transmission along the ulnar nerve), not just some dude like me on an internet forum. :)
 
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ZipZap

macrumors 603
Dec 14, 2007
5,738
1,043
I have this same issue with the S6. I wear the band a bit looser and the issue goes away. I dont use the sport loop.
 
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dazex

macrumors member
Feb 23, 2010
33
1
So funny running across thread. Because my wife has similar issue with the very first Apple Watch. However the pain is extend closer from her elbow towards the watch. My opinion is like all the other commenters here of course, and roll my eyes and make joke about it in the way a husband can. But my analytical mind secretly want to figure out what could be causing it.

We never got to the bottom of what about the Apple Watch original was causing it. Some background...She always wear a watch because she’s a medical doctor. It keeps her on track. She loved the Apple Watch for it’s ability to keep her connected without needing to pull out iPhone. Her problem was, when she is wearing the Apple Watch, the pain appears by the end of the day. Removing it, the pain eventually disappears and arm returns to normal. It even follows when wearing it on the other arm. We thought it might be weight or pressure points, but No other regular watch affects her arm that way. Even when the weight is comparable. She tried different Apple Watch bands and how tightly she wears the watch. She even contacted Apple back then and they sent her a new watch. Which didn’t improve the situation. All this troubleshooting happen over a span of many months. Eventually, she had to give up wearing the Apple Watch and all the problem went away and haven’t encounter the issue since.

Anyways, she is gonna jump back into the world Apple Watch with the series 6. Hoping they improved the watch construction and whatever issue they may have had to be causing the sensitivity. Shielding, EMI leakage...Who knows. I warned her there is more sensors now. She said it’ll be a good test to revisit...and the new Solo loop feels even more comfortable. Fingers crossed that it works out for her. We just got the shipment notification last night.


I know it can be hard chasing down fringe cases like this so I figured I’ll relay my wife’s story to support that her And the OP are both crazy... 😝 <— I am kidding.

Really hoping the new watch will work out for my wife though.
 
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dazex

macrumors member
Feb 23, 2010
33
1
The other reason I turned my watch around was because the mic was opposite the Digital Crown, so more aimed toward things I might want to record. The newer watch has its mic on the same side as the Digital Crown and the crown is thinner, so I might try it the other way again, but at this point I'm used to it being on the left.

You’re giving extra reason to support this author...
:)
 
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erkanasu

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 11, 2006
435
22
thanks all for sharing your stories and insights into this matter. very interesting - it does seem there is a small percentage of the population that has strange **** happening to them when they wear the watch.
 
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BigMcGuire

Contributor
Jan 10, 2012
6,395
7,965
California
thanks all for sharing your stories and insights into this matter. very interesting - it does seem there is a small percentage of the population that has strange **** happening to them when they wear the watch.

In my family, (sisters/brother) - we have different reactions to certain types of deodorant. For some of us, X brand works fine, and others of us, it causes horrible rashes. I will get red dots all over my body if I use a certain brand of dryer sheets while my sisters have no problem. I love the taste of raw grapefruit but no one else in my family does.

lol. You read those stories of people who freak out when they install cellular towers - complaining of headaches, vision loss, and all sorts of health problems - only to find out that the cell tower hadn't been turned on yet.

2-3 times a year I get a massive migraine that lasts a few days. I can't explain it, but it is some of the worst pain ever. Pills have no effect. Every year...

I think our bodies are extremely sensitive and we're all a bit different.

What scares/interests me is how much we don't know.
 
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Puonti

macrumors 65816
Mar 14, 2011
1,068
599
it does seem there is a small percentage of the population that has strange **** happening to them when they wear the watch.

Absolutely. The important part is how someone who experiences things they are unable to immediately explain reacts to that experience.

There's those who are willing to accept that they don't for the time being know why it happens and take reasonable measures to deal with whatever immediate ill-effects they are experiencing, and then there's those who jump to improbable, impossible or worse yet ludicrous conclusions because they have a hard time accepting the fact that there's mundane things in life they at that time don't have the capacity to explain or understand.

As @BigMcGuire noted above, there's a lot we don't know - and that's OK. What's troubling is having learned of the Dunning-Kruger effect and not knowing if it applies to you... ;)
 
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wilberforce

macrumors 6502
Aug 15, 2020
371
283
I agree, there is a lot we do not know.
Correlation does not mean causation, even though it may seem very compelling.

The "cum hoc ergo propter hoc" logical fallacy
 
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erkanasu

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 11, 2006
435
22
Agreed with all the above. More data is required. And we should also not immediately reject Early data points as irrelevant too just because it’s not conclusive.
 
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wilberforce

macrumors 6502
Aug 15, 2020
371
283
Agreed with all the above. More data is required. And we should also not immediately reject Early data points as irrelevant too just because it’s not conclusive.
Agree.
The scientific method is to make a hypothesis, and then test the hypothesis. The hard part is coming up with a good test. The objective of the test should be to try as hard as possible to disprove the hypothesis, and NOT to attempt to support the hypothesis.
Then see if the conclusions of the test are independently repeatable by others.
It takes many positive experiments to support an hypothesis, but only one negative experiment to disprove it. (Assuming the experiments are valid).
It is a pretty high bar to achieve.
 
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Benios

macrumors newbie
Sep 30, 2020
3
2
Last week I bought my first apple watch and in numerous moments I felt a light tingling or some kind of light pain in my wrist underneath the watch. Of course I was a bit irritated, I can't remeber having symptoms like this with other classic watches.

Whatever, if something like this occurs to someone, we shouldn't be surprised or oversceptical. People have physical or allergic reactions to all kinds of crazy stuff and what applies to one person does not automatically have to suit someone else. When you experience these kind of irritations yourself they are at least real for you, even though there exists no data/ measuring instrument for your case.
 
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DontGetTheCheese

macrumors regular
Nov 22, 2015
244
141
I find the bulge around the sensor pushes in further than I remember. This seems to push against something, like a bone and makes wearing the watch more uncomfortable than I remember in past versions. Maybe the SS case is the problem, but physically, the effect of this hurts, significantly.

If this doesn't resolve itself someone will get a deal on Swappa or EBay.
 
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erkanasu

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 11, 2006
435
22
Last week I bought my first apple watch and in numerous moments I felt a light tingling or some kind of light pain in my wrist underneath the watch. Of course I was a bit irritated, I can't remeber having symptoms like this with other classic watches.

Whatever, if something like this occurs to someone, we shouldn't be surprised or oversceptical. People have physical or allergic reactions to all kinds of crazy stuff and what applies to one person does not automatically have to suit someone else. When you experience these kind of irritations yourself they are at least real for you, even though there exists no data/ measuring instrument for your case.

well said. I definitely felt "minimized" by many of the early responses who ruled my experience out as ridiculous
 
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techtechtech

macrumors member
Nov 9, 2017
90
102
UK
well said. I definitely felt "minimized" by many of the early responses who ruled my experience out as ridiculous
Not ridiculous at all, I had similar pain/sensation when trying the Series 4, happened on both wrists so I went back to the Series 3 which had always been fine. I wondered if the sapphire or ceramic on the back was causing some issues, maybe the new (at the time) Bluetooth, hard to know. Will see how the Series 6 works out that recently arrived.
 
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