What is a Wrist Sprain?
A sprain is an injury caused by twisting or straining the ligaments
of a joint. A ligament is a flexible tissue which connects bones and
cartilage. Wrist is the joint at the base of your the hand. Your wrist
is made up of eight bones that are attached to your hand bones and the
bones of your forearm.
How does Wrist Sprain occur?
A wrist sprain occurs when you fall on an outstretched hand. This fall stretches or tears the ligaments of the wrist.
Common causes of wrist sprains include the following:
- Accidental falls.
- Playing contact sports, or while in-line skating, snow boarding,
cycling, or while playing soccer, football, baseball, volleyball, etc..
- Poor balance.
- Limited flexibility.
- Muscle weakness.
- Loose joints.
- Failure to use proper protective equipment such as wrist guards.
Wrist Sprain Symptoms :
- Pain, tenderness, and swelling around the wrist after a fall.
- Redness, warmth, or bruising around the wrist.
- Pain while moving the joint.
- A deep ache in the wrist.
Wrist Sprain Treatment :
- Rest your wrist and apply R.I.C.E. treatment (Rest , Ice , Compression , Elevation ).
- Elevate your wrist on the back of a chair or couch while sitting or on a pillow while sleeping.
- Take an anti-inflammatory or other pain killing medication prescribed by your doctor.
- Your doctor may recommend that you use a brace to prevent mobilization in your wrist, especially when playing sports.
- If you have a severe sprain, your doctor may recommend a plaster cast for two to three weeks.
- See a
certified hand therapists
for flexibility, range of motion for the injured wrist.
- See a doctor that will tell you some strengthening exercises for your wrist.
- While you are recovering from your injury you will need to change
your sport or activity to one that does not make your condition worse.
For example, you may need to run instead of playing basketball.
- Surgery may be needed to repair a ligament that is torn completely, or if there is an associated fracture.
When can I return to my sport or activity?
The goal of rehabilitation is to return you to your sport or activity
as soon and as safely as possible. But, if you return too soon you may
worsen your injury, which could lead to permanent damage. Everyone
recovers from injury at a different rate. Returning to your sport or
activity will be determined by your recovering ability, the sooner your
wrist recovers, the sooner you can return to your sport or activity.
Returning to your sport or activity is not determined by how many days
or weeks have passed since your injury occurred. In general, the longer
you have symptoms of the injury, the longer it will take to get better.
You may return to your sport or activity when the injured wrist has
full range of motion without pain. Your doctor may allow you to return
to competition with your wrist taped or in a brace. Your injured wrist,
hand, and forearm need to have the same strength as the uninjured side.
You must not have any pain when doing activities such as swinging a bat
or a racquet or performing tumbling in gymnastics.
Prevention for Wrist Sprain:
Wearing protective gear, such as wrist guards, may help prevent wrist
sprains in some sports. Playing by the rules, and simply being aware of
your surrounding may also help prevent falls that lead to wrist
A sports injury specialist could :
- Prescribe anti inflammatory medication.
- Reduce swelling by compression devices.
- Use ultra sound and laser treatment.
- Tell some strengthening exercises.
- Use cross friction massage.
- Prescribe a full rehabilitation program.
- Operate if the ligament has torn completely.