A wrist sprain is a common injury that can range from mild to severe. When a wrist ligament is stretched too far beyond its limit this can also cause it to tear. If you have a wrist sprain you may see swelling and bruising or your sprain may be tender or warm to the touch. You may also feel a popping or tearing in the wrist. While your symptoms may be mild, it’s best to get them checked out by a doctor. Some fractures may heal incorrectly forcing you to require surgery which could’ve been avoided. If you don’t seek early treatment you may also suffer from chronic pain, stiffness, and arthritis in addition to the surgery required to treat the wrist sprain that didn’t heal correctly.
A ligament is a fibrous tissue used to connect one bone to another. Ligaments keep your bones in place and stabilize the joint. Wrist sprains occur due to a fall on an outstretched hand which can cause your wrist to be twisted forcefully. You may experience anything from a ligament being overstretched or tiny tears in the fibers of the ligament. Athletes or those who enjoy outdoor activities are at an increased risk of having a wrist sprain due to the increase of activity in their daily lives.
Nonsurgical Treatment Options for a Wrist Sprain
Your treatment is dependent on the severity of your injury. The most common treatment is “RICE” which stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. We will ask for you to not use your wrist for a minimum of 48 hours. While resting apply ice (not directly on the skin) for 20 minutes several times a day. Next, reduce the swelling in your wrist by wrapping it with a compression bandage. Finally, as you’re resting elevate your wrist higher than your heart. This is an important step, especially at night. Anti-inflammatory medication like ibuprofen or Tylenol can be used to relieve your pain and inflammation.
If you’re an athlete like a skater, skateboarder, or skier, wear protective tape to support your wrists from bending too far if you fall.