A sprain is an injury to the ligaments and muscles, tendons and soft tissues around a joint. In most cases it is the ligament that is affected in a sprain. Ligaments are made of connective tissue and their function is to connect two or more bones.
Wrist sprain is a common injury of hand. Your wrist consist several small bones; there are many ligaments that connect these bones. Wrist gets sprained easily when your hand twists or if your wrist is bent forcefully, such as while playing sports or fall on the overstretched hand.
Causes And Symptoms Of A Wrist Sprain
The common causes for wrist sprain are:
- From a fall.
- Direct hit on the wrist joint.
- Extreme twisting of wrist joint.
- Wrist sprain is common in gymnasts, basket ball players, divers,
These are few risk factors for wrist sprains; however it can happen to anyone who falls on the ground or losses his balance and tries to catch something for support.
The symptoms of wrist sprain can be felt as soon after the injury or it can be after some hours. It depends on the severity of injury.
- Pain is the first symptom perceptible by the patient who has wrist injury.
- The person is unable to move his hand or hold an object.
- Swelling is another common symptom of wrist sprain.
- Tender to touch. Slightest touch causes severe pain if the ligaments are torn.
- There may be associated bruising due to damage to the tiny blood vessels of the hand.
- High wrist pain can be one of the symptoms of sprain. However, high wrist pain can be due to conditions such as carpel tunnel syndrome.
Treatment For A Sprained Wrist
While most cases of wrist sprain require some time to heal, others may need more intensive treatment for healing.
As with other injuries, RICE (rest, ice, compression and elevation) is helpful in healing of sprain wrist joint.
- Rest: give your wrist rest for two days when it is sprained.
- Ice fomentation reduces pain and swelling. Apply ice two to three times in a day for two to three days.
- Compression: compress your wrist joint with an elastocrepe bandage. It gives stability and support to wrist joint. It also prevents excessive bending of wrist joint.
- Elevation: keep your wrist above the heart level. It will help to reduce swelling. You can keep it on the back of a chair many times in a day.
- Severe wrist sprains require casts and splint to keep it immobilized. It should be for a short period till you consult a doctor.
- After the acute symptoms have resolved, start doing mild exercises as shown by your physician to prevent stiffness of wrist joint.
- Eating turmeric is beneficial when your wrist is sprained. Turmeric is a natural anti inflammatory agent. It helps to reduce pain and swelling.
- For severe wrist sprain, it may take long time to heal, especially if the ligament is torn. With minor wrist sprain, it usually takes three weeks to heal.