Sprained wrists are a common injury, especially for athletes. However, anyone can end up with a sprained wrist from a fall or other accident. It’s important to recognize the signs of a sprained wrist so that you can get the proper treatment.
Learn more about sprained wrists with this brief guide.
What Is a Sprained Wrist?
A sprained wrist is a very common injury, particularly among athletes. It occurs when the ligaments that support the wrist are stretched beyond their normal range of motion. This can happen suddenly, as in the case of a fall, or over time, as with repetitive stress on the wrist.
What Are the Signs That You Have a Sprained Wrist?
Symptoms of a sprained wrist include pain, swelling, and bruising. The wrist may also feel stiff and be difficult to move. If you think you have a sprained wrist, it is important to see a doctor for an evaluation. They will be able to determine the severity of the injury and recommend the best course of treatment.
What Are the Types of Sprains in the Wrist?
There are different types of sprains, depending on which ligament is affected.
1. Scapholunate Ligament Sprain
The most common type of sprain is a scapholunate ligament sprain, which occurs when the ligament connecting the scaphoid and lunate bones is stretched or torn. This sprain can be very painful and may require surgery to repair the damage.
2. TFCC Sprain
Another type of sprain, called a TFCC sprain, occurs when the triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFCC) is damaged. This complex is a group of tissues that helps stabilize the wrist joint. Tfcc sprains are often less painful than scapholunate ligament sprains, but they can still be debilitating.
What Does a Wrist Sprain Treatment Look Like?
If you think you may have a wrist sprain, it’s important to see a doctor right away. They can perform a physical examination and order imaging tests, such as an X-ray or MRI, to confirm the diagnosis.
Once a wrist sprain is diagnosed, the treatment will depend on the severity of the injury. For mild sprains, your doctor may recommend resting and icing the area to reduce pain and swelling. You may also be given a splint or brace to wear to immobilize the wrist and prevent further injury.
If your sprain is more severe, you may need physical therapy to help regain strength and range of motion in your wrist. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to repair torn ligaments.
No matter what treatment you require, it’s essential to follow your doctor’s instructions and give your wrist time to heal. With proper care, most people fully recover from a wrist sprain and can return to their normal activities.
How Can You Avoid a Sprained Wrist?
If you want to avoid spraining your wrist, here are some things you can do.
- Use proper form when participating in sports or other activities.
- Use wrist guards or other protective gear when participating in activities that carry a risk of a wrist injury.
- Strengthen the muscles and ligaments around the wrist through exercises and stretching.
- Avoid sudden changes in direction when participating in activities that could cause the wrist to be forced out of its normal position.
- Be cautious when participating in activities that involve high-impact or contact, such as football or hockey.
It’s important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of a sprained wrist so that you can seek treatment and start the healing process as soon as possible. The sooner you start treatment, the sooner you’ll be on your way to recovery.
If you feel you need hand pain treatment, book an appointment at North Florida Hand and Wrist right away. We will connect you with our orthopedic hand specialist, so your hand will be examined, and you will receive treatment and advice for your full recovery.