Do I Need Treatment for a Wrist Sprain?

Do I Need Treatment for a Wrist Sprain?

Posted on 03/18/2022

A wrist sprain describes a type of injury where the wrist ligaments tear, stretch, or even break. The ligaments are the tissue bands that connect bones to joints. The wrist can twist or bend suddenly, damaging the ligaments. 


The injuries usually happen during a fall, and it is possible to treat them with ease using exercises and other home remedies. Severe sprains may require a splint or even surgery. You can find out if you need treatment for a wrist sprain. 


What Causes Sprains


Most wrist sprains result from falls, but there are other causes. A hit on the wrist and exerting extreme pressure or twisting the wrist can result in a sprain. The wrist bending backward or moving in an abnormal position can cause a sprain. 


Wrist sprains are common among sports players. The most at risk are those in basketball, baseball, gymnastics, skating, skiing, and diving. Wearing a wrist guard or tape can help prevent the backward bending of the wrist during a fall.


Types of Wrist Sprains


Wrist sprains differ depending on the severity of the injury. They are grade one or mildly sprained wrist, grade two or moderately sprained wrist, and grade three or severely sprained wrist. Mild sprains occur with the stretching out of the ligaments, where there are no tears. 


Moderate sprains occur when the ligament tears partially. Severe sprains are serious, occurring when the ligaments are completely torn or even separated from the bone. Grade three sprains may need surgery.


Symptoms of a Wrist Sprain


If you suspect that you may have sprained your wrist, there are several signs that you can look for. Symptoms of a sprain on the wrist include pain when moved, swelling, warmth, and tenderness in the wrist area. 


Others are feeling a tearing or popping in the wrist, weakness, and loss of motion. A serious sprain will usually have severe swelling and bruising. A physical examination is necessary to diagnose the sprain. 


Treatment for a Wrist Sprain


In most cases, a mild or moderate sprain will heal without the need for medication. There are several things that you can do to speed up the healing. Resting the wrist for about 48 hours, icing the wrist, and using a bandage to compress it can help. These can help reduce swelling and pain. 


Elevate the wrist above the heart as much as possible while resting. Other treatment options are using a splint or cast, taking anti-inflammatory painkillers, and practicing strengthening and stretching exercises. 


Recovering From a Wrist Sprain


Recovering from a wrist sprain will depend on the severity of the injury. The injuries can take between 2 and 10 weeks for complete healing. Every individual heals differently, but recovery will depend on the seriousness of the sprain and good management. 


Some sprains can take up to 4 to 6 months to heal completely. During the recovery period, avoid activities that can further aggravate the injury.


Wrist sprains are difficult to prevent because they occur due to accidents. Anyone can slip and fall, including the best athletes. Mild wrist sprains may get better without medical treatment. If the sprain does not improve within 48 hours, you should see a doctor. 


To find out if you need treatment for a wrist sprain, contact East Bay Hand & Upper Extremity at our office in Oakland, California. You can call us at 510.904.1100 to book an appointment today.


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