Sprained Wrist : Is It Worse Without Treatments?

Sprained Wrist is a very common accident. It is typical of those who snowboard, but also those who have problems with balance and is one of the leading consequences of a fall or excessive effort. Put your hands forward, to protect your face, during a fall is an instinctive reflex.

The parts of the body that are most affected during the fall are in fact the arms, hands, and wrists. The dislocated wrist is one of the most common domestic accidents.

How to recognize a dislocation? During the fall, the limb is suffered a forced bending and an unnatural movement. Immediately you will have felt pain and difficulty in the movement. Swelling is a common symptom.

The sprained wrist is an excruciating injury, which significantly limits a person’s mobility, prevents him or her from working and damages the quality of life. The sprained wrist is not a fatal injury, and the wrist will return 100% working in a short time, but (just like a broken arm or broken leg) is incredibly annoying.

A person who has a sprained wrist suffers a lot because he or she has to request the help of another person to carry out primary activities and his or her independence is reduced. For this reason, everyone hates this type of injury and try to prevent it by avoiding falls or wearing protective gloves when they practice contact sports or extreme sports.

Any person regardless of their nature of work and lifestyle can suffer from different wrist injuries. Among the most common wrist injury, a sprained wrist is the most common one. Although it can happen to anyone but athletes are more at risk of getting this injury. Furthermore, falls, accidents and fist fights may also result in this condition.

While playing any sport or performing any routine activity, when a person accidentally falls, they unconsciously reach out to catch themselves. In such a situation, our wrist gets forced beyond its ligament’s natural stretching limit. This excessive force may twist the ligament that results in a sprained wrist.

A person suffering from such a condition may experience mild to severe pain. Furthermore, there may case be a case of swelling on the affected wrist. Bruising and loss of function can also be experienced by the patient in some cases of a sprained wrist condition.

Symptoms of a Sprained Wrist

Some of the most common symptoms of a sprained wrist are:

  • Swelling of the wrist joint
  • Pain in the wrist
  • Bruising
  • Tenderness
  • Feeling of tearing in the wrist

How to Know if You Have a Sprained Wrist?

Humans are not strangers to pain, any effort always results in a little bit of aching here and there. It is easy to ignore it or simply treat it with pain killers, what must people do not know is that some sprains and fractures are not obvious and that whatever little pain you are feeling could be a sign of something worse.

People often believe that for a fracture to be real, the need to see a bone or that a sprain will make it impossible to move. This conception is far from the truth, people that have mild sprains and fractures are able to go on with their lives.

Wrist Pain

First symptom that something is wrong with your wrist. The pain could be caused by an injury that you are not aware of or it could be the consequence of a long working day. Graphic designers, athletes, illustrators and people that perform any kind of manual labor often suffer from wrist pain.

In most cases, people treat it with pills or ointments or proceed to ignore it completely. If the pain is constant, even after only a few hours of work then it is necessary to visit a professional. Wrist pain could be indication of many conditions, some more serious than others but equally bad.

Sprained Wrist

The wrist is connected to the hand bones through a ligament, a fibrous tissue that connects a bone with other. A wrist is considered sprained when the ligament gets damaged or completely break. It could happen if a person falls or gets hit in the wrist, sometimes applying too much pressure to the wrist could end up in a sprain.

Broken or Sprained Wrist

Often confused, it is not the same to have a broken wrist than a sprained wrist.

When we talk about a sprain, it means that the ligament that connects the bones is damaged. A fracture implies that the bone itself is broken. Both injuries have similar symptoms and could be caused by similar incidents. However, the treatments for both are different.

The best way to determine if a wrist is broken or sprained before going to the doctor is by paying attention to the pain. A broken wrist will hurt at all times and the movement is limited. A sprained wrist will bother only after a specific movement and people can resume to their regular activities.

In both cases, it is necessary to visit an emergency room to determine through an x-ray how badly damaged is the wrist.

Sprained Wrist Symptoms

A clear symptom of a sprained wrist is the pain. Patients that experience any kind of trauma will be constantly in pain because of the damage to the ligament. A popping feeling when they move their wrist is also a symptom of an injury in the area. They can experience sensitivity in the wrist and some physical signs.

The level of pain with change with level of damage on the wrist. The ligament could be slightly damaged or completely broken. Each level has consequences, a patient could lose the mobility and function of the wrist. As soon as a patient experience any pain for many consecutive days, it is necessary to visit a doctor.

Signs of a Sprained Wrist

If the pain and sensitivity is not enough to tell, there are some physical signs that indicate that a wrist is sprained:

  • Swelling: An abnormal size is easy to detect and it is probably the most obvious signs. Not completely reliable since it can get reduced after some days.
  • Bruising: After any kind of trauma the skin ends up bruised, if it was hard enough to leave a mark then it is to cause a sprain.
  • Warmth: The skin around the sprain will feel hotter than the rest of the arm.

Patients with one or more of these signs may wait for them to disappear, if after the signs are gone the pain remains, then it is clear that they are suffering of a sprained wrist.

Sprained Wrist Wrap

It is necessary to use a wrap to treat a sprained wrist. Unlike fractures that require a cast, a sprain can be treated with a removable wrap. Another way to treat it is by following the P.R.I.C.E principle.

  • P: Protection against further damage. It includes wraps and splints.
  • R: Rest, the only way to recover. A person with a sprained wrist should avoid any activity for at least 3 days if they wish to recover. How serious the sprain is will determine how much time off the patient needs.
  • I: Ice or any cold treatment, it helps to reduce the swelling and the temperature of the skin around the sprain.
  • C: Compression by wraps that give support to the wrist, a wrap should not cause numbness in the arm.
  • E: Elevation so the fluids do not pool, it reduces the swelling and overall prevents any uncomfortable feeling.

Wrist Bones

The hand and forearm are connected thanks to the wrist. What we know as “wrist” is the name given to the carpal bones, eight small bones connected with ligaments that facilitate the rotation of the hand.

These bones are delicate and easy to fracture but it is hard to discover an injury without an x-ray or MRI. After any kind of incident, a patient should go to an emergency room so they can find any possible injury. Taking care of one’s hands should be a priority, leaving an injury unattended will end up in more issues like loss of mobility, constant pain and numbness.

What is a Tendonitis Wrist Condition?

It is acommon condition that affects an individual due to inflammation and irritation of the tendons surrounding the wrist joint. Typically this condition affects one of the several tendons around the wrist joint; however, in some cases, more than one tendons can also get distressed. Some of the common signs of tendonitis wrist condition are swelling around the joint and redness of the tendons. A patient with such a condition may also feel grinding sensations while moving their wrist.

Sprained Wrist No Swelling – A Common Condition

While swelling of the affected joint is one of the most common symptoms (mentioned above) of this condition; however, in some cases, thepatient may not experience swelling at all. An individual suffering from a sprained wrist experiences acute pain at first that goes within few days. Typically there is no bruising. A patient may experience minor or no swelling at all in some cases. It is advised to visit your physician as soon as you encounter symptoms of a sprained wrist condition.

Sprained Wrist Treatment Options

There are numerous treatment options available for curing a strained wrist. Your doctor will recommend a suitable treatment option after conducting a physical exam of your wrist. For this purpose, they may require an X-Ray, MRI, arthroscopy or arthrogram of your wrist.

Depending on the severity of this condition, a patient is usually advised one of the following options.

Cold Therapy

The patient is suggested to immediately apply ice to the affected area. This practice helps to control the inflammation response of the patient’s body. It may not completely eliminate the pain; however, it can be alleviated up to a great extent.

Raise the Wrist

For some patients, raising their wrist may help to reduce the pain. Patients can use some pillows to keep their wrist raised above their heart’s position. While doing so, placing an ice-pack on the affected part will help the sprain to heal quickly.

Elastic Bandage

In case there is swelling, patients are advised to use an elastic bandage for the purpose of applying consistent pressure on the affected part. With this practice, edema formation will be prevented. Edema is responsible for prolonging the healing process. Moreover, it can also restrict mobility and add to the patient’s discomfort.

Limit Physical Activity

A person suffering from such a condition is recommended to limit their physical activity for the time being. Doing their routine work may worsen the condition as it will increase inflammation. Moreover, patients are also directed to stay in bed for the most part of the day to give their body adequate rest so that it could heal quickly. This practice is utmost important in first few days of the injury.

Anti-Inflammatory Medicines

In certain cases, a physician may prescribe anti-inflammatory medicines to patients. These medicines help to alleviate the pain and provide comfort to sufferers. However, it is recommended to stop depending on these medicines after a couple of days.

Use of Wrist Wraps – An Effective Option

If you are asportsman or your job requires heavy physical activities, you need to use precautionary measures to avoid landing into a painful situation caused by any injury including a sprained wrist. One such effective method that can keep your wrist protected against numerous injuries is the use of wrist wraps. These wraps are responsible for providing support to the joint of thewrist when a person is performing a heavy activity. With this enhanced support, the chances of getting a sprained wrist or any other injury of wrist get reduced up to a great extent.

Sprained Wrist vs. Broken Wrist

There is a vast difference between a sprained and broken wrist condition. A person who is suffering from a sprained wrist typically experiences a mild pain. On the other hand, in the case of a broken wrist, the pain is sharp, stabbing, and intense.

Furthermore, there is no to mild swelling in case of a sprained wrist. This mild swelling can go in a day or two. However, in a broken wrist condition, it wouldn’t go away soon. The most prominent difference between both these conditions is that the patient will feel a bone protruding through their skin if they are suffering from a broken wrist.

Fractured Wrist – The First thing to do

A fractured wrist is a very painful condition. If a person is suspecting a fractured wrist due to an injury caused by an accident or fall, they are advised to immediately visit their doctor. They will, upon thoroughly examining their condition, suggest suitable treatment for them.

Sprained Wrist and Broken Wrist

All in all, any injury related to our wrist can prove to be nerve-wrecking as it can greatly impact one’s quality of life. Therefore, it is strongly advised to people who are working in tough conditions that demandanexcessive use of wrist to use precautionary methods to avoid landing into unfavorable and painful conditions caused by such injuries.

Wrist Brace

A wrist brace is a device that allows you to support the wrist.

To be effective, the wrist brace must be soft and provide good compression.

Reinforcing the joint and allowing it to remain in the axis of the hand, the wrist brace reduces traumatic movements. The wrist brace has the task of guiding the joint. It allows practicing a sports activity supporting and reducing the traumatic movements of the wrist thanks to rigid internal and soft external reinforcements.

It is not necessary to have the sprained wrist to wear this type of wrist brace; it can be used to relieve the pain after an effort (for example after lifting a weighty object) or having worked a lot with the wrist (for example after drawing or I sewed a lot). The wrist brace will limit the movements of the wrist and allow the wrist to rest.

In short, it has the same preventive effect as a knee guard or an elbow guard.

Sprained Wrist Brace

The sprained wrist brace is a medical device that is used to immobilize the sprained wrist and prevent any movement. In this way, the wrist will not perform any unnatural movement and can cure itself more quickly.

In the most severe cases, the sprained wrist brace is not applied, and it is preferred to use a plaster bandage to immobilize the wrist completely. The plaster dressing must be removed by a doctor with the appropriate equipment. Never try to remove the plaster yourself, especially without the necessary equipment.

A sprained wrist brace can be purchased in stores that sell orthopedic materials.

What to Do With a Sprained Wrist

What to do with a sprained wrist? Here are some things you can do before visiting a doctor, to limit the damage and swelling.

  • Apply the ice immediately, which should remove pain but also avoid excessive swelling.
  • Keep your wrist at rest. Maybe hang your arm around your neck or sit with your wrist on a cushion.
  • Place a tight bandage on the wrist: if the sprained wrist is not severe and swollen in the pharmacy, you can find some wrist braces.
  • Use anti-inflammatories.

How to Heal a Sprained Wrist

The solutions described above are beneficial to limit the damage caused by the sprained wrist, and in some cases, they are sufficient to treat it, but if the wrist swells a lot, it is necessary to consult a doctor to understand how to heal a sprained wrist.

If the pain and swelling persist beyond 48 hours, it is advisable to undergo a specialist visit. In medium-serious sprains, when the radiographic examination is negative both for fractures and for angular alterations, the wrist should still be immobilized with a plaster or a brace readily available on the market for at least 7-10 days and clinically re-evaluated.

In severe sprains, surgical treatment will be required for direct repair of the injured ligament or its bone reintegration.

It will, however, be advisable to remind the patient that the complete recovery of the wrist, in the case of complex reconstructions, can also take 8-10 weeks.

How Long Does a Sprained Wrist Last

Regarding the recovery time, it must be remembered that, in severe cases, it is necessary to wait from three to five weeks. In the case of minor injuries, it is sufficient to abstain from efforts for a period of two to seven days.

In this period it is advisable to avoid any effort, always to have ice at hand and to use anti-inflammatory or pain-relieving drugs. In milder cases, over-the-counter analgesics such as ibuprofen or paracetamol can be used to relieve pain.

Sprained Wrist Exercises

The sprained wrist should not be used for the entire period of treatment and this reason rehabilitation with some activities is necessary to allow the muscles of the wrist to get used to the movement.

Here are some sprained wrist exercises:

  • Dip your wrist into a basin of cold water and then into a pool of warm water and move it until you feel no pain. The different temperature favors vasodilation and vasoconstriction, repairing the tissues.
  • Squeeze a rubber ball in your hand twenty times.
  • Keep your wrist in extension and open and close your fingers twenty times.
  • Knead water and flour for a long time to tone the muscles.

Sprained Wrist Splint

If the distortion is severe, probably the wrist needs to be immobilized. In this case, you have to go to the emergency room for a rigid splint. The sprained wrist splint will allow the wrist not to move and speed up the healing process.

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