Wrist sprain is a common injury to the ligaments of the wrist joint. Since these ligaments provide with proper joint stability and allow movement in the particular joint, wrist sprain logically causes instability of the wrist joint and restricted movement. The treatment for this type of injury includes restriction of any movements and several more maneuvers which will accelerate the process of healing. Wrist sprain is always accompanied by pain which is alleviated with pain relieving medications.
Wrist Sprain Grade
The grade of the injury is determined by the extent of the tissue damage. There are three grades of wrist sprain. In grade 1 the ligaments are basically intact and only stretched. In this case the recovery lasts approximately 2 to 3 weeks and the function of the wrist is completely restored. In grade 2 of wrist sprain the ligaments are only slightly torn and the recovery lasts around 4 to 6 weeks. The most serious injury is grade 3 wrist sprain. The ligaments are, in this case, completely torn, the damage is severe and it requires surgical repair.
Causes and Symptoms of Wrist Sprain
Wrist sprain is caused by direct fall onto the hand or if the joint is excessively bended. This type of injury is common in sports such as soccer, American football and baseball.
People who have experienced wrist sprain complain about intensive pain and they are simply not able to move the injured joint. Any type of movement is accompanied by severe pain. Soon after the injury surrounding tissues become swollen.
Treatment for Sprained Wrist
Sprained wrist is in majority of cases treated conservatively with rest, ice therapy, elevation, compression and exercises. Only if the injury has caused complete tear of the wrist ligaments patients undergo surgery.
Rest is essential for any kind of injury. This also refers to wrist sprain. Namely, the patients are supposed not to use the injured wrist and allow the ligaments to heal properly. If necessary the injured wrist may be immobilized. Furthermore, ice therapy is considered a standard treatment modality for sprains. It reduces inflammation and alleviates the pain. The sprained area is treated with ice packs or cold compresses 4 to 5 times a day and the treatment lasts about 15-20 minutes. One more way to reduce swelling is compression. The injured wrist is wrapped with a special bandage. The person must not wrap the wrist too tightly since this can interrupt normal circulation of the hand. Patients can also benefit from hand elevation. The hand is held in a raised position for at least two days after the injury. And finally, one is explained specific exercises. Rehabilitation in a form of exercises is essential for patients who are treated surgically but even those who are treated conservatively are supposed to perform specific exercises prescribed by a physical therapist.