Monday, November 1, 2010

Wrist Sprain

A sprain in the wrist is an injury to its ligaments, the tough bands of fibrous tissue that connect bones to one another inside a joint

There are three levels of sprain:

Mild (Grade I)

The wrist's ligaments are stretched or have microscopic tears.

Moderate (Grade II) 

The damage is more severe, and some wrist ligaments may be partially torn.

Severe sprains (Grade III)

One or more wrist ligaments are entirely torn or torn away from where they normally attach to bones.

Sprains of the wrist are fairly rare in everyday life and in the workplace. Under certain weather conditions, such as during ice storms or after a snowfall, a wrist sprain is commonly caused by a fall in which a person lands on outstretched arm.

In a mild wrist sprain, your wrist may be slightly swollen and tender, and you probably will feel some mild pain when you move it.

In more severe sprains, swelling can change the shape of your wrist, and you may have some bruising (a black-and-blue skin discoloration). Also, you'll probably feel significant pain when you try to move your wrist, or when your health care professional moves your wrist while examining it.


Rest the joint

Ice the injured area to reduce swelling

Compress the swelling with an elastic bandage

Elevate the injured area.

For moderate wrist sprains, especially in professional or competitive athletes, the wrist may be immobilized in a splint or light cast for seven to 10 days. If you have a significant wrist injury, you will need physical therapy as soon as symptoms allow. Athletes usually can return to competition once symptoms subside, although it may be advisable to protect the injured wrist with a support splint. When a severe wrist sprain causes significant instability in the wrist, surgery may be required.


To prevent sports-related wrist sprains, wear protective equipment that supports the wrist. In particular, snowboarders and inline skaters should protect their wrists by using wrist guards or snug-fitting plastic wrist splints. Platform divers may wear protective tape, wrist splints or wraps that limit extension of the wrist.

To prevent wrist sprains related to falls, you can stay indoors when it's icy or wet outside. If you must go out, wear shoes with soles that provide traction during slippery conditions and pay careful attention to the surface where you are walking.

To prevent wrist sprains related to skiing, choose ski poles that have a low-profile grip with finger grooves. Also, grip ski poles without using straps and drop poles during a fall.

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