Description Of The Injury: A wrist sprain generally occurs due to an acute impact such as attempting to break a fall with your wrist, or in most contact sports. The stressful impact results in the ligaments that connect bone to bone to overstretch and develop minor tears. Sprains are commonly categorized into grades, with grade I being mild, grade II – moderate, and grade III being a severe completely torn ligament.
Injury Symptoms: A sprained wrist can usually be visually identified by swelling, and brusing at the wrist area. The injured area may also be rather tender and it will likely be painful to move the wrist in a regular manner. The skin of the affected area may also feel very warm.
Most wrist sprains can be successfully treated using the rest, ice, compression and elevation principle. The wrist should be rested while recovery takes place. Ice packs should be applied for 20 minutes a a time, 4-8 times per day especially during the first 48 hours post-injury. Compressing the swollen area with common injury bandage and elevating the wrist above heart level will reduce the swelling and enhance time to recovery. Anti inflammatory and pain relievers can also be used.
Professional Medical Treatments:
If the sprained wrist does not respond to conventional treatment in the 2-4 weeks, it may be a more moderate or severe case that requires professional medical treatment. The doctor may require the use of a split or cast to immobilize the wrist for 1-2 weeks, to encourage a steady state for recovery. If severe ligament tears are diagnosed, surgery may be the best option.
Physical Therapy and Exercises:
Rehabilitation of the wrist via exercises is an important part towards full recovery. Stretching exercises include recovering the range of motion via flexion, extension and side to side stretches. Rotating the forearm from a palm up to a palm down position first without weights and then with weights also helps. Additionally doing the stretch exercises against weighted objects, and also doing grip strengthening sessions with a rubber ball will recover conventional strength.
Exercise Techniques to Prevent Injury:
Maintaining complete upper body strength is one of the best ways to prevent a wrist sprain form occurring. This involves a workout regiment that includes wrist flexion and extension exercises with weight bearing options. Additionally, because wrist sprains often occur due to an acute traumatic impact, wearing protective equipment like wrist guards will certainly help.