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Wrist Sprain


Symptoms Checklist:

  • The pain started suddenly
  • You may have had a blow to the wrist
  • You may have fallen on an outstretched hand
  • You twisted or wrenched your wrist
  • There is a small amount of swelling
  • Bending or twisting the wrist against resistance is painful

Wrist Sprain

Ligament connects bone to bone and keeps a joint steady.  It is made from tough cord-like tissue, but has a weak blood supply and so finds it difficult to repair itself.   They have half the holding power of steel and are tremendously flexible.  The ligament is made up of fibres, like string twisted in to a rope.  When you tear your ligament (see: Ligament Tear) you cut the rope.  When you sprain it, you over-stretch or tear some of these strings or fibres.  Because a ligament is so strong and also a little elastic, it takes great force to sprain it and tear any of the fibres.  And since the blood supply is so poor to ligaments, and the speed of repair depends on the flow of nutrients and blood to the affected area, complete rehabilitation is slow and may not be possible for older people. A Therapist will tell you which of the ligaments are sprained. 

Physical Therapy/Osteopathy and Wrist Sprain

Your Therapist can be very effective in returning the wrist to full health.  The first thing is to rest the wrist, then reduce swelling -- ice and bandaging is helpful here and then increase circulation in the joint through massage around the affected part.  Flexibility can be restored to the wrist by gently taking it through its range of movement.  As the soreness eases more vigorous exercise will be introduced.  You will also be shown exercises you can do at home, that will help restore mobility.  Bathing the wrist, alternating between cold (always cold first) and then hot water will help circulation and speed recovery.  The Therapist will assess you recovery, ensuring that the exercises you undertake are appropriate to your stage of the recovery process.  This treatment is never forced and should not be painful.  It may, at times cause mild discomfort but it is important that stress is not put on the healing ligament too early as this would seriously delay healing.

Tags: Hands, Wrists, Repetitive Stress Syndrome, Sports Injuries, Sprain, Wrist Sprain

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