Thursday, October 10, 2013

What to Do about a Wrist Sprain or Strain

Wrist strains and sprains are common injuries that people often get mixed up. This is understandable since both involve the overstretching or tearing of a certain body tissue. The main difference is that sprains involve ligaments that connect one bone to another while strains involve the muscles and tendons that are attached to bones.

If you have strained or sprained your wrist, you may experience swelling, a feeling of popping or tearing, pain at the affected area, and bruising. Typically, such injuries can be treated with the RICE treatment (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation). However, if pain and swelling continue beyond 48 hours, you'll need to have your injury checked by a doctor.

If after examination, the doctor says that the injury is moderate, this means there's a partial tearing of the ligaments. You'll likely be fitted with a cast or splint to allow the joint to heal and prevent continued irritation. On the other hand, if the doctor says the injury is severe, that means a ligament or muscle has been completely torn. If such is the case, medical or surgical care will be required.

After your treatment, your doctor may require you to start graded strengthening exercises for your wrist, so don't be surprised if he refers you to a physical therapist. This is simply meant to help you regain full use of your wrist and prevent further injury.


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