A wrist sprain is a very common injury. It occurs when the many ligaments in the wrist stretch beyond their limits or tear causing a sprain. Ligaments are strong bands of connective tissue that connect one bone to another. Falls or sudden twisting motions usually cause wrist sprains The wrist is usually bent backward or into an abnormal position.
Grades of wrist sprains
Wrist sprains can vary from mild to severe and depending on the level of ligament damage will determine their grading.
• Grade 1. Mild sprains are when the ligament stretches but not yet torn.
• Grade 2. Moderate sprains, these occur once the ligaments are partially torn. Grade 2 sprains may have some diminished function.
• Grade 3. Severe sprains, these occur as soon as the ligament is completely torn. These are significant injuries that need medical or surgical care, because ligament tears off the bone, it can take a small chip of bone from it, called an avulsion fracture.
Chronic wrist sprains from poorly treated ligament injuries in the past can lead to a weakening of the bones and ligaments in the wrist. In fact, if not treated, this can lead to arthritis.
Cause of wrist sprains
Wrist sprains are generally the result of a fall onto an outstretched hand, or when the joint is bent forcefully or suddenly twisted. This could happen during day-to-day activities, but most commonly with athletes during sports and recreational use.
Symptoms of wrist sprains
Below are the most common the signs of a wrist sprain include:
• Any swelling within the wrist
• Pain during the time of the injury
• Persistent pain whenever you move your wrist
• Bruising or discoloration of the skin over the wrist
• Tenderness on the injury site
• A sense of popping or tearing within the wrist
• A hot or feverish feeling on the skin across the wrist
Treatment for wrist sprains
Mild wrist sprains are treatable at home with the RICE protocol.
• R – Rest the joint for around 48 hours.
• I – Ice the injury to relieve swelling. Never apply ice straight to the skin. Make use of an ice pack or wrap a towel around the ice or even a package of frozen vegetables. Apply ice for approximately 20 minutes at any given time.
• C – Compress the swelling using an elastic bandage.
• E – Elevate the injury above the level of one’s heart. Moderate sprains involve resting the injured wrist and wearing a splint as needed until symptoms improve. This immobilization might cause some stiffness with your wrist and your chiropractormay recommend some stretches that will help you regain full mobility.