Extra force or pressure asserted on the wrist can lead to a sprain, and it is the most common injury among athletes. The sprain arises when the ligaments in the wrist that connect the small bones (or carpal bones) within together stretch beyond its capability. It occurs after a person breaks a fall, and strenuous athletic activity. The pain will make the person unable to use the hand, and impact their day-to-day activities.
In order to heal the sprained wrist as quickly as possible, and get back to being able to use the hand in full motion painlessly, you have to take a lot of care at home of your injured hand. If not, the sprain can lead to swelling, bruising, and intense pain upon hand movement.
Sprains require medical attention, but also some time and basic home treatments to heal it completely. Follow these care tips on treating your sprained wrist the right way:
Visit the Doctor
You first have to visit the doctor to check the extent of the injury. A doctor will analyze the grade of the damage, which is medically divided in three categories: mild, moderate, and intense. Depending on the level, you will be prescribed medications like painkillers. An intense or severe sprain will require physical therapy as well, while minor and mild sprains require care and time.
Your wrist will need rest for at least 48 hours so that it can fully heal. You may be needed to wear a soft cast and have less mobilization with the hand. Give rest to sports and work till the wrist heals. Working with the injured wrist will lead to further injury.
Apply ice to the wrist to reduce the pain and if there is swelling. Ice should not be applied directly, but instead with a gel pack, or a plastic bag filled with ice cubes. Ice for 20 minutes a day.
The injury should be compressed immediately by using an elastic bandage. Applying consistent pressure will aid in the prevention of the formation of excess fluid or edema in the wrist joint. This fluid limits mobility and increases the time of healing.
You have to elevate the injury immediately as well, by keeping the wrist above the level of your heart. This will limit the swelling amount. Keep the hand leveled for a few days after the injury, and sleep with your arm on a pillow for a few days.
You will need to take anti-inflammatory painkillers to reduce the pain, such as Advil, or Motrin. Use these drugs under the prescription of your doctor only.
Use a Splint
You may need to wear a cast or splint for the next few days, depending on the severity of the injury. The doctor will advice you on using it or not.
Once the doctor permits it, begin slow mobility of the hand and the rehabilitation process. You will use a simple ball squeezing exercise in this, and pain-free and light motion exercises for the wrist.