A wrist sprain can be
a difficult injury to figure out. Sometimes it hurts, sometimes it
doesn't. This injury often goes untreated, shrugged off as a simple
injury that will get better with time. Does it really? Unfortunately,
it usually doesn't. The pain may go away, but it soon returns with
do you know when to treat a wrist injury? And what exactly is damaged?
Read on to find out more.
What is a Wrist Sprain?
like any other sprain, a wrist sprain involves the ligaments and
connective tissue of the wrist. During sports actvities, the wrist may
be subjected to significant stress, and the ligaments and joint
capsules may be damaged.
Within the body there are
8 bones that make up the wrist. They are called carpals. Each of these
bones articulate or touch with each other. They are aligned in two
rows, and attach the metacarpals with the radius and ulna.
wrist bones are attached to each other with ligaments, connecting each
one to the others. It is these ligaments that are injured with a
Does it Happen?
Wrist sprains generally occur with hyper
motion of the wrist. This can be either hyper extension or hyper
flexion. Either way, when the wrist bends too far, it stresses the
ligaments, and may cause damage.
This can occur in
lots of different sports, but is common with football, and also with
any sport where you could fall on your wrist.
Most sprained wrists are
overlooked, and just chalked up to part of playing the game. However,
once those ligaments are injured, they will continue to cause problems
if not taken care of.
Another effect of falling on
the wrist, or having it bend to far is the compression of the carpal
bones against each other. Sometimes this can cause a fracture
or it can cause damage to the articular surfaces of the carpal bones.
surfaces are meant to be slick and allow for the bones to glide easily
against each other. When damaged, they loose this ability to
glide, which will restrict motion, and cause pain.
is the most common symptom of a wrist sprain. It is generally located
around the wrist, and may radiate into the hand or forearm. There may
be some swelling, but this isn't very common.
of motion is also a major complaint with sprained wrist. This can be
to the damage of the ligaments, or also the irriation of the articular
surfaces of the carpal bones, as mentioned above.
strength can occur, especially if movement of the wrist is painful.
a wrist sprain involves rest, ice, and strengthening exercises. If you
treat the injury the first time it happens, it has better
chance of healing, and not causing future problems. If you have
significant pain, swelling, or loss of motion, you should see your
physician to have an X-ray and rule out a fracture.
you overlook your wrist injury, and do nothing, it will get better
eventually. But the tissues will undergo some changes, and you will be
more likely to irritate it again, with less stress the second time.
sprained wrist that goes untreated has the potential to be very
down the road. Range of motion loss, and the inability to put pressure
on through the palm of the hand are just two things that can happen
when left untreated.
sprains often go untreated or overlooked, despite their common
occurance in sports. Proper treatment is needed to ensure optimal
healing, as well as preventing re-injury. If you have pain in your
wrist, especially when putting weight through the palm of your hand,
you may have a wrist sprain, an should have it looked at by your
physician or athletic trainer. Treatment for wrist sprains is straight
forward, and most injuries will make a full recovery without problems.
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