A wrist sprain is essentially an injury to the ligaments of the wrist, which are the tough bands of fibrous tissue that connect all of the bones to each other inside this joint. The wrist actually contains a total of 15 different bones that link together. The ligaments can tear by any kind of impact that causes the wrist to suddenly go into a position that is beyond its normal range of motion.
This kind of injury is one that’s fairly common every day, especially in the workplace. Additionally, it can also be caused by certain inclement weather conditions, which can cause people to fall. The injury itself can take place then a person tries to catch themselves with an outstretched arm.
Wrist injuries also account for 3% to 9% of all sports-related injuries as well, especially in young males who play sports such as basketball, baseball, and football. Additionally, Olympic sports such as baseball, roller hockey, basketball, volleyball, and more have been linked to an unusually high rate of wrist sprains.
In terms of skiing, wrist sprains can occur whenever a skier falls while trying to grab hold of the ski pole or while still having the ski pole in their hand while landing. This kind of injury can also occur whenever platform divers absorb an unusually high rate of impact when they hit the water. Other sports in which wrist sprains can occur include pole vaulting, wrestling, and racquet sports.
A mild wrist sprain can result in your wrist feeling tender and swollen, which can result in pain being felt whenever you attempt to move it. If a sprain is more severe, then swelling will change the overall shape of it, and there may also be some bruising and additional pain as well.
When reviewing the symptoms, your doctor will ask about the injury. Be sure to include as many details about what happened as you can. Additionally, the doctor may require an eyewitness who may have been there if you are able to provide one. Furthermore, your doctor will also take the time to review your medical history, especially if you have had any kind of previous injury involving your wrist.
Wrist sprains that are milder in nature typically follow the “RICE” rule, which is as follows:
- Rest the joint
- Ice the area to help reduce swelling
- Compress all swelling by using an elastic bandage
- Elevate the wrist