Wrist Sprains – A Beginners Guide for Sports Therapy Students
After graduating college in sports therapy there are a number of injuries you might need to be familiar with. As sports therapists, you might need to deal with wrist sprain injuries throughout the course of your career. Put simply, a wrist sprain is an injury to the ligaments (connective tissues that attach bones to bones where there are joints) in the wrist.
In mild cases, in which there is an only minimal stretch to the ligaments, a sprained wrist might actually heal on its own. There are some techniques such as rest and applying ice, as well as a few simple exercises that may help accelerate the healing process and also strengthen the ligaments in the wrist.
On the other hand, severe cases of wrist sprains that involve tears in the ligaments may require surgery to reconnect the affected or torn ligaments. After surgery, a period of rehabilitation and exercises might follow to regain strength and restore motion.
Anything that can cause the wrist to accidentally bend backward when it hits the ground might cause a wrist sprain. For those who are active, or who play contact sports, there may be a higher risk of incurring a sprained wrist.
Someone who is injured will likely know if they have sprained their wrist during a slip and fall incident because there’s a pain the moment it happens. After the injury, it may be hard to move the wrist due to the pain and swelling around it. Different types of injuries may need different types of treatment. After an injury, it is recommended that the injured person be seen by a doctor ASAP.
Provided that you are certain that the wrist sprain involves a stretched and not a torn ligament, you might expect the injury to heal on its own after some time. Before making that determination, it is a good idea to have a licensed physician diagnose the injury to be certain.
A number of wrist exercises may also be performed to help speed up the process of healing, especially if much of the pain and swelling have already subsided. These exercises should only be used when appropriate to the healing process after a licensed professional has determined that they should be used.
- Wrist flexion and extension: When appropriate, a licensed therapist might start by facing palms up, and then slowly attempt to bend the wrist upward. Hold it for a few seconds and then go back to the starting position. Slowly bending the wrist downward.
- Lateral movements: When a licensed SRT applies this method they might start by positioning the hand as though it is about to give someone a handshake. Carefully and slowly, the wrist might be bent upwards and then downwards.
- Wrist strengthening: The moment that there are minimal pain and swelling, the first two exercises might be recommended while holding a can of food that weighs about a pound or two.
- Grip strengthening: It might also be important to regain grip strength during the recovery process. One method to do this might use a stress ball that is squeezed and released repeatedly. This, of course, is based on what is deemed appropriate on a case by case basis by a licensed professional.
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*In no way does Fremont College promise or guarantee employment or level of income/wages. In no way is it recommended that you try to treat injuries by yourself. That should be done by a qualified professional. Before practicing any new modalities or techniques, check with your state’s regulatory authority to ensure they are within the state’s defined scope and standards of practice for therapy.