Wrist Injuries: Overview
The wrist is one of the most complicated structures of your body. It allows several actions, including waving, hammering, stirring, and throwing objects. As well as this, wrist motion plays a pivotal role in several sports or athletic movements, including badminton, rackets, golf, volleyball, baseball, and more. These repetitive wrist movements in sports and other routine activities can significantly cause wrist pain.
Common causes of wrist injuries
The following are the most common causes of wrist injuries:
Sudden impact: Wrist injuries may result from sudden impacts. For example, falling on an outstretched hand can cause wrist injuries, including strains, sprains, and fractures. Accidental conditions or direct blows to some objects can also cause these types of wrist injuries.
Repetitive stress: Any activities involving repetitive wrist motion can cause wrist injuries. Many sports, including tennis, baseball, badminton, arm wrestling, golf, and more, can put repetitive stress on the wrist joint, causing wrist pain or injuries.
If you experience any of the mentioned symptoms during your work routine or athletic activities, you may have developed wrist pain or injuries:
Wrist pain or injury symptoms may differ according to the different conditions you are suffering from. The mild symptoms may include pain and swelling; however, some severe conditions may also make you feel inflammation, tenderness, instability, and a popping sensation along with the pain.
Common Wrist Injuries
The following are the most common wrist injuries found in athletes and other occupations:
1. Carpal tunnel syndrome, CTS
The carpal tunnel is a maiden nerve or a narrow passageway surrounded by ligaments and bones on the palm side of the hand. Extra pressure on the maiden nerve may result in carpal tunnel syndrome. The most common symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome may include numbness, tingling, and weakness in the hand, wrist, and arm. Anatomic factors, nerve-damaging conditions, medications, body fluid changes, workplace factors, and obesity are some leading factors contributing to carpal tunnel syndrome.
How to treat CTS?
The recovery process of carpal tunnel syndrome varies from condition to condition. The following are the common treatment ways:
Self-care management is comprised of rest, ice massage, medications, and elevating exercises. First, you need to diagnose the symptoms and follow the self-care treatments as prescribed by your GP or healthcare professionals. Experts also suggest wearing wrist supports to speed up the recovery process following a wrist injury.
Usually, two surgical processes are followed to treat carpal tunnel syndrome, including endoscopic surgery and open surgery. Endoscopic surgery is a less painful process than open surgery. Based on your condition, your GP will decide the surgical procedure.
How to prevent CTS?
You need to adopt the following preventive measures to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome:
Relax your grip by reducing forces
Take short, frequent breaks during athletic or other workout activities.
Keep your wrist in the middle-relaxed position and avoid bending your wrist down and up.
Every time you feel pain in the wrist, improve your posture and relax your wrists.
Working in a clod environment can cause wrist pain leading to carpal tunnel syndrome. Keep your hands and wrist warm in a cold environment.
2. Scaphoid fracture
Your wrist is made up of a collection of carpal bones, and the scaphoid is one of the carpal bones located near the base of the thumb. Scaphoid fracture occurs when the scaphoid bone is broken. The fracture almost always occurs when you catch yourself with an outstretched arm after a fall. A road accident and many other athletic activities can make you fall, resulting in scaphoid fracture.
How to treat a scaphoid fracture?
Depending upon your condition, the scaphoid fracture treatment may include surgical and non-surgical treatments:
Non-surgical treatment or immobilization
If the fracture is mild or the scaphoid doesn’t move far out of its place, it can be recovered through immobilization. Your healthcare professional may suggest splinting your scaphoid bone for three to five weeks. If you need a cast, it may be longer, typically six to eight weeks.
Scaphoid surgical treatments may include internal fixation and bone grafting. During internal fixation, your GP use plates and screws or pins and wires to hold pieces of bones in place. Bone grafting can be done by inserting additional bone tissues to rejoin the fractured bone. The additional bone can be taken from different sources, including;
Internally from somewhere else from your body, especially from the top of the hip bone
From an external donor
An artificial bone replacement
How to prevent scaphoid injury?
There are no specific diseases or risk factors to cause scaphoid fractures. It usually happens when you fall or collide with someone or something. Avoiding falling or colliding and wearing wrist supports for scaphoid fracture help reduce the chances of scaphoid fractures.
3. Wrist tendinitis
Wrist tendinitis is a common condition that involves inflammation and irritation of tendons at the wrist joints. The wrist joint is surrounded by many tendons, and tendinitis may affect one specific tendon. But, sometimes, it may also involve two or more tendons. Traumatic conditions, such as a direct fall, overuse injuries, and repetitive motions can cause wrist tendinitis. You may feel pain, swelling, warmth, redness, and grinding sensation in the wrist joints.
How to treat wrist tendinitis?
Wrist tendinitis can be recovered through non-surgical and surgical treatments:
Non-surgical treatments may include medications, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), occupational or physical therapy, RICE method (rest, ice massage, compression), and elevating exercises. As well as this, experts also suggest wearing wrist supports to immobilize your wrist, helping speed up the wrist recovery process.
When the non-surgical treatments do not respond after several months, your healthcare professional may suggest surgical treatments which include;
Cleaning the damaged tissue away from the tendon sheath
Tiny cuts on the tendon sheath to relax your tendons
How to prevent wrist tendinitis?
The following tips help prevent wrist tendinitis:
Avoid overusing wrist tendons
Perform wrist stretching exercises before physical activity
Take frequent breaks
Wear protective gear when necessary
4. Wrist sprain
Ligaments are groups of tissues that connect bones at the joint. An overstretched or torn wrist ligament may result in a wrist sprain. A wrist sprain may occur due to a sudden twist, abnormal movement, backward bending, and others. Common sports or athletic activities that can cause wrist sprain may include basketball, skateboarding, mountain biking, and gymnastics.
How to treat wrist sprain?
Wrist sprain usually does not require surgery and can be recovered through some conservative measures, including rest, ice massage, compression bandages, elevating wrist, and taking anti-inflammatory drugs. When the symptoms do not improve after a reasonable time of conservative measures, your GP may suggest additional imaging tests to look for a more severe injury.
How to prevent wrist sprain?
A wrist sprain is a most common injury; even more professional athletes may slip or fall. However, the given preventive measures can reduce the chances of wrist sprain:
Warm-up your body before playing or practising
Perform regular stretching exercises to improve the range of motion
Wearing wrist support braces help avoid extra pressure and repetitive stress
Follow all other cautions prescribed by your professional trainers
Wrist injuries are common during high contract sports requiring repetitive movements of the wrists. As well as this, some traumatic conditions may also result in wrist injuries. The above mentioned are the most common wrist injuries athletes and other people may face. We have mentioned the possible treatments and preventive measures for all the possible wrist injuries.
However, experts suggest wearing wrist supports, helping avoid the risk of wrist injuries. Moreover, these wrist supports also help promote the healing process following a wrist injury or surgery. 360 relief provides you with the best wrist supports to help manage your wrist problems.