Physiotherapy: Wrist and Hand injuries

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Wrist sprains are a result of the ligaments of the wrist stretching too much or tearing. They're a common sports injury that occurs when someone falls onto an outstretched hand, twisting or bending the wrist. There are three grades of wrist sprain, with 1 being mild and 3 being the most severe.

Symptoms of a Wrist Sprain

There are many ligaments in the wrist that can be sprained. Wrist sprains can even pull off a tiny piece of bone (called an avulsion fracture). The most common symptom of a wrist sprain is pain, especially when moving the wrist or hand.

Other symptoms include:

• Swelling
• Bruising
• A feeling of warmth, popping or tearing

Treatment of a Wrist Sprain

If you suffer a wrist injury, it’s important to seek medical treatment if it doesn’t quickly improve. Often, patients actually have a fractured wrist, which can lead to chronic pain and stiffness. To confirm the diagnosis of a wrist injury, your doctor, sports medicine physician or orthopedic surgeon will do a physical exam and may order x-rays, an MRI, a CT scan or an arthrogram. Local : Sports Medicine Physician Practitioners: Registered Dietitian Practitioners: 

A mild wrist sprain will generally improve with the RICE protocol (rest, ice, compression and elevation) and anti-inflammatories. A more serious wrist sprain may need a splint to completely heal. A severe wrist sprain my require surgery to fully repair the torn ligament. The orthopedic surgeon will reconnect the torn ligament to the bone or perform a tendon graft. Following surgery for a wrist injury, many patients benefit from physiotherapy to strengthen the wrist and improve range of motion. It usually takes the ligament about 8 to 12 weeks to heal, although it can take up to 12 months for a full recovery. 

While it’s not possible to prevent all injuries, you can reduce the risk of spraining your wrist by avoiding icy and wet areas as much as possible, and wearing protective wrist gear when playing sports. 

Talk to your healthcare provider if you'd like more information on wrist sprains.

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Our hands and wrists are vulnerable to injuries because we use them so much throughout the day. Hand and wrist injuries include sprains and carpal tunnel syndrome and can be caused by repetitive or sports injuries, arthritis and more. Talk to your health care provider for surgical and non-surgical options such as bracing. Get the answers you need to take control of your health from our up-to-date, complementary hand and wrist injury resources.

From arthritis to back pain after a car accident, physiotherapists treat a wide range of conditions. A physiotherapist can help you manage your illness, disability or injury through manual therapy, exercise, movement and advice.

There are many conditions that affect your body's musculoskeletal system, which involves the muscles, ligaments and joints. Orthopedic doctors work in hospitals and specialized practices.

Conditions Orthopedic Doctors Treat

Orthopedic physicians specialize in diagnosing and treating orthopedic injuries and conditions such as:


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