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Wrist Sprain Healing Time

Bidisha Mukherjee Jun 6, 2019
The healing time for wrist sprain largely depends on a number of factors, including the severity of injury. Here, we are addressing all those issues that are associated with the healing.
Wrist sprain is quite common among athletes, but it may happen to non-athletes as well, especially after a fall. The pain associated with this condition is not confined to the wrist area only, but often gets radiated to the hand and forearm as well. Thus, the movements of the joint get affected.
It tends to weaken the hand so much that simple activities like gripping an object becomes a tough task. People suffering from this kind of injury are always worried about the healing time, mainly because they want to get rid of the discomfort as early as possible. Roughly, it can be said that the total healing time for a sprained wrist is about 3-10 weeks.

Wrist Sprain Causes

When we lose our balance all of a sudden, we have a natural tendency to extend our hands to protect the body from impact of the fall. Thus, the hand hits the ground hard and the ligaments of the wrist get damaged. One can get a similar kind of injury if the wrist is hit by something very strongly or it gets twisted or too much of pressure is exerted on it.
Those who play racket sports are more susceptible to wrist sprain. The damage can be either in the form of overstretched or torn ligaments. The ligaments of the wrist connect the carpal bones with each other and help them glide during movements. Injury to the ligament affects the smooth movements of these bones and leads to wrist joint pain.

Treatment and Home Remedies

If you are experiencing severe wrist pain, you should consult your doctor immediately. An X-ray can help rule out the possibility of bone fracture.

Rest

The first thing that needs to be done to cope up with the sprained wrist is to provide adequate amount of rest to it. The more time a sprained wrist is rested, the faster will be the recovery.

Ice Pack

Application of ice to the injured area soon after injury can have a soothing effect on the pain. Wrap up the ice with a piece of cloth and place it over the wrist for 10-15 minutes. It should be repeated 4-5 times in a day. Do not let heat come in direct contact with the injured wrist as it will aggravate the problem.

Correct Position

Keeping the arm in an elevated position with the help of a sling is highly beneficial in this condition.

Finger Movement

After two days of regular ice application, you may feel slightly better, but do not spring back into action. Continue to keep the wrist at rest for the next two to three weeks. During this time, the only movement permissible is wiggling of the fingers.
This will improve the blood circulation in the wrist which speeds up the healing process. At this stage, elevation of the wrist and ice treatment at least twice a day should not stop either.

Light Exercise

After 2 weeks or so, if the pain has eased, you'll want to resume normal wrist movements. But, it can lead to further injury and delayed recovery. So, do a few wrist exercises for stretching the joint. Squeeze a rubber ball and release the grip several times, imitate typing with your fingers as quickly as possible or spread and close fingers several times.
These exercises when done regularly for one or two weeks will improve the flexibility of the injured wrist joint. If you notice that there is no discomfort when you stretch the fingers, then you can practice throwing of a ball against a wall. When you are comfortable with such wrist movements, it is an indication of complete healing of the sprain.

Prevention

As you can see that the healing time is pretty long, hence, you should take some precautionary measures to prevent such injuries. While participating in sports activities, where there are chances of sprain, wrap up your wrists to provide protection to them. Do some wrist strengthening exercises on a regular basis to keep the wrist joint strong and flexible.
Ligaments are made of strong, fibrous tissues, which when stretched, take a long time to heal up. The healing time is different in every individual case. Some people can recover from it within a few days and others may require several weeks for it. If you start right treatment promptly soon after an injury, it would ensure quick relief from the symptoms.
Disclaimer: This is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.