Sports Rehab for Wrist Sprain


Sports Rehab and wrist sprain are common treatments and injuries to certain sports such as baseball, basketball, gymnasts, soccer, skiers, skaters and skateboarders.

It is very important to understand the difference between a sprain and strain. A strain is an injury to a muscle or tendon that attaches to a bone whereas a sprain is an injury to a ligament which connects bones to another bone.

pain wrist imageWhen talking about the wrist the more common injury is the sprain due to the number of ligaments that support the bones of the wrist. When an athlete suddenly falls on an outstretched hand the force usually stretches or tears ligaments of the wrist.

Wrist sprains are graded from a grade 1 (mild); grade 2 (moderate) and grade 3 (severe).  Grade 1 are micro tears, grade 2 are partial tears and grade 3 is a complete ligament tear. Grade 3 wrist sprains can result in surgery when the ligament is snapped. In the article we are going to discuss sports rehab for grade 1 and 2 sprains educating you on the symptoms, treatment and prevention of this type of injury.

Wrist Sprain Symptoms

Classic symptoms for wrist sprain are pain and swelling around the wrist, tenderness on palpation coinciding with warmth, a popping sensation with mobility, noticeable hematoma and decreased mobility and strength.

Sports Rehab for Wrist Sprains

bandaged wristInitial sports rehab is to start R.I.C.E. treatment by applying ice applications for 15-20 minutes every 4-5 hours for a couple of days. The athlete must rest the wrist for at least 2-3 days. Compression of the wrist with a bandage starts reducing the swelling and tenderness associated with the injury. It is always beneficial to elevate the involved wrist above the heart during the course of the day to stimulate blood away from the inflamed area. Elevating the arm on a pillow helps to reduce swelling. Many times the orthopedist will prescribe anti-inflammatory and pain medication to speed recovery. An orthopedist will suggest a splint with stubborn cases.

Sports Rehab with a qualified physical therapist will start the use of modalities such as ultra sound, electrical stimulation and cols laser. To break down the modalities, ultrasound soothes and decreases the inflammation in the area, electrical stimulation helps in reducing swelling and tenderness and cold laser works on the hematoma.

wrist band exercisesThe sports rehab program should also include mild passive range of motion exercises and light strengthening to regain lost motion and rebuild strength. The physical therapist will utilize light weights and resistive bands in a progressive manner to accomplish return to normal strength. It is highly recommended that the sports rehab specialist instruct the athlete in a home program to be performed on a daily basis.

Prevention of Wrist Sprains

The best prevention against the likelihood of a wrist sprain is wearing protective wrist guards and being aware of activity that causes you to fall with a straight arm. Following the instructions of the sports rehab specialist following discharge is extremely helpful in prevention. Always seek the advice of the sports rehab specialist upon returning to your sport.