Top 5 Exercises for a Sprained Wrist
Anyone who has sprained their wrist knows that it can be difficult to use your hand or arm effectively, making even the simplest tasks challenging to manage. Sprained wrists occur when the ligaments in the wrist are stretched too far and tear slightly.
If you are suffering from a sprained wrist, you may be wondering what you can do to help the healing process. While there are various treatment options, incorporating these top 5 exercises in your routine may help reduce pain and swelling as well as increase wrist mobility.
What Causes a Wrist Sprain?
Wrist sprains are often caused by a fall onto an outstretched hand, which causes the wrist to bend in an awkward, unnatural way. Sprains may also occur when you move your wrist suddenly in another direction. Sprained wrists are most common among those who play sports because of the high risk for falls and contact.
What Does a Sprained Wrist Feel Like?
The most common symptoms of a wrist sprain are:
- Wrist pain
- Hand and wrist swelling
- Inability to move your wrist
- Tingling or numbness in the hand
Treatment Options for a Sprained Wrist
When treating a sprained wrist, the first thing you will want to do is reduce swelling. You can do this by using a cold compress on the wrist for 20 minutes a few times a day. Other treatment options include:
- Using a wrist splint
- Elevating your hand above heart level
- Taking painkillers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen
- Physical therapy
Exercises for a Sprained Wrist
There are many physical therapy exercises that you can do to heal faster and prevent future sprains. Always speak with your orthopedic physician before beginning any additional, unprescribed stretching or physical therapy.
1. Wrist Flexion Stretch
This stretch is done by sitting with your arm outstretched and palm up. Gently pull your hand towards you, feeling the stretch in your forearm and wrist. Hold this position for 15 to 30 seconds, release slowly, and repeat the stretch a few times.
2. Wrist Extension
This exercise will help strengthen the muscles around the wrist and help prevent future sprains.
To do this exercise:
1) Rest your arm flat on a table with your palm facing down and your wrist hanging off the edge.
2) Using a light hand weight such as a water bottle or a soup can, keep your forearm in place and raise your wrist as high as possible.
3) Slowly lower the hand weight back down and repeat five times.
3. Grip Strengthening
Your grip is an integral part of wrist function, so it is important to do exercises to improve grip strength. One simple way to do this is by using a rubber band.
To do this exercise:
1) Put your fingers together and wrap a rubber band around them (The thicker the band, the more challenging it will be).
2) Once your fingers are secured in the band, spread them apart and hold for 3 to 5 seconds.
3) Release and repeat.
If you do not have a rubber band, you can strengthen your grip by squeezing a tennis ball. Try squeezing the ball as hard as you can for 15 seconds, then release for 15 seconds. Repeat this sequence three times and do it several times a day.
4. Ulnar Deviation Exercise
To do this exercise:
1) Stand up straight with your arms straight down by your side.
2) Holding a small weight, Bend your wrist up towards your pinky finger and back up towards your thumb.
3) Hold each position for three seconds and repeat the exercise five to ten times.
5. Wrist Circles
This is a dynamic wrist stretch that will help improve your range of motion.
To do this stretch:
1) Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
2) Put your hands together by interlocking your fingers and raising your hands to shoulder level.
3) Slowly and gently start to rotate your wrists in a circular motion. Make sure to move in both directions (clockwise and counter-clockwise).
4) Do this five times and repeat.
A sprained wrist can be fragile. If you feel pain when performing an exercise, stop immediately and place ice on your wrist for 15-20 minutes. Putting too much strain on a sprained wrist may cause further damage and prolong the healing process.
Contact Motion Orthopaedics
Motion Orthopaedics is dedicated to providing patients with comprehensive care. Our team of experts is equipped with the latest medical technology and treatments available to help you achieve the best possible outcome.
Motion Orthopaedics treats a wide variety of orthopedic conditions, including wrist sprains. If you are suffering from a wrist sprain or any other orthopedic condition, contact Motion Orthopaedics today to request an appointment.