Sprained Wrist Treatment | IMPACT Physical Therapy

Sprained Wrist Treatment

A man with a sprained wrist

When one or more of the ligaments in the wrist is stretched or torn, the injury is known as a wrist sprain. These injuries often occur during sports activities or vehicle accidents, and may cause symptoms such as swelling, pain, and reduced flexibility at the front, back, and sides of the wrist. Treatment for sprained hand and wrist injuries depends on the severity of the sprain:

  • If you have a stretch injury, the ligament has been stretched but not torn.
  • A partial tear injury means the ligament has been partially torn.
  • When the ligament is completely torn, you have a complete tear.

The majority of stretch and partial wrist sprains can be treated with an at-home wrist sprain treatment protocol and over-the-counter pain medications. However, more severe wrist sprain treatment may involve a range of non-surgical and surgical options.

Treatment for Sprained Hand and Wrist Injuries in the South West Suburbs

Your sprained wrist treatment options will vary depending on the severity of the sprain, the condition of the ligaments, your age and activity level, and your daily activities. Treatment could involve anything from the PRICE wrist sprain treatment protocol, to non-surgical options like casts or braces, to surgical procedures to reattach ligaments and secure the loosened joint.

Non-Surgical Sprained Wrist Treatment Options

It’s important to follow the PRICE wrist sprain treatment protocol in the 24 to 72 hours following the injury. You can reduce pain and swelling by protecting the injured area, resting, applying ice, wrapping your wrist to apply compression, and keeping your wrist elevated. Depending on the severity and nature of your wrist sprain, your physician will suggest a treatment for sprained hand and wrist injuries:

  • A wrist splint can help reduce excessive or unintended movement, allowing the injury to heal more quickly.
  • OTC non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) such as ibuprofen can relieve pain and swelling at the site of a wrist sprain injury.
  • A physical therapist can design a personalized wrist sprain treatment protocol to rebuild strength and regain flexibility.

Surgical Sprained Wrist Treatment Options

If you’re dealing with a severe wrist sprain, treatment may involve a surgical procedure to regain stability and tighten damaged ligaments. Depending on the nature of your injury, you may move forward with a surgical wrist sprain treatment protocol such as:

  • Closed Reduction and Pinning – A surgeon can realign the carpal bones and then stabilize them with K-wires or pins.
  • Thermal Shrinkage – Unstable joints can be tightened with a process called thermal shrinkage. This surgery uses  high radio frequency waves to alter the properties of the damaged ligaments, causing them to shrink and tighten.
  • Tenodesis – This surgery stabilizes a joint by looping a loose tendon around a joint and then anchoring it using sutures or wires.
  • Reconstruction – For the most severe wrist sprains, treatment may involve reconstruction of the ligament using tendon grafts.

Explore Physical Therapy for Treatment for Sprained Hand and Wrist Injuries in Chicago

Whether you have a mild or severe wrist sprain, treatment with physical therapy can help you to regain your lost strength and flexibility. Physical therapy is customized to your needs, and is beneficial whether or not you choose surgical or non-surgical sprained wrist treatment. Request an appointment at one of our locations near Lakeview and Hinsdale today!