Wrist Sprain Treatment in Frisco & Dallas
Wrist Strain Treatments
Dallas & Frisco Wrist Sprain Specialist
Causes of Wrist Sprains
The wrist is an important and very complex part of the body, composed of a vast collection of bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and joints. Due to the sheer complexity of the wrist, there are plenty of ways in which it can be injured.
Injuries like sprains commonly affect both the ankles and wrists. Sprains are often minor and can be easily treated, but they can still be quite painful when they occur. Some common ways that people tend to sprain their wrists include:
- Unnatural bending and twisting
- Falling onto outstretched hands
- Sport and recreational activity injuries
- Automobile accidents
- Chronic, repetitive trauma
What are Wrist Sprains?
Within your wrists (and other joints) are tough bands of fibrous tissue called ligaments that connect your bones. A wrist sprain occurs when those ligaments are torn or stretched unnaturally.
Sprains can occur anywhere there are ligaments connecting to bones at the joint and can range in severity from very minor to extreme. As such, they can be divided into three different categories or “grades.” Here is a breakdown of each of these grades:
- Grade I – minor damage to the ligament
- Grade II – more severe damage to the ligament, often entailing some loss of function and a feeling of joint “looseness”
- Grade III – completely torn ligament, severe joint looseness, and complete loss of function
Treatment for sprains depends on the grade. For example, a Grade I sprain may require ice and a few day’s rest, while a Grade III sprain might require surgery to repair.
It is not uncommon for people to get a wrist sprain and a wrist strain mixed up. The difference is that while a sprain is an injury to the ligaments, a wrist strain involves an injury to the muscle or the band of tissue that attaches muscle to bone.
What Does a Wrist Sprain Feel Like?
The signs and symptoms of a wrist sprain may vary from person to person depending on the severity of the injury. However, a wrist sprain often entails pain, swelling, and sometimes even bruising. It is also common for people to feel or hear a popping or tearing sensation within their wrist at the time of the injury.
Those experiencing wrist sprains often find they have a limited ability to move the affected area and may feel it hurt much worse when putting pressure on it or when lifting something heavy. It is possible for a wrist sprain to feel as severe as a broken bone. Your doctor will be able to rule out this possibility by conducting a physical exam or by ordering an x-ray.
When Should I See a Doctor for Wrist Pain?
Minor sprains and strains can typically be treated at home with what we call the RICE method.
- R – Rest. Keep as much bodyweight off your wrist as possible.
- I – Ice. Put an ice pack on the injured area for about 20 minutes three or more times per day.
- C – Compression. Wrapping the wrist in compression bandages can help reduce swelling.
- E – Elevation. Elevate your wrist above your heart. This also helps reduce swelling.
However, serious sprains can sometimes lead to other injuries, such as fractures, if not properly treated. Most people are able to tell if their sprain is severe enough to warrant a doctor’s visit, but as a rule of thumb, you should probably see a doctor if:
- It is getting in the way of your school, work, or everyday activities;
- You experience numbness or tingling in the affected area;
- You experience pain directly over the bones of the wrist joint;
- The condition is getting worse or not improving;
- The pain is keeping you up at night; or
- You cannot move or bear weight on the wrist joint for several days.
The longer you wait to visit a doctor, the worse your condition may become. If using the RICE at-home method does nothing to remedy your pain, you should likely consult with a SPORT doctor.
What Kind of Doctor Treats Wrist Injuries?
While many people may initially seek treatment from their primary care physician, it is likely that he or she will refer you to a wrist injury specialist such as a sports medicine physician or a Dallas orthopedic surgeon. At SPORT Orthopedics + Rehabilitation, our team of highly trained orthopedic specialists and surgeons regularly treat wrist injuries. Whether you have a sprain or a complex condition, we provide state-of-the-art treatments and procedures to help you fully recover from your injury and get back to living your life.
How Long Does it Take for a Wrist Sprain to Heal?
The amount of time it takes for a wrist sprain to heal depends on the grade into which it falls. As you can imagine, Grade III sprains will take significantly longer than Grade I sprains to heal. With all things considered, it may take anywhere from 2 to 10 weeks for a wrist sprain to properly heal.