Wrist Sprain – About Wrist Sprains

Wrist sprain is an injury to any of the ligaments supporting your wrist bones. A ligament is a strong band of tissue that helps connect a bone to another bone. In wrist sprain, any of your wrist ligaments can become stretched or torn when you fall on your outstretched hand, causing symptoms of pain and inflammation.

Causes of Wrist Sprains

Wrist sprain is commonly caused by a forceful bending of the wrist causing any one or more of the wrist ligaments to become stretched beyond its limit or torn. This often occurs when you fall on an outstretched hand, which is also called a FOOSH injury.

People participating in sports, such as football, hockey, figure skating, skiing, wrestling, and judo may be at risk for having wrist sprains.


The most common symptom of a wrist sprain is pain. Depending on the severity of your injury, you may also experience
  • Swelling at the site of your injury
  • Tenderness
  • Redness
  • Bruising
  • Difficulty moving your wrist or holding objects

The symptoms of wrist sprain may be similar to that of a wrist tendonitis or wrist fracture. If you are experiencing severe symptoms or notice an obvious deformity, don’t hesitate to consult your health care provider for proper diagnosis and prompt treatment.

What you can do

If you have mild symptoms, doing RICE therapy may just be enough to control those symptoms.
  • Rest your injured joint for one to two days.
  • Ice your injured wrist to help minimize your pain and reduce or prevent swelling.
  • Use compression bandage and elevate your injured joint to help minimize or prevent swelling.

Consult your doctor if your symptoms do not improve or worsen.

Wrist Sprain Treatment

The type of treatment that you will receive depends on your symptoms and severity of your injury. Treatments may include rest, ice or heat, medications, splinting, and physiotherapy.

Your doctor may suggest surgery for your severe wrist sprain. Surgery may be required to repair a severely damaged ligament. Your doctor will talk to you about the surgical procedure that you are about to undergo.

After your surgery, you will likely undergo rehabilitation to help you restore your motion and improve your muscle strength.

Physiotherapy for Wrist Sprain

Whether you’ve undergone surgery or not for your wrist sprain, physiotherapy can help you. In addition to asking relevant questions, your physical therapist will also conduct a thorough physical examination and evaluation of your injured wrist.

Your therapist will then formulate a comprehensive treatment plan specifically made for you. Examples of PT treatments that you might receive are
  • Use of physical agents like ice or heat packs;
  • Use of electrotherapeutic modalities, such as transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator (TENS);
  • Ultrasound therapy; and
  • Exercises.

Your physiotherapy treatments will be based on your symptoms, severity of injury, your stage of recovery, and your overall goals.