Our wrists play an important role in our hand movement and ability to do tasks. Overuse may result in problems such as discomfort and inflammation.
Several problems could be causing your wrist pain, including a strained or sprained wrist. It is important to know the difference to begin an effective treatment plan for your problem.
Difference Between A Sprain and a Strain
Our wrists are composed of muscles, bones, and connective tissues all-around joints. They are prone to damage, especially if we use our wrists heavily. Wrist injuries are classified according to the tissues involved.
A sprained wrist is a partial tear in the ligament that surrounds the wrist joint. This problem is typically caused by twisting too much. Athletes are more likely than others to suffer from a sprained wrist – especially those who use their wrists to exert force, like boxers and racket sport players.
A wrist strain is an injury to a muscle or tendon in your wrist. Overuse, force, or overpulling are common causes of this disorder. Hence, this condition is also known as “pulled muscle.” Wrist strains can affect anyone, especially those who fail to warm up (and cool down) before and after intense exercises.
Strained and sprained wrists share common symptoms, like pain and swelling.
Common symptoms of a sprained wrist include:
- Wrist pain
- Limited ability to move the wrist
- Hearing or feeling a “pop” at the time of injury
Aside from sharp pain, wrist strain symptoms include the following:
- Muscle spasms
- Trouble moving
Completely tearing your ligament or muscle may require more than observation. Consider getting checked by a professional immediately to prevent further complications. Serious injuries such as fractures have similar origins to sprains and strains of the wrist. Seek medical help if you can’t move your wrist or feel pain or numbness in the affected area.
A sprained wrist is usually caused by falling onto an outstretched hand. This usually occurs when you use your hands to break your fall. The impact is received by the hand, which causes the sprain in your wrist joint.
Everyone can experience a wrist strain. It is caused by pulling a muscle when your hand is suddenly used to exert force. This can happen when carrying heavy weights using your hands. Improper positioning of hands during normal activities due to poor flexibility is also a cause.
As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure. Here are ways to prevent getting a strained or sprained wrist:
Building Bone Strength
The average adult needs 1000 milligrams of calcium every day. The recommended daily dose for women over the age of 50 is at least 1200 mg. Calcium supplementation may help prevent more serious wrist disorders such as fractures.
Most wrist injuries are caused by falling onto an outstretched hand. Wearing comfortable and appropriate shoes may help prevent falls. Installing bathroom grab bars and stairway handrails is also recommended, if necessary. Make sure your workspace is free from hazards and has proper lighting to prevent falls.
Use of Protective Gear for Activities
For high-risk activities, wrist guards should be worn at all times. The splints and padding attached absorb some of the impacts of a fall, reducing the risk of injury.
Regular breaks are necessary, especially if you spend a lot of time at a keyboard. It is beneficial to keep your wrists relaxed in a neutral position. Using an ergonomic keyboard with foam or gel wrist support helps. There are other interventions available that your doctor may recommend depending on your wrist condition.
Wrist Specialists In North Dakota
Orthopedic surgeons and hand and wrist specialists can help you with your strained and sprained wrist. These conditions should be treated immediately so you can go back to living a pain-free life. The Bone & Joint Center is the largest private orthopedic practice in the state that provides quality healthcare. With our board-certified team of professionals, we can help solve all your orthopedic problems.
If you want to learn more about our orthopedic services, feel free to contact us at (800) 424-2663. Or schedule a consultation by securing an appointment through our online appointment request form. We are looking forward to serving you!