Sprains and strains are common sports injuries. Sprains are injuries caused to the ligaments (connect bone to bone), whereas strains are injuries caused to the muscles or tendons (connect muscle to bone).
Wrist Sprains: Injuries caused due to stretching or tearing of the ligaments in the wrist are called wrist sprains. These injuries are usually caused by a fall during daily activities or sports activities. Sprains can range from mild to severe based on the extent of injury to the ligament.
Some of the main symptoms of wrist sprains include:
- Swelling and pain in the wrist
- Difficulty in moving your wrist
- Bruising around the wrist
- Popping sensation inside the wrist
- A feeling of warmth or feverishness in the wrist
Your doctor diagnoses this condition with the help of your medical history and physical examination of your wrist. Your doctor may also use imaging tests such as X-rays, CT scans and MRI to diagnose partial ligament tears.
Treatment for wrist sprains includes surgical and non-surgical treatments. Non-surgical treatment involves immobilization of the wrist and performing strengthening exercises once the pain has reduced. Surgical treatment is used to repair the ligament if it is completely torn.
Wrist Strains: Injuries to the muscles or tendons of the wrist are called wrist strains. A wrist strain may occur due to a sudden force on the wrist such as bending the wrist beyond its natural movement or due to repetitive movements of the wrist.
Some of the most common symptoms of wrist strains include pain, weakness and spasms of the wrist muscle, swelling, cramps and difficulty in moving the wrist muscle.
This condition can be treated by using the principles of protection, resting your wrist, using an ice pack to reduce pain, compression, and keeping your wrist in an elevated position. You can also use pain medications to reduce the pain. You will also be advised to perform wrist strengthening activities after the pain and swelling have reduced.