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What is a wrist sprain?
A wrist sprain occurs when the strong ligaments that support the wrist stretch beyond their limits or tear. This occurs when the wrist is bent or twisted forcefully, such as when your child falls onto an outstretched hand. Wrist sprains are common injuries and range from mild to severe depending on how much damage there is to the ligaments.
What symptoms can I expect?
Swelling, pain, bruising and tenderness to touch are all normal symptoms of a sprained wrist. It is important for your child to rest their wrist after the injury to allow their symptoms to resolve. Gentle exercises (see opposite) are important to strengthen their wrist and enable a normal range of movement. Sometimes a splint is used to rest the joint in conjunction with your child’s exercises; splints should not be worn for more than 2 to 3 weeks.
We also recommend they take regular pain relief such as paracetamol and/or Ibuprofen.
- Rest your forearm on a table and let your hand gently drop palm down over the edge. Gently assist the movement with your other hand. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat 5 times.
- Next, gently push the palm of your hand back and extend until you feel a stretch. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat.
- Squeeze a soft ball, rolled up bandage or folded up socks in the palm of your hand. You can also twist a tea towel in your hands as if you were wringing it out. Repeat 10 times.
Our aim is to provide information that will help you understand your child’s injury and enable the appropriate after-care. There are lots of useful injury leaflets to download at the Royal Alexandra website.
NHS 111 – 24hr advice line
Brighton Walk-In Centre 0333 321 0946
Practice Plus GP 0300 130 3333
7 days a week 8:00 am to 8:00 pm
The information in this leaflet is for guidance purposes only and is in no way intended
to replace professional clinical advice by a qualified practitioner.