Protect Your Wrists During Summer Activities
Summer is the peak season for outdoor fun — biking, walking, running, skateboarding, surfing, rollerblading, just to name a few. Protect your wrists while you are out and about getting all that healthy exercise in the sun!
A wrist hyperextension injury is a wrist sprain that typically occurs when a person falls on an outstretched hand. All it takes is a loss of balance. Once your hand hits the ground, the force of impact bends your wrist back toward your forearm. The most common ligament of the wrist to be injured is the scapho-lunate ligament. This injury can occur from everyday activities, but it is common in outdoor recreation and sports activities.
The signs and symptoms of a wrist hyperextension sprain vary according to the severity or grade of the sprain. Some symptoms include pain upon the onset of the injury, feeling a popping or tearing in the wrist on the impact of injury, and/or swelling of the hand or wrist. A sprained wrist is often swollen and painful, especially with motion. There also may be bruising. Pain and swelling can develop over several days and may last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.
There are several things you can do to help ease the pain associated with a wrist hyperextension injury. One of the best ways is to use the R.I.C.E. method. This well-known treatment involves the following steps: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatories can also help reduce pain and swelling associated with wrist hyperextension. Some common non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are Motrin, Advil, and Aleve.
There are ways to reduce your risk of wrist hyperextension. You can wear a brace on your wrist to give your joint some additional support, especially if you’ve had a hyperextension injury in the past or you have a tendency to fall. You can also try doing strength-building exercises to build up the muscles that support a weak or unstable joint. Another option is to apply protective taping to the wrist to prevent hyperextension.
The healing time for wrist hyperextension depends on the severity of the sprain. Although the ligament usually heals in 8 to 12 weeks, it can take from 6 to 12 months for a full recovery. The length of the recovery process and your outcomes will depend on the severity of the sprain.
If your wrist pain isn’t going away even after refraining from the activities that caused the pain, the pain is present even when you’re not using your hand, the type of pain changes or increases, or the pain returns when you resume activities, it is recommended to contact your doctor for a regular appointment.
It’s important to know when to see a doctor with suspected wrist hyperextension. If you experience severe pain or see significant swelling or a noticeable wrist deformity following an injury, you should seek medical attention immediately. You may have a broken wrist or a more severe injury than a sprain.