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Tips for Avoiding Wrist Injuries

Tips for Avoiding Wrist Injuries

Wrist injuries are extremely common, especially among people who use their hands, wrists, and forearms for sports, work activities, or hobbies. 

Not surprisingly, the extra strain on ligaments, tendons, and joints also increases the risk of wrist injuries and contributes to pain, stiffness, and long-term functional problems.

At Pacific Sports and Spine in Eugene and Roseburg, Oregon, our team uses both traditional and innovative approaches to wrist pain, helping patients recover from injuries, relieve painful symptoms, and even learn ways to prevent these injuries from happening in the first place. 

You can’t always avoid a wrist injury, but knowing how injuries happen and how to reduce your risks can help.

How wrist injuries happen

Your wrist is a complex structure made of more than a dozen bones and multiple tendons and ligaments, any of which can be injured. Plus, you use your wrists extensively, which means there are many opportunities — every day — when you can injure your wrists.

Many wrist injuries occur during sports; in fact, some research estimates that about 25% of sports injuries involve the wrist. 

Car accidents and falls are other common causes. In fact, injuries caused by falls on an outstretched hand are so common that they have their own nickname: FOOSH injuries.

Not all wrist injuries are traumatic. Some happen as a result of repetitive use. Carpal tunnel syndrome is an example of a common repetitive-use injury that affects millions of people who use their hands for typing or other activities.

Finally, musculoskeletal diseases, like rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis, also cause wrist pain or make other types of wrist injuries more common. Some people develop painful cysts in their wrist joints.

5 tips to avoid wrist injuries

Not all wrist injuries are avoidable. But there are some steps you can take to reduce your risk of injuries. Here are five of them.

Wear wrist guards

You’ve probably seen football players wearing wrist guards or gloves during play. They’re not there for fashion — they’re there for protection. In fact, wrist guards are recommended for many sports that rely on your wrists and hands. 

When buying guards, be sure they fit properly, since a poor fit can wind up making matters worse.

Try some wrist exercises

Before you participate in a sport or any activity involving your wrists and hands, do some gentle wrist stretches or try squeezing a tennis ball a few times to prep the joint and ramp up blood flow to your muscles and tendons. You can find some simple wrist exercises here.

Invest in a wrist support

If you spend a lot of time typing, invest in a wrist support designed to reduce muscle and tendon strain. Wrist supports are typically made of gel for support that’s comfortable but firm.

Take breaks

When doing any activity involving your hands or wrists — typing, using a racket, throwing a ball, or even painting — take regular breaks to gently stretch your wrists. This is a good way to prevent muscle stiffness and reduce the risk of inflammation in and around the joint and tendons.

Seek medical care early

If you have wrist pain, stiffness, or other symptoms, you’ve probably already suffered an injury. But seeing the doctor as soon as possible is important for preventing that injury from becoming worse. 

Call our office at the first sign of wrist discomfort or dysfunction so we can evaluate the joint and initiate treatment to prevent more serious problems.

Custom treatment for your wrist symptoms

Because you use your wrists so often, even a mild injury can cause a lot of discomfort, interfering with daily activities like dressing, writing, and even bathing. 

If you’re having any wrist symptoms — even mild ones — have us evaluate them as soon as possible so we can restore normal joint function and prevent future problems.

To learn more about what’s causing your wrist pain and how we can treat it, call us today to book an appointment at Pacific Sports and Spine.

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