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Symptoms of a sprained wrist or hand can last anywhere from a few days up to six weeks and may include:

  • Bruising
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Pain with movement


Hand and wrist sprains can occur from any movement that involves sudden twists or hyperextension. Wrist and hand sprains can also stem from falling on an outstretched arm or hand as well as any force to the wrist that causes it to move backward or in an abnormal direction abruptly. Typical causes of hand and wrist sprains include:

  • Sports injuries
  • Work-related accidents
  • Falls
  • Automobile accidents


Some sprained hands and wrists can be self-treated. Treatments include:

  • Anti-inflammatory pain relievers
  • Ice/Cold compresses
  • Elevation of hand and wrist
  • Elastic bandages and splints
  • Light stretches

When treating sprains, it is important to keep swelling under control and to immobilize the strain to prevent further injury from occurring. Ice and cold compresses help both numb the pain as well as reduce swelling. In addition, doing light stretching exercises may improve physical functions and flexibility in the wrist and hand. If symptoms do not go away or worsen, visit Performance Sports Medicine Institute for more treatment options.

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