A sprain occurs when the ligaments connecting two bones together are either stretched or torn. The wrist is made up of eight carpal bones connecting to the two bones in the forearm. A mild sprain occurs when the ligaments are stretched and can generally be self-treated by resting, icing and compressing the wrist. A severe sprain where the ligaments are torn requires a doctor's attention. Here are a few tips to see if you have sprained your wrist.
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Move your wrist gently. If there is persistent pain then you may have a sprained wrist.
Examine your wrist for swelling, bruising or discolouration. If you sprained your wrist, you may see these symptoms.
Feel the skin on your wrist. If it is warm you may have sprained your wrist.
Go to a doctor for a proper diagnosis if the symptoms persist. Tell your doctor about your injury and symptoms.
Have an X-ray done if your doctor feels it is necessary. Your doctor will examine the X-rays and tell you if you have sprained your wrist.
Tips and warnings
- If you feel severe pain, numbness or can't move your wrist, see a doctor right away. You may have a wrist fracture. If the pain is mild, wait a day before deciding whether to see a doctor.
- A severe sprain can lead to a fracture and may require surgery. A proper diagnosis is important to get the correct treatment.
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