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How to get swelling down after a broken wrist

Updated February 21, 2017

A broken wrist will result in symptoms such as pain, bruising and swelling around the wrist area. You may need to reduce swelling before a tight cast can be applied to your wrist. Reducing swelling around your wrist can also increase the healing process. A broken wrist may take months to heal. Not following proper procedures could result in a longer recovery period or, even worse, cause even more damage to the wrist.

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  1. Wear a splint or air cast until the swelling begins to go down. Immobilising your wrist can help reduce swelling and also prevent further injury to the wrist.

  2. Elevate the wrist whenever possible. Your wrist should be elevated above your heart whenever you are sitting down, such as while watching television. You should also attempt to sleep sitting up so you can elevate your wrist while you sleep. Place a pillow underneath your wrist as you sit so you can elevate the injured wrist more comfortably.

  3. Ice the wrist for a half hour three to four times a day. Place a thin washcloth over your wrist and then put an ice pack or bag of ice onto the cloth. Remember to keep your wrist elevated while icing the injury.

  4. Take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications. These medicines are meant to decrease swelling and can also reduce pain. Consult your doctor regarding how often you take these medicines, especially if you have been prescribed other medications by your doctor.

  5. Tip

    Remember to rest your wrist injury while you wait for the swelling to go down. Avoid using the wrist for any activities, including typing, writing or even opening doors.


    Consult your doctor if the swelling does not decrease four to seven days after the cast has been removed.

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Things You'll Need

  • Splint/air cast
  • Pillow
  • Wash cloth
  • Ice pack/ice
  • Anti-inflammatory medicine

About the Author

Andrew Smith has been a freelance writer since 2006, specializing in sports and technology. His work has appeared on various online sites. Smith has a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Pennsylvania State University.

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