A sprain of the wrist, also known as a sprain in medical terminology, can quickly occur during a fall and often occurs in the context of sports injuries. If you fall, you instinctively try to support yourself on the ground with your hand spread. The impact does not always have to result in a direct fracture of the bone, but can also cause a sprain, which can be just as unpleasant as a fracture of the bone. A sprain is an overstretching of the ligaments that support and secure the joint. They also ensure the smooth functioning of the wrist.
A sprain caused by a fall on the wrist does not have to be immediately visible from the outside. Often the patient initially only feels the strong sudden pain due to the shock. The injured wrist is severely restricted in its movement by this. In most cases a swelling and possibly also a larger bruise (hematoma) developed only after hours. The bleeding into the tissue can also be an indication that the ligaments were overstretched to such an extent during the sprain that they may eventually have torn.
What to do – First aid
After a fall, the shock can be great and if there is a suspicion of having contracted a sprain or similar injury, initial measures can be helpful. Here the PECH rule has often proved to be effective. PECH means break, ice, compression and high support.
According to this, the affected wrist should first be kept still and no further strain should be put on it. Immobilization can also be supported by a correctly applied bandage. The injured wrist should be consistently cooled and elevated from the outset.
Cooling packs wrapped in a towel are suitable for cooling. These direct measures after the fall can prevent a strong increasing swelling, which can cause additional pain. At the same time, elevating the body helps to reduce bleeding skin and promotes the healing process. If the pain remains very severe and the swelling does not subside significantly within a few days, a specialist should be consulted for assessment.