A sprain is an injury to a ligament, the tissue that connects bones to bones. Ligaments are essential for joint stability, and when they are stretched or torn due to trauma, it results in a sprain. In the finger, hand, wrist, and upper limb, these injuries can occur in various scenarios.
Causes of sprains
Sprains can happen for several reasons, including:
Falls: Falling onto an outstretched hand or the wrist can cause a sprain.
Sports injuries: Sports that involve repetitive or forceful hand and arm movements, such as basketball or gymnastics, can lead to sprains.
Accidents: Sudden impacts or accidents, like car collisions or workplace mishaps, can result in sprains.
Symptoms of sprains
The symptoms of a sprain in the finger, hand, wrist, or upper limb include:
Pain: Pain at the site of the injury, which can be sharp or dull.
Swelling: Swelling around the affected area, often accompanied by bruising.
Limited range of motion: Difficulty moving the injured part of the limb.
Weakness: Reduced strength in the affected hand or arm.
Instability: A feeling that the joint is not stable or secure.
Treatment for sprains
The treatment for sprains depends on their severity, and it typically includes:
Consult with an expert: An Accredited Hand Therapist is a physiotherapist or occupational therapist with expertise in the finger, hand, wrist, elbow, and shoulder.
Rest: Giving the injured area time to heal by avoiding activities that worsen the pain or strain the ligament.
Ice: Applying ice to the injured area can help reduce swelling and pain.
Compression: Wrapping the affected limb with a bandage or brace can provide support and reduce swelling.
Elevation: Keeping the injured limb elevated can also minimise swelling.
Pain medication: Over-the-counter pain relievers or prescribed medications may be used to manage pain and inflammation.
Rehabilitation exercises: Engaging in exercises and stretches under the guidance of an Accredited Hand Therapist to improve strength and flexibility.
Bracing: In some cases, a brace or splint may be necessary to stabilise the injured area.