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Supporting the Wrist

Supporting the Wrist

By Taikhum Sadiq

What are the functions of the wrist?

In layman’s terms, the wrist is the joint that connects the forearm to the hand. It is the one responsible for the movement of the hand. All the muscles and nerves pass through the wrist and then connect to the hand. The wrist moves in various directions and in some animals it moves a complete 360 degrees. The wrist is made up of a set of bones that are connected to each other by muscles and ligaments.

What are the problems associated with the wrist?

Joint and Muscle Problems – The first most common problem is a sprained wrist. When the muscles in and around the wrist are stressed beyond the limit, they get over stretched and may sometimes get ruptured. This leads to inflammation and pain. One might notice slight redness in the region too. The other problem called distal radius fracture or broken wrist occurs when the radius at the wrist is broken. There are four types of these fractures, intra-articular which extends to the joint, extra-articular which doesn’t extend to the joint, open fracture which breaks through the skin, and comminuted which results into the bone breaking into many pieces.

Wrist conditions – Arthritis is one of the most common conditions that affect the wrist. There are three types, namely, osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis, and posttraumatic arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the wearing off of the cartilage in the wrist, rheumatoid arthritis is a condition where the body’s protecting antigens attack the body itself and starts by damaging tissues, and posttraumatic arthritis develops after an injury or surgery. Another major problem is the ulnar tunnel syndrome in which the ulnar nerve is compressed in the wrist and is unable to send signals to the brain. It can cause reduction in grip and finger movements.

When do these problems strike?

The wrist is not as strong as the other joints in the body and is made to be more flexible than strong and so even a mild jerk might sometimes cause a sprain in the muscles of the wrist. A strong jerk or accident can cause the bone to crack and may sometimes result in severe fractures.

Arthritis mostly occurs due to old age and as a person nears their 50’s, there is a chance of him or her getting affected by arthritis. Some cases of arthritis are even hereditary and run in the family. Ulnar tunnel syndrome can be caused due to swelling or fracture in the wrist.

What are the treatment options?

Medication, rest, and basic exercises are enough for things like wrist sprain or muscle damage. Fractures are treated by putting a cast and rest. Arthritis and other conditions have different procedures for their treatment. Braces, splints, and bands are highly effective items that support the wrists and also help in the healing process. They restrict the movement of the wrist thus hastening the healing process.

What are my options?

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Rolyan Neuro Positioning Splint Palm Protector helps prevent finger contractures and skin breakdown in the palm. This palm protector is pre-rolled and tacked down for simple application. It features closed-cell foam lined with comfortable pile fabric. It is latex free, hand washable and air dry.

Scott Specialties Leader Deluxe Carpal Tunnel Wrist Support comes with hook and loop closure which makes application quick and easy. Palm stay is removable and adjustable. It comes in white colour.

Mueller Arthritis Compression and Support Gloves are ideal for arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome and pain associated with repetitive motion. These gloves provide compression and support for weak or aching hands and wrists. The fingerless design allows for full range of motion. They are made of breathable fabric for comfortable all-day wear.

Core Left Wrist Splint with Thumb Spica helps protect wrist and thumb following injury. Helps decrease pain and inflammation from tendinitis, also helps arthritis. It has cotton and polyester construction with soft, cotton liner. Two metal stays support wrist and thumb and has adjustable aluminium wrist support bar.