How Will a Sports Medicine Physician Treat My Sprained Wrist?

A Sports Medicine Physician wrapping wrist of patient

How Will a Sports Medicine Physician Treat My Sprained Wrist?

A sprained wrist is most commonly sustained while participating in sports or performing tasks at work. However, unexpected falls and other accidents can also be the cause. If the sprain is mild or moderate, it may not appear to be a cause for concern, but as with any other injury, you must receive adequate treatment to ensure full recovery of your wrist.

Here’s how a sports medicine physician can help you.

First Aid

The treatment for your sprained wrist will depend on the state and severity of your injury and the symptoms you experience. When you visit a sports medicine physician to help with your condition, they will administer first aid right away. This includes conducting a physical exam to assess the severity of your sprained wrist. They will also ask questions about the pain you feel and how you sustained the injury.

Sprains are the overstretching or tearing of ligaments or the fibrous bands of tissue that connect the bones in your wrist joints. They are divided into three categories based on how damaged those tissues are:

  1. Grade 1 (Mild Sprain) — Your ligament is overstretched but not torn.
  2. Grade 2 (Moderate Sprain) — Your ligament is overstretched and has some partial tears.
  3. Grade 3 (Severe Sprain) — Your ligament is completely torn.

If you have a mild or moderate sprain, your provider will wrap your wrist with a bandage to stabilize it. They may also use a brace or splint to immobilize your injury and prevent it from worsening. They will also recommend you follow the R.I.C.E. method:

  1. Rest — Refrain from moving your wrist too much and putting pressure on it.
  2. Ice — Apply a cold pack to your sprained wrist for 15 to 20 minutes multiple times a day to relieve pain and swelling.
  3. Compress — Wrap your injury with a medical bandage or athletic wrap to keep the swelling under control, but be careful not to tie it too tightly.
  4. Elevate — When resting, raise your wrist to a level above your heart to reduce swelling.

If you have a severe injury, your doctor may recommend emergency care. Although rare, there are cases where you may need to undergo surgery to repair the torn ligaments. Your physician may recommend an orthopedic surgeon to help you regain wrist mobility and function and relieve pain.


A sprained wrist can be painful, especially if your symptoms aren’t mild. Your physician may recommend taking over-the-counter pain medication to help manage aches and inflammation. Your healthcare provider may ask if you’re also taking other medicines, so they can inform you of any possible interactions.

Activity Modification

Your physician will recommend you modify your activities during and after your recovery. While your injury is still healing, you need to limit your movements and the pressure you put on your wrist. You also need to perform some stretches to help with recovery and prevent your wrist from becoming too stiff.

Post-recovery, your physician may suggest changing your activities, especially the ones that caused your injury. For example, they may recommend to cut back on workouts if you’ve been exercising too much. They can also teach you the correct form and technique for certain movements if you’ve been doing them improperly in the past.

Patient Education

Patient education entails learning how to avoid future injuries and knowing how to take care of your condition. Your physician will teach you about prevention by telling you how you can be more in control of your movements. You’ll also learn about situations you should beware of, like falling when playing sports or walking on slippery surfaces.

Physical Therapy

Your physician might work with other providers with different specialties to help ensure your full recovery. They may recommend physical therapy to help you get back in shape and improve your physical capabilities. Your therapist can teach you exercises that allow you to:

  • Regain strength
  • Improve flexibility and range of motion
  • Relieve pain and stiffness
  • Correct your movements if they caused your injury
  • Boost athletic performance

Physical therapy is an integral part of recovery because it helps you get back to your previous physical level. It can also help you improve your capabilities.

Sprained Wrist Treatment in Gunnison and Crested Butte, CO

Like any other injury, a sprained wrist needs professional care to avoid further damage and ensure a full recovery. It’s best to consult with a sports medicine physician about any joint, ligament, and related sports injury.

Our sports medicine experts here at gO Orthopedics provide medical care, treatment, and rehabilitation plans for professional athletes, recreational athletes, and everyone else.

If you’re looking for a clinic that offers sprained wrist treatment in Colorado, call our Gunnison office at (970) 641-8899 or our Crested Butte office at (970) 349-5103. We look forward to getting you back Better than BeforeTM!

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