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For those who are athletic and actively play sports games, they have higher chances of getting wrist pain, though it could practically happen to anyone. This is because when you play a sports game, there’s extreme pressure being exerted on the wrist, or you could have twisted it in certain movements in order to make the score. Being hit on the wrist and falling could also cause wrist pain.

There are three grades of wrist pain which doctors would use to diagnose to ensure the right treatment for you. They are minor ligament damage with pain (grade 1), severe ligament damage with pain and some function loss and looseness of joint (grade 2), and a fully torn ligament with pain and severe function loss and looseness of joint (grade 3). For grade 3-wrist pain, you’re required to seek medical attention from doctors as soon as possible. The more serious your injury is, the more likely you are to need a surgery. For grades 1 and 2, there are five fast and effective ways to treat wrist pain1

  1. Do strengthening and stretching exercises Strengthening and stretching exercises could speed up healing when you hurt your wrist. Wait at least five to seven days after your injury to practice them. Start with gentle movements minus weights, such as extension, flexion, supination, and wrist pronation. Do two repetitive sets for each movement. Before you start any stretching and exercising, consult with your doctor first. If pain lingers, stop immediately and do them another day.2
  2. Keep wrist immobile by using a splint or cast This is a temporary solution until you seek further treatment from a doctor. He or she will then determine whether or not you’ll need to continue using it. Keep in mind that using any of them for too long, in some cases, can cause muscle weakness and more stiffness to the wrist.3
  3. Take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory painkillers (NSAIDs) Taking NSAIDs like Panadol, Motrin, Aleve, or Advil is the fastest way to overcome swelling and pain in a short time. Also, bear in mind that these medications come with side effects which include increased risks of ulcers and bleeding. Unless your doctor recommends taking them several times a day, the painkillers should only be taken occasionally to avoid serious side effects that could cause you more harm.4
  4. Do wrist compression Because wrist pain is due to overly stretched ligaments, putting a bandage and compressing your wrist could help the ligaments from stretching and breaking further, leading you to more pain. With bandages on the wrist, your movement will be somewhat limited to ensure no further injury is done.5
  5. Put ice on wrist This home remedy could help reduce swelling and pain. You can ice your wrist for 20 to 30 minutes every four hours for at least three days. You can also keep putting ice on your wrist until the pain is completely gone, if doing it soothes you.

Recovery time usually depends on the severity of your injury. In a rough estimate, it may take between 2-10 weeks for your injury to completely heal. Then again, everyone has a different healing rate. As you heal, consider doing an activity that won’t hurt the wrist, like stationary biking or jogging. If pain persists even after you’ve tried everything, consult with your doctor for further treatment.