Wrist support brace

by Nathan Wei, MD, FACP, FACR

Nathan Wei is a nationally known board-certified rheumatologist and author of the Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit. It's available exclusively at this website... not available in stores.

Click here: Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit

Wrist pain can be caused by a number of conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome, sprain or strain, repetitive use, tendonitis or arthritis.

Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when abnormal pressure is exerted on the median nerve as it travels through the carpal tunnel. The carpal tunnel is formed by the wrist bones on the bottom and the transverse carpal ligament above. By restricting motion in the wrist using splints, inflammation within the carpal tunnel lessens and symptoms improve. The splints can be worn at night only or in severe cases, daytime use may be required.

Strains or sprains also respond to rest. Repetitive use injury is a form of soft tissue strain that again responds to rest therapy. Splints can be worn while working in many instances.

Most forms of arthritis or tendonitis in the wrist are treated with a combination of injection with glucocorticoids and splinting.

In addition to medication, injections, and physical therapy modalities, patients with a wide variety of wrist problems will benefit from the use of braces and supports.

Braces help stabilize a painful area. Also, cold packs help to reduce inflammation and hot packs help to soothe the painful wrist.

Most wrist splints hold the wrist in a neutral position. Neutral appears to be better than a "wrist extended" position. Sometimes support for the base of the thumb is required. A physician or hand therapist can guide the patient to the best type of splint required.

The use of wrist splints should be supplemented with exercises to maintain strength and flexibility of the forearm muscles.

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