Wrist/Hand Sprains and Strains

Also known as: sprained wrist/hand, strained wrist/hand.

What is hemifacial microsomia? What are wrist/hand sprains and strains?

A sprain refers to an injury to a ligament, which are the bands of tissue that join bones to one another. And a strain refers to an injury to the muscles or tendons around the bones. When these injuries occur in the hands or wrists, they’re known as wrist/hand sprains and strains.

What causes wrist/hand sprains and strains?

Wrist/hand sprains and strains can occur from a direct impact or injury to the hand or wrist. Falling and catching yourself with a hand is a common cause. Repetitive motions can also cause wrist/hand sprains and strains.

What are the symptoms of wrist/hand sprains and strains? 

Pain, swelling, tenderness, bruising, numbness, difficulty moving the hand or wrist or stiffness are all potential symptoms of wrist/hand sprains and strains.

What are wrist/hand sprains and strains care options?

Mild or moderate wrist/hand sprains and strains can be treated with rest, ice, compression, elevation, avoidance of activities and over-the-counter pain relievers. Wearing a splint or soft cast can help immobilize the hand or wrist, and exercises can assist with healing. Surgery may be required for more severe injuries.

Reviewed by: Aaron J Berger, MD

This page was last updated on: September 24, 2021 04:18 PM

Pediatric Sports Medicine Program

The Sports Health Program at Nicklaus Children's is one of the premier sports health programs in the nation, combining state-of-the-art diagnostics and screening with a multidisciplinary team of pediatric sports medicine specialists for athletes.

Learn more

Learn more about

Wrist/Hand Fracture

The hand has a total of 19 small bones that create the framework for a functioning hand. The wrist is made up of 8 small bones. The forearm is composed of two long bones, known as the ulna and radius. While any of these bones may fracture, some bone are more commonly fractured than others. The scaphoid bone is the most commonly fractured bone in the wrist. Fractures of the radius are also common. Learn more

Wrist/Hand Overuse Injury

Overuse injuries, also known as repetitive strain injuries, can occur in the wrists and hands from performing activities that require repetitive motion or using improper technique. Pain is usually experienced in muscles, nerves, ligaments and/or tendons. Learn more


RICE is an acronym that stands for rest, ice, compression and elevation. These are often the four measures that are recommended for at-home treatment immediately after a mild or moderate strain or sprain occurs in many different parts of the body. Learn more