A broken bone can be painful, and one of the factors that contributes to this discomfort is excessive swelling. When tissues swell, they limit range of motion and increase nerve pressure, which may lead to additional pain.1
Although wrist fractures can happen to anybody, athletes and trainers encounter them more often than most people. This is one reason the pros tend to have better systems for dealing with these types of injuries.
5 Pro Tricks to Help Reduce Swelling of a Fractured Wrist
Cold packs are the traditional method for applying cryotherapy to a broken bone. Cold may ease pain and inflammation, but the pros know a better way.2 Specialized cryotherapy wraps deliver consistent cold to the entire area surrounding the injury. Patented technology ensures the cold water that circulates through the system remains at a consistent temperature. In contrast, ice packs quickly draw heat from your body and get warmer, making them less effective.
Edema, or excess fluid, contributes to additional swelling if it is allowed to build up. Compression helps reduce swelling by fighting edema.3 You might find static wraps at the pharmacy, but the pros use a more sophisticated active compression system to help pump away excess fluid and bring freshly oxygenated blood to the injury.
Your body needs energy to heal itself, and the more you can rest, the more resources can be dedicated to tissue repair. Resting the injured area may help reduce the risk of reinjury. Athletes and other active people may be tempted to get back in the game as soon as possible, but the pros know that rest is essential to a full recovery.
It's an old trick, but it's still one that the pros use to help reduce swelling. Keeping your arm slightly elevated while resting or sleeping may help prevent excess fluid from building up around the fractured bone. Elevation also helps reduce pressure on blood vessels. This slows bleeding and can help reduce bruising, thereby reducing pain.4
Physical therapy exercises
Your wrist may be immobilized in a splint or cast, but that doesn't mean that you can't exercise other parts of the upper extremity. Gently moving your shoulder, elbow, and fingers may help increase circulation, which contributes to the healing process and helps reduce swelling. It may also help prevent muscle wasting and weakening in surrounding structures. As your recovery progresses, your doctor or physical therapist may recommend additional activities to assist recovery and improve mobility.
You can get access to the same systems the pros use by finding a Game Ready provider in your area. You can rent equipment to use at home or work with a qualified physical therapist in their office. Either way, you get the benefits of professional technology to help you heal as quickly as possible.
How much pain and swelling are you experiencing with your fractured wrist?
- Swelling: the body's reaction to injury. Nationwide Children’s Hospital. https://www.nationwidechildrens.org/specialties/sports-medicine/sports-medicine-articles/swelling-the-bodys-reaction-to-injury. Accessed September 21, 2019.
- Cold therapy (cryotherapy) for pain management. University of Rochester Medical Center. https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?contenttypeid=134&contentid=95. Accessed September 21, 2019.
- Block J. Cold and compression in the management of musculoskeletal injuries and orthopedic operative procedures: a narrative review. Open Access J Sports Med. 2010;1:105-113. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3781860/. Accessed September 21, 2019.
- Van den Bekerom M, Struijs P, Blankevoort L, Welling L, Van Dijk C, Kerkhoffs G. What is the evidence for rest, ice, compression, and elevation therapy in the treatment of ankle sprains in adults? J Athl Train. 2012;47(4):435-443. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3396304/. Accessed September 21, 2019.