Many people are recommended by their doctors or other healthcare professional advisors to start wearing a wrist brace to deal with wrist pain. For many of them, a key question will be “what is a wrist brace used for?”. In this article, we set out to provide 3 answers to this question that it will be useful to know.
It is important to understand that, although we are suggesting 3 ways in which a wrist brace can help reduce wrist pain, they may not apply to your particular case. You should first obtain medical advice from your physician on the cause of your wrist pain. If it is among the causes listed below, then wearing wrist brace is probably an appropriate step for you.
What Is A Wrist Brace Used For?
We will now lay out three scenarios in which a wrist brace can help ease wrist pain and return to wrist to full health.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome refers to a medical condition in which the median nerve at the front of the forearm, which passes through the carpal tunnel in the wrist, loses the ability to move freely inside the tunnel. Pressure on the median nerve causes several unpleasant symptoms including burning in the palm and thumb, difficulty gripping objects tightly and a tingling sensation travelling up your arm.
Carpal tunnel tends to be exacerbated by small repetitive motions of the hand and wrist that are performed over an extended period of time.
Carpal Tunnel symptoms tend to be particularly severe upon awakening in the morning. This is a result of the tendency of most people to sleep with their wrists in a closed position and, as a result, experience pain when trying to open the wrists upon awakening.
However, wrist splints (a type of wrist brace that is equipped with a stiff spoon or splint at the front and back of the wrist) can be worn at night to keep the wrists in a neutral position. They will therefore help to reduce pain, tingling and other unpleasant sensations that carpal tunnel sufferers experiencing upon awakening and trying to open their wrists.
Wrist splints should be worn mainly during sleep. They are generally too restrictive of wrist bones and ligaments to be worn during the day when you need to perform regular daily activities.
The use of wrist splints to ease carpal tunnel pain is a significant piece of the answer to the question “what is a wrist brace used for?”. Carpal tunnel is a widespread wrist injury among North American adults, affecting around 5% of that population. This use of wrist braces therefore makes a significant different to the quality of life experienced by a significant proportion of the population.
Another important response to the question “what is a wrist brace used for” lies in their ability to ease the pain of wrist sprains and protect the wrist joint during the healing process from these injuries. A wrist sprain is an overuse injury of the ligaments of the wrist that causes them to become overstretched or slightly torn. Most wrist sprains are treated by resting the ligaments of the wrist, mainly by protecting them from activities that might place stress on them.
An important difference between wrist strain pain and that of carpal tunnel syndrome is the latter is mainly felt during the daytime, while carpal tunnel pain tends to occur mainly upon awakening in the morning (as we have explained above).
A wrist support brace can play a key role in protecting the wrist ligaments from excess stress while you carry out your daily activities. If you have been wondering what is a wrist brace used for and have been experiencing daytime wrist pain, this is a key part of the answer to your question.
Another important answer to the question “what is a wrist brace used for?” is to reduce the pain and discomfort of mild to moderate wrist arthritis.
There are two dominant forms of wrist arthritis that affect most of the individuals suffering from this condition.
Wrist osteoarthritis is a wear and tear disease caused by deterioration of the cartilage lining covering the bones of the wrist. As it progresses, the bone ends start to come into direct contact with each other. This causes pain and stiffness of the wrist, especially as you move the joint.
Rheumatoid wrist arthritis is an autoimmune condition. It is caused by the body’s auto immune system starting to identify the lining of the wrist as a foreign entity and, as a result, starting to attack and destroy it. As the purpose of the lining is to lubricate the joint, the effect of rheumatoid wrist arthritis is increasing pain and stiffness of the wrist joint, especially as the joint is moved.
A wrist brace can be used to limit movement of the wrist joint and therefore limit the pain and discomfort experienced by those with mild to moderate wrist arthritis.
What Is A Wrist Brace Used For – Summary
If you have been asking yourself what a wrist brace is used for, we hope that this question has now been largely answered. For more information on using wrist braces to treat carpal tunnel, we suggest reviewing this post.