Wrist braces generally fall into two categories – wrist splints and wrist supports. In choosing a wrist brace to treat your wrist pain, it is important to understand the differences between these two categories and in how they work to treat a wrist injury.
A wrist splint is usually a rigid brace that includes a stay or splint to keep your wrists in a straight position.
This type of wrist brace is usually intended for treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome, a disease in which the carpal tunnel running through your wrist gradually narrows and eventually makes it painful and difficult to straighten your wrists upon awakening in the morning. To reduce this problem, your doctor will prescribe you a wrist sprint to wear during sleep. It will counter the widespread tendency we have to bend our wrists while sleeping. Upon awakening with a straight wrist, we will experience less pain from carpal tunnel syndrome.
Wrist splints can also be effective in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. In fact, a study by the American College of Rheumatology found significant reductions in pain, swelling and joint fluid among rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis patients after just 3 weeks of wearing a wrist splint. Significant increases in wrist motion were also found after just 1 week of wrist splint use.
Other blinded, controlled studies have reported positive effects on joint swelling with no negative impacts on grip strength and hand function.
Although these braces are useful when worn at night, they are generally too restrictive to be worn throughout the day. They interfere with the range of motion of the wrist to the point that many of us will find it difficult to maintain our normal range of duties at home or work. Functions that require even moderately bending our wrists will become too difficult.
Because of these restrictions, you should wear a wrist splint mainly to treat carpal tunnel or rheumatoid arthritis. If you suffer from other mild to moderate wrist injuries such as sprains, a wrist support (discussed below) is a more appropriate choice.
The second category of wrist brace is the wrist support. These braces are less restrictive and allow you to preserve much of your normal range of motion. In general, a wrist support will not possess a rigid spoon or stay that makes it difficult to bend your wrists. They will however provide mild to moderate support for your wrist ligaments.
This makes wrist supports a good choice for someone who has suffered a mild to moderate wrist sprain or who suffers from mild wrist instability. They will support the wrist ligaments and reduce the risk that everyday use of your hand may reinjure them.
To ensure you get the most benefit from your wrist brace, you should wear it as much as possible, whether at day or night.
Hybrid Wrist Braces
We should note that, for most wrist splints, the rigid spoon or stay is removable. This makes the splint appropriate for use both when sleeping (with the spoon/stay inserted) and during waking hours (with the spoon/stay removed).
Sizing Your Wrist Brace
You should also follow the fitting instructions carefully to ensure you get the correct size of wrist brace for your needs. Sizing is very important to allow the wrist support to do its job properly.
If your brace is too large it will not be able to offer the support your wrist needs. On the other hand, a wrist support that is too small will be uncomfortable to wear. You may end up not wearing it enough (or even at all) with negative results.
The best wrist braces can be worn with complete comfort with regular clothing. More importantly, you will also be able to wear them to bed without any interruption to a good night’s sleep.These features will make it easy to wear the brace when you need to do so. The resulting higher patient compliance will make for a higher likelihood of a favorable treatment outcome.
To achieve these benefits, look for braces that are breathable and that allow your wrist and hand to maintain normal body temperature while being worn. If you have a neoprene allergy, your brace should preferably be made from a material that will not provoke a negative reaction.
Care & Maintenance Of Your Wrist Brace
You should also make sure that you acquaint yourself with the manufacturer’s instructions for the cleaning and maintenance of your wrist brace. For example, many of these products are not intended for machine washing or drying, but should be hand washed and air dried. To be sure your brace continues to perform as intended, you should follow the instructions provided. If in doubt about how to care for your particular wrist brace model, contact our customer service associates for guidance.
In closing, we would like to caution you not to fall into a trap that affects many other wrist brace wearers – that of wearing your brace only during periods of wrist pain, swelling or discomfort. Some other patients also stop wearing the brace as soon as their symptoms disappear and are subsequently disappointed when those symptoms later return.
It is important to wear your brace for the entire period recommended by your healthcare advisors and during the times (e.g. bedtime) he or she has indicated. Failing to do so may place an unnecessary obstacle in the path of your successful recovery.
Used correctly, your wrist brace can prove to be the ideal drug and side effect free alternative treatment for your wrist pain.
The Bio Skin DP2 Cock-up Wrist brace is designed to the most functional and comfortable wrist brace ever sold. It boasts a thin ultra-soft layer of micro-fleece that helps moisture to migrate away from your body and keeps you cool, comfortable and dry. With its laceless design, you can easily apply the brace with one hand and its dorsal and palmar stays can be removed and re moulded by hand to customize the fit of the brace.
The Bio Skin DP3 Cock-up Wrist brace is designed to the most functional and comfortable wrist brace ever sold. It boasts a thin ultra-soft layer of micro-fleece that helps moisture to migrate away from your body and keeps you cool, comfortable and dry. With its laceless design, you can easily apply the brace with one hand and its dorsal and palmar stays can be removed and re moulded by hand to customize the fit of the brace.
The Mueller Sports Medicine Elastic Wrist Support will provide support to your weak, sore or stiff wrists. It features a lightweight elastic knit to provide firm support and maintain a full range of movement.
The Mueller Elastic Wrist Support with Loop is designed to be easy to apply and remove. It also features a wraparound strap that is useful for adjustable compression. A great choice for lightly sprained, weak or unstable wrists. One Size. Fits either left or right wrist.
The Mueller Sports Medicine Green Fitted Wrist Brace reduces the pain of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and supports your weak or injured wrists while allowing your thumb and fingers to maintain full range of motion.
The LP Splint Wrist Brace uses dual tension elastic material to provide solid support for low level wrist sprains or strains. It is also useful for additional support after removal of a cast. The Splint Wrist Brace uses a malleable spoon splint for palmar arch support if you suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome. If the…
The McDavid Wrist Brace / Adjustable uses a medical quality splint to add increased support and stability to a weak, unstable or injured wrist. It also incorporates hook and loop closures for custom fit and comfort.
The Mueller Sports Medicine Wrist Brace With Splint has a removable splint surrounded by padding for improved comfort. This brace is designed to help relieve the pain of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. It features adjustable tabs a wrap-around design and comfort oriented breathable fabric. Available in black only. One size – fits wrist circumferences between 6″ …
Mueller’s Wrist Brace, Black is an excellent choice for treating the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. It is equipped with steel support springs to help maintain a natural straight wrist position while sleeping. This helps avoid the pain normally felt by carpal tunnel sufferers upon awakening in the morning and trying to straighten their wrists…
The LP Wrist Splint provides support to stiff or weak wrists. It also helps you treat the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. You can use the Splint without its spoon shaped stay as you heal and your required support level changes. In addition to support, the Wrist Splint helps provide therapeutic compression for an overstressed…
The Mueller Sports Medicine Wrist Stabilizer boasts an extra-long metal spoon, 6.5 inches long and removable. It also has two padded side splints for additional wrist support. The Wrist Stabilizer will be effective in helping to relieve pain from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Use this brace at night to keep your wrists in a straight position….
The LP Wrist Support provides support for injured or weak wrists. It is appropriate to use while playing sports or alternatively just for everyday use. Composition is nylon (70%) and spandex (30%). As there is no neoprene or latex, this is an excellent support for those with histories of these sensitivities. Wearing the support for…
The Mueller Sports Medicine Wrist Support Wrap features an innovative thumb loop that simplifies both application and removal. Composition of the Wrist Support Wrap is a soft neoprene blend that is optimal for heat retention. This warmth helps to improve blood circulation and joint flexibility. For superior comfort, the Wrist Support Wrap uses a perforated…
The LP Wrist Wrap helps to reduce the risk of minor wrist injuries. It also helps relieve the pain of such injuries through the application of pressure to an injured wrist. In addition to these benefits, the Wrist Wrap will help to firmly support a strained or weak wrist. Its adjustable Velcro closure securely maintains…
The McDavid Wrist Wrap / Adjustable uses 4-way stretch technology and provides both heat and compression therapy. It also has hook and loop closures to help you enjoy a customized fit for optimal comfort.
The LP Wrist Wrap-Core comfortably compresses and supports injured wrists and will also help to prevent moderate wrist injuries. The Wrist Wrap uses a wrap around design to facilitate thumb and finger movement while wearing the brace. The Wrist Wrap is an ideal choice if you are searching for therapeutic compression, heat retention and support…