How to Wrap Your Wrist
Kathryn Milbert, OTD, OTR/L, one of Summit’s registered and licensed occupational therapists, gives tips on wrapping your wrist the right way.
If you’re experiencing wrist pain, one common conservative measure is RICE, which stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. For compression, some people turn to an ACE-style bandage, a flexible, reusable strip that wraps around an injured joint. It’s available over the counter at drugstores or other retailers. It’s important to wrap your wrist the right way, in order to get the benefit. Here are some tips from Summit occupational therapist Kathryn Milbert, OTD, OTR/L.
1. Start to wrap your wrist in the palm
Place one end of the bandage in the palm of your injured wrist, making sure that the Velcro’s rough edge is facing up, so that it doesn’t irritate your skin while you’re wearing the bandage. Wrap around the palm, including the thumb or not, depending on the injury.
2. Use proper positioning
“As you wrap, move toward the heart. You start at the hand and move toward the elbow,” Milbert said. As you wrap, keep your wrist in a neutral, or straight, position. “You don’t want your wrist bending in any direction. The neutral position will make sure the ligaments and tendons are not receiving any increased pressure,” Milbert said.
3. Make it comfortably snug to wrap your wrist well
When it comes to how tight the wrap should be, Milbert said, the phrase she keeps in mind is “comfortably snug.” “You don’t want the wrap to shift around, but you also don’t want it to be so tight that it causes numbness, tingling, or increased pain,” Milbert said. The bandage’s strips should overlap each other by 50 percent. At the end of the bandage, you’ll use the Velcro strip to affix the edge to the bandage, securing it.
4. Consider other options
If wrist wrapping isn’t helping, there are many other options to consider. Wrist braces are available for more rigid support, keeping your wrist in a neutral position. “These can be helpful for everything from carpal tunnel syndrome to tennis elbow,” Milbert said.
In addition, Summit offers OrthoQUICK, conveniently located walk-in clinics open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week. At OrthoQUICK, you can see a specialist, and Summit’s team can make a custom-fitted brace or splint (called custom orthotics) the same day.
Summit Orthopedics provides personalized hand and wrist expertise
The function of our hands is integrated through our wrists and arms to our shoulders; a problem anywhere along our arm may have a significant impact on hand function and quality of life. If you experience an injury or uncomfortable symptoms, our fellowship-trained hand and wrist surgeons are here to help. Summit physicians receive the highest levels of training and exclusively provide individualized care for conditions of the hand, wrist, and elbow.
Summit has convenient locations across the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area, serving Minnesota and western Wisconsin. We have state-of-the-art centers for comprehensive orthopedic care in Eagan, MN, Plymouth, MN, Vadnais Heights, MN, and Woodbury, MN, as well as additional community clinics throughout the metro and southern Minnesota.
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