Small joint injuries are common among sports men and women, wrist injuries in particular prove to be a significant hazard especially for those taking part in combat sports such as boxing, wrestling and martial arts. Boxing itself accounts for approximately one third of all hand and wrist injuries of which wrist sprain is one of the most common.
A wrist sprain is a condition whereby the connective tissues in the hand and forearm are injured by either stretching or tearing. Sprains themselves are classified according to their severity and range from mild stretching of the tendon such as a pulled ligament to a complete tear.
The pain which accompanies sprains may not be felt until well after you have finished exercising, especially since the level of adrenaline and endorphins experienced during the fight helps to mask the pain. Afterwards though the wrist joint can become incredibly painful, swelling and bruising occurs and the mobility of the wrist as a whole is reduced. As we know many fighters who injure themselves during a match will through sheer determination carry on until the bout is over, however to do so substantially increases the risk of further damaging the wrist and thereby taking longer for the joint to heal and recover.
It goes without saying that if you ever experience this you should stop training and seek medical help and get an assessment at the earliest opportunity, but initially applying ice to the area and compressing the injury with an elastic bandage can help to limit the damage. However this sort of injury isn’t just limited to experienced professional fighters. Wrist sprains are one of the most common reasons why novices quit high impact training like the heavy bag or switch sports entirely.
Sports therapists stress the importance of allowing the joint to rest in order to aid recovery, and there are many clinics across the country, such as Sports Therapy Scotland, who offer fantastic rehabilitation programs in order to re-strengthen joints once they have recovered from injury. These programs consist of a number of deep Soft Tissue Massage sessions and joint mobility exercises.
Of course prevention is far better than a cure and there are a number of ways you can help to prevent such injury in the first place. These include hand wraps, use of correct technique and progressive build-up training, further information on sport related injuries can be sought at any reputable sports therapist.