How Does a Wrist Brace Work?

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An example of a wrist brace
An example of a wrist brace (Image: http://www.supports4u.com/Cindyp.htm)

What is a wrist brace?

A wrist brace is a device designed to stabilize the wrist joint and forearm in order to promote proper wrist alignment and aid with the healing of injuries to the wrist. A wrist brace usually consists of flexible but sturdy cloth that is wrapped and fasten tightly around the wrist and forearm. Some braces incorporate rigid structures, often made of plastic, to help the wrist conform to a certain range of movement and inhibit movement in a direction that would cause injury. Wrists are one of the most commonly injured joints, especially in older women, and those who work in manual labor.

An example of a wrist brace
An example of a wrist brace

Using a wrist brace & common wrist injuries

Whenever one suffers a wrist injury, it is a good idea to consult a doctor as to how best to treat the injury. A doctor will be able to determine what part of the wrist in injured and what type of brace will be best suited to heal or prevent injury. One of the most common types of wrist injury is carpal tunnel syndrome, a chronic candition caused by the pinching of a nerve in the wrist. It is often believed that carpal tunnel is caused by excessive use of a keyboard, although those who work jobs with repetitive heavy stress, like on assembly lines, are at the most risk. A wrist brace can prevent the symptoms of carpal tunnel and give support to allow healing. Wrist sprains as the result of activities like tennis, boxing or wrestling can also be aided through use of a brace.

Preventative use of braces

While most people begin using joint braces in response to an incurred injury, perhaps the wisest use of braces to prevent an injury before it arises. Those with a history of wrist problems are well advised to wear a light wrist brace any time they are perform an activity which stresses the wrist. Even those with very strong wrists that have never suffered an injury before can benefit from wearing a brace during stressful exercise, and heavy weight lifting. Many weight lifters use gloves that provide some additional wrist support. For those that spend many hours a day at a computer typing, it may be a good idea to wear a wrist brace if they suspect they are developing carpal tunnel syndrome.

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