How Long Does a Sprained Wrist Last?

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What Is a Sprained Wrist?

The human wrist is made up of eight bones that are attached to your hands and forearms. These bones are connected by ligaments, binding tissues that connect bones to bones. A sprained wrist occurs when an injury or unnatural motion of the wrist stretches or tears the surrounding ligaments.

Sprained wrist.
Sprained wrist. (Image: George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

How Long Does a Sprained Wrist Last?

A health care professional examines your wrist with an X-ray machine, looking for any broken bones. Ice is applied to stop the pain, swelling and tenderness of the wrist. Elevating your wrist will also help to reduce the swelling. Taking prescribed anti-inflammatory drugs or wearing a splint will speed up recovery. The length of recovery depends on several factors including your age, health, severity of the sprain and whether the wrist has been previously injured. Full recovery from a wrist sprain can last from a week to a couple of months.

Doctor looking at x-ray of hand.
Doctor looking at x-ray of hand. (Image: David De Lossy/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Facts About a Sprained Wrist

The longer you wait to start treatment, the longer it will take to heal. It is imperative that you stop doing any activities that cause the wrist pain and not return to normal activities until the pain is gone. Using the wrist before the pain is gone can make the injury worse.

Sprained wrist may take a while to heal.
Sprained wrist may take a while to heal. (Image: George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

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