Modifying Your Wrist Brace For Benefit And Comfort
No matter what reason you are wearing a wrist brace for there are some tips that you should adhere to in order to get the most from them.
The first tip is to buy a wrist brace that is the right size. You can find some at the drugstore and they are generally labeled as child, small, medium, large and extra large. The measurements usually go by the circumference of the wrist and are made to go around and have a place to rest your palm and a forearm length based on a regular sized person with that size of wrist. For 95% of individuals in the world, those wrist brace sizes are the proper size. When they are not the appropriate size the problem is usually that they are too small when wrapped around the forearm.
Second, make sure that you’re tightening them in a manner appropriate for your injury. Wrist braces give their benefit by keeping you from accidentally flexing your wrist in a way that would further your injury. The type of injury you have will determine which axis of rotation your wrist needs immobilization in.
If the wrist brace is used to fight tendonitis then it should be tightened to stop lateral movement of the wrist. By holding your hand out straight from your wrist, the plane is outlined by your thumb and pinkie should be the area that your wrist’s motion is confined within.
If you are dealing with carpal tunnel syndrome, you should limit the movement of your wrist from not bending downward whatsoever and upward by only a few degrees. You should make sure that you have appropriate padding in your wrist brace when managing carpal tunnel syndrome.
Wrist braces set up to immobilize the wrist for a sprain need to completely immobilize it in both planes of movement, and usually need to cover more of the upper forearm as well, since that’s where the ligaments that control wrist motion run, and may resemble Ace bandages more than a conventional wrist brace.
Keeping yourself comfortable in a wrist brace means that you should look for things on the inside surface, like seams or loose threads, that might cause skin irritation. Some people recommend wrapping the hand and wrist and lower forearm lightly in gauze before putting a wrist brace on; this functions much the same way that your sock does in your shoe – it absorbs the sweat and keeps the seams of the brace from rubbing your skin and irritating you. Wash your wrist brace about twice a week; most can be run through a washer or dryer without risk.
Don’t over tighten your wrist brace. It should be snug, but should not constrict the blood flow to the wrist or hand. There’s a temptation in a lot of people to run the straps as tight as they can go. Put it on, tighten it up and do some routine work, then loosen appropriately. (As a hint, use a sharpie marker to write how tight the straps should go once you’ve figured this out.)
Tom Nicholson has spent years helping carpal tunnel sufferers. Please follow this link to find out more about having asore wrist.
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