Choosing the best wrist brace
Wrist braces are custom and different for everyone depending on the injury you have. Let’s take a look at some factors that will determine the best wrist brace for you.
Many wrist braces are made with neoprene because of their durability and lightweight feeling, making it easier for a person to perform tasks. The material is breathable, which is great for workouts and will prevent the buildup of moisture where your wrist brace is. Neoprene is commonly used for wrist braces in the nighttime and is standard for injuries requiring extra support. Bamboo charcoal is also used but does not provide as much support compared to neoprene. However, the upside is that it can provide flexibility and breathability. For milder injuries, silicone gel helps with the wrist and the thumb, giving more room to perform activities with your injured wrist.
Type and Size
You can have a wrap, compression, or a combination of a wrap and a sleeve. They all differ in the support they provide. Compression wrist braces are suitable for athletes. Depending on how often you need to wear the wrist brace, the straps and sizes will be tailored to your injury. Typically, gel braces are flexible and do not require multiple sizes.
Splints and Support
There are splints in many wrist braces that will provide support, which is used for more severe injuries. Splints also differ depending on the amount of support you need. Using gel silicone braces does not require splints and provides less support, and so these would be good for mild injuries.
- Should a wrist brace be tight?
Wrist braces should be comfortable around your skin, and therefore, they should not be tight. Tightening your wrist brace can be counterproductive as it can cause more pain by applying pressure to the wrist. This is also why physiotherapists and orthotists do not recommend wearing a wrist brace for long periods. The muscles can weaken gradually. Only wear it when performing tasks heavily reliant on your wrist.
- What are some ways to wash a wrist brace?
Hygiene is important in wrist braces. You want to avoid moisture accumulating in a wrist brace, especially if it’s not as breathable–which can be the case for severe injuries. Always see the instructions on the label to properly handle the wrist brace. To wash one, you can hand wash it with warm water and soap, then leave it to dry. Avoid direct contact with sunlight and putting it in the dryer. Along with soapy water, you can use cold water and laundry detergent to clean the wrist brace, then follow through with air drying. Athletic braces can be disinfected with wipes, then be left to dry.
- How to overcome wrist pain?
To manage your pain, steer clear of tasks that will only complicate your condition or worsen the pain. During this time, you may want to avoid using your wrist for typing. You can use painkillers to alleviate the pain. Follow the instructions on the labels for painkillers. At the time of your pain, wearing a splint will prevent excessive movement of the wrist, preventing further harm to the wrist. After your pain has died down, you can perform some exercises to avoid weakening muscles. Muscle fatigue can develop from a lack of water, so be sure to stay hydrated. To reduce swelling and pain, ice your wrist for about ten minutes.
- Braces, Support, & Compression
We briefly touched upon support and compression of braces. Well, there is more to braces when determining the right fit for you. Compression, as mentioned above, is an ideal choice for athletes and is slipped onto your wrist easily. Compression wrist braces allow for blood flow and lower your chances of being injured while playing a sport. It offers support while being flexible, allowing athletes to play to their heart’s content.
The support of the brace varies depending on the severity of the injury. Mild injuries will provide a small amount of support, but in turn, will be more flexible and allow the user to perform complex tasks with their wrists easily. A gel thumb support would fall under this category.
For braces with more support required, you will often find a splint that will help keep the wrist in place. Wrist braces that wrap around your wrist and hand are classified as braces providing moderate support.
Lastly, a severe wrist injury such as a fracture will have splints that minimize the movement to prevent further complications. These wrist braces provide a lot of support, but in turn, restrict movement. You can usually find straps to adjust the level of support as time goes by.
- Wrist brace for ganglion cyst
Let’s first identify what a ganglion cyst is. A lump that forms within your wrist that is not associated with cancer develops on joints and tendons, making your hands and feet prone to ganglion cysts. The lump is filled with a fluid reminiscent of jelly and can be as big as an inch. Because of this, many people may experience pain depending on if it’s near a nerve. It can also hinder joint movement.
To relieve the pain, your doctor may recommend wearing a wrist brace to prevent further pain through movement. A ganglion cyst usually goes away on its own, so a wrist brace is needed during the recovery period. Sometimes you may find yourself angling your hand down to prevent pain, which can put stress on your joints. A wrist brace allows you to maintain a comfortable position while helping with the pain.
If you’re suffering from the uncomfortable symptoms or looking for the best wrist brace for you, make an appointment with one of our clinicians to help you get back to healthy and happy living. Call us at 289-245-6642.