A brace or wrist brace will have different functions depending on the model. Just like an ankle or knee, it will help relieve the wrist and forearm by reducing tension and limiting wrist movements. There can then be a total immobilization, or a simple limitation of the movements of the joint, to allow healing or to relieve some pain.
The different types of a wrist splint
A wrist splint is often used for a sprain, tendonitis, or rheumatoid arthritis. It is a small device designed to stabilize the joints to reduce inflammation, correct deformity or facilitate movement. Depending on the purpose of the patient, we will turn to either a global rest splint or a partial splint function.
Functional wrist splint
This type of splint is a medical device that by the middle of the forearm and is held at the level of the thumb. It aims specifically to stabilize the wrist as much as possible to reduce pain and allow better functional recovery of the joint, without preventing finger movements.
It can be rigid aluminum coming under the palm, or dorsal. In both cases, they will support and reduce the movements of the joint. It is a lightweight device that is often recommended in the case of a sprain, arthritis, or carpal tunnel syndrome.
It is a privileged recovery aid that does not prevent the user from continuing to live by performing his daily activities. It is easy to put on or take off with a system of straps or bracelets. The structure is always breathable fabric and its shape will ensure optimal comfort and very good tolerance for the vast majority of patients.
Hand splint, wrist and thumb
It is a splint a little more complex than the one above since it also stabilizes the thumb in addition to the wrist. The thumb, however, remains in a functional position but is blocked by rigid splints. The other fingers remain perfectly free, and so the ability to take in hand everyday objects is not impaired.
This type of splint is used for osteoarthritis of the base of the thumb (Rhizarthrosis), for traumatic pathologies such as a wrist fracture, a sprain, or tendonitis of the thumb tendons. It is also handy for Quervain’s disease or degenerative diseases such as carpal tunnel syndrome or rheumatoid arthritis. It is also a device that is used during rehabilitation, after an operation of the muscles or tendons of the arm, wrist, or thumb.
Global relaxation splint
We talk about a global rest splint, or a global rest orthosis because it completely immobilizes the wrist and the entire hand. It goes on the forearm to block the wrist and then down to the fingertips.
It is said that it is of rest since it comes completely immobilize the whole of the wrist of the hand which thus will not be able to make the least effort. The splint blocks the joints in a definite position to relax painful tensions, avoid retractions that could stiffen the mobility of the hand, and reduce muscle contractures.
This type of splint is always made by a switchboard or occupational therapist who will check at least once a year that the device is still doing its job. Otherwise, there will be a readjustment or even a replacement if the splint has become uncomfortable or unsuitable.
This splint is used only during the hours of rest, and it is removed when you want to start an activity. It is usually worn all night and a few hours during the day when no longer working.
How to wear carpal tunnel brace
The main purpose of a wrist splint is to constrain the joint to forced rest by immobilizing it totally or partially. Thus deprived of mobility, the wrist manages to heal faster. It can also be used to prevent injuries when playing sports or when practicing a risky occupation.
The wrist splint is frequently used at the end of an immobilization (plaster) or as part of a post-operative convalescence. But there is a multitude of situations for which a health professional may need to recommend the wearing of a wrist orthosis to his patient.
In the first place when the joint is injured, weakened, or vulnerable. Various traumas with multiple origins are attributable to the pain felt. Tendonitis, sprain, dislocation, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, fracture and carpal tunnel syndrome are frequently mentioned.
- Tendinitis Tendinitis
Of the wrist, also called tendinitis of Quervain, occurs when the wrist is too often solicited. It is concretized by painful inflammation of the tendons located between the hand and the forearm — many sports activities like tennis or ping-pong favor wrist tendonitis. The repetitive movements inherent to the exercise of certain professions are also a risk factor (musician, cashier, data entry operator, material handler …). Wearing a wrist splint can be done in a curative way, to treat tendinitis already present, or preventively to avoid this musculoskeletal disorder.
The strain of the wrist is a traumatic injury of the ligament (elongation or tear) following a stroke or hyperextension. It is considered benign if it is a simple elongation. Wearing a wrist brace for a few weeks remains the best orthopedic treatment. The sprain is however considered more serious if it is about a tear of the ligament. In this case, surgery may be necessary.
The dislocation of the wrist is similar to a dislocation of the joint during a violent shock. It causes an impossibility of movement. It must then replace the articulation. The wrist splint can accompany convalescence and rehabilitation.
Cartilage wear is the cause of osteoarthritis of the wrist. It is characterized by pain associated with stiffness of the joint. This pathology may require surgery and wearing a wrist splint for several weeks.
- Rheumatoid arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis of the wrist is one of the most common inflammatory rheumatism. The disease is manifested by the gradual destruction of joint structures causing significant disabling pain. Wearing a wrist orthosis relieves the patient.
Fracture of the wrist occurs as a result of a direct impact on the wrist or a fall. It is usually treated with a plaster splint to keep the joint in place. The classic wrist splint is then used to accompany the patient in his rehabilitation.
- Carpal Tunnel
Syndrome Carpal tunnel syndrome is the result of numbness and tingling in the fingers. A loss of muscle strength in the wrist and hand is also noted. Several factors are responsible for this pathology: repetition of movements, constraints imposed by the hand, gesture requiring the force of the hand … By using a wrist splint, it prevents the aggravation of the problem by resting the joints.
Functions of a wrist splint
High-level athletes are sometimes seen wearing a wrist splint. One might think that it is a coquetry linked to a fashion effect because of its elegance. Of course, it is nothing. The main reasons are curative and preventative since the orthosis allows:
– to support an injured wrist (sprain, strain …)
– to immobilize it totally or partially
– to stabilize it firmly after plastering
– to offer comfortable protection against shocks
– to control flexion and extension movements
– d accelerate the healing of a ligament
– to relieve the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome
– to accompany the recovery and rehabilitation
– etc …
Easy to wear, this orthopedic accessory has the advantage of perfectly adapting to the morphology of the wrist, both right and left. Most models have laces, straps, velcro straps or adjustable knobs to adjust the position. In general, the orthosis of the wrist is put on like a glove (thumb splint) or as a sleeve.
Splints often have a futuristic design. But most of the time they know how to remain discreet by offering ergonomics adapted to each pathology. The materials used guarantee lightness, flexibility, or rigidity as needed. They are usually made of neoprene or nylon, elastic materials, resistant and comfortable.
The antibacterial and breathable properties of a wrist splint also guarantee perfect hygiene. It is also very easy to clean. Depending on the model, it is machine washed or by hand with a little soapy water.
Many other benefits are not mentioned here. To realize the usefulness of this tool, the best solution is to experiment it yourself.
A custom splint or a splint series?
There is no obligation and a series splint can be as effective as a custom splint, at least for functional splints. For a brace rest, especially to adjust a deformation, then a custom splint will be mandatory.
A standard splint is set and tightened each time, while a custom splint installs more easily. In both cases, it is not very complicated anyway.
Whatever your choice, the splint must be effective, allow maximum movement and offer the best possible comfort. If you are irritated on certain points of support, it is necessary to change the splint or make a retouch.
Supports a wrist splint
When a splint is prescribed by a doctor or a rheumatologist, especially in the case of arthritis, then the treatment is 100%. For other pathologies, the management is partial to 70%.
Of course, your complementary health can take the compliment to his charge; it all depends on the type of contract to which you have subscribed. If you do not have a prescription, then the splint will be entirely your responsibility. It should also be noted that some devices require a prior agreement, and you will need the agreement of the Social Security to have a refund. Do not buy the splint until you have received this agreement.
Some tips for choosing a good wrist brace
The splints were once plaster, that time is now over. Today, they are made of thermoplastic materials and aluminum, which gives more lightness and a better adaptation to daily life. They are also more discreet and aesthetic, and can usually be modified if necessary. There are functional orthoses made entirely of leather that can be particularly comfortable to wear.
Before placing an order, check that the wrist splint is well adapted to your pathology. Its mode of use should not be too complex for you. Also, make sure that you have warranties and support from the seller.
If you feel discomfort when you wear the splint, it is incorrectly adjusted, incorrectly positioned or not suitable for your wrist. Then make a quick appointment with the manufacturer to have it readjusted.