Wrist & Hand Injuries
Physiotherapy Department CUH, Cork Emergency Departments
- With hand and wrist injuries, there can be a lot of swelling and pain.
- In order to settle the pain and swelling it is important in the early stages to rest and support your hand/wrist.
- Keep your hand elevated – at least above elbow height
To help reduce swelling use one of the following ice treatments 4 times a day for at least the first 3 days
- Wrap an ice cube in a damp cloth and rub over the injured area for approximately 5 minutes
- Fill one basin with cold water (ice cubes can be added) and one basin with warm water.
- Place the hand into the basin of cold water for 1 minute and then into the warm water for 1 minute. Repeat this 3-5 times
As the pain settles (it should ease within 24 to 48 hours), start some gentle active exercises to prevent your hand/wrist from getting stiff:
- Make a full fist with all your fingers and then open the fingers out as wide as you can
- Bring your thumb across to touch your little finger and then stretch it back out again
- Bend your wrist down and then bring it back up as far as you can
- Keep your elbow tucked in by your side and turn the palm of your hand up to face the ceiling and then turn it down to the floor
- Avoid heavy lifting with your hand/wrist until the pain and swelling settles
If you are concerned, please contact the Emergency Department you first attended:
Content by Karen Buckley - Senior Physiotherapist, CUH. Last review Dr IOS 17/06/21.