Wrist Injury Treatment

Medically Reviewed by Tyler Wheeler, MD on January 27, 2022

1. Get Immediate Help, if Necessary

  • If there is obvious deformity, severe pain, numbness, or the person cannot move the wrist or maintain a grip, see a doctor immediately or go to a hospital emergency department. These are signs of a possible fracture.
  • Support the hurt arm and wrist with a makeshift splint, such as a ruler, stick, rolled up newspaper, a pillow or sling, until you get help.


2. Rest Wrist

  • Minimize wrist motion to prevent further injury.

3. Control Swelling

  • Ice the area for 20 minutes at a time, 4 to 8 times the first day.
  • You may apply a compression wrap such as an Ace bandage.
  • Elevate the wrist above heart level.

4. Treat Symptoms

5. Follow-Up

  • If pain and swelling get worse in 24 hours, see a doctor.
  • The doctor may need to order X-rays to rule out a fracture that was not obvious at first and examine the wrist to look for signs of tendonitis, arthritis, gout, infection, or other conditions.


Show Sources


Children's Hospital Denver: "Hand and Wrist Injury."

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases: "Sprains and Strains."

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases: "Sports Injuries." "Hand/Wrist/Arm Problems."

Wrist Injury Information from eMedicineHealth.

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