Wrist sprains or strains

If you have sprained or strained your wrist, it's important that you follow this advice. 


  • keep your arm or hand in the air to reduce swelling
  • lift your arm above your head regularly, to keep your shoulder moving
  • bend and straighten your elbow regularly, to keep it moving
  • gently straighten and bend you fingers regularly, to keep them moving
  • try to use your hand for light everyday tasks
  • wear any supportive bandage that we have given you, if it helps
  • use ice wrapped in a towel for 5 to 10 minutes to reduce swelling and help with pain. Be careful not to put ice directly on your skin because this can cause ice burns


  • do not use your injured wrist for any heavy lifting or gripping

If the pain does not go away

If we saw you in the emergency department (A&E) but your wrist pain does not improve in a few days, contact the hand therapy department. You need to make an appointment with our specialist team in this department.

Resource number: 2267/VER4
Last reviewed: Nov 2019
Currently under review

Contact us

If you have any questions, please contact the hand therapy department.

Phone: 020 7188 4174, Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm

Email: [email protected]

Hand therapy department, 3rd floor, Lambeth Wing, St Thomas’ Hospital

Do you have any comments or concerns about your care?

Contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)

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