We use our hands with most everything we do, which is why wrist and hand injuries—from slight pain to long-term problems—are common amongst both athletes and non-athletes alike. Wrist braces are worn around the wrist, ultimately healing the affected area while still allowing wearers to perform daily tasks with the right amount of wrist and hand support. These braces push compression and heat to the ligaments and wrist bones, immobilizing the joint and allowing proper healing to occur.
With a protective role in activities like weight lifting and bodybuilding, wrist braces are designed to allow as much flexibility and functionality as possible, unlike most other braces. They are either customized by your doctor or readymade, depending on the level of treatment that your injury requires. Generally requiring about four to six weeks of wear, wrist braces and hand braces allow more than enough time for all efficient healing.
What Kind of Wrist Brace Should I Get?
- Wrist cock-up splint: When dealing with tedinitis in your wrist or ligament issues, or when supporting a damaged bone after cast removal, a doctor will usually prescribe a cock-up splint. This brace holds the wrist tilted backward or straight, leaving the fingers free to move around.
- Radial gutter: The radial gutter brace occupies the thumb’s side of your hand and wrist, and it is most useful for fractures in the palm located beneath the middle and index fingers. The other three fingers—thumb, ring, and small fingers—are allowed more freedom, enabling the wearer functionality for everyday tasks. These can be made out of fiberglass, thermoplastic, or plaster.
- Ulnar gutter wrist brace: When dealing with a palm’s bone fractures below the pinky and the ring finger, doctors will usually recommend the ulnar gutter wrist brace, which is on the pinky side of your wrist. Unlike the radial gutter, this allows freedom for your index, middle finger, and thumb, allowing you almost perfect functionality while wearing it.
- Thumb spica brace: Like the cock-up splint, the thumb spica brace helps with tendinitis by reducing inflammation, but it also prevents the thumb from moving. When sustaining certain fractures the thumb spica brace is usually used; these can be either readymade or personally customized for your problem.