Common Wrist Pain

The hand and wrist are frequently injured with sprains and fractures. Initially the symptoms of a sprain and a fracture are similar; however, it is important to know the difference between the two so you can seek appropriate medical attention.  

Pain, swelling, and bruising are shared symptoms between fractures and sprains. For the first 24 hours, ice and elevation are key, as well as rest. If the pain persists after a day or two, it’s time to be seen by a physician. 


A sprain is a tear in a joint capsule, ligament or tendon. The severity of a sprain varies from patient to patient, so the treatment and healing times are varied as well. 


A fracture is a break in the bone. An X-ray is used to confirm a fracture. If a fracture exists, the patient will see a physician for a cast and instructions on how long the cast must stay on. If the bone has separated, one of our affiliated orthopaedic surgeons from OrthoCincy Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine, may perform surgery to repair the bone. It is recommended that you see an orthopaedic surgeons for any wrist fracture. 

When in doubt, get an X-ray 

Sprains and fractures often occur during a sports injury for children and active adults, while a fall is the most common cause for wrist sprains and fractures for the elderly. If you or a loved one is still in pain after icing and elevating, go get an X-ray. Fractures mistaken for sprains can heal poorly and ultimately cause long-term problems. 

Contact Us

The St. Elizabeth Hand Therapy Center is the first step towards managing your hand pain. We will evaluate your hand pain and create a customized treatment plan to help get you back to your active lifestyle. A physician’s referral is required to be seen at the Hand Therapy Center. 

For more information or to schedule an appointment with our Hand Therapy Center, call (859) 301-5540.

If surgery is necessary, our physicians can provide a referral to one of our affiliated orthopaedic surgeons. For more information on surgical options, please contact us at