To know if wrist braces are helpful for wrist tendonitis or not, it is important to understand what is wrist tendonitis and how is it caused.
Wrist Tendonitis or inflammation of the wrist tendons is a painful condition of the wrists which is often misunderstood as carpal tunnel syndrome by many as they share the same characteristic features but it is important to note here that they both are totally different conditions. Wrist tendonitis is a form of a repetitive strain injury which is normally caused due to overuse of the wrist. There may be various reasons for an individual being prone to overuse the wrist like a professional tennis or a hockey player who needs to use the wrist for playing and placing the ball. Manual laborers who are involved in heavy lifting are also prone to repetitive strain injuries and are at risk for wrist tendonitis.
The muscles which are present in the front and back of the forearm move into the tendons. These tendons cross the joints and are connected to the wrist bones. This mechanism collectively works in moving the wrist in different angles. Their function is also to stabilize the wrist when the fingers are in motion such as when typing. When there is a repetitive strain put on these muscles and automatically the tendons also get affected as they have to move in and out of their sheaths every frequently thus making them irritated and inflamed. The irritation and inflammation worsens as the muscles get tighter due to overuse resulting in pain and reduced range of motion of the wrist or in other words Wrist Tendonitis.
Can Wearing Wrist Brace be Helpful for Wrist Tendonitis?
Now the question is whether wrist braces are beneficial for a condition like wrist tendonitis. The answer to this is there are various pros and cons of wearing a wrist brace but it depends on case to case basis and whether the tendonitis of the wrist is severe or not. The important point to note here is that braces do not cure the condition. It may ease the symptoms for time being but at the end of the day you will have to seek treatment with a healthcare provider for your condition. Wrist braces are formulated to keep the motion of the wrists in check so as to not worsen the inflammation. The conditions where wrist splints are commonly prescribed are repetitive strain injuries, carpal tunnel syndrome, wrist tendonitis, trigger fingers and the like.
Benefits of Wrist Braces:
- Coming to benefits, wrist braces prevents your condition from worsening by keeping the overuse of the wrist in check.
- While wearing the brace, you may be able to work longer than otherwise without much pain and discomfort.
- Wearing braces at night helps in keeping the wrist in a good anatomical position and decrease pain at night.
- Wrist braces are quite helpful in reducing pain and discomfort caused due to wrist tendonitis.
Disadvantages of Wearing a Wrist Brace:
- Wrist braces do not cure the underlying condition causing pain and restricted motion. It only helps the symptoms of pain for some time and prevents worsening of the condition.
- Braces are usually not recommended for long term use as in the long run they tend to hurt more than they benefit, especially if the patient continues with activities which may aggravate the condition wearing the brace.
- Ultimately, treatment formulated by the physician is the best way to get rid of the pain and discomfort caused by a condition like wrist tendonitis.
In summary, wrist braces or wrist splints can be beneficial for Wrist Tendonitis if worn for a specific interval of time by preventing worsening of the condition and reducing pain and discomfort but chronic use of these supports can be detrimental to the overall condition of the wrist. Hence it would be best to ask the provider as to how long a wrist brace should be worn so that they are useful for you in coping up with a condition like Wrist Tendonitis.