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Using Wrist Splints and Supportive Gear with Sports

November 10, 2017

 

People are always looking for added wrist support and protection. Wrist braces are designed in a variety of styles to help sprains, weakness, past injuries and post-operation recoveries. Some wrist wraps are meant for weak or injured wrists, while others will help to limit the range of motion. If you’re not sure what kind you should be wearing, speak with your doctor or a sports doctor about your goals, and they can help you decide on the right style.

While they are helpful for everyone, thermoplastic splints are beneficial to individuals like athletes who wear them to protect themselves from aggressive contact, heavy lifting, repetitive motion, and more. The pressure applied around the wrist may prevent sprains and strains. 

Wrist splints are used in sports that use their wrists, like throwing a baseball, using racket (tennis, paddle, badminton) or hockey. In artistic gymnastics, gymnasts will sometimes wear wrist guards to absorb the impact on the skills they perform. The guards are commonly worn for Vaulting and Floor exercises. The design is modified between women and men.

It is important to remember that wrist splints should not be worn full-time unless directed by a doctor.

  • Ensuring proper placement of wrist wraps will ensure that you have the most effective support possible.
  • It is also wise to remember that if the wrist wrap doesn’t totally cover the wrist or bends and flexes while wearing it, it may be too low on the arm.
  • There are also a variety of wrist splint sizes, usually 12-20 inch and 18-24 inch lengths.
  • The more immobilization or play that you are looking for, the longer the splint you want.

Wrist Splints vs Athletic (KT) Tape

Athletic tape – should be done by professional. 

  • Taping is a short fix
  • Sweat and movement, the binding force of the tape will break down and the support will be reduced.
  • Taping is very short term – 30 minutes
  • Tape is better for smaller parts like joints. Thumbs, fingers, toes, and wrists.

 

Athletic braces – longer lasting fix for sports injury

  • Most popular is elastic brace
  • Stretchy sleeve braces don’t have provide the best support, but still better than tape.