What to Avoid When Healing from a Hand or Wrist Injury

What to Avoid When Healing from a Hand or Wrist Injury

What to Avoid When Healing from a Hand or Wrist Injury


Suffering a hand or wrist injury can be a real game-changer. Suddenly, simple tasks like writing or opening doors can become challenging. The recovery process is a crucial period that often determines the extent of future mobility and comfort. While medical professionals will provide you with a strict set of dos and don'ts, there are certain common pitfalls that many patients fall into, which can negatively impact their healing. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore the important steps to take – and the ones to avoid – when healing from a hand or wrist injury.

For anyone in the vicinity of Altamonte Springs, FL, looking for personalized orthopedic and sports medicine care, Central Florida Bone & Joint Institute offers an unparalleled team of specialists dedicated to restoring your hand and wrist function. Backed by their extensive expertise, we'll delve into the intricate nuances of hand and wrist injury recovery and arm you with the knowledge you need to navigate this critical phase.


The Power of Patience

The adage 'patience is a virtue' couldn't be more applicable than in the case of an injury. Rushing into everyday activities post-injury is one of the biggest mistakes individuals make. Despite craving a return to normalcy, it’s crucial to give your body the time it needs to rebuild and recover. This often means refraining from:

  • Lifting Heavy Objects: Even a seemingly lightweight item can have a significant impact on your recovery, potentially causing damage or setting back your healing time.
  • Participating in Sports or Exercise: While staying active is important, rigorous sports activities can undo the progress your body has made in healing. It's advisable to steer clear of sports that could strain your injury.
  • Resisting Early Return to Work: In some cases, work environments require more hand use than you might realize. Returning too early can lead to increased stress on the injury site.

Navigating Daily Tasks

Adapting to a new way of performing daily tasks that usually involve the use of your hands is a smart move during recovery. Oftentimes, these adjustments are temporary but they can significantly contribute to a speedier recovery—and prevent further injuries. Avoid:

  • Sudden Movements or Jerks: Rapid or uncontrolled hand/wrist movements can not only be painful but also risk aggravating the injury.
  • Over-Reaching: Over-extending your injured hand or wrist to grab something can strain the muscles and ligaments that need time to heal.
  • Neglecting Carpal Tunnel Protection: For those with office jobs, it's vital to maintain good ergonomics to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome from developing or worsening.

Staying Disciplined with Rehabilitation

Professional rehabilitation is a key element in recovering from a hand or wrist injury. It's not uncommon for patients to either overdo their exercises in an attempt to accelerate healing, or neglect them altogether due to pain or inconvenience. Both can impede progress. Remember:

  • Adhering to Your Specialist's Advice: Your treatment plan has been carefully designed to suit your injury. Deviating from it can hamper your recovery.
  • Pushing Through Pain: While some discomfort during physical therapy is to be expected, sharp pain is a sign that you're pushing too hard and may require a modification of your exercises.
  • Late Appearance of Symptoms: If you experience increasing pain, swelling, or a reduction in range of motion while in rehab, consult your healthcare provider immediately.

Mindful Nutrition and Hydration

A balanced diet and adequate hydration are often overlooked as factors affecting injury recovery. Your body needs the right fuel to repair itself, so neglecting proper nutrition can impede the healing process. Steer clear from:

  • Skipping Meals: Each meal is an opportunity to provide your body with the nutrients it needs to heal. Skipping meals leads to decreased energy levels and can slow down recovery.
  • Dehydration: Your injured areas need proper hydration to support the metabolic processes involved in healing. Aim to drink at least eight glasses of water a day.
  • Excess Alcohol or Caffeine: Consuming alcohol and caffeine can interfere with sleep and have dehydrating effects, which are counterproductive to healing.

Psychosocial Recovery

The mental aspect of healing from any injury is as significant as the physical side. The emotional trauma of losing functionality or the fear of re-injury can be a significant roadblock. Ways to avoid stagnation in your psychosocial recovery include:

  • Isolation: Engaging with friends and family can provide much-needed emotional support and help combat feelings of isolation or depression.
  • Mindfulness Techniques: Practices like meditation or deep breathing exercises can help manage stress and anxiety, which can hinder recovery.
  • Persistence with Learning New Activities: If your injury requires you to learn new ways of doing things, persistence in this learning can be empowering and uplifting.

Avoiding Re-Injury

Once you're well into your recovery, it can be easy to become complacent and overlook the precautions that were once at the forefront of your mind. However, re-injuring yourself can set your healing process back to square one. Actions to avoid include:

  • Removing Braces or Supports Prematurely: If your doctor has recommended a supportive device, follow their guidelines for its usage.
  • Neglecting to Warm Up Before Activities: A proper warm-up helps to increase blood flow and loosen the muscles, reducing the risk of re-injury.
  • Ignoring Pain Warning Signs: It's important to become attuned to your body and recognize the signs that indicate you might be pushing your hand or wrist too far.

Seeking Legal and Financial Assistance

In the unfortunate event that your hand or wrist injury was due to an accident, seeking legal and financial assistance may be necessary. Don't avoid this critical step, as it can help alleviate the stress associated with medical bills and lost wages:

  • Consulting an Attorney: It's important to understand your rights and whether you're entitled to compensation for your injury.
  • Gathering Necessary Documentation: Medical records, accident reports, and any other relevant documentation are vital for the legal process.
  • Claiming Your Insurance: Be vigilant in understanding what your insurance coverage includes so that you don't end up paying out of pocket for expenses related to your injury.

Embracing Positivity and Hope

A positive outlook can be your most powerful recovery tool. It's natural to experience low points during the healing process, but maintaining a hopeful mindset can keep you motivated and proactive:

  • Setting Realistic Expectations: Recovery takes time, and recognizing and accepting this can prevent frustration and disappointment.
  • Celebrating Milestones: Every small improvement in mobility or reduction in pain is a step in the right direction. Don't let these victories pass unnoticed.
  • Surrounding Yourself with Supportive People: The company you keep can greatly influence your mood and motivation. Choose to be around those who uplift and inspire you.

Final Thoughts

Healing from a hand or wrist injury requires diligence, awareness, and patience. While the road to recovery may seem daunting, avoiding these common missteps can ensure that you are doing everything within your power to heal successfully. Remember, every action or inaction during the recovery phase can have lasting effects on your hand or wrist's future functionality, so approach your healing journey with care and determination.

If you experience any setbacks during your recovery or would like to explore specialized treatment options for your hand or wrist injury, consider reaching out to the experienced team at Central Florida Bone & Joint Institute. Their orthopedic and sports medicine experts can provide the personalized care and guidance necessary to get you back on track to optimum hand and wrist health. If you're looking for an orthopedic surgeon in Altamonte Springs, FL, contact Central Florida Bone & Institute today for more information.