The wrist is perhaps the most overworked part of the body as it is called into action for almost every activity. From typing to lifting to driving to eating, and more, there is barely any activity where the wrist doesn’t play a significant role.
But you know what, this repetitive function can trigger wrist injuries, which can make it pretty difficult to engage in the activities you love the most. That’s why wearing a wrist and thumb support brace is becoming highly recommended.
Wrist supports are great people who need that extra bit of protection and support for swollen, painful or weak joints. If you’re suffering from conditions like arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, fractures, sprains, strains or wrist tendonitis, you’ll be needing a good hand wrist support brace to enjoy some relief.
Table of Contents
Wrist splints vs wrist support: unmasking the difference
There has been a lot of argument regarding wrist support vs wrist splints and today; we want to set the record straight.
Both wrist splints and wrist support brace feature a lightweight metal palmar that runs under the wrist and palmar crease. What this does is effectively prevent the wrist from bending.
For starters, a wrist splint holds your wrist in a neutral position, hence, reducing strains on the tendons. This type of brace is excellent for managing conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome. With a good wrist splint, your wrist will enjoy optimum support as wrist splints alleviate pressure on the median nerve.
People who opt for wrist splints enjoy a more restful night as they keep the wrist restrained from flexing, hence, effectively reducing pain and numbness.
On the flip side, wrist support braces perform a more robust and unique function. Instead of completely immobilising the wrist, wrist support braces allow for some flexibility. For people who don’t want to miss out on their activities, you’ll find wrist support braces and guards worth giving a try as they allow for optimum flexibility.
From weightlifting to typing to gardening to playing tennis and more, wrist support braces offer wearers full range of wrist motion as well as providing that dependable support that keeps your wrist protected all day long.
What type of wrist support is right for you
The market for wrist support braces is so saturated that it is now pretty challenging to find the perfect one for you. From different levels of support to colour to materials used to make them and more, you’ll be spoilt for choice when shopping for a reliable leather wrist support brace.
Here is the thing, each type of wrist support brace you’ll come across offer a different level of support and comfort, so you’ll want to consider the following when shopping for a befitting wrist band support bandage brace:
Should I buy a sprint or wrist support
Well, this depends solely on the condition you’re experiencing. To put things simply, a good wrist splint will generally offer a better level of support while speeding up the healing process. Plus, it is excellent for night time use.
Wrist support, on the other hand, provides support while allowing room for some flexibility. This makes wrist support bands great to use during the day as it doesn’t prevent you from engaging in the activities you love.
If you’re dealing with conditions like wrist tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome or sprains, you’ll love wrist splint as they provide more rigid support. On the flip side, wrist support comes top, especially if you live an active life and engage in sporting activities that require a full range of flexibility in the wrist.
What materials is your preferred for wrist supports
This is super important when shopping for the right wrist support brace and shouldn’t be taken for granted. Over the years, we have discovered that wrist support braces made from materials like elastic, neoprene, cotton and foam are highly sought after. So have this in mind when shopping for a reliable wrist brace with pinky support.
What type of strap does the wrist brace have
When shopping for good wrist support, you’ll want to pay close attention to the type of fastening it has. The truth is, most popular brands include hook and loop velcro straps in their braces, and the number of available straps can vary between three and five. At the end of the day, your ultimate choice of wrist support will be influenced by individual preference and doctors recommendations.
Are your preferred braces easily removable
Besides providing your wrist with that extra bit of support it is missing, you’ll want to make sure your preferred wrist support brace comes off easily. Trust us when we say you don’t want to be dealing with a painful wrist and struggling to take off your wrist support at the same time.
Does a wrist brace need to look good?
While this may sound like a no brainer, you should think about it especially if you’ll be using a wrist support brace all through the day. If you’re going to be wearing wrist support all day, then you’ll want to choose a unique colour or design that you’re most comfortable with.
How to choose the size for you?
Choosing the correct size when shopping for the right wrist support brace is super important. At the end of the day, the wrist support brace you opt for should deliver a nice blend of support and comfort.
Although we would recommend a one size fits all wrist support, you can take your time to explore different sizes to find one that fits perfectly. A simple way to do this is by simply measuring your wrist circumference. This should give you a general idea of what you should be looking at in terms of sizing.
What time is ideal for wearing wrist support braces?
We highly recommend that you speak with your doctor as he/she is in the right position to make recommendations for you. That said, you should keep in mind that wrist supports and splints provide some form of relief either during the day or at night.
If you’re suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome, wearing a night wrist sleep support brace at night is good, especially considering that symptoms are more severe during this period. For other conditions, you can wear wrist braces only when performing activities that can aggravate your injuries.
The thing is, you can perform almost all daily tasks even with a wrist splint on. However, for sporting activities that require a full range of flexibility, we recommend using wrist support braces as they allow room for some flexibility.
Top benefits of wearing a wrist support brace
Wrist braces offer loads of benefits to the wearer. Plus, they help patients recover faster from injuries while improving their quality of life, especially if they suffer from chronic conditions arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome and wrist tendonitis.
Not just for injuries, wrist support braces also offer tons of benefits to CrossFit athletes and gym enthusiasts who want to take their performance to the next level.
Without further ado, here are some exciting benefits of wrist support braces you should know.
1. Helps with wrist stabilisation
There are lots of wrist braces on the market today that are uniquely designed for different injuries and ailment. That said, most orthopaedic wrist support braces address wrist injuries in a couple of ways. By stabilising the affected joint, wrist support for arthritis makes sure there is limited movement around the affected site. With this in place, you can go about your daily tasks without necessarily interrupting the healing process.
2. Curbs swelling
Swelling in the wrist is a telltale sign that something isn’t right and needs to be checked out before things spiral out of control. With good wrist support, you can effectively curb swelling, and that’s because wrist support brace for yoga helps to keep the wrist immobilise while reducing swelling and pain from inflammation.
3. Train harder
For fitness enthusiasts who want to take their training to the next level, now is an exciting time to invest in a quality wrist support brace for working out. With good wrist support for lifting weight, you’ll be able to get more from your workout sessions. If you use wrist braces correctly, you should be able to train more while executing more repetitions that will not trigger hand and wrist injuries.
4. Recover faster from injuries
Have you ever caught a clean wrongly or bailed from a squat poorly? Then you’ll know that the risks of injuries from weightlifting are as real as it can get and it can happen within the blink of an eye.
The truth is wrist sprains, and strains are prevalent injuries experienced by weightlifters and CrossFit athletes. Thankfully, the wrist is rugged, tough and resilient. With proper rest and a bit of immobilisation, it’s just a matter of time before you start lifting bars again.
With a befitting wrist brace with pinky support, you’ll enjoy improved wrist stability while taking strains off your wrist. As your injury, swelling, and pressure fade away; you can stop using wrist support braces and let your wrist continue to strengthen and heal.
5. Speeds up post-surgical healing
For people with severe cases of wrist injuries who have recently undergone a surgical procedure to correct the issue with their wrist, it is highly recommended to wear a wrist support brace. Wearing wrist support braces not only protects the site of the procedure but also speeds up the healing process so you can get back to living a fairly normal life.
How to use wrist support braces
It’s one thing to get a reliable wrist support brace and another to know how to use it for maximum support. For people just starting out, we will show you some tips on how you can get the best out of your preferred wrist support. Read on to find all the information you need on how to use wrist support braces correctly.
1. Do not tie your wrist wraps too low
If you want to get the best out of your chosen wrist support brace, you must ensure that your wrist support brace isn’t tied too low. Keep in mind that wrist support braces are designed to provide support for your wrist. To this end, wearing wrist support braces lower than your wrist joint defeats the purpose of wearing one in the first place.
As a rule of thumb, when using wrist support, always double-check and ensure that it is covering the wrist correctly. This way, it will provide the needed support that curbs unnecessary wrist extension.
Another thing you want to get right is to ensure that the top of the wrist brace is placed against the base of your hand. This delivers that solid grip your wrist is missing.
2. Avoid using wrist wraps when warming up
This is quite true for weightlifters and CrossFit athletes. If you’re going to be moving just 60% to 70% of your 1-RM press, then you wouldn’t need to use wrist wraps. Experts recommend using wrist wraps when you’ll be lifting max or near max loads.
Here is what you should know, using wrist support braces every time you hit the gym will make you entirely dependent on them. Over time, this will limit your overall progress and chances of strengthening your wrist flexors and extensors. If you take a close look at the gym you attend, you’ll notice that some of the best athletes only use wrist wraps occasionally.
3. Don’t use wrist wraps to hide mobility and flexibility issues
Besides helping to manage wrist injuries, a lot of people tend to use wrist support braces and wraps to cover the pain and discomfort they feel when the wrist is in an extended position, especially when executing clean or front squats. But sorry to burst your bubble, wearing wrist support braces and wraps will not make you more flexible or stronger.
Most weightlifters and CrossFit athletes commonly experience discomfort and pain when executing clean or front squats because of improper rack positioning. Most times, this is attributed to poor upper-body mobility. That’s not all; poor rack positioning can also be caused by an incorrect thoracic extension, weak wrist flexibility, external rotation or lack of shoulder flexion.
If you have a wrist injury that doesn’t let you engage in the activities, you love the most; it’s not ideal to rely on wrist support braces solely. It’s best to consult a specialist or take a moment to rest until you have fully recovered.
Buying your next wrist support brace: what you should look out for
Whether you need wrist support to speed up healing of wrist injuries or to improve your performance when engaging in your favourite activities, you’ll most likely be on the lookout for a wrist support brace that’s right for you. But guess what, getting a good wrist support brace comes with a lot of hassles, especially with the myriads of options on the market today. But not to worry, we are here to make things easy for you.
First off, you need to keep in mind that a wrist support brace isn’t always universal. What we mean here is that a single wrist support brace will not cover for every type of wrist injury. More so, every wrist support you’ll come across is specially designed to do something different.
That said, checkout out our guide to getting the perfect wrist support brace for you;
What do you Need from a wrist brace?
A lot of people use wrist support for different reasons. From stability to compression to immobilisation, different wrist support braces deliver different results.
If you want to manage inflammation, enjoy some level of mobility and relief from pain, then you should opt for compression-based wrist support.
For people having issues with their joint and finding it difficult to put their full weight on their wrist, getting a stability brace should be your utmost priority. What we love about stability braces is that it is a bit rigid, so will provide your wrist with that extra bit of protection it needs.
For severe wrist injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome and wrist tendonitis, you’ll want to go with immobilising wrist brace. This is highly recommended during the initial healing period.
What Are The Ideal Levels Of Support?
When it comes to wrist support, there are three levels of support you can choose from.
Wrist braces with low support offer compression that are suitable for treating mild wrist injuries. In most cases, these type of wrist support come with velcro straps that provide an additional level of compression.
With a moderate level of support, you’ll enjoy a blend of compression and stability. Unlike low-level support, moderate level support braces feature straps that provide some degree of stability which limits the overextension of the wrist.
If you’re suffering from a severe wrist injury or some form of degenerative wrist condition, then you’ll most likely be needing a high level of support. This level of support also covers for prophylactic use when looking to prevent wrist injuries.
What materials are best for wrist braces?
When shopping for a good wrist support brace, one thing you want to check out is the materials used to make it. And quite frankly, wrist braces are made from a limited number of materials. Here are some excellent materials for wrist braces you should know.
Tubular bandages: These types of materials are focused on what professionals call proprioception. Besides providing adequate support for the wrist, these type of materials encourages wearers to be more gentle and careful with a hurting wrist.
Neoprene: This is one of the most popular materials used in most wrist support braces today. The good thing about neoprene material is that it is a bit thick and creates a kind of warmth that is both therapeutic and comfy.
Carbon fibre: If you want a wrist brace that is tough and offer a unique level of stability and protection you’ll not see with other wrist support braces, you’ll not go wrong to opt for wrist braces manufactured from carbon fibre. For people looking for a wrist brace they can use for insane and extreme sports, a carbon fibre wrist brace might help.
Do I need to go for a latex-free wrist brace?
Although this may sound like a pretty simple question, for people dealing with allergy, it is a real concern. Suppose you notice that you are allergic to latex, then its best to stay away from latex-based wrist support braces.
Don’t forget sizing
Sizing is crucial when shopping for the right wrist support brace. If you go for a wrist support brace that is too tight, then you’ll be cutting off blood flow. On the flip side, opting for a wrist support that is too big, will see the wrist support slip off your wrist too often.
To get sizing right, you’ll need to take time to look at the size chart on the product page. Sometimes you may even need to measure the circumference of your wrist to get the perfect fit.
Frequently asked questions
Should I wear a wrist brace to bed?
This depends on the wrist injury you’re experiencing and the type of wrist support brace you’re using. For carpal tunnel syndrome or wrist tendonitis, you can use a Mueller night support wrist brace.
Does wearing a wrist brace cause swelling?
Wearing a wrist support brace doesn’t cause swelling. However, if it’s too tight, it may cut off blood flow.
How tight should your wrist brace be?
Wrist braces should be very comfortable. If it feels uncomfortable or too tight, then do well to adjust it. Having your wrist brace too tight can cause too much pressure around your wrist, and that isn’t good.
Whether you want to keep your wrist protected, speed up the healing process or take your game to the next level, wearing wrist support braces is highly recommended, especially if you have an active lifestyle. Thankfully, there are lots of fantastic wrist support braces on the market, so take your time to find one that is good for you.