Wrist sprains: Learn how to treat and wrap a sprained wrist

You’re at sports practice or you suffer a nasty fall — and you think you’ve twisted your wrist.

If you don’t have immediate access to a medical professional, you may need to wrap the injury yourself. Because of the numerous bones and tendons in your wrist, it is important to wrap the sprain soon after you’ve been hurt.

Heather Rosen, MD, physician and medical director of UPMC Urgent Care North Huntingdon, demonstrates the proper way to wrap a wrist sprain yourself.

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5 Steps to Wrap a Wrist Sprain

  • Ensure you wrap your bandage above and below the joint. 

  • Begin your wrap at the lower part of your forearm. 

  • Overlap each layer of the bandage by about 50 percent. 

  • Make figure-eight patterns around the joint to create stability. 

  • Use the Velcro or fastener at the end to stabilize your wrap. 

After you’ve secured your injury, visit a UPMC Urgent Care location near you to have it fully examined.

Key Points to Remember When Wrapping a Wrist Sprain

Before you go about wrapping a sprained wrist, make sure you have the necessary supplies readily available, such as:

  • Scissors
  • Soap and water (to clean your wrist before wrapping)
  • An elastic bandage
  • Pre-wrap tape or locking tabs

Keep these important tips in mind when wrapping a wrist sprain:

  • Check and see if you can move your fingers comfortably. If you find the wrap is too tight and causes your fingers to tingle or go numb, unwrap the bandage and start over.
  • Make sure the wrap is taut to provide support.
  • Wrap above and below the joint.

Need more information? Read our guide to wrapping joint injuries.


About Urgent Care

Sometimes you need care right away, with no time to wait for an appointment. That’s where UPMC Urgent Care comes in. We offer prompt treatment for illnesses and injuries seven days a week, with no appointment necessary. With locations throughout Pennsylvania and Maryland, you can find immediate care close to you – even if your doctor’s office is closed. Our services include treatment for minor injuries and illnesses, physicals, prescription filling, and flu shots and immunizations. Wait times for minor injuries and illnesses are usually shorter than the Emergency Department, and we accept most major insurance. Visit our website to find a location close to you.