Boxing accounts for 31 percent of hand and wrist injuries. A wrist sprain is a condition that occurs when you injure the connective tissues that connect your hand to your forearm. Sprains are graded based on the severity of the injury, ranging from a mild stretching of your connective tissue to a complete tear. Rehabilitation of these injuries often entails stretching and strengthening exercises, rest and ice to control swelling.
Symptoms of A Sprained Wrist
You may not notice the pain while you're in the ring; but once your boxing match is over, you'll know that you sprained your wrist. You probably are experiencing pain when you try to move your wrist, swelling around your wrist joint, bruising and tenderness. These symptoms should be checked out by a doctor, and you should immediately stop all activity to prevent further injury.
If you’re suffering a complete tear of your connective tissue, stop what you’re doing and go to the doctor. This applies to sharp pain felt during a boxing match as well, since repeated contact to an already-injured wrist can cause more complications. A complete tear often requires surgery to correct. Milder sprains are often treated with the RICE protocol: Rest your joint for at least 48 hours; apply ice to the joint to reduce swelling, compress the injury using an elastic bandage; and elevate your injury by holding it above your heart to help minimize swelling.
After your boxing injury has started to heal, your doctor or therapist is likely to prescribe range of motion exercises to help restore movement to your injured wrist. These exercises include holding your forearm still and moving your hand up and down and from side to side. As your condition improves your doctor may suggest that you begin using a light weight when performing these exercises to help restore strength to your injured joint. You should stay away from boxing and other contact sports until you no longer feel pain and have restored full strength and range of motion to the joint. Ask your doctor or therapist if you're ready to return to the ring.
The Boxing Factor
If you’ve sprained your wrist while boxing and without falling on your hand, there’s a good chance that you’re punching without using the proper technique. A weak wrist requires you to connect with your punch using only the first two knuckles of your hand to avoid bending your wrist when you connect with your opponent. You can strengthen your wrist by performing pushups on your first two knuckles.