Thursday, November 18, 2021

How To Sleep With A Broken Wrist

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Common Causes Of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome And Repetitive Strain Injuries

If the carpal tunnel gets constricted, pinching the median nerve, the result is carpal tunnel syndrome. The issue is not with the nerve itself, but with what is aggravating the nerve.

Overusing or overstretching the wrist may worsen the symptoms. Symptoms can increase when repetitive activities are done without any breaks and extreme stress is placed on the joint. For example, people who do a lot of housework, or work in an assembly line, or use machinery that produces strong vibrations like a jackhammer.

What Is The Best Position To Sleep When You Have A Broken Wrist

Dr. Danny ProffittRead More

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On The Back With Arm Resting On A Pillow Or Across The Chest

While sleeping on your side naturally elevates the arm well-above the heart, requiring no further modification, back sleepers can reap these same benefits by resting their arm on a mound of pillows to their side, or folding the arm across the chest.

The main benefit of sleeping on your back is that it poses the least risk of rolling over onto the arm during sleep.

However, if you find it difficult to sleep on your back, I recommend reading a guide that details how to do just that!

Now, if you’re sleeping with an arm sling, read on, because while these movement-restricting devices can be tricky to get used to, there are a couple of things you can do to make sling-sleeping easy and painless.

How Casts Heal Broken Bones And The Problems Of Wearing One

Wearing a cast is one of the treatments for broken bones because they support the affected area and allow the body to heal itself properly. Once a doctor determines the extent of the damage, they will try various settings to help align the broken ends of the bone and apply the cast.

However, some problems can arise from wearing a cast, one of which is keeping it dry. If your cast is not waterproof, you need to come up with ways to keep the cast dry, like covering it with a plastic bag or sleeve. Take care not to get your plaster cast wet as it can dissolve and irritate the skin. Similarly, waterproof casts don’t offer complete protection and need to stay away from water.

Another problem is the inability to move your toes or fingers beyond the cast. It is, therefore, recommended that you wiggle your toes and fingers to help with circulation. When you develop wounds or unusual odors beneath the cast, notify your doctor. Be sure to care for your cast so you can speed up the recovery and return to your usual daily routine.

How Long Does It Take To Recover From A Broken Arm Or Wrist

Best 3 Sleeping Positions With A Broken Arm Cast: Life ...

In most cases it takes around 6 to 8 weeks to recover from a broken arm or wrist. It can take longer if your arm or wrist was severely damaged.

You will need to wear your plaster cast until the broken bone heals. The skin under the cast may be itchy for a few days but this should pass.

The hospital will give you an advice sheet on exercises you should do every day to help speed up your recovery.

Your arm or wrist may be stiff and weak after the cast is removed. A physiotherapist can help with these problems, although sometimes they can last several months or more.

Common Causes Of Hand And Wrist Pain & When To Wear A Brace

Dr. Delavaux said there are a few conditions that can cause hand and wrist discomfort, including:

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve, which runs from the forearm to the hand, becomes irritated, swells and fills the narrow passageway in the wrist called the carpal tunnel. The condition is common, particularly among people who type or do other types of repetitive work with their hands. Carpal tunnel syndrome can cause weakness, numbness, tingling and pain in the hand and wrist.

    “When we sleep, we often have our wrists bent forward or backward, which can pinch the nerve and lead to carpal tunnel symptoms at night,” explains Dr. Delavaux. “Initial conservative treatment of wearing a brace that holds the wrist in a neutral position during sleep may help to alleviate symptoms.”

    • Fractures and other injuries.

    Fractures and other injuries are another common cause of pain in the wrist and hand. If left untreated, fractures can cause serious problems, so it is important to see a health care provider for an accurate diagnosis.

    “If you have had a fall or think you may have fractured your hand or wrist, it is OK to wear a brace overnight until you can get to the doctor’s office,” says Dr. Delavaux. “But be sure to get it checked out, especially if the pain doesn’t get better after a day or two.”

    • Basal joint arthritis.

    “For people who have thumb arthritis, wearing a brace may help by providing warmth and compression,” shares Dr. Delavaux.

    Dr Kathleen Kollitz: Tips For Patients With A Broken Wrist

    In this video, fellowship-trained hand and upper extremity surgeon Kathleen M. Kollitz, MD, goes over several tips and tricks for patients with a broken wrist. These tips include how to manage swelling, how to sleep, ways to keep the other joints moving, how to lift safely, and more.

    PROUDLY SERVING PROFESSIONAL, COLLEGIATE, AND HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETES SINCE 1968

    On The Side With The Arm Resting Palm Down On A Pillow

    This is the default position for those using a full-length body pillow. However, a regular pillow with some width to it works as well. Better yet, grab yourself an abduction pillow!

    Sleeping in this position is recommended for those who experience pain and sensitivity when pressure is applied to the outside of the forearm. It’s also an alternative for those who would otherwise sleep on their stomach.

    On Your Back Or Side With Hand Resting Behind The Ear

    While it may seem a bit unnatural at first, sleeping in this position allows you to lie comfortably if your pain stems from pressure applied to the underside of the forearm.

    However, you’ll want to ensure that your pillow is wide enough to accommodate any unconscious tossing and turning that might throw your arm off the pillow.

    In the days following your break, your arm will be extremely sensitive, and so much as a two-inch fall from pillow to mattress can result in tremendous pain.

    Who Are Most Likely To Develop Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

    The risk of experiencing the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome can be felt by people in numerous industries, not just those in specific jobs. However, it most commonly affects people who do assembly line work; manufacturing, packing, cleaning, and sewing and so on.

    You might think that computer work would be a major contributor to RSI, however based on the data it appears to have less effect than most think. Carpal tunnel syndrome is three times as prevalent in assembly line work compared to data-entry jobs.

    Common medical conditions that cause carpal tunnel syndrome are: rheumatoid arthritis, menopause, pregnancy, an underactive thyroid gland, an overactive pituitary gland. A tumor or cyst that develops in the wrist may also compress the nerve. Symptoms are rarely the result of a single cause.

    What Is The Outlook For Someone With A Broken Wrist

    You will need to wear a cast until the bones heal. This will usually take 4–6 weeks, or longer if the fracture is more serious. 

    Sometimes after the cast comes off it may be useful to wear a splint some of the time, so that you feel comfortable and confident to use your hand again, but a splint is not always necessary. If you have had surgery and the bones are well fixed with a plate and/or screw, you might only have the cast on for 10–14 days. After that you may wear a splint for some or all the time for 3–4 weeks, but you can start moving your wrist, usually under the guidance of your surgeon and/or physiotherapist or hand therapist. Do not expect your hand and wrist to be normal as soon as the cast comes off. Eventually, your hand and wrist will work well again, but it will take time.

    Controlling Postoperative Pain After Hand Surgery

    Finally, your surgeon will discuss postoperative pain control with you. The simplest way to approach pain control is to first make sure you are doing all three steps listed above:

    • Elevation
    • Ice
    • Gentle motion

    If after these you are still experiencing too much discomfort, you may consider taking pain medication as prescribed. Some surgeons, especially hand surgeons, may discuss a “step-wise” approach to pain control, beginning with gentle anti-inflammatories and painkillers such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen that have been proven very effective and with minimal side-effects.

    If doses of these medications do not serve to reduce pain to a comfortable level, a narcotic prescription may be used. It is important to keep in mind that narcotic medications are known to cause serious side effects in many patients. These side effects may include:

    • Delirium
    • Vomiting
    • Constipation 

    During the first few nights after surgery, consider taking a dose of ibuprofen or acetaminophen right at bedtime, and set an alarm to take another dose in four to six hours. Many patients notice that they are able to fall asleep because they remain “on top” of their pain during the day, only to awaken in the middle of the night with increased discomfort that may take one to two hours to bring back to normal levels.

    Setting an alarm and taking medication prior to the onset of this discomfort will help you achieve the most restful night possible.

    Possible Complications Of Distal Radius Fractures

    Hayley broken wrist

    As with all procedures to treat an injury, there are some potential complications that can occur. The chances for the following complications vary based on the condition of the patient and the treatment approach used. Patients should ask their physicians for specific information about their own risk for certain complications.

    Possible complications of a distal radius fracture can include, but are not limited to:

    • Malunion of the bone and continued deformity
    • Residual pain and stiffness

    Natural Sedatives For Insomnia Due To Discomfort

    If you’re still not able to sleep after changing your diet, sleeping position, or investing in a specialized pillow, don’t worry. There’s one more thing you can do.

    If you’re in pain, or suffering insomnia due to difficulty in adjusting to a new sleep position, consider using one of these natural, herbal sedatives:

    Method 3 Of 3:knowing When And Why To Elevate

  • 1Improve blood circulation. Elevating your hand while you sleep is a great way to increase blood circulation in your hand and arm. Improved blood circulation can decrease pain and can prevent numbness and pain from conditions like carpal tunnel or tennis elbow.XResearch source
  • This can also work to promote healthy tissue growth and wound healing.
  • 2Work to reduce swelling. Elevating your hand can work wonders for reducing swelling, especially in your hand and fingers. Swollen fingers can cause pain, so taking steps to reduce this symptom is important.XResearch source
  • This is especially beneficial for use during pregnancy and healing periods after an injury.
  • 3Elevate your hand to minimize pain during an injury. Elevating your hand while you sleep can help reduce the amount of pressure placed on the hand and the surrounding area, especially after an injury – like a broken arm, broken hand, or injured finger. Reducing the pressure will work to decrease your pain levels over time and help your injury heal more quickly.XResearch source
  • This should also help decrease the amount of pain medication you’ll need to take during your recovery period.
  • How Can I Care For Myself With A Broken Wrist

    There are several self-care measures that you can do to help the recovery of your broken wrist. These include:

    • taking regular pain killers if you have any pain
    • keeping your arm elevated on a pillow or with a sling in the first week, but after that start to let your arm be part of your everyday life again
    • doing gentle exercises as advised by your health providers
    • avoiding heavy lifting or activities that require your wrist to work hard
    • positioning your arm with your thumb up rather than letting your arm rest with the palm down all the time as this will help lessen stiffness later
    • keeping your cast dry

    Read more about care of your broken wrist while in a cast

    After your cast is removed, you may find your wrist is stiff, your skin dry or your hand swollen. It may take 4 months to 1 year to regain full use of your hand and wrist. Your recovery will be helped by using your hand as normally as possible for everyday activities and by doing any exercises your doctor recommends.Read more about . 

    How Your Body Repairs Itself While You Sleep

    Energy consumption is lowered.

    When we’re not using our energy on daily activities, it can be redirected to other areas of the body that need energy for healing or repair. It also means that we “refuel” for the next day.

    Detoxification begins.

    According to Chinese medicine, the liver is most effective between 1a.m. and 3 a.m.

    Muscle and bone tissue starts to regenerate.

    Sleep is a superpower! And like a superhero, your body starts to repair muscle and bone tissue while asleep. Levels of adrenaline and corticosteroids decline while we sleep, and instead our bodies produce HGH — the human growth hormone. This protein promotes growth while repairing muscles and bones.

    Our body fights infections.

    While we’re asleep, our immune system is hard at work. Our body pumps tumour necrosis factor through our blood while we sleep, a cancer-killing cell signalling protein. Studies have found that sleep deprived adults were more prone to infections.

    Hormones regulate.

    While we sleep, our body regulates hormone production which can improve your mood, and leave you waking up refreshed.

    Skin cell production increases.

    Studies have found that sleep deprivation causes wounds to heal more slowly. Conversely, deep sleep speeds up the skin’s metabolic rate, and cell production is increased.

    Our heart relaxes.

    While we sleep, our heart rate drops to between 10 and 30 beats per minute. This lowers blood pressure and lessens strain on the heart and circulatory system.

    We lose weight.

    Method 1 Of 3:positioning Your Body And Hand

  • 1Sleep on your back or side. In order to elevate your hand while you’re sleeping, you’ll need to sleep on your back or on the side opposite of the arm that needs elevation. This is the easiest resting position for elevating your hand.XResearch source
  • Sleeping on your stomach won’t allow you to elevate your hand as easily. It’s much harder to prop it up from behind if you’re lying flat on your stomach.
  • 2Keep your hand above your heart. Elevating your hand means that you need to keep it at a level above your heart. This helps the blood circulation and can reduce swelling and bruising.XResearch source
  • It doesn’t really matter how much higher your hand is above your heart, as long as it is positioned at least slightly above it.
  • 3Sleep on your side with your hand by your ear. Get in your bed and turn on your side – the opposite side of the hand you want to elevate. Bend your elbow and bring your hand up to rest near your face, close to your ear.XResearch source
  • This position can help elevate your hand, even if only slightly.
  • It may seem like a strange position to sleep in at first, but you should grow accustomed to it quickly.
  • Try using a pillow to trap your arm in this position to keep it from falling if you move at night.
  • 4Sleep on your back with your hand across your chest. Try sleeping on your back you’re your hand positioned near your shoulder, or with your arm all the way across your chest. This will elevate your hand while you sleep.XResearch source
  • My Experience With Broken Wrists And Surgery

    In July 2007, I was on a mountain biking trip in the French Alps and fell from the balcony of the second floor of a building. Unfortunately it wasn’t as exciting as a bike crash, and no, I didn’t try to kill myself .

    After I fell, I had to get up all by myself and go upstairs to go back to the second floor where my friends were. I still don’t know where I found the strength to search for my friends and get their help. I guess my love for life certainly helped!

    When I finally reached my friends, they called the paramedics and I was taken to the hospital right away. Well . . . almost right away. We actually had to stop twice to get some money from an ATM since the ambulance would only take me to the hospital after I paid for the service.

    Due to the severity of the fractures, I had to be operated on as soon as I got to the hospital.

    During this surgery , doctors fixed both my wrists with titanium plates and screws, and they also put an external fixation on my right wrist. This external equipment was attached to both the radius and forefinger metacarpal bones by four screws, two in each bone.

    Back in Portugal , the external fixation was removed two months after the operation. They took it out without any anesthesia which made it an unforgettable moment for me .

    At this point, I started daily physiotherapy sessions and immediately began to see good results.

    Discomfort When Wearing A Wrist Brace To Bed

    It’s no fun wearing a wrist brace, especially when you are trying to fall asleep. Night bracing is something that you will have to get used to until you can sleep the entire night without issue. Some wrist braces completely prevent the fingers from moving, which makes it awkward if you wake up in the middle of the night and try to do something like go to the bathroom.

    After an adjustment period, most people don’t have any issues wearing a splint. Wearing a splint for too long may cause the skin to develop a rash, swell up, feel numb, or cause a tingling sensation. It is okay to remove the splint temporarily to air the skin out. Furthermore, you can look for soft braces or wear a support bandage instead of a splint. If the wrist is swollen or warm, apply an ice pack wrapped in a towel for 10 to 15 minutes once every hour.

    In case you are wondering which brace is most effective, according to research, none of them are any more effective than the others. The purpose of a wrist brace is simply to hold your wrist in place. The most important thing is to stop or reduce the activity that caused the injury in the first place. So don’t feel bad about trying out various types of wrist braces if the one you are currently wearing makes it hard to sleep at night.

    Recovering From Two Broken Wrists: My Story

    fictions: Hospital Adventures

    My name is Ricardo, and I am from Portugal. In 2007, I broke both wrists after falling from a building. This is my story.

    Wikimedia Commons

    The reason I wrote this article is that I broke both my wrists in a terrible accident in 2007 and found very little information online about injuries like mine. I decided to write about what happened to me, in order to help other people in my situation. I hope you find this useful.

    Below you’ll be able to read more about my story, but first, some information on the healing time of wrist fractures.

    How To Sleep Comfortably With A Broken Arm

    October 13, 2016 by Emma

    Let’s face it. All aspects of a broken arm suck. But there is one thing in particular that a broken arm can have a particularly negative impact on. Your sleep.

    As you lay yourself down, your arm will rest below the level of your heart, resulting in an increase in swelling, and along with it pain. And if there is one thing that can stop you from sleeping properly, it’s pain.

    Now it is highly likely that rest is one of the things your doctor would have recommended in speeding along the recovery process. So you are going to want to learn how to get comfortable quick-smart when laying down.

    In this article, we’ll explore some adjustments you can make to your night-time routine to ease the woes of sleeping with a broken arm, from settling into a new sleep position, to adopting an anti-inflammatory diet.

    Getting The Right Diagnosis And Treatment

    When to wear a hand brace and for how long depends on receiving an accurate diagnosis from a qualified health care provider. If necessary, your provider may refer you to a physical or occupational therapist for further treatment.

    “Physical therapists and occupational therapists will develop a plan to treat your condition using active techniques, as opposed to only passive techniques such as wearing a brace,” says Dr. Delavaux.

    Dr. Delavaux says that physical therapists and occupational therapists are also experts in the fabrication of splints and braces, allowing them to create a customized brace specifically for you.

    “As convenient as it is to buy a brace at a drugstore, it might not fit correctly or be what you need for your condition,” adds Dr. Delavaux.

    And although wearing a brace at night might be one part of your treatment plan, Dr. Delavaux stresses that seeing a health care provider is the best way to address the root cause of your condition.

    “Wearing a brace at night certainly won’t hurt, but the question really is, ‘How do you stop the cycle of discomfort?’” says Dr. Delavaux. “If something is bothering you for more than a couple of days, it’s important to get it checked. You don’t want to create lasting issues by allowing a problem to go untreated.”

    Best Sleeping Positions For A Broken Arm

    Regardless of the type of break you’ve suffered, broken bones all have one thing in common:

    It’s for this reason that sleeping on your side or back are your best bets for a quick, comfortable recovery.

    Below are the three most simple, practical and healthy sleep positions for those suffering from a broken arm:

    How Should You Wear A Wrist Brace To Bed

    Even though wrist braces are designed to provide relief from the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, if you wear it improperly you can worsen the pain. Wrist splints can give the nerves and tendons in your hand and wrist temporary relief and support so your body has time to recover. The issue arises when people wear their braces too loose, too tight, or for too long.

    How Are Wrist Flexion Problems Diagnosed

    First, your doctor will take a general medical history, and ask you more about your wrist flexion pain or issues. They might ask when the pain started, how bad it is, and if anything makes it worse.

    To narrow down potential causes, they may also ask about recent injuries, your hobbies, and what you do for work.

    Then your doctor will measure how much you can move your wrist by having you do a series of movements. This will help them see how exactly your wrist flexion is affected.

    The physical exam and medical history are usually enough to allow your doctor to make a diagnosis. However, if they’re still unsure, or you’ve had a recent injury, they might suggest an or to help diagnose the problem.

    The exercises listed above can help treat wrist flexion problems. Other treatments include:

    • Ice the affected area to help reduce pain and swelling.
    • Rest, especially for problems caused by repetitive motion.
    • Adjust your if your wrist problems are caused by typing or other repetitive office work.
    • Splinting can help with carpal tunnel syndrome, repetitive motion injuries, and sudden injuries.
    • Physical therapy can reduce pain, and improve mobility and strength.
    • shots can help treat wrist flexion problems that don’t respond to other treatment.
    • Surgery can be a solution for ganglion cysts that don’t go away on their own, carpal tunnel syndrome that doesn’t respond to other treatment, or traumatic injuries such as a broken bone or torn tendon.


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