What is a wrist stabiliser?
A carpal stabiliser is a medical article that is used to stabilise the radiocarpal joint, commonly known as the wrist. Problems within this joint necessitate a reduction in its mobility in order to prevent further degeneration, minimise damage and speed up recovery. A wrist brace does not stabilise the joint as firmly as a plaster cast, but it can reduce pain and, to a certain extent, speed up the healing process of the joint. With a wrist stabiliser, it is possible to stabilise the joint in a functional position. In addition to stiffening the joint, the wrist stabiliser also helps to maintain adequate body heat, which further contributes to faster rehabilitation.
When to use a wrist stabiliser?
A wrist brace should be used for:
- injuries to the radiocarpal joint,
- carpal tunnel syndrome
- thumb injuries
- rheumatoid arthritis,
- pain in the wrist,
- recovery after surgery on the wrist joint.
A wrist brace should always be tightly fastened, but not so tight as to impede blood flow. If the brace is pulled too tightly, the hand may not be sufficiently oxygenated, which will manifest as bruised or tingling fingers. If this happens, the clasp needs to be loosened.
Which wrist stabiliser to choose?
There are two main types of wrist stabilisers. When considering which wrist stabiliser to choose, it is always important to bear in mind the type of problem. Light injuries do not make sense to rehabilitate with rigid orthoses, and for deep injuries, braces are not recommended.
- Rigid stabilising orthoses – such stabilisers make it possible to immobilise the joint almost completely, but often exclude it from normal activity. They are used for severe injuries and immediately after surgery.
- Elastic wrist brace – such a wrist stabiliser is usually used in case of light injuries and also during sports, to hold the wrist in an optimal position. Elastic wristbands are fastened with Velcro. Among the elastic wristbands, a distinction is still made between short and long wristbands.
- Magnetic Wristband – The magnetic band has a similar function and use to the elastic band, but the difference lies in the fastening method. The magnetic band is fastened with a magnet and is therefore often more durable. Velcro loses its adhesive properties after some time, whereas this is not the case with a magnet.
- Thumb ties – these are special ties that also encircle the hand and wrist. Such models are particularly recommended in cases of carpal tunnel syndrome and thumb injuries.
- Leather – characterised by high durability and an elegant appearance. These types of wristbands should be maintained with talcum powder.
- Synthetic materials – wristbands made of synthetic materials are most often produced from blends of polyester, polyamide and elastane.
Some models are also fitted with special cushions made of polystyrene balls to increase comfort and reduce pain in the event of sudden movement.