How Do I Choose the Best Wrist Bandage?

C.B. Fox

A patient who has an injury of the wrist may need to choose a wrist bandage to help keep the injury secure while it is healing. The type of bandage needed depends a great deal on the nature of the injury. Tight compression bandages are used to immobilize the wrist joint. A wrist injury that causes pain whenever the arm is moved may be further immobilized with the use of a triangular bandage or sling. A gauze bandage may be used to protect a wound from exposure or to keep medication from rubbing off of a wound.

A sling may be required to treat a wrist injury.
A sling may be required to treat a wrist injury.

Wounds on the wrist may require a gauze wrist bandage. When choosing a gauze bandage, the patient should select a bandage that is large enough to completely cover the wound. These types of bandages may be sterile or non-sterile and a sterile gauze bandage should always be used on an injury that is open so that no germs from the bandage enter the body and lead to infection. Patients can also choose to use gauze wrist bandages that do not stick to the wound so that replacing bandages does not cause discomfort.

A gauze bandage might be the best for a wound to the wrist.
A gauze bandage might be the best for a wound to the wrist.

An internal injury, such as a sprain or strain, is often immobilized through the use of a compression wrist bandage. These bandages are also referred to as elastic bandages because they are made out of a stretchy material that allows them to be wrapped tightly around the wrist. A patient can choose between a wrist bandage that can be wrapped or one that comes pre-formed as a single tube-shaped bandage and can be slipped over the wrist. It is important to wrap the wrist tightly enough to prevent it from moving yet loosely enough that blood can still flow into the fingers, so many patients will choose bandages they can wrap themselves so that the tightness can be adjusted as needed. Patients can also choose whether they prefer to close the bandage with pins, clasps, velcro or by tying off the bandage.

Gauze is used to protect wounds.
Gauze is used to protect wounds.

Wrist injuries that cause pain whenever the arm is moved may require the additional use of a triangular wrist bandage. These bandages can be used as slings that keep the arm in a fixed position near the patient's chest. Choosing the best triangular wrist bandage is a matter of finding one that properly fits the patient's arm and holds it at the proper angle.

A tight compression bandage can be used to immobilize the wrist joint.
A tight compression bandage can be used to immobilize the wrist joint.

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Discussion Comments


I use a flexible, self-adhering wrist bandage when I lift weights to prevent injury to my wrists. They're sort of like long stretch compression bandages but made of slightly different material. The best part is that these cling to themselves so I don't have to use clips or safety pins. I have been protecting my wrists this way for several months and have not had any injuries so I'm very happy.


@turquoise-- Have you seen a doctor? Your doctor should have recommended a type of wrap or bandage for you. I think you need to wear a wrist brace with a splint. That's really the best thing to use when you want to keep your wrist immobile. You can get this type of brace from pharmacies, medical shops and also shops that sell athletic equipment.

I do think it's a good idea to see a doctor though to rule out any other possible issue. The doctor can also prescribe topical creams or oral medication to reduce pain and inflammation.


What's the best wrist bandage for wrist tendinitis? I think I need to prevent my wrist from bending, so which bandage will work best for this?

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