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Wrist soft tissue injuries

Date issued: January 2023

Review date: January 2025

Ref: A-574AH/Physiotherapy/Wrist soft tissue injuries

PDF:  Wrist soft tissue injuries final January 2023.pdf [pdf] 197KB

This information leaflet will aim to provide advice and guidance following a wrist sprain/soft tissue injury. Many will be familiar with the ICE, RICE and POLICE principles to follow after sustaining a soft tissue injury. New research has shown that some of these principles aren’t as helpful with recovery as we originally thought. We now follow PEACE and LOVE and this is explained below:

1-3 days following your wrist injury:

P – Protection: Avoid activities that increase pain in the wrist over the first few days following injury

Use a wrist splint for the first few days if this helps manage your symptoms

E – Elevation: Elevate the wrist and hand higher than the heart when possible

A - Avoid anti—inflammatories (NSAIDS): Avoid anti-inflammatory medications/ice as this will slow down the healing process

C – Compression: When needed you could use tubigrip/compression bandage to assist in reducing swelling

E – Education: Your body knows best. Most soft tissue injuries heal within 6-12 weeks

 3 days following your injury

L – Load: Let your body guide your return to your normal activities.

It is important to load the hand/wrist as soon as you feel able to

O – Optimism: Optimal recovery will come from being confident and positive in your recovery

V – Vascularisation: Choose pain free cardiovascular activities to increase blood flow to the injured wrist

E – Exercise: You can move the hand and wrist freely.

Restore the mobility and strength by increasing your normal use of your hand and wrist

If you feel your wrist/hand is a little stiff, then you can complete the exercises below on a daily basis until your movement has improved. If you experience any pain whilst performing the exercises you could try reducing the sets/repetitions.


  • Perform the exercises below at least 3 times a day and perform each 10 times.

  • They may be uncomfortable and stiff, slowly increase the range and use pain relief to help you with the exercise if required.

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