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How to Clean Your Wrist Braces?

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How to Clean Your Wrist Braces?

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Wrist braces support the wrist in a neutral position and relieve pain and discomfort. Read the article to learn how to clean the wrist braces.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. K. Shobana

Published At March 15, 2017
Reviewed AtApril 13, 2024

Introduction

People take every precaution to protect their heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, eyes, ears, mouth, etc. The wrist often goes unnoticed until it aches, overshadowed by the attention given to the hands. However, without proper wrist function, hands become less effective. Unfortunately, by the time people grasp this significance, harm is typically already done.

What Is the Anatomy of the Hand and the Wrist?

There are eight carpal bones in each hand. The bones are in two rows. These two rows form the bottom of the carpal tunnel. A ligament is a very sturdy tissue that covers the top of the carpal tunnel. All eight carpal bones are connected to the one next to it with tiny ligaments. The base of the palm where the forearm and hand get connected is the carpal tunnel. Nerves and tendons pass through this tunnel. The blood supply to the hand goes through this tunnel. The tendons that help move the fingers run through this tunnel. These connect the muscles of the forearm to the fingers. The tendons are covered with a greasy fibrous tissue named synovium. Synovium swells when the wrists suffer damage.

What Causes Wrist Injuries?

  • Uncomfortable positions, static postures, tedious jobs, and excess stress without an interval are the main causes of repetitive motion injuries.

  • The pressure within the wrists depends on the way one keeps the wrists. If the wrists are in a neutral or straight position, the pressure is at a minimum. When the wrists move forward and backward, the pressure increases within the carpal tunnel.

  • When the wrists undergo stress due to awkward positions or undue pressure, the tissues in the carpal tunnel can become damaged. If there is an interval to the usage, the body automatically rebuilds the damaged tissues. But if the wrists are undergoing stressful conditions without a continuous break, then symptoms may occur.

How Do Wrist Braces Work?

The wrist braces are one easy solution for tired wrists. A wrist brace, or splint, maintains wrist stability while allowing unrestricted movement. It also reduces pressure on the median nerve, providing relief from discomfort that hinders mobility. Wrist braces for carpal tunnel syndrome serve as a short-term solution. Prolonged utilization may lead to the weakening of wrist muscles, which can be improved through post-brace exercise. Wrist braces do not substitute for improved workplace ergonomics.

An excellent wrist brace offers comfort, durability, ease of application and removal, and simple cleaning. It should facilitate a neutral wrist position, allowing comfortable wrist mobility while restraining challenging hand movements.

Wrist Brace for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome - Braces for carpal tunnel syndrome are often recommended as a non-invasive treatment. These braces are typically worn at night to keep the wrist in a neutral position, reducing pressure on the median nerve. These braces can help reduce symptoms associated with carpal tunnel syndrome.

What Are the Types of Wrist Braces?

Wrist braces are readily available at drug stores or pharmacies without the need for a prescription. In some instances, wrist braces are tailored to individual needs, using lightweight materials to enhance comfort and reduce bulkiness. To acquire a custom-made wrist brace, an order must be made through a physical or occupational therapist.

A variety of wrist braces are currently available in different types and sizes. The selection of the appropriate brace depends on the damaged wrist structures and their protection requirements.

Wrist braces are categorized into three protection levels: high, medium, and low.

  • High-protection level braces are typically constructed from plastic or metal, incorporating foam or soft materials for user comfort. They are mainly employed for patients with severe conditions.

  • Medium protection level braces are commonly crafted from neoprene, offering both comfort and warmth to the user. For individuals with carpal tunnel syndrome, metal splints are incorporated into the front side of these wrist braces, and velcro fastenings allow for easy adjustments.

  • Low-level support options include simple tube grips or neoprene supports, which do not extend from the wrist to the hand, promoting free movement at the wrist joint. These are typically used for heat retention and compression to reduce swelling.

Universal standard wrist braces are available to fit any user, and some wrist braces are designed to be reversible and suitable for both left and right hands. Certain wrist braces are equipped with wooden beads that come into contact with the skin, providing a massage-like comfort while wearing the braces.

How to Clean Wrist Braces?

Wrist braces can accumulate dirt and grime from various sources, such as sweat, dust, food residue, and contact with surfaces. Regularly cleaning wrist braces is essential to maintain proper hygiene, preventing the development of unpleasant odors, potential infections, and skin irritations. Here are a few tips for cleaning wrist braces:

  • Opt for a hand-washing method using warm water and a mild soap that contains a disinfectant, as it is the most effective way to keep wrist braces clean.

  • Before washing, make sure to fasten the straps securely, and avoid using bleach or fabric softeners, as they may harm the brace materials.

  • Any attached metal splints, plastic components, or wooden pieces should be removed before washing to prevent damage.

  • After washing, rinse the wrist braces thoroughly and allow them to air dry. Avoid exposing them to direct heat sources, such as radiators or direct sunlight, and refrain from using ovens or microwaves for drying, as this can distort the shape and hinder proper wrist joint alignment.

  • To combat potential odors from wearing wrist braces continuously, consider using wrist socks underneath. These can be changed daily and washed regularly, ensuring a fresh and odor-free experience.

  • When engaging in activities like gardening or cleaning, always wear rubber gloves over the wrist braces to prevent soiling.

  • If the wrist brace's label indicates that it is safe for machine washing, place the braces inside an old pillowcase or clothes bag to protect the velcro from sticking to other clothing in the machine.

  • In cases of food spills on the wrist braces, use a damp towel or sponge for temporary stain removal until a proper cleaning can be performed.

  • For improved hygiene, a second pair of wrist braces can be invested in to allow for daily rotation.

  • Always check the label of the wrist braces for specific cleaning instructions. The choice of wrist braces should align with the specific wrist condition and the climate one is in.

  • It is advisable to communicate any allergies or specific conditions to the therapist before obtaining a prescription for wrist braces to ensure the right fit for one’s needs.

How Can One Maintain Hand and Wrist Health?

The following can be followed to keep the hand and wrist healthy:

  • Practice ergonomic work setups to reduce strain.

  • Perform regular hand and wrist exercises.

  • Take breaks during repetitive tasks.

  • Use proper lifting techniques.

  • Maintain a healthy weight.

  • Ensure good posture.

  • Use protective gear for high-risk activities.

  • Avoid overuse and alternate tasks.

  • Follow a balanced diet for joint health.

  • Seek medical advice for persistent symptoms.

Conclusion

Wrist braces offer relief for uncomfortable wrist conditions. Wrist braces support are available for individuals to choose and purchase, aiding in the effective treatment of wrist conditions. However, neglecting their maintenance can lead to hygiene issues that are more concerning than the wrist ailment itself. Maintaining clean wrist braces at all times is essential. Consulting a therapist is necessary once the prescribed duration of wrist brace usage is completed. Not all wrist conditions can be resolved with wrist braces, so in cases where pain persists, surgery may be recommended by the therapist.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.

Is It Recommended to Wash Wrist Braces in the Washing Machine?

It is not advisable to wash the wrist braces in the washing machine as it can damage the shape of the wrist braces. Hand washing, in warm water, with soap or shampoo, is recommended.

2.

Why Does the Wrist Brace Have a Bad Odor After Some Time?

After a few days of using the wrist braces, it produces a bad odor because the braces increase body temperature in that region and cause an accumulation of moisture. Over time, this leads to a bad smell.

3.

What Is the Duration of Wearing a Wrist Brace?

Doctors recommend wearing wrist braces for at least four to eight weeks or until the symptoms resolve. Also, wearing wrist braces at night will help in mitigating the swelling and pressure on the nerve.

4.

How Do Wrist Braces Work?

Wrist braces keep the wrist in a straight and actual position, thereby alleviating wrist discomfort and pain. Also, the movements will be restricted, which is helpful for conditions like arthritis and tendonitis.

5.

How to Eliminate Odor From Wrist Braces?

The bad smell from the wrist braces can be removed by regular washing with lukewarm water and mild soap. Using a mixture of baking soda and vinegar will also help to control odors and clean them effectively.

6.

Why Does a Vinegar-Like Smell Occur While Using Wrist Braces?

Excessive sweating may occur in some people due to underlying health conditions or as a side effect of certain drugs. When sweat mixes with skin bacteria, a vinegar-like smell can be detected.

7.

Is It Recommended to Use Wrist Braces at Night?

Wearing wrist braces at night helps to avoid unwanted movements and hence keeps the wrist calm to avoid sudden pain and provides sound sleep. It also helps to reduce swelling when used at night.

8.

Do Wrist Braces Cause Damage to the Wrist?

A wrist brace helps lessen pain or prevents accidental injury. However, if used long-term, it decreases the strength of the injured ligaments and tendons and degenerates the muscles that control the wrist, leading to reduced circulation to that area.

9.

Do We Need to Wear Braces Throughout the Day?

Wrist braces should be worn continuously for at least 4 to 8 weeks or until the symptoms are gone. Wearing the wrist brace is recommended at night to decrease swelling and reduce the pressure on the nerve during the initial days.

10.

Is It Necessary to Wear a Wrist Brace Tightly?

The wrist brace should be firm enough to provide the required support and comfort. But it should not be too tight, as that cuts off circulation and causes more discomfort.

11.

Is It Advisable to Use a Wrist Brace for a Sprained Wrist?

In cases of a sprained wrist, a removable wrist brace is advised to support the wrist. This should be worn for 1 to 2 weeks to let the tendons and ligaments heal completely.
Talati Vidhi Hareshbhai
Talati Vidhi Hareshbhai

Physiotherapy

Tags:

tendinitiswrist injurycarpal tunnel syndromecleaning wrist braces
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