The treatment for most hand sprains involves following the RICE protocol, which stands for rest, ice, compression and elevation, explains Central States Orthopedic Specialists. Performing gentle exercises helps restore hand strength after any pain, swelling or bruising subsides. In some severe cases, surgery is necessary to repair the tissue damage.
One exercise patients can perform to regain hand strength following a hand injury involves curling the fingers inward until the fingernails touch the palm, notes Central States Orthopedic Specialists. The patient holds this position, strengthens the grip, and then relaxes the hand. The thumb should remain in an upright position while performing the exercise. Another hand-strengthening exercise involves holding the hand in an upright position while bending the fingers at the middle and end joints until the fingertips touch the bottom of the fingers. The large knuckles must remain straight while bending the other joints.
The associated symptoms can help doctors determine the severity of a hand or wrist sprain, according to Central States Orthopedic Specialists. Mild sprains result in only slight swelling and tenderness, while more severe sprains produce a substantial amount of bruising, swelling and pain, in addition to compromising the hand's functioning. A doctor may order an imagining study, such as an X-ray or MRI, to verify the extent of the injury.