Though some may think of the wrist as a single bone, it actually consists of 15 bones and many ligaments, which are strong bands of tissue that connect them to one another. A wrist sprain occurs when any of these ligaments is stretched too far or torn, and it is a fairly common injury for athletes of a number of different sports.
Wrist sprains can range from mild to severe. Symptoms will vary depending on the grade and location of the sprain, but most patients will experience pain immediately after the incident that caused the injury. In more mild sprains, the wrist may also be slightly swollen and tender, and there will usually be some pain when moving the wrist. For more severe sprains, there may be enough swelling to change the shape of your wrist, as well as some bruising, and more significant pain will occur with any wrist movement. Not being able to move the wrist can also result in loss of strength and stability, making the wrist practically useless prior to treatment in some cases.