Wrist Injuries for Polo Players

Polo is a physically demanding mounted contact sport. As such, players of all levels are at risk of sustaining sports injuries, and these injuries may force players to moderate their play or abstain altogether.  Of course, collisions and falls can also cause acute trauma, such as fractures and dislocations.  While no player wishes to dwell on injuries, most will nevertheless be interested to know more about the common injuries and, how they might be avoided and, if you have an injury, how it might be treated.

Wrist injuries are a frequent cause of pain for the polo player. Poor technique is an important factor in wrist pain, especially in females who typically have less muscle bulk and less strength in their forearms than males. Over-gripping the mallet, trying to generate force through the forearm (as opposed to shoulder pendulum swing), dropping wrist into an ulna deviated or radial deviated position at contact with ball (giving neck or open shots) are common bad habits. Swing analysis and forearm strengthening is vital in rehabilitating a wrist in addition to trying to prevent these injuries.

Wrist injuries can normally be divided into two categories: traumatic and overuse. Traumatic wrist injuries can occur from a fall especially landing on an outstretched hand. These normally need to have immediate medical attention to rule out a fracture. Any bone can be broken from a fall but commonly ones are the scaphoid, radius or ulna.

The scaphoid fracture is the most frequently injured carpal bone and can easily be misdiagnosed or ignored as a simple wrist sprain. If missed and not managed properly you can end up with a chronically painful wrist, especially with weight bearing, and a mis-aligned fracture or non healing fracture.

Unlike the scaphoid injury which may not have many symptoms, apart from pain, fractures to the radius or ulna will usually present with swelling, deformity, tenderness ,loss of wrist motion and lots of pain. Patients usually attend hospital quickly with these as they know something is damaged.

Injuries from overuse

Overuse injuries can occur from poor technique, overtraining, poor recovery, muscle weakness, gradual wear and tear, age etc and are normally one of two types of problem with the tendon (tendons attach muscle to bone). Inflammation of the tendon sheath, tenosynovitis (the surrounding part of the tendon) or failure of the tendon to withstand the high and repetitive loading leading to small micro tears giving a tendinopathy (sometimes called tendinitis).

How can a wrist brace help?

Wrist braces are one of the most commonly used pieces of medical equipment in the modern world. Why? Because they are so incredibly useful. In truth, ‘wrist brace’ is an incredibly general term meaning any specially designed wearable used to support, protect, or restrict the movement of a wrist. They can be made to fit the right or left hand and some braces are universal, meaning they can be used on either wrist based on how you configure them. Wrist braces can be used to keep your wrist safe after an injury or prevent an injury you know is a risk. They are often used to relieve long-term wrist pain conditions.

For polo players or sports players in general suffering from wrist issues, the PCA Independence Store has a wide range of braces to ease your symtpoms and give the necessary support for your wrist.

Check out our website or call on 0813 028 0496!

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