A wrist sprain can be a painful injury, especially if you're still trying to use that hand. You need to allow your wrist some time to recover properly before expecting to get your full use of it back. To ensure a fast recovery, take the proper steps to treat a sprained wrist, as outlined below.
Get some ice on it. As soon as possible after the accident, put some ice on your sprained wrist. This will help to keep the swelling down. An ice bandage works great too, as it doubles as a numbing aid and a stabilizer. If you use an ice wrap, wrap it from the hand all the way to the elbow. Ensure that the wrap isn't so tight that it will cut off circulation. Both ice and an ice wrap should be comfortable for the victim of a wrist sprain.
Elevate the arm. After you've immediately tended to the sprain with some ice, you need to keep it raised. Use a sling or a pillow to keep your entire arm above your heart. It will be necessary to keep your arm like this for several days.
Give your wrist a rest. With your sprained wrist iced and raised, it's important that you give it a rest. Your wrist will need a few days to heal, and if you continue to demand that your wrist be used, you won't see a quick recovery. Instead, make a point of not using your sprained wrist for at least a few days. The more time you can leave it resting, the better it is for your muscles and tendons in your wrist.
Stay away from heat at first. While your sprained and swollen wrist is healing, try to keep it away from heat. Heat will cause the area to swell, which can add more pain to your already aching wrist. Turn down the temperature in your shower, don't cozy so close up to the fire, and in general, try to keep your sprained wrist at body temperature or cooler. Avoid heat until the swelling on your swollen wrist subsides.
Some heat will help after a few days. Once the swelling has gone down on your swollen wrist, a little bit of moist heat will feel nice on it. Warm a towel or washcloth under hot water, or heat a wet cloth in the microwave. Lay it on your wrist for a half hour at a time. This should help to relieve any subsidiary pain in the area of the sprain.
Gradually increase your wrist use. After 3-5 days, you should notice that your sprained wrist is beginning to feel normal again. When you are comfortable, slowly begin to use your wrist again. Don't expect too much from it at first - this can aggravate the healing that has already taken place and prolong your recovery. Just take it easy for the first week or two once you start using your wrist until you feel comfortable using your wrist to its full capabilities. (You'll know when it's safe to ditch the sling, the ice and the heat and start using your sprained wrist normally again when you no longer feel pain when you use your wrist.)