Nearly all your daily tasks and doings involve the use of your hands.
This frequent use leaves you vulnerable to repetitive strain injuries and other conditions that can cause pain in your wrists and hands. And if that happens, it can become difficult to do your usual tasks and meet your responsibilities.
Prevent pain in your wrists and hands by stretching and strengthening the muscles in your hands, wrists, and forearms. This will improve your flexibility and reduce joint pain, stop it from getting worse, or prevent pain from occurring in the first place.
Here are some stretches that you should practice:
Begin by pressing your hands together at chest height in a traditional prayer pose, with your fingers pointing up and your palms touching.
Keeping your hands together and pointing upwards, spread your elbows further apart while lowering your hands toward your belly.
You should feel a stretch in your forearms as the bend in your wrists increases.
Hold this stretch for 3-5 deep breaths, then return to the starting position.
Repeat multiple times.
Seated at a table, lay both arms straight out on the table in front of you, palms down.
Keep your forearms on the table. Bend at the wrists to bring your hands to a palms-out, fingers-up position.
Hold for 3-5 deep breaths, return your palms to the table to rest, then repeat.
Still seated at a table, place your palms on the table approximately shoulder-width apart.
Press down into the table to flex the muscles in your hands and forearms.
Hold for a few deep breaths.
Release the pressure on your hands and relax. Repeat multiple times.
Underside Desk Press
Place your hands underneath the table, palms up against the underside of the table.
Pressing upwards into the table will flex a different set of muscles.
You aren’t trying to lift the table but rather using the resistance to work your muscles.
Hold for a few deep breaths, then release and repeat multiple times.
Tennis Ball Squeeze
Squeeze a tennis ball. That’s the only step.
Hold the squeeze for one deep breath, then relax.
Repeat as much as you are comfortable to strengthen your wrist and grip strength.
Figure Eight Rotations
With your open hand, trace a figure eight (sideways 8) motion, alternating palm down as you move inwards toward your body’s center line and palm up as you trace the eight away from your center line.
Your elbows should not need to move. Rotation should be happening only in your wrist area.
You can also do this with your hands clasped together and fingers interlaced.
Rotate your clasped hands in a smooth figure eight motion. You will alternate which hand is on top as you move your figure eight.
If It Hurts…
Don’t do it if you experience pain while doing any of these stretches. These stretches should not cause pain. If you do experience pain, you may have an injury that needs to be addressed by a doctor or physiotherapist.
Ask your doctor or physiotherapist about other stretches or exercises you can do to help relieve the particular kind of pain you are experiencing.