Are you recovering from a wrist sprain or a strain? Or do you suffer from pain caused by hours on your keyboard or your gaming mouse?
Most traumatic wrist injuries are the result of a fall, not the actual fall, but trying to stop your fall as you hit the ground. If you have ever taken a spill from a skateboard, bicycle or tripped over a toy or pet, you understand.
But wrist pain can also be caused by long-term use or repetitive stress, arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome.
Swelling of your wrist from injury or overuse causes painful pressure on the median nerve. This compression is often referred to as carpal tunnel syndrome and leads to numbness, weakness, and tingling on the side of your hand near the thumb.
Whatever the cause of your wrist pain, if left untreated it can become a serious problem.
The exercises that follow can help relieve pain and strengthen weak wrist and reduce pain and swelling.
How Your Wrist Works
There are ten bones connected to the wrist joint, two from your forearm, the radius on the thumb side and the ulna on the opposite side and eight bones in the hand, which are called carpals.
The muscles of your forearms and wrists allow for flexion, extension, and wrist rotation. Hand rotations called supination and pronation originate from your elbow joints. Any circular wrist exercises are a combination of elbow and wrist movements.
Your forearm muscles have a great potential for strength and flexibility improvement, and few people use them to their full capability.
Strength training for the wrists can lead to significant improvement.
Wrist Stretches and Extensions
Start with simple wrist stretches and extensions.
Hold your arm straight out in front of you with your palm down. Bend at your wrist while pointing your hand toward the floor. With your other hand, gently bend your wrist farther until you feel a mild stretch in your forearm and hold for 15 to 30 seconds.
Relax and repeat and alternate wrists.
Prayer Stretch – To increase your wrist flexibility further, press your palms together in front of your chest keeping your fingers close together. Without forcing them, slowly lower your hands until you feel the muscles and tendons in your wrist begin to stretch.
You should feel only a gentle tugging pressure.
Hold this position for up to 5 seconds and then relax and repeat.
As your strength and flexibility increase, increase the length of time you hold this prayer stretch.
More good wrist stretches by Global Bodyweight Training:
Follow these and similar wrist stretches with simple exercises and then progress slowly to avoid additional pain or injury to your fingers, hands or wrist injury. Regular wrist stretches and exercises should help to increase flexibility and strength while reducing your chances of injury.
Forearm Curls – Rest the back of your forearm on a table or on your leg with your palm facing up, and your hand should be in line with your arm.
Place a light dumbbell or weight in that hand, slowly lower the weight toward the floor and then curl it up and toward your body.
Hold briefly and then repeat and alternate forearms.
Flexion and Extension – Flexing and extending your wrists and forearms is an excellent way to increase the range of motion of your wrists.
Rest your arm on a table top beside your chair and allow your hand to hang over the end of the table. Bend your wrist down toward the floor until you feel the muscles and tendons begin to stretch and hold the position for 5 seconds and then raise your hand straight up toward the ceiling until you feel the stretch and hold this position for 5 seconds.
Keep your fingers close together during this exercise.
Repeat this exercise with the opposite hand. Once this movement becomes simple, add a light weight or dumbbell and repeat with this resistance.
Side Flexion – You can easily increase the side-to-side range of motion by rotating your wrists left and right. Sit straight in a chair and allow your arm to hang over the arm of the chair or rest your forearm on a table with your hand and wrist hanging off the side.
Turn your hand at the wrist to the left until you feel the muscles pulling slightly and hold the position for 5 seconds and then turn your wrist to the right and hold it for 5 seconds.
Gradually increase the range of motion and time you hold the exercise position as your flexibility increases. Alternate arms and repeat.
Again, add a light weight or dumbbell or hold one end of a resistance band and repeat with this resistance.
Finger Exercises – If you do a lot of typing, data entry or gaming you may often experience sore, stiff and tired fingers. To strengthen your fingers and improve their endurance, perform simple finger exercises anytime your fingers begin to feel tired or tighten up.
Sit in your chair and hold your hands straight out in front of you without locking your elbows. Open your hand and spread your fingers as far apart as possible for at least 5 seconds. Next, close your fingers into a tight fist and hold for 5 seconds.
Hammer Exercises – This is considered a radial strengthening exercise as the movement involves bending your wrist toward your thumb side.
Using a hammer or a small weight plate on ONE end of a dumbbell bar, tilt the hammer or dumbbell toward the ceiling and then slowly lower it.
Repeat and then alternate hands.
More wrist exercises for gamers by Dr Levi Harrison:
When treating wrist, forearm and finger pain, see a clinician or physician if you experience numbness in one or both of your hands, a weak or unequal grip, tingling or signs of carpal tunnel.
Treat your condition early to prevent complications and permanent nerve damage. When exercising for wrist and forearm relief, identifying the cause is a good place to start.
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