July 24, 2019 at 9:14 am · drsahai · 0 comments
We may not realize it, but our hands perform a wide variety of everyday tasks for us. And these include typing on a keyboard at work to grabbing that cup of coffee in the morning. Over time, however, it makes sense that these repetitive motions can create weakness and stiffness in our wrists and fingers. And to relieve this discomfort, hand and wrist stretches should be performed.
Why Stretches are Important
Typically, when you wake up in the morning, we reach for a stretch, or later in the day at our desk, we stretch out our back. What about your hands and wrists, though? They are just as important to stretch daily as any other part of your body.
When we stretch our wrists, this increases flexibility and also contributes to lowering the risk of injury. In fact, stretches are recommended as a preventive measure or to ease slight pain. Although, it’s important to note that they should not be used by people with inflammation or other severe joint damage unless recommended by a health care professional. In some cases, exercise could cause more harm than good.
It’s always recommended to talk to your physician before attempting any exercises for pain management. There may be an underlying cause that can create more damage.
Simple Hand and Wrist Stretches
Praying Position Stretch
- While standing, place your palms together in a praying position. Have your elbows touch each other. Your hands should be in front of your face. Your arms should be touching each other from the tips of your fingers to your elbows.
- With your palms pressed together, slowly spread your elbows apart. Do this while lowering your hands to waist height. Stop when your hands are in front of your belly button, or you feel the stretch.
- Hold the stretch for 10 to 30 seconds, then repeat.
- Extend one arm in front of you at shoulder height.
- Keep your palm down, facing the floor.
- Release your wrist so that your fingers point downward.
- With your free hand, gently grasp your fingers and pull them back toward your body.
- Hold for 10 to 30 seconds.
Arm Extension Stretch
For a stretch in the opposite direction:
- Extend your arm with your palm facing up toward the ceiling.
- With your free hand, gently press your fingers down toward the floor.
- Gently pull your fingers back toward your body.
- Hold for 10 to 30 seconds.
Repeat both stretches with the other arm. You should cycle through them. And do this two or three times on each side.
Clench Fist Stretch
- While seated, place your open hands on your thighs with palms up.
- Close your hands slowly into fists. Do not clench too tightly.
- With your forearms touching your legs, raise your fists off of your legs. And then back toward your body. This should be done while bending at the wrist.
- Hold for 10 seconds.
- Lower your fists and slowly open your fingers wide.
- Repeat 10 times.
Build Hand and Wrist Strength
Building hand and wrist strength are ideal in preventing injury. These can be done at home or at the office.
- While seated, place your palms face up under a desk or table.
- Press upwards against the bottom of the desk.
- Hold the pose for 5 – 10 seconds.
Performing this exercise builds strength in the muscles that run from your wrists to your inner elbows.
Tennis ball squeeze
- Squeeze a tennis ball or stress ball firmly for 5 to 10 seconds.
Note: This should not be painful. However, it should allow you to strengthen your wrists.
- Make a fist and point your thumb up, as if you’re giving a thumbs-up sign.
- Create resistance with your thumb and hand muscles to keep your thumb from moving.
- Gently pull back on your thumb with your free hand.
- Hold and repeat.
- Make a fist and point your thumb up.
- Create resistance with your thumb and hand muscles to try and keep your thumb pointing up toward the ceiling.
- Use your free hand to gently push the thumb forward.
- Hold and repeat.
Do Yoga for Wrist and Hand Strength
A great way to strengthen your hand and wrists is through yoga.
- Interlace your fingers in front of your body.
- Keeping your elbows tucked in to your sides, move your interlaced hands in a figure-eight motion.
- Allow your wrists to rotate fully so that each hand is alternately on top of the other.
- Perform this exercise for 10 to 15 seconds.
- Rest, and then repeat.
- While seated, lift your arms over your head and interlace your fingers with your palms together.
- With your fingers interlaced, turn your palms up until they are facing the ceiling. You can keep your arms slightly bent or straighten them.
- Hold the stretch.
- Bring your arms down, and then repeat.
- Extend your arms forward, parallel to the floor.
- Cross your right arm over your left, with the right arm on top.
- Bend your elbows.
- Place your right elbow into the crook of the left. The backs of your hands should be touching.
- Move your right arm right, and your left arm left. The thumb of your right hand should pass by the little finger of your left. Your palms should be facing each other.
- Press your palms together, lift your elbows up, and stretch the fingers. They should be pointed toward the ceiling.
- Resist the urge to lift your shoulders as you lift your arms.
- Hold for 15 to 30 seconds.
- Repeat on the other side.
This exercise was adopted from the eagle pose.
If these hand and wrist stretches do not improve your pain in a few days, it’s critical to seek medical attention. For a preferred Hand & Wrist specialist in South Florida, call us today at 888-409-8006.