Have you been suffering from wrist pain at work? Painful wrists produce a lot of discomfort during work. This is especially true if your job profile requires continuous working on the computer. Even otherwise, simple work in the office like holding a file, writing or clearing your desk can become an uphill task with painful wrists. Chronic wrist pain can lead to swelling and limited mobility in the hands. If you do the right kind of exercise, it helps to maintain pain free and mobile joints. Here are 6 ways in which you can exercise your wrists to reduce wrist pain at work:
1. Forearm And Wrist Stretch
This is a simple exercise which involves stretching the wrist and hand up and down. Sit on a chair with your forearm resting on the table such that your palm is hanging out. With the palm facing down, move your hand up gradually till you feel a gentle stretch on your wrist and forearm. Keep your fingers and thumb straight. Hold this stretched position for 5 seconds. Now, slowly, bring down the hand fully. Repeat this in a set of 10 repetitions thrice a day.
2. Wrist Deviations Side-To-Side
Our wrist joints can move in four anatomical directions. Out of these, the side-to-side movement of the wrists is very important as this range of motion is used quiet frequently in almost all hand activities. To perform this exercise, use the same position for sitting as described above. Now, make a fist by closing your fingers and thumb. With the palm facing up, move your fisted hand sideways to the left and right slowly. This may be repeated with the palm facing down also. A set of 10 repetitions thrice a day is recommended.
3. Wrist Curls
In the sitting position with your forearm resting on a table for support, make a fist by closing your fingers and thumb. Place your fist at the edge of the table so that you can move it freely in the air. Now, move your closed fist up and down gently at a slow speed. This exercise can also be repeated in a set of 10 repetitions thrice a day.
4. Wrist Rotations
In order to have a complete pain free range of movement at the wrist, it is advisable to keep moving the joint through all the planes so that the tendons and muscles remain active and flexible. This can be achieved by doing a complete wrist rotation exercise. Remain seated on your chair, with forearms and elbows supported on the table. Now, with hands fisted, start moving them in a clockwise direction in the following sequence:
- Move it up
- Then move it to the side( either left or right)
- Then gently move it downwards
- Lastly, bring it back to the starting position
- Repeat it in the anti-clockwise direction in reverse sequence.
5. Making A Fist
The slender tendons and small muscles in our hand that move the fingers and change the shape of our palm function well if the wrist joint supports them well. The common activities at work like writing, typing, using the mouse and scrolling your cell phones require fine manipulative skills of fingers and thumb. The optimal wrist position for adequate hand function is very essential. Thus, exercising the fingers and thumb with a good wrist position is a good practice to maintain pain free hands. Rest your hands on your desk with palms facing down. Now, slightly raise your wrist up. Gently, open your fingers and thumb till they are fully straight. Slowly proceed towards making a fist by closing in your fingers and thumb. Repeat this workout 10 times. You can do it as frequently as every 2-3 hours intermittently.
6. Finger Spread
This is another exercise which helps in maintaining the mobility and strength of your hands. Rest your palms on your desk with elbows supported. Keep your fingers straight. Now, slowly spread your fingers and thumb outwards while keeping the wrist joint stable. The web spaces in between adjacent fingers should be stretched sufficiently during this action. Next, bring them back close to each other. You can do this exercise 10 times every 2-3 hours to have healthy and mobile wrists and hands.
These workouts are general recommendations to improve wrist joint function. Meeting a physical therapist can be beneficial to know about specific treatment if your hands are debilitating with pain. If you feel pain or numbness during or after exercise, stop exercising and contact your Doctor or physical therapist for further suggestions.