The wrist is a complex joint that takes more of a battering than many of us realize. The quads, hips, and shoulders all get attention when we talk about mobility and the importance of stretching. But might we be missing something if we don't include the wrists in that conversation?
Although the joint isn't nearly as big as some others, it's still incredibly important and should be given the proper attention. I think we can all agree that having pain-free wrists, fingers and hands is important no matter what your occupation. This is why addressing any lingering wrist pain is important. You shouldn’t have to live with nagging wrist and hand pain.
Writing, weightlifting and gaming all stress your wrists. If you use your hands a lot, chances are your wrists are tight. Even for people who work in an office or are on their computer frequently, this repeated position and motion at the keyboard of a computer for the wrists can lead to issues. Tight wrists can cause all sorts of problems, from stiff fingers or forearms to issues further up the arm.
A common issue with the wrist is carpal tunnel syndrome. In this condition, the carpal tunnel in the hand gets compressed and narrowed due to repetitive motion such as hand position on the keyboard. When this passage is narrowed, the nerve is squeezed and this is what causes the pain commonly associated with carpal tunnel syndrome.
A wrist sprain and arthritis are two other wrist issues that are seen frequently. For issues such as these, it is best to consult your personal healthcare professional. It's always better to be safe than sorry, so getting an expert opinion would be your best best. If your wrist needs more detailed and complex attention, your doctor will be able to tell you this.
But for most people, the pain they feel in their hands or forearms generally comes from a lack of mobility. The good news is that this can be improved with a simple, yet consistent, practice - focusing on stretching the wrists, fingers and hands.
As easy as it sounds, sometimes our wrists just need to be exposed to different ranges of motion. This could include flexion, extension, and rotation. This allows the wrist to experience different positions which, in turn, loosens up the joint.
That being said, there are many specific stretches that help clear up pain and prevent it from happening in the future. Stretching is important because it increases blood flow to the joint and the surrounding areas like the hand, fingers and forearm. Strengthening and elongating the muscles in the wrist and hand will also help prevent pain and injuries. It’s a win-win all around.
Wrist stretches are relatively simple to do, so you can incorporate them as needed into your routine. If you’re noticing that your wrists feel tighter than normal, you can even do these exercises at your desk or workplace.
So no matter if you’re an athlete, knowledge worker on your keyboard or just someone who uses your hands frequently, a good wrist stretch routine will help you stay healthy and pain-free.
Keep your wrists in good working order with the exercises below.
Joel is the founder of IMPOSSIBLE and the founder of MoveWell. Joel founded MoveWell after sustaining an injury while running an ultra marathon on every continent. Joel is writes about mobility, pain management and health and wellness overall.