Wrist Mobility Exercises
The first thing to remember when it comes to wrist mobility exercises is that there are different types of wrist problems. There are two main types: 1) Tendinitis and 2) Hypermobility. Tendonitis refers to pain caused by tendons or ligaments not working properly. These tendons and ligaments may be inflamed (tender), torn (ruptured), or irritated (burned).
Tendonitis is usually caused by overuse, but it can occur at any age.
Hypermobility refers to pain caused by muscles being too tight. For example, if your wrists are always sore from gripping a pencil tightly, then you have hypermobile wrists. If you were constantly having trouble with your hands reaching up and touching each other because they hurt so much, then you would probably have hypermobile wrists. You might even have both conditions simultaneously!
Hypermobility can cause pain anywhere along the forearm. It’s often found in people who use their wrists excessively during sports like tennis, golfing, basketball, etc. It can also be caused by birth defects or Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.
Things You’ll Need:
1) A stopwatch (or some kind of timer)
2) Paper and a writing utensil
Steps to Success:
1) First of all, measure the distance between the outside of your wrist (carpal tunnel) and the inner side of it.
Try to push your hands together as much as you can. Write down how far they can go.
2) Next, measure your full range of motion, from the outside to the inside.
Try to move your wrist as far as it can go in both directions (front to back, and side to side). Try to move it slowly.
3) Wrist exercises should be done at least twice a day (morning and night) and can be done up to three times if you like.
Each exercise should be held for a count of five, and then repeated 8-10 times. These are just guidelines; you can do more or less as you please.
Tips and Warnings:
1) Wrist mobility exercises should not be forced; in fact, it’s better to go slow than fast.
It’s better to do less than more, because too much can irritate your tendons and ligaments even more!
2) If you have diabetes or any other circulation problems, consult a physician before doing wrist exercises.
3) When doing wrist separation exercises, only do it to the point where your fingers can just barely touch.
Never force them together, because this can cause tearing of the ligaments and tendons around your wrist.
4) Wrist curls should be done slowly.
Don’t swing your body or use your arm or legs to help you move the weight.
5) For wrist extensions, use slow, controlled movements.
6) After each set, rest for about a minute before continuing.
7) Listen to your body.
If an exercise causes pain, stop immediately.
8) Always consult your physician before beginning any new exercise program.
9) Drink lots of water before, during, and after your exercises.
By the way, do you know what having hypermobile (and tendinitis) wrists has taught me?
That I’ve abused my body a lot more than I thought! So I started taking better care of myself.
Did my wrists get better?
No, not really. But I feel better mentally and physically for doing these exercises and taking better care of myself. Who knows, maybe the extra rest will speed up my recovery.
Never hurts to try, right?
By: Billy O.
Sources & references used in this article:
Dart-throwing motion with a twist orthoses: Design, fabrication, and clinical tips by L Feehan, T Fraser – Journal of Hand Therapy, 2016 – jhandtherapy.org
Collé Action: An Alternative Perspective on Right-Hand Finger and Wrist Mobility by JM Dakon, S Gray – American String Teacher, 2015 – journals.sagepub.com
Percutaneous Herbert screw fixation for fractures of the scaphoid: review of 30 cases by JP Brutus, Y Baeten, N Chahidi, L Kinnen… – Chirurgie de la …, 2002 – Elsevier
Surgery to the wrist joint by FD Burke – Rheumatology, 1995 – Citeseer
The Sauvé-Kapandji procedure: indications and tips for surgical success by A Lluch – Hand clinics, 2010 – hand.theclinics.com
Techniques for the Wrist and Hand by L Hartman – Handbook of Osteopathic Technique, 1997 – Springer
Three-Corner Fusion for Management of SNAC and SLAC Wrists: Does It Result in a Better Range of Wrist Motion? by E ElKaref – HAND, 2016 – journals.sagepub.com
Special Aspects of Wrist Arthritis Management for SLAC and SNAC Wrists Using Midcarpal Arthrodesis. by A Gohritz, T Gohla, N Stütz, V Moser… – Bulletin of the NYU …, 2005 – search.ebscohost.com
Dexterity enhancement in endoscopic surgery by a computer-controlled mechanical wrist by V Falk, J McLoughlin, G Guthart… – … Invasive Therapy & …, 1999 – Taylor & Francis