Repetitive wrist strain is one of the most common injuries the average American suffers. There is an astounding amount of people leading sedentary jobs. On top of that, we are living a life full of texting, Facebook and computers. There is little time of wrist relief for those poor little wrists of ours.
Fitness does not have to be formal. To be called yoga, it doesn’t even have to be practiced on a yoga mat. Three simple yet effective moves can help with writer’s cramp, carpal tunnel (which is simply inflammation in the carpal tunnel) and forearm strain. Let’s work to take a minibreak whenever we can to best help an area in which many have discomfort yet few do something about.
1. Wrist Extension
In a comfortable seated or standing position, extend your left arm directly out in front of the shoulder. Flex the hand to turn the fingers to the sky, palm facing out. Using the other hand, draw back on the extended arm’s fingers, thumb and top of the palm. Give a gentle pull as you reach out through the heel of the hand. You should feel this in your forearm. Imagine a rod extending out from the heel of the hand as you flex the palm back. Be mindful to keep the arm straight (no hyperextension in the elbow) and the shoulder relaxed.
Hold this simple yet intense stretch for five to ten slow mindful breaths, noticing the stretch in the palm as well as the forearm.
2. Wrist Flexion
Next, turn the fingers to face downward from the same extended position. Now using the opposite hand, draw back on the top of the palm (not just the fingers) and extend out through the top of the wrist. Check to keep the length through the arm. Allow the fold of the elbow to rotate upward as you relax the shoulder.
Hold this stretch for five to ten breaths, noticing the stretch in the top of the wrist into the forearm.
3. Wrist Twist
Finally, take the same hand and place the palm to the center of the chest, fingers toward the sky. Using the opposite hand, clasp hold of the thumb side of the hand. Wrap your fingers into the center of the planted palm. Breathing calmly, start to guide the hand into a twisted position at the wrist line. As you twist the wrist, try to resist the twist, working to draw back against the twist feeling. You should feel a deep opening along the wrist and forearm. Be mindful to keep the wrist and hand upright to keep the twist balanced and deep.
Remain holding the twist for five to ten breaths. As you release, allow the hand to rest, then work it into an opening and closing movement until you feel balance once again.
These stretches are incredibly helpful for those of us who use computers on a regular basis. Many of our communities are now seeing repetitive wrist strain much earlier in life than ever before. Try to incorporate these three simple stretches into your day at any moment. Not only will they give wrist relief to the tech geek, they will also aid in some much-needed wrist rehab for those of you who suffer from Plank Pose complaints or tender wrists in any pose that puts pressure on the palms.
As you step back into your everyday lives, remember one important thing: Nothing works unless you actually do it. I hope you get some wrist relief – Good luck!