5 Wrist Exercises to Prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Holistic Living

5 Wrist Exercises to Prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Posted

21 March 2016

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Much of what we do hours upon end at work or leisure hinges on these biological fulcrums. Sadly, they often go unnoticed until we experience pain. So, whether you’re playing tennis, keyboard bashing, texting or weight-lifting, here’s how to take care of your wrists.

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I recently met two friends who had symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome and had to wear wrist splints to immobilise their wrists. The trouble zone is located just below the centre of the wrist, a narrow tunnel through which the median (central) nerve and nine tendons connect from the forearm to the hands and fingers. Constant, repetitive motion from activities like typing, gardening, chopping food and handling tools can cause the median nerve and tendons to swell. This makes the tunnel squeeze the nerves and tendons, which causes discomfort, numbness or shooting pains.

Before we proceed to the wrists stretches, bear in mind that maintaining proper desk posture and workspace arrangement will help you stay comfortable and enable you to give your best. The next time you’re taking a water or toilet break, try these five simple wrist stretches to help build your wrist strength and improve your range-of-motion in your wrists and forearms.

1. Prayer stretch

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  • Start with your palms together, fingers facing upwards, in front of your chest and below your chin.
  • Slowly lower your hands toward your waistline, keeping your hands close to your stomach and your palms pressed firmly together, until you feel a mild to moderate stretch under your forearms.
  • Hold for 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat 2 to 3 times.

2. Wrist flexor stretch

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  • Extend your right arm in front of you with your palm faced down.
  • Bend your wrist, pointing your fingers towards the ceiling.
  • With your left hand, gently bend your wrist backward until you feel a mild to moderate stretch in your forearm.
  • Hold for 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat 2 to 3 times then switch hands.

3. Wrist extensor stretch

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  • Extend your right arm in front of you with your palm faced down.
  • Bend your wrist, pointing your fingers towards the floor.
  • With your left hand, gently bend your wrist downward until you feel a mild to moderate stretch in your forearm.
  • Hold for 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat 2 to 3 times then switch hands.

4. Flat-Surface/Desk wrist stretch

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  • Stand next to a desk or flat surface that is lower than your hips.
  • Place your palms on your desk, with your fingers pointed toward you.
  • Keep your back and shoulders relaxed and take a step back so you feel a nice stretch in the front of your wrists.
  • Hold for 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat 2 to 3 times.

5. Wrist rotation

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  • In a standing or seated position, stretch your right arm forward and clench your fist.
  • Rotate your right wrist clockwise for 5 times and repeat counter-clockwise. Do the same for your left wrist.

These will help keep your wrists flexible and decrease your risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome. While you’re at it, why not relieve tight muscles with these easy, top-to-toe stretches? You’ll feel reinvigorated and refreshed!

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