09 Aug

Wrist and Forearm – Desk Exercise

Desk Exercise for Wrist & Forearm Stretch

We take for granted how much we use our hands on a daily basis.  Of all the common injuries that keep us from using our hands, one of the most annoying is damage to the wrist, usually from chronic misuse.  The usual culprits that lead to chronic wrist problems are those that are manually repetitive in nature.  This includes activities that range from typing to tennis; and from working on cars to working in the garden.  Even doing strengthening exercises, like bench press and curls, can damage the wrists over time, especially if you use a bad technique or forget to stretch after your workout.

What happens is that the muscles and ligaments in the wrist and forearm begin to acquire an inappropriate rigidity, the flexibility and elasticity are reduced, and the tissues become more susceptible to injury.  Because the muscles and ligaments are prone to injury by the loss of elasticity, there is more inflammation in the wrists and forearms, which reduces movement and causes pain as well.

The wrist is made of eight little bones, and when they lose their proper movement because of the tightness and inflammation, then even more damage and degeneration can occur, like arthritis.  Eventually, the tissue that holds the wrist bones in place can become inflamed, affecting the Carpal and Ulnar tunnels, and the wrist will zing you with pain any time you put your weight on it.

This is why it is important to stretch daily, to keep your muscles elastic, and keep the joints moving properly.  Below is the stretch I usually prescribe, which helps the majority of patients find relief.

 


Wrist/Forearm Stretch

Place the right elbow into a bent position with the palm up. With the left-hand palm down and fingers pointing to your right, grab the palm of the right hand.

  1. Use the left hand to stretch the right wrist back into extension.
  2. Keeping the wrist bent, extend the elbow into a straightened position in front of you.
  3. You should be feeling the tension in the forearm, and even into the biceps, hold for 30 seconds.
  4. Now place the right elbow into a bent position with the palm down.
  5. With the left-hand palm down and fingers pointing to your right, grab the back of the right hand.
  6. Use the left hand to stretch the right wrist forward into flexion.
  7. Keeping the wrist bent, extend the elbow into a straightened position in front of you.
  8. You should be feeling tension on the other side of the forearm, hold for 30 seconds.
  9. Repeat steps 1-10 for the opposite side.

If there is a pain in the wrists with these movements, avoid stretching out the elbow too much, and apply less pressure when bending the wrist.  If there is swelling, sharp shooting pain, tingling, or numbness, this may be an indication of a severe condition that should be examined by a health professional, such as a Physical Therapist, Chiropractor that specializes in extremities, or Orthopedic Medical Doctor.

Jimmy Greer, DC
Chiropractor
Vida Everett

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