Hand and wrist pain can be frustrating, making your daily activities more challenging. Performing simple exercises and stretches, though, can help prevent pain, strengthen your wrists and keep your fingers and hands flexible.
Your hands perform several tasks every day - from typing on the computer to gripping the steering wheel. These repetitive movements can create tightness and weakness in your fingers and wrists. The good news is that certain exercises can strengthen your hands and keep your fingers and wrists flexible and mobile.
Exercises can help lower the chances of injuries and increase flexibility and are recommended as a preventive measure to cure hand and wrist pain. However, they should not be performed if you have inflammation or any type of serious joint problem, as exercise could worsen the pain.
Exercises to reduce hand and wrist pain
Here's a look at the seven best exercises you can perform to ease hand and wrist pain:
1) Prayer Stretch
A prayer stretch is an effective stretching exercise that can be done to ease wrist pain.
- Sit, or stand joining your palms together. Keep your elbows in a prayer position near your chest.
- Lower the sides of your hands gently till you feel a good stretch.
- Make sure to keep your palms together throughout the exercise, and hold the position for a few breaths.
- Release, and repeat the move several times.
2) Wrist Extension
Wrist extension stretches your inner forearm muscles and helps alleviate hand and wrist pain.
- Hold your right arm straight in front of your body at your shoulder level, but do not lock your elbow when stretching your arm out.
- Slowly bend your wrist back as if you're making a stop sign. Use your left hand to pull the palm of your right hand back towards your body, and feel a gentle stretch in your inner forearm.
- Hold the position for a few seconds, and release.
- Repeat the exercise by switching hands on the other side.
3) Wrist Flexion
Wrist flexion stretches your outer forearm muscles.
- Extend your left arm in front of your body at your shoulder level. Do not lock your elbow when stretching your arm.
- With your palms facing down, slowly bend your left wrist, and point your fingers towards the ground. Use your right hand to pull your left hand down towards your body, and feel a good stretch.
- Hold for a few breaths, and release the position.
- Repeat with the other arm.
4) Wrist Lifts
Wrist lifts mainly target the muscles in your forearm and also help reduce hand and wrist pain.
- Place your right palm on a table in front of you.
- Put your left hand at a right angle across your right hand’s knuckles.
- Slowly lift your wrist and fingers of your right hand while pressing it with your left.
- Hold for ten seconds, and release.
- Repeat with the opposite hand.
5) Sponge or Ball Squeeze
The Ball Squeeze is another very effective exercise for hand and wrist pain. Although you may squeeze anything, it's recommended that you use a soft ball or a tennis ball for this exercise.
- While sitting or standing, hold a ball with a soft grip, and keep your palms facing up.
- Start to squeeze the ball as hard as you can for three breaths.
- Release the grip, relax, and squeeze again.
- Switch sides, and repeat for 20 seconds.
6) Wrist Rotation
Wrist rotations are a great way to improve the flexibility and mobility of your entire hand.
- Begin the exercise by extending your arm in front of you.
- Point your fingers towards the floor till you feel a gentle stretch.
- Use your other hand, and pull the stretched hand towards your body.
- Hold the position for a few breaths, and point your fingers upwards till you feel a stretch. Use your other hand to pull the stretched hand towards your body.
- Again hold the position for a few seconds, and repeat the entire exercise at least five times.
7) Hooked Stretch
- Hook your right elbow under your left, and start to pull your arms together towards your torso. As you do that, you should feel a gentle stretch in your shoulders.
- Wrap your left arm around your right so that your palms touch each other, and hold the position for some seconds.
- Switch arms, and perform the exercise again.
When doing the aforementioned exercises, you may feel a gentle stretch but no pain. However, you should immediately stop the exercise if it makes your existing pain worse or discomforts you.