Wrist care is an often-overlooked part of our daily routines. Between typing away at the keyboard, bringing in the groceries, or playing catch with our pets, our wrists endure a surprising amount of physical exertion and awkward placement throughout the day. It’s no surprise then, that wrist injuries or signs of wrist pain are so common.
In fact, according to a study performed by the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy (JOSPT) in 2017, nearly 50% of workplace injuries are linked to some form of carpal tunnel syndrome. These types of injuries can have an unparalleled impact on our everyday lives – we rely on our wrists so much that even small injuries or dull aches can be debilitating.
Waiting for these issues to clear up on their own can be time consuming and finding relief from wrist pain can be elusive.
Although wrist pain can often be a sign of a deeper complication – such as carpal tunnel or other soft tissue damage – there are many ways to relieve this and other symptoms. In particular, practicing yoga (and the many mindful stretching exercises it encompasses) seems to have a direct correlation with pain reduction in patients suffering from wrist pain.
That same study by JOSPT found that performing 30 minutes of routine stretching exercises had more on a positive impact on wrist functionality than surgical intervention. The study regularly checked in with its patients, and even at the 3, 6, and 12 month marks, those who’d been doing these types of physical therapy did much better on motor tests than those who’d had surgery.
With this in mind, CELLAXYS has developed a light yoga routine to help those who may be suffering from any form of wrist pain. These exercises can be done daily to improve function overtime or may be saved until a flare up occurs. In either case, these yoga poses and wrist stretches should help to temporarily alleviate some of the wrist pain a person experiences.
Reclining Mountain Pose
Proper yoga poses are used in order to open the joints and stretch not only the muscles in the joint, but those which surround it as well. The reclining mountain pose achieves this deep stretch in the wrists and is a perfect starting point for anyone who is just beginning to introduce a yoga routine into their lives.
- In a seated position on the floor, and with the legs stretched out in front of you, recline back and extend the arms straight into the floor.
- Keep the palms flat and slightly pick yourself up, applying just enough weight to the edge of the palm to begin to feel a stretch in the wrist.
- Take deep breaths and deepen the stretch with each exhale. On the final stretch, hold the pose.
- Hold for 15-30 seconds and rest, repeating the exercise after another 30 seconds have passed.
- Repeat 5 times or as necessary.
- With the palms flat on the floor, tilt the hands inwards or outwards until the stretch reaches the most critical point of your wrist pain. Make sure that whatever pose you choose, the hands stay symmetrical to each other.
- Lengthen the spine and open the chest in order to increase the depth of the stretch. Inhale deeper as necessary.
- Squeeze the shoulder blades together for added support as the back abdomen and lower back tire out.
- Focus on the muscles each stretch is lengthening, try to pinpoint and target the source of your wrist pain.
Seated Urdhva Baddhanguliyasana
Another very simple pose for beginners. This one can be done immediately after the reclining mountain pose as it stretches out a completely different portion of the wrist and is once again performed in the seated position.
- Outstretch the arms overhead.
- With palms facing downward, place one hand on top of the other.
- Gently at first, apply force on the back of the lower hand.
- Hold for 15 seconds then change hands. Repeat 5 to 6 times on each hand.
- For deeper stretches, push the arm upwards as the hand is being pushed downward.
- If the stretch proves ineffective by simply applying pressure with the open hand, you may also grip the wrist of the hand being stretched with the forefinger and thumb of the other hand, then thrust the stretched hand upwards for a deeper, more intense stretch.
Upper and Lower Hand Stretch
Yet another very simple pose which provides a deep wrist stretch. For those of us who cannot perform the above two poses, this one will have the same effects and may be easier to accomplish.
- Stand and face a wall, placing the palms flat against it with the fingers pointing upwards. Keep the arms at shoulder height.
- Apply light pressure against the wall and bend the upper body slightly downward, stretching the wrists.
- Breath deeply and as you exhale apply slightly more pressure on the wrists. Hold.
- Keep this pose for 30 seconds then rotate the hands downwards.
- Repeat the exercise, this time apply light upward force with the upper body.
- Keep the fingers stretched apart but place most of the weight on the palms.
- Keep the arms as straight as possible in both instances of the pose (fingers pointing upwards and downwards.
- Repeat the exercise with the back of palm in order to reach more wrist muscles with this stretch.
Downward Facing Dog
While this position is not complex, it may be hard to achieve if a person does not posses much upper body strength. If this pose is too much, a person may substitute with hands and knees pose. Instead of lifting the entire body off the ground by the wrists and toes, a person can plant their knees on the floor and simply apply most of their free weight on the wrists.
- Start by kneeling on the floor.
- Place the hands on the floor in front of you, placing most of the weight on the palms.
- Pull back the legs and balance the weight on the toes.
- Thrust your pelvis backwards and allow the weight to fall on the base of the palm.
- Start by keeping the arms at shoulder length and lean forward, bending at the wrist and placing an increasing amount of weight on the wrists.
- Push back, relax for a moment, and pull forward again, deepening the stretch from last time.
- Hold each position for 15-30 seconds or as the body allows.
- In order for this position to be effective in the wrist, most of the weight has to be focused at the base of the palm.
- As you lean forward, you may bend the arms in order to change the focal point of the stretch in the wrist.
- When the routine has been completed, try rolling the wrists in an effort to increase the blood flow to them.
Cow Face Pose
Another slightly difficult pose to achieve perfectly, the cow face pose helps elongate the wrist parallel to the arm. This pose is especially effective for those suffering from pre-carpal tunnel symptoms. This pose also allows for a full scope stretch of the muscles within the wrist and as such, is one of the most effective on this list.
- In a seated position with the legs crossed, tilt the upper body towards one leg.
- Place the arm closest to the leg in the pocket formed by the crossed legs, and point it upwards, extending the fingers outwards.
- Using the other hand, form a loose fist around the outstretched fingers and gently begin to pull on the arm tucked into your lap.
- As the other hand pulls on the outstretched one, move the wrist slightly until it begins to pop and click.
- Repeat the steps above on the other side of the body and with the other arm.
- If clasping the fingers does not seem to be working, you may simply grab ahold of the arm sitting in the pocket of your lap with the arm which will be pulling it. Make sure the wrist is free to move if using this technique.
- If the pose isn’t achievable, simply grabbing ahold of the wrist while in a seated or upright position and pulling both arms away from each other will work.
For even greater results, attempt some of the following:
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day as this may help loosen the muscles and provide more adequate stretches to the muscles in the wrist.
- Use a heating pad before and afterwards in order to relax the muscles and provide more substantial relief than yoga alone.
- Do a pre-yoga warm up. Simply roll the wrists in a clockwise and counterclockwise motion to loosen the muscles in the joint.
- If at any point, the yoga induces pain, take a break or try more shallow stretches. It is not advised to continue these routines if any level of stretching leaves pain for longer than a few hours after the exercise.
If the symptoms of your wrist issue do not seem to subside through these methods, it may be time for more extreme measures. CELLAXYS offers a range of solutions using only the most advanced regenerative techniques in order to help rebuild lost tissues in the wrist and alleviate pain and other symptoms.
Our therapies are minimally invasive, have short recovery periods, use cells naturally derived from the patient, and their results last anywhere from 6 months to a year. If you would like to hear more about how CELLAXYS may be able to help you and your wrist pain, contact our offices today.