Recently, more clients have been telling me they’ve experienced pain or discomfort in the wrist area. They come from all walks of life – mums, office workers, self-employed or even retired clients. Although there are many different causes of pain in the wrist area, many improve using one little trick I use
Why wrist pain occurs
Wrist pain can be all too common these days. Many of us use computers and smartphones that can increase the chance of wrist strain.
However, there are other conditions that can impact, too. Repetitive use is a common issue in the wrists and hands, leading to repetitive strain injuries. Carpal tunnel syndrome can cause pins and needles, numbness and pain in the wrist. Arthritis can show up in the wrists. Even tennis elbow can extend into the wrist, causing discomfort.
It’s quite common for people to have weaker muscles around the hands and wrists. We’re not having to climb rocky mountains and swing through the trees anymore, so most of us don’t maintain the strength in our wrists and hands.
Wrist pain could present in:
Every case of wrist pain is individual. So the treatment needs to be personalised. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t little tricks to ease the pain in the meantime.
How to relieve wrist pain
For the majority of wrist pain cases, you want to strengthen the muscles in the wrist and hands. The stronger the muscles, the more strain they can take without pain. Strong muscles will also protect the joints from damage.
That’s why I recommend this simple exercise to strengthen the smaller muscles in the arm. Combined with a personalised treatment plan, it can help to relieve discomfort in the wrist area.
To do this exercise, all you need is an elastic band or rubber band – or even a hair tie will do the trick.
On one hand, bring your fingers together until they are touching. Wrap the band around all of the fingers (even the thumb!)
Then slowly open and close your hand, so the band stretches with your finger movement.
The key here is movement with control in both directions. Try opening your fingers outwards for a count of 3 seconds, then hold for 1-2 seconds, and then – the hard bit – closing your fingers slowly over 3 seconds.
Because of the resistance of the rubber band, your fingers might want to snap back to the starting position. The best results from this exercise come from slow controlled movement.
PS - It should take a little effort, and give a stretch or even a bit of an ache, but not cause any acute pain. If it does cause sharp pain, stop!
This is just one of the home exercises that may help your pain. To get a personalised treatment and exercise plan, pop over and book a session with me today.
Please note: This exercise is a tool, and is no substitute for an assessment by a qualified practitioner! If you’re experiencing unexplained wrist pain, seek out a professional opinion.
Mel is a Myotherapist based in Ferntree Gully. She has a special interest in chronic pain conditions, like fibromyalgia, degenerative disc disease, and more.