Stretches for Hand and Wrist Pain


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From typing on a keyboard at work to cooking dinner, our hands and wrists are always busy. So it’s no surprise that hand and wrist pain is an all too common issue many of us face.

If you are suffering from hand and wrist pain, your first instinct may be to reach for an ice pack and rest the affected area. However, resting for too long may make the pain worse. Instead, try doing some simple light stretches to help relieve the pain.

What Causes Wrist and Hand pain?

Knowing the potential causes of hand and wrist pain is an excellent place to start when it comes to finding relief. There are many possible causes of hand and wrist pain. Whether it’s a wrist sprain or a symptom of arthritis, the pain can range from mild to debilitating. Some of the most common causes of hand and wrist pain include:

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Ligament tears
  • Wrist sprains or strains
  • Tendonitis
  • De Quervain’s tenosynovitis
  • Arthritis
  • Fractures

Light stretching of the muscles and tendons in your hand and wrist may help to relieve pain. However, if you are suffering from any of the above conditions, consult with your physician before starting any new exercise routine.

Top 5 Stretches for the Hand and Wrist

Injuries to the hand and wrist may be extremely limiting and bring on many frustrating symptoms. However, doing light stretches may reduce pain, increase range of motion, and restore function. The following are some of the best stretches for hand and wrist pain:

1. Wrist Flexor Stretches

Your wrist flexor muscles are used to bend your hand and wrist. The wrist flexor stretch may be a great way to loosen these muscles and reduce pain. To do the wrist flexor stretch:

  • Sit with your arm extended in front of you, palm up
  • Gently bend your wrist down with your hand pointing towards the floor
  • With your other hand, grasp the fingers of your extended hand and slowly pull them towards you. You should feel a stretch in the forearm and wrist
  •  Hold for 15-30 seconds and repeat 2 to 4 times

2. Thumb Pull

The thumb is responsible for many activities, such as gripping and pinching. If you feel pain in your thumb, the thumb pull stretch may help. To do the thumb pull stretch:

  • Grab your thumb with your opposite hand
  • Gently pull your thumb towards you until you feel a slight stretch
  • Hold for 25 seconds before switching hands
  • Repeat twice for each hand

3. Wrist Extensor Stretches

The wrist extensor muscles are responsible for extending the hand and wrist, so keeping them limber is essential. The wrist extensor stretch may help reduce pain and tension. To do the wrist extensor stretch:

  • Stand or sit with your arm extended in front of you, palm down
  • With your other hand, gently bend your wrist downward
  • You should feel a light stretch in the forearm and wrist
  • Hold for 15-30 seconds and repeat twice on each wrist

4. Fist-to-Fan

The fist-to-fan stretch is a great way to open up the hand and relieve tension. To do the fist-to-fan stretch:

  • Make a fist with one hand and hold it out in front of you
  • Clench your fist for a ten seconds
  • Slowly open your fingers until your hand is in a fan shape
  • Hold for 15 seconds before switching hands.
  • Repeat two times for each hand.

5. Prayer Stretch

The prayer stretch is a great way to stretch the forearm, wrist, and hand. To do the prayer stretch:

  • Start with your palms together in front of your chest in a prayer position
  • Slowly begin to lower your hands down to your stomach with your palms still together
  • As you do this, you should feel a stretch in your forearm and wrists.
  • Hold for 30 seconds before returning to the starting position.
  • Repeat 2 to 4 times

Contact Comprehensive Medical Care

Although light stretching may reduce pain and tension, sometimes it takes a more integrative approach to find relief. Comprehensive Medical Care is devoted to helping its patients reclaim their lives from pain. If you are looking for a multi-disciplinary approach to managing your hand and wrist pain, contact Comprehensive Medical Care today for a consultation.


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