Our hands have a very delicate and complex structure which gives muscles and joints in the hand a great range of precision and movement. It helps individuals to perform daily functions, including pinching, grasping, holding, etc. We only realize how much our hands do things for us the day it affects our functioning. Imagine being unable to perform the simplest tasks, such as holding an object, writing, pinching, etc. Challenging, isn’t it? Our hands are put through a lot daily. We perform all our tasks with our hands. They are also quite vulnerable as tendons, nerve fibers, blood vessels, and thin bones are all positioned under the skin and protected by a thin layer of muscle fat. A strong pad of tendons protects the palm but is susceptible to injury or other problems due to wear and tear.
Meanwhile, the wrist comprises two parts that work as one functional unit, allowing us to bend or extend our hands or even tilt them sideways. It contains eight bones such as scaphoid, lunate, triquetrum, pisiform, trapezium, trapezoid, capitate, and hamate. The wrist allows your hand to move from side to side, providing flexibility and strength and transferring forces from arm to hand.
Exercises improve your mobility and decrease any chances of injury. Wrist stretches are easy to perform at home or the office without spending much time. If an individual performs it well, it benefits hands and wrists’ health. Some of the stretches that can improve strength and mobility are –
· Raised fist stretch
Take your hand beside your head, then make a fist with your thumb outside and slide your fingers toward your wrist until you feel the stretch.
· Prayer position
Sit with your hands folded in front of your chest and hold that position for 5-7 seconds. Then repeat this at least three times a day.
· Wrist rotation
Stretch your arm in front of you. Then slowly point the finger downward until you feel the stretch. Then, pull the fingers toward your body for 3-5 seconds and repeat with the other hand three times.
· Finger stretch
Separate the middle and ring fingers, then bring the pinky and ring together, index and middle finger, and stretch. Then repeat it.
· Squeeze the sponge ball
Hold the sponge ball in hand and squeeze for 10 seconds, then repeat this ten times.
· Thumb pull
Use your other hand to hold your thumb and then pull it backward. Hold the position for 25 seconds, then release.
Using computers or physically stressing jobs can strain your hands and wrists and cause problems over time, such as tendonitis or carpal tunnel syndrome. Taking frequent breaks and stretching often while continuously working is always a good idea. This helps prevent strain, improving flexibility and strength, which can help avoid hand and wrist injuries.
If you have any hand, elbow, or wrist concerns, reach out to Form Hand Wrist & Elbow Institute at (510) 480-3700 today.