The hands and wrists don’t stop. All day they’re performing tasks like typing, cooking, holding a mug, gripping a steering wheel that can put strain on your muscles. Rather than waiting to treat wrist pain once it occurs, there are a number of wrist pain exercises that can be undertaken daily that help to prevent wrist pain.
Wrist pain is incredibly common. One of the main reasons for this is continual use – undertaking repetitive activities, which can lead to conditions like RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury). But wrist pain is also often the result of injury, perhaps from a fall or sudden impact sustained doing sport or caused due to pre-existing medical conditions.
If you’re suffering from tendonitis – inflammation around the wrist joint – these exercises will also help to strengthen the wrists and to keep them flexible. The following five wrist pain exercises can be done every day, either to encourage healing or to help prevent wrist strain:
1. Wrist extensor stretches
Extending the wrist regularly forward and back will help to build up strength and increase its motion. This exercise is good for both the wrist and the elbow:
- Extend the arm out with your elbow straight and the palm facing down.
- Use the other hand to bend your wrist down by applying pressure to the back of the hand. Hold this for between 15-30 seconds.
- After this, stretch the hand back by pushing the fingers backwards with your opposing hand. Keep your elbow straight. Again, hold this stretch for between 15-30 seconds.
- Do three sets of this stretch on each side.
2. Weight flexions and extensions
This is a wrist pain therapy exercise. Because it uses weights, you can change the volume of weight if you want to vary the difficulty of the stretches – either because you’re struggling with pain, or if you just want to increase wrist strength:
- Sit at a table or desk with your lower arm resting on the surface, but with your hand and wrist dangling over it.
- Hold a weight (a can of soup would work just as well) in your hand with the palm facing up. Then bend your wrist upwards.
- Slowly lower the weight to its starting position.
- Do 3 sets of 10 on each side.
- After this, hold the weight (or can) in your hand with your palm facing down. Then bend your wrist upwards.
- Slowly lower the weight down into the starting position.
- Again, do 3 sets of 10 on each side.
3. Ball clench
This exercise is designed to strengthen your grip. It works the muscles in the hand and wrist:
- Take a tennis or stress ball (you can choose a sponge ball if you are experiencing a lot of pain).
- Squeeze the ball and hold the squeezed position for 10 seconds.
- Relax, then repeat at least 10 times.
4. Forearm flip
Bending and flexing the wrist will help to improve its level of motion. This exercise is particularly good for rehabilitation if a wrist has been strained, or swollen with tendonitis:
- Bend your elbow, so that it’s at 90° to the body, with your palm upwards.
- Hold it for 5 seconds. Then, turn your palm downwards and hold it for 5 seconds.
- Keep your elbow at the side and bent at 90° for the whole exercise.
- Do 3 sets of 10 on each side (or simultaneously).
5. Hand curl
The hand curl is an exercise that stretches the wrist and the ulnar nerve, which runs along the length of the arm and past the wrist:
- Stand or sit upright with the arm held out in front of you, and your palm up.
- Curl the fingers towards the body. Then extend the hand backwards, away from the body to feel a stretch in the wrist.
- Bend the elbow and raise the hand upwards, back towards the body.
- Repeat the exercise on both sides.
For pain that won’t go away, BioWaveGO has been proven to reduce pain from your first use. Just one 30-minute session can block wrist pain at the nerve for up to eight hours.
- Ferguson, R., Riley, N.D., Wijendra, A. et al. Wrist pain: a systematic review of prevalence and risk factors– what is the role of occupation and activity?. BMC Musculoskelet Disord 20, 542 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12891-019-2902-8