5 Stretches for the Wrist for Computer Users
This post is brought to you by my raging wrist pain.
The irony is not lost on me that I spend my day helping patients rehab upper extremity injuries, and have given myself one.
console.log('hello, carpal tunnel!')
Lately, I find myself spending very long hours on the computer. During the day I see patients on zoom, then abuse my keyboard to complete evaluations and daily documentation. The rest of my free time is spent with even more screens, learning how to code, watching tutorials, editing videos, the list goes on.
When your job and all your hobbies involve staring at screens
Needless to say, my whole body has been aching, especially my wrists. While we could go further by talking about ergonomics to prevent wrist pain, we will save that for another blog post and focus on stretches to prevent and alleviate wrist tension from repetitive motions.
If you would like to watch the 7-minute chair yoga video on youtube for better clarity on how to do these movements click here.
Otherwise, see below for five of my favorite chair yoga wrist stretches. Try these at the top of every hour for 3-5 minutes and remember to breathe!
5 Stretches for the Wrist
1. Seated Downward Wrist Press
This is one of my favorite stretches of all time. You will feel this in your wrist flexors in the forearm. If you are unable to get your hand all the way backward, that is fine. Just rotate as far as it will go without pain.
Place your hand at the hip, press down slowly, and take 2 deep breaths.
Bring both hands down beside your hips, and breathe in deeply for 2-3 breaths.
If you’d like to go further into this stretch, try an overhead stretch and bring the opposite hand overhead.
2. Prayer Pose and Downward Prayer Pose
A classic stretch with a variation that will stretch both your wrist flexor and extensor muscles in the forearm.
Prayer Pose: Take two deep breaths in and out while pressing hands firmly together.
Downward Prayer: Take two deep breaths in and out while pressing hands firmly together to stretch the wrist flexors.
3. Reverse Downward Prayer
This stretch is excellent for those with tight shoulders. This will stretch both the wrist flexors and extensor muscles in the forearm, as well as the pectoral muscles.
Take two deep breaths in and out, remembering to drop the shoulders away from the ear, and bring the shoulders back.
4. Forward Wrist Extension
This pose will stretch the forearm muscles that help with wrist extension. Take a deep breath in, straighten the elbow, and press firmly with the other hand to the opposite palm.
5. Supination and Pronation Press
Be very careful with this stretch, especially if you have pain in the wrist. Skip it and consult your physician if you have any injuries.
Start with supination and pronation of the wrist to warm up supinator and pronator muscles.
Supination: Take a breath in as you supinate
Pronation: Take a breath out as you pronate your wrist
Supination Press: Go very slowly, placing your other hand under your supinated hand, and slowly turn the hand in the opposite direction of the “pouring” motion while breathing in deeply. Hold for another breath and release.
Pronation Press: Go very slowly, placing your other hand under your pronated hand, and slowly turn the hand in the direction of the “pouring” motion.
I hope these stretches are helpful and give you some wrist relief. Remember to stretch at the top of the hour, even if only for one minute! Got any tips for fellow computer users that you like to do on stretch breaks? Please share them in the comments to save a life :)