Your wrists are one part of your body that is used more than you realize, but you pay least attention to. Wrists are used from the time you wake up to the time you go back to bed, for cooking, cleaning, typing on the key board, gripping the steering wheel, you name it. It is no wonder that people can develop arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome (a condition of the hand and fingers caused by compression of a major nerve, where it passes over the carpal bones – the eight small bones that make up the wrist, through a passage at the front of the wrist), which is common among frequent computer users.
By following a few simple exercises, it is possible to protect your wrists. Exercises improve the strength and flexibility of the wrists. However, these should not be done by individuals with inflammation or joint damage, unless recommended by a medical practitioner. Also, take preventive measures against wrist damage. One effective method is to take a five minute break every 30 minutes of continuous keyboard or mouse usage. This does not necessarily mean a work break. Rest the wrists and do some reading on your computer or otherwise. Also, keep the arms in a neutral position when typing. Following are a few exercises you could try on your wrists.
While sitting, place your palms face up under a desk. Press upwards against the bottom of the table and hold for 10 seconds. This would strengthen muscles on your wrists to inner elbows.
Extend one arm in front of you at shoulder height, with the palm down, facing the floor. Your fingers should point downward. With the other hand, grasp your fingers and pull them back towards your body. You should experience a good stretch, but no pain. Hold for 30 seconds. Then stretch in the opposite direction, with your palm facing towards ceiling. Pull the fingers back towards your body and hold for 30 seconds. Repeat five times on ach arm.
Place your palms on a wall, with your arms straight and fingers pointing to the ceiling. Now, walk your hands down the wall. Ensure that you keep contact with the wall, the whole time. Go as far down as possible without letting your palms come off the wall. Then, turn your hands around so your fingers are now pointing to the floor. Walk your wrists back up the wall as far upward as possible. Repeat.
Stand straight and place your arms together as if in a prayer. Make your elbows touch each other, keeping your hands in front of your face. Now your arms should touch each other from tips of your fingers to the elbows. Then, press your palms together and slowly spread your elbows apart. Do these while lowering your hands to the waist and stop when your hands reach the belly button level. Hold for 30 seconds. Now, reverse, so that your fingers point downward and your hands remain together. Come back up to the face level.
Pics by Damith Wickramasinghe