Group of women using exercise bands to relieve wrist pain

6 Top Exercises and Stretches for Wrist Pain Relief

Two things that don’t mesh well: modern life, and wrist pain. Well, these wrist pain exercises could be for you. Wrist arthritis can be a very painful experience—especially when your daily activities are exacerbating the situation. Typing at a keyboard, driving, using a... mobile phone are all made challenging; it can even slow you down at work. Enter wrist pain exercises!

Wrist pain can be spurred on by repetitive motions (think gripping a steering wheel or typing endlessly at work) that can cause stiffness and pain in your wrists. It can also be cause by osteoarthritis in your wrists. Wrist pain exercises can keep your wrists flexible and pain-free.

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If you’re experiencing discomfort in your wrists while typing on a keyboard, learn how to curb those wrist pain symptoms with these hand pain exercises.

Exercises and stretches for wrist pain

We asked Blake Dircksen, D.P.T., C.S.C.S., a physical therapist at bespoke Treatments New York, to share some of his top picks for wrist pain exercises. “The goal with these exercises is to improve function and decrease pain,” says Dircksen. Try his suggestions for exercises and stretches for wrist pain below.

Close up of fingers spread-apart with rubber band for wrist pain relief
  1. Finger Spread-Aparts with Rubber Band
    Wrap a rubber band around each of your fingers. Pushing against the resistance from the band, spread fingers as far apart as possible. Hold for one second, then release. Continue 10 times, then switch the rubber band to your other hand and repeat.
Close of hand holding a dumbbell for wrist curl exercises
  1. Dumbbell Windshield Wipers
    Place your forearm on a flat surface like a table or chair. Hold one end of a lightweight dumbbell (1 to 3 kilograms) in your hand. Rotating your wrist from right to left, lift and lower the dumbbell in a windshield wiper motion. Continue for 10 to 12 repetitions. Switch the dumbbell to your other hand and repeat on the other side.

Close up of two hands with interlaced fingers and hands open for yoga wrist exercises
  1. Wrist Circles
    Grasp your hands together in front of you, interlocking all of your fingers. Slowly make circles with your wrists in one direction. Do 10 repetitions, then switch and do 10 repetitions in the other direction.

Adding these wrist pain exercises to your regimen should help minimise your wrist discomfort and help decrease your pain.

Wrist pain and yoga

Yoga can offer some relief for wrist pain. Try these three yoga exercises for wrist pain.

Close up of two hands with interlaced fingers and hands open for yoga wrist exercises
  1. Figure eights
    Interlace your fingers in front of your body. Keep your elbows by your sides and move your clasped hands in a figure eight motion so that each hand is alternately on top of the other. Perform this exercise for 10 to 15 seconds. Rest and repeat.
A couple stretching outside their house yoga, doing yoga stretching exercises
  1. Overhead reach
    Reach your hands straight over your head, stretching as far as you can. This stretches the muscles in your forearms and increases circulation.

Woman relieving wrist pain usings a yoga hand stretch
  1. Eagle arms
    Extend your arms forward, keeping them parallel to the floor. Bend your elbows. Cross your right arm over your left, tucking your right elbow into the crook of your left elbow. The backs of your hands should be touching. If you can, turn your hands around so that your palms are touching. Lift your elbows up and stretch your fingers. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds.

Some hand pain exercises must be undertaken with an abundance of caution. If you practice yoga, caution must be taken not to put your wrists at risk of further injury. Yoga can put a lot of strain on your wrists – not a great idea if you already experience wrist pain. This is particularly true if you follow a rigorous yoga practice that involves lots of floor work and downward dogs.

In order to ease wrist pain when doing rigorous yoga poses, keep your fingers spread so that your weight is distributed across your hand and your muscles are engaged. This can help support the wrist.

Always tell your yoga instructor if you have wrist pain. He or she may be able to help you find modifications to your regular yoga poses to avoid pain, as well as recommend hand pain exercises for you to do.

Being consistent in doing some of these exercises can help you to regain flexibility and more importantly, stay connected in a world where wrists and hands are more important than ever for virtual communication!

Middle-aged couple stretching wrists in a seated yoga pose
Graphic showing how Voltarol works on wrist pain

Finger and wrist pain relief So how can you get some much needed wrist pain relief? Let's get you back on the path to happily typing away, opening packages, making dinner, as you regain your joy of movement.

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