By special request, I have been asked to write an article about wrist pain. Firstly, you can prehabilite your wrists before they can grow into full-blown injury and to address the daily stress of trauma, overuse, underuse or misuse caused by your activity or sport. Such activities may result in:
- Sprained/strained wrists
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
According to Scott Sonnon, there are mental and emotional issues associated with a bodily area not being able to freely move. They often manifest themselves in the form of metaphors associated with the particular joint, which in this case is the wrist (and fingers):
- “Not being able to grasp or let go of the situation”
- “Feeling like you’re not being given a hand“
- “Feeling like your hand has been slapped”
- “Difficult handling experiences”
Personally speaking, I haven’t experienced these metaphors as such, however, old injuries can manifest themselves as psychological fear, e.g. you feel uneasy towards running because you hurt your ankle doing a marathon.
The following videos are great for office workers or for people who type at a keyboard. See the below beginner video at 6:30 for the basic cardinal ranges of motion for the wrists: up; down; left and right. These cardinal directions, when combined, form a cross or plus sign, +
You then combine all four cardinal directions for deeper release. The cross becomes a circle, o, in this case.
At the intermediate level below, the circles become more sophisticated and cover more range of movement. The wrist movement pattern becomes a figure-eight or an infinity symbol, 8 or ∞. Here’s the intermediate video.
+ —> o —> ∞
In the advanced and master sessions, the movements become clovers and/or waves, ✤ ~
“What happens if I’m coming off an injury (post-rehab) or require deeper mobility ?”
I specifically wrote this article for 2 injured, weight-lifter friends, one of which, was intuitively performing the wrist circles. Speaking from personal experience, the above videos work best for prehab — before a full-flown injury. For more serious injuries, you’ll need to strengthen the joint, as well, as provide deeper release during post-rehab (rehab is realm of your physiotherapist). This is when you can add resistance using the floor (closed kinetic chain) or light kettlebells when doing your joint mobility exercises. The below video consists of 2 wrist exercises, the Kneeling Sabre and Gear Pushup, using the floor as resistance and are taken from my personal, comprehensive mobility routine. In the video, I have a greater range of motion than most people because I practice this regularly. Don’t try to imitate my range. Go shallowly at first. Perform both exercises for 10 repetitions per day or at a time and follow the finer performance points below.
Kneeling Sabre (Adduction/Abduction, ‘Left and Right’)
- Begin on forearms and raise hips up to turn thumbs over moving along the knuckles
- Keep fists closed as if you’re holding onto something
- Exhale on the way up and place some weight onto your wrists then reverse the movement, inhaling on the way down
- Keep your hips high and weight back if you feel too much discomfort; keep your level of pain on a 3/10 scale (mild discomfort)
Gear Pushup (Flexion/Extension, ‘Up and Down’)
- Begin lying down on your side with one arm extended, rotate onto your shoulder, elbow, wrists, squeezed fists
- Roll onto your knuckles at the top position
- Start slow and shallow
- Lock the elbow at the top position
- Reverse the movement back to the floor one joint at a time (fists, wrists, elbow, shoulder)
- Exhale on the way up; inhale on the way down
- As you rotate up and over, place your weight onto the opposite supporting hand. You can adjust the pressure on your main wrist with the supporting hand; remember keep it at 3/10 (mild discomfort)
I hope that helps. You can keep these drills once your post-rehab is over or transition back to the beginner and intermediate wrist exercises. You can use the Kneeling Sabre and Gear Pushup as a warm-up for more intense exercise and for active recovery on your days off. As well, you can add them to your Recuper8 full-body routine. These 2 exercises were specifically designed for people with significant immobility, restrictions, or ‘tough cases’. Don’t forget to consume an extra gallon of (lemon) water per day to flush out toxins.
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