Wrist and arm pain is a very common complaint. You can chalk it up to too much time at the computer or too much texting, but whatever the cause … it hurts! like any other muscle in the body if the soft tissue in your arms and wrists are overused and under-stretched they will eventually show signs of fatigue and distress in the form of pain. Tight shoulders and chests also contribute to upper extremity discomfort. If you are experiencing pain in the arms and wrists here is a great stretch routine to help you loosen up:
- Extend your arm out in front of you palm up, with the opposite hand grab the pad sides of your fingers and pull toward your body so that your wrist is extended and you can feel the stretch all along the underside of your forearm. Repeat on the other arm. See a demo here.
Forearm twist (2 part stretch)
- Bend your left arm into a right angle in front of your body. Turn your palm up with your fingers pointing to the ceiling and your thumb furthest from your body.
- With your right hand grasp the thumb of your bent left hand so that your right thumb is between your left thumb and forefinger and the rest of your right fingers are wrapping around the base of your left thumb.
- Using your right hand press the left hand toward your left elbow while simultaneously pulling the left thumb away from your body. You should feel the stretch on the pinkie side of your forearm. See a demo here.
- With your left arm again at a right angle in front of your body, turn your hand so that it is palm side down with fingers bent toward the floor.
- place your right palm over your left hand and intertwine the fingers of your right hand with the fingers on your left hand so that your right thumb is outside your left pinkie and your right pinkie is inside your left thumb.
- Being careful to keep your arm bent at a right angle, press the fingers of your left hand down and toward the elbow wile simultaneously pulling the pinkie finger outward and up.
Kneeling forearm stretch
- Begin on all fours with your thumbs pointing toward each other.
- Slowly rotate your hands outward so that your fingers are pointing toward your knees and your thumbs are on the outside of your hands.
- To intensify the stretch, shift your body backwards, to make the stretch a little less intense, shift your body forward a little. See a demo here
Doorway chest stretch
- Standing next to a doorway, stretch your arm to your side and place your fingers against the inside of the doorway.
- Lean forward and rotate your body away from the stretched arm as far as is comfortable to feel a nice deep stretch along your chest.
- Slowly rotate your head away from the doorway and stretched arm to deepen the stretch. Repeat with opposite side. See a demo here.
- Place your hands in prayer position at heart level and align your shoulders back and downward.
- Press your hands together at the fingers and base of your palm, being careful not to use your wrists by pressing the center of the hands together.
- Inhale and slowly bring your hands up to your face being mindful to keep them pressed together and your shoulders back.
- Exhale and slowly bring your hands back down a little further than is comfortable to get a nice stretch. See a demo here.
Threading the needle
- Begin on all fours. Take your right hand, palm up, and “thread” it behind and under your left arm until your right cheek and shoulder is resting on the ground.
- Bring your left arm up and over your head so that the fingers are pointing toward the ceiling.
- Stretch the fingers upward to deepen the stretch. Repeat on the other side. See demo here.
Stretches should feel slightly uncomfortable but provide relief to tight muscles, not pain. Please go into all stretches slowly at first to see where your limitations are and remember that if a stretch hurts, stop.