Best Exercises for Injured Wrists

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

The wrist is one of the most important joints of the body to our everyday lives, as it is involved in pretty much everything we do. From shaking hands, to opening doors, to typing on a keyboard, the multitude of little bones in between our hands and forearms work their little hearts out day in, day out. That's why it's only fair, considering what they do for us, that we take a little time out and help our wrists stay healthy, or recover after an injury.

Give Back to Your Wrists

At WristSupports.co.uk, we're obviously an authority on all things wrist brace-, support- and splint-related, but there's more to keeping a healthy wrist than choosing the right protective product. That's why we've put together a short guide of some of our favourite wrist exercises to strengthen and stretch the area to keep it healthy.

These exercises are great for rehabilitating your wrist once they have recovered and rested, and they're also excellent for keeping your wrists in ship shape at other times too. If you spend long hours at a keyboard, take part in strenuous sports, or work in an active and demanding field, these simple exercises can help your wrists stay healthy, avoid injury, and remain the useful little workhorses they've always been. 

RICE World

Before we begin, we should stress that these exercises shouldn't be done with a freshly injured wrist. Whether you've suffered a sprain, carpal tunnel syndrome or arthritis, you should never put too much pressure on a swollen or especially painful wrist. After suffering an injury to your wrist, before beginning to stretch and strengthen the area, you need to follow the well-known principles of RICE.

  • Rest: First up after injury stop, change or take a break from the activities that caused your injury in the first place. The amount of rest will depend on the severity of your injury and the time it takes for your symptoms to die down.
  • Ice: Cold therapy will help to reduce both the swelling and pain in your injured wrist. Apply an ice pack to the area two to three times a day for 10-20 minutes at a time. It should be noted that you should never apply ice directly to your skin. Always use an ice pack with material covering, or place a cloth between your skin and the ice. 
  • Compression: Applying compression to the area will help to reduce swelling and promote blood flow. This will help to quicken the healing process, giving your body an extra chance. Compression braces or elastic bandages provide a great way to compress the wrist.
  • Elevation: Finally, while you rest the area it's best to elevate it on a pillow or other soft surface. Try to keep the wrist above your heart, as it will minimise swelling.

Best exercises to help rehabilitate your injured wrist
You should only exercise your wrist once your symptoms have gone away

Best Exercises for an Injured Wrist

Once your symptoms have significantly decreased after going through the RICE process, you're ready to help build your wrists back up again. These exercises will help to strengthen the ligaments in your wrist, rehabilitating them to a point where they will be less prone to injury. Since wrists are more prone to damage after injury, it's important to take these slowly and stop at any point if you feel pain.

Exercise 1: Wrist Flexor Stretch (Repeat Three Times)

  1. Face the palm of one of your hands upwards with your elbow straight
  2. Take your other hand and slowly pull your fingers downwards
  3. Once you feel a moderate stretch, stop and hold
  4. Hold this stretch for 10 - 15 seconds
  5. Repeat with your other wrist

Exercise 2: Wrist Extensor Stretch (Repeat Three Times)

  1. Face the palm of your hand downwards with your elbow straight
  2. Take the other hand and slowly push your fingers downwards
  3. Once you feel a moderate stretch, stop and hold,
  4. Hold this stretch for 10 - 15 seconds
  5. Repeat with your other wrist

Exercise 3: Clenched Fists (Repeat 10 times)

  1. While seated, place your open hands on your thighs with your palms facing upwards
  2. Slowly close your hands to make fists, without clenching too tightly
  3. Rest your forearms on your thighs and slowly bend your wrists
  4. Raise your forearms and fists off your legs towards your body
  5. Hold this pose for 10 seconds
  6. Lower your fists, while slowly opening your fingers wide

Exercise 4: Thumb Pushing Exercise (Repeat Three Times)

  1. Make a fist, with your thumb pointing upwards
  2. Slightly clench your fist to keep your thumb firmly in place
  3. Gently pull back on your thumb with your other hand
  4. Once a slight stretch is felt, hold this for 10 seconds

Exercise 5: Thumb Pulling Exercise (Repeat Three Times)

  1. Make a fist, with your thumb pointing upwards as before
  2. Slightly clench your first to keep your thumb firmly in place
  3. Use your other hand to gently push the thumb forward
  4. Once a slight stretch is felt, hold this for 10 seconds

Protect Your Wrists

While there are plenty of exercises we can do to help strengthen our wrists, once they've been injured they will much more likely to become injured again. This doesn't have to stop you from doing the things you love, though, as there are plenty of supports and braces available to protect your wrist while allowing enough movement to carry on with your day. At Wrist Supports.co.uk, we stock a range of Wrist Supports for Injury Prevention, helping you take part in activities with the peace of mind that your wrists have the support they need. To browse our Wrist Supports for Injury Prevention, click HERE.

Do you have a question about wrist injury prevention, or something to add? You can leave us a comment below, or find us on Facebook or Twitter!  

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