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Wrist Exercises to Prevent Tendinitis
When the tendons in your wrist become swollen and irritated, the condition is known as wrist tendinitis. This typically occurs due to overuse of your wrist -- the joint can become extremely painful and tender. Fortunately, gentle stretching and strengthening movements can reduce your risk of developing wrist tendinitis. Wrist exercises to prevent tendinitis are relatively simple and most require no equipment.
Flexion and Extension Stretch
During a flexion stretch, the angle between your hand and your forearm is reduced. Stand in front of a table, and place the backs of your hands on the table top. Your fingers should be pointing toward your body, rather than away from you. Gently press against the table as you slightly tilt your body away, furthering the stretch. During the extension stretch, the angle between the hand and forearm increases. Place the palms of your hands on the table with your fingers pointing away from you. Press against the table as you gently rock forward, enhancing the stretch.
Range of Motion
For range of motion wrist exercises, gently challenge your wrist to move in all possible directions. Begin by hinging your hand back and forth at the wrist, gently flexing and extending your wrist. Gently rock your wrist back and forth, pulling your thumb toward your body and then rotating it away from your body. Once you complete this movement, slowly rotate your wrist around in a circle. As you move through the exercise, avoid movements that cause pain or discomfort.
Although wrist curls are an effective strengthening exercise, they are slightly more dangerous than other wrist exercises. Since this exercise uses dumbbells, it can cause hyper-extension of your wrists. If your wrists are weak, complete wrist curls without dumbbells. However, if you can handle the weight, grasp light dumbbells with each hand. Rest your elbows and forearms on an exercise bench, allowing your wrists and hands to hang over the edge. Rotate your arms and hands so that your palms face the ceiling. Slowly allow your wrists to extend and tilt toward the ground. Hold for a few seconds and then slowly flex your wrists, rolling them back to starting position.
Although these exercises focus on moving your fingers, they serve as an effective stretch for your wrists. Begin by spreading your fingers as wide as possible and holding for several seconds. Close your hands and rest for a few seconds. Repeat the sequence several times. Place the palms of your hands on a table. Beginning with your left pinky finger, lift each finger individually until you reach the right pinky finger. Afterward, grasp a tennis ball in your left hand and squeeze tightly for 10 seconds. Release and repeat with your right hand.
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- American Council on Exercise: Dumbbell Wrist Curl - Flexion
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- Palo Alto Medical Foundation: Wrist Strengthening Exercises
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Krista Sheehan is a registered nurse and professional writer. She works in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and her previous nursing experience includes geriatrics, pulmonary disorders and home health care. Her professional writing works focus mainly on the subjects of physical health, fitness, nutrition and positive lifestyle changes.