Carpal tunnel syndrome and other repetitive strain injuries seem to be part and parcel of our modern lifestyle – especially if you’re in a job where you’re working on a computer the whole day or performing the same repetitive motions with your hands and arms, for instance when working in a factory.

However, by doing some simple stretching exercises, you can quickly relieve the stress and fatigue that build up in and around your wrists. Here are a few of the exercises that you can do at your workstation or while on a break.

Tip: These exercises are best done at least once per day, preferably 3 times per day. However, you should aim to take a 5-minute break every hour to rest your hands, wrists and arms (not to mention eyes!).

Wrist Exercises

The NHS Inform website notes that you should start by doing five repetitions of each exercise and then add more repetitions as your wrists get stronger and you get used to the exercises.

These exercises can be done sitting:

  • Wrist bend: Making a fist, rest your arm on a desk on its side. With your arm and hand remaining on the desk, curl your hand towards yourself so that your wrist bends and stretches.
    Hold the position for the count of two before returning your hand to the starting position. Repeat five times before switching hands.
  • Side-to-side bend: Placing your hand flat on the desk – palm down – making sure that it’s vertical to your body.
    First, move your hand to the left, keeping it flat on the table, before bending it to the right while keeping it flat on the table.

This exercise is best done standing:

  • The prayer stretch: Place your hands, palms together, beneath your chin. Then lower your hands, all the while keeping your palms together and your hands close to your body. You should start to feel your forearms and wrists stretch. Hold the stretch for the count of 10 or fifteen.
Careful! If these exercises cause you pain or cause existing pain to get worse, stop immediately and see your healthcare worker for help.