While I was finishing high school, my mother worked as the manager of a woman’s clothing store in the mall. My mom is intense, and whatever she does, she does with gusto. Unfortunately for her, she would ring in orders on the cash register with the ferocity of a mad concert pianist. This left her with repetitive stress injuries in her wrists, which led to the dreaded diagnosis of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and ensuing surgery. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome implies that the median nerve that runs through the forearms into the wrist and hands has been compressed and is no longer functioning well.
Having a disorder of the forearms, wrists or hands renders us practically inoperable. If we cannot use our hands, we are severely limited in almost every possible action. I created Yoga Tune Up® so I could help folks like my mom prevent and heal from the many aches and pains that besiege our bodies no matter what we do in life, with carpal tunnel yoga therapy exercises. In fact, the first yoga video I ever made was a holiday gift for my mom.
Now, Mom’s doing great. She loves her carpal tunnel stretches and using her computer (and recently discovered Facebook). She’s keeping her wrists and forearms pliable and healthy so that she can “knit some booties” when that day comes!
3 Moves for Healthy Forearms, Hands and Wrists
The precise moves that occur at our fingertips can be easily compromised if we don’t take care of these precious parts. This week I’ll be blogging about three simple ways to make a difference in your own grippers with simple wrist pain exercises. First step after the jump!
Prevention = Ambidexterity
Carpal Tunnel is most often found in our dominant hand. A very simple way you can prevent the constant accumulation of stress and strain in your dominant hand and wrist is to start switching little mundane tasks into your opposite hand. For example, if you are right handed and use your computer’s mouse with the right hand, switch it to the left hand. At first it will feel totally exotic, clunky and unnatural, but trust me on this one, it will make a huge difference in your hands, wrists, forearms, elbows, shoulders AND neck! Get past the awkward first day, and you will forget which hand was dominant in no time.
Maintenance = Stretching
When the word “flexibility” is mentioned, most folks think about touching their toes and stretching their hamstrings. But the smaller finer muscles of the body need to remain open, flexible and strong to function well, too.
We are “graspers” by nature, holding onto objects, tools, steering wheels and the like — so the flexors of our forearms are disproportionately tight! To keep the fine flexors of the forearms and wrists supple, they need to have their own stretch series. On Wednesday I’ll be posting a video of a great wrist extension yoga therapy for carpal tunnel stretch that is part of the 10 Minute Quick Fix for Hands, Wrists and Elbows DVD found here.
Prevention = Exercise
Learn about our solutions for hand and wrist pain.
Watch our free 5 minute Quickfix video for hand and wrist pain relief.