Exercising at home has exploded in popularity due to COVID-19. What’s great is that home exercise is effective, efficient, doesn’t require any equipment, and doesn’t need much space. If you have been exercising at home, you probably have used an upper body weight bearing position, such as a plank, downward dog, or a push up position. This body position allows for a great variety of movement and can be used to work the arms, core, or legs. What is not so great, is the pressure on the wrists. If you have been using this type of position more frequently, you may be experiencing wrist soreness or pain. Keep on reading for a couple strategies on how to deal with wrist soreness or pain and prevent it from coming back.
Modify your plank position.
One alternative to try is planking with a fist instead of a flat hand on the ground. This helps by keeping the wrist in a neutral position instead of extended to decrease stress on the wrist joint itself. Another option is to use a slightly elevated surface, such as a textbook. Place the palms of the hands on the surface with the fingers relaxed around the edges. This decreases the tension placed on the forearm muscles allowing for less tension to be placed across the wrist joint.
Warm up the wrists ahead of time.
Before putting stress on the wrist joint and forearms, warm them up to prevent injury. One option is to squeeze a stress ball firmly for 10 seconds, 10 repetitions. Another option is to perform wrist circles, 15 times in each direction.
Stretch it out after your workout.
Take an extra couple minutes during your cool-down to give the wrist area some love. Start with your arm straight out in front of you. Bend at the wrist to face the palm of your hand towards your body. Use the other hand to apply gentle pressure at the back of hand until you feel a stretch at the top side of your forearm. Hold for 30 seconds. Follow up with stretching the other side of forearm as well. Start with your arm straight in front of you again and bend at the wrist to face the palm of your hand away from your body. Apply gentle pressure at the palm of your hand and hold for 30 seconds.
Ice it down.
If you have been feeling soreness or pain at the wrists, ice the area down after exercise. An ice bag can be applied directly to the sore or painful area for up to 10-15 minutes.
See your Physical Therapist.
If you have tried the tips above and still have lingering soreness or pain, contact your physical therapist for further assessment. There are many techniques and exercises beyond the tips listed above that can help you get rid of your pain for good. Set up your appointment with us in downtown Milwaukee here.