Whether it's hours on the computer or hours on your cellular phone, cooking, cleaning, writing and driving, our hands, wrists and fingers never stop. Some of us actually develop chronic conditions, like osteoarthritis (wear-and-tear-arthritis), and carpel tunnel syndromes (CTS) to name a few.
Our hands and wrists carry much of the burden in our everyday lives without us even thinking about it. Like any other body part that is used heavily in our everyday activities, it's important to take take of them as well.
With all that being said, what can we do? Are there movements and/or exercises that may be well suited to relieve pain, help stretch, or relax these areas of our bodies?
The answer is yes! As many of you know from reading our blog, we are very supportive of the practice of yoga. Yoga, "combines physical exercise, mental meditation and breathing techniques to strengthen the muscles and relieve stress". So if this is the case and it works for many other areas of the body, what's to say, it can't help relieve discomfort from your hands, wrists and fingers as well through gentle postures.
As you embark on your yoga journey, engaging in yoga for your hands, wrists, and fingers should also be a part of your process.
Practicing yoga for hands, wrists, and fingers can help you build strength and even avoid injuries. Like other joints and muscles within your body, these areas also need to be cared for on a consistent or routine basis.
Research & Yoga
Although relatively preliminary in nature, there has actually been a few research studies evaluating yoga as it relates to this area of the body.
One such study aimed at collecting controlled observations of the effect of yoga on the hands of patients with osteoarthritis. The patients in this particular study underwent 8 weeks, in which an instructor supervised the yoga techniques. In conclusion, the yoga group vs. the control group improved significantly in terms of pain during activity, tenderness, and finger range of motion (ROM).
A randomized, single blind, controlled trial on yoga and it's effectiveness on relieving symptoms of CPS, proved that yoga was more effective then interventions such as wrist splinting or no treatment at all. Some of the outcome measures included grip strength, pain intensity, and sleep disturbance.
Related Article: YOGA FOR BETTER SLEEP: LEARN WHY BEDTIME YOGA, WORKS!
A Quick Hands, Wrist & Finger Yoga Sequence!
BEST POSTURES FOR HANDS, WRISTS, AND FINGERS:
One of the additional benefits of yoga, specifically in terms of using it for your wrists, hands and fingers, is that it can be done at any location or time of the day.
However, patience is the key to a good outcome. Instead of vigorous muscular movements, starting with slow, steady exercises would prove more fruitful for your body and help you relieve unwarranted additional stress.
Related Article: WHAT ARE SOME OF THE BEST TIMES TO DO YOGA?
a. Clenched Fist
Starting with a simple stretch is more desirable to avoid pain in the first attempt and easy exercise at your workstation. Therefore, clenching your fist is a good warm-up for your hands.
While sitting comfortably, extend your hands outward, and clench your fist gently for one minute. Now flick your fingers out and spread them wide. Some prefer to hold this position as well, roughly ten seconds.
Remember, yoga is a practice where everything is connected, including breath (Pranayama), so remember to breath slowly and stay present within the moment, allowing yourself to let the tension go out of your body.
Repeat the process about 5 times.
Finger yoga improves your motion and helps in relieving pain.
Extend your arms straight, with your palms facing inward. Bend your fingers in such a way that the fingertips touch the base of your finger joints. Hold this posture for thirty seconds and release.
This motion almost looks like a claw.
Repeat the process four times on each hand.
This finger yoga pose is excellent for improving the flexibility of your fingers.
On a flat surface, straighten your hands with your palm touching the surface. Lift one finger at a time above the surface and lower it afterward.
You can lift all the fingers and thumb simultaneously as well. Repeat for both hands for about ten to twelve times.
Bending The Wrists
Building the strength of your wrists is essential to prevent injuries and pain as well.
Stretch your forearms to the front while your palms face the floor. Bend your hands at the wrist end towards the top, your fingers facing the ceiling, and then the ground. Feel the stretch in your wrists and forearms.
Repeat 10 times.
Rotating Your Wrists
Raise your arms parallel to the group, loosely make a fist with the thumb wrapped into the fingers. Rotate your wrist joints and move your hands in circular planes.
Rotate your hands both clockwise and anticlockwise for about 30 seconds. It may be best to rotate both the hands together simultaneously, for added comfort.
Yoga can be a great practice to help relieve pain and discomfort in joints and muscles, so don't neglect the hands, fingers and wrist areas. As always we would love to here some of your favorite yoga exercises that you do as well, whether at work, the gym or at home.
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