Missouri workers who have repetitive jobs may experience injuries unique to the motions they make. Problems such as carpal tunnel syndrome, muscular atrophy, bone density changes or even arthritis can be caused by repetitive arm and wrist movements. These issues can be prevented through frequent arm and wrist exercises and stretches performed throughout the day.
Total Orthopaedic Care lists several beneficial stretches for hands and wrists. These stretches can be used in physical therapy, and are also good for preventing muscle issues from forming. They include:
- Wrist flexion and extension
- Finger flexion and extension
- Wrist deviations
- Wrist flexor and extensor stretches
- Pronation and supination
These stretches focus on strengthening the muscles first by extending them as far as possible in one direction, and then contracting them as tightly as possible. For example, finger flexion involves clenching the hand into a ball as tightly as possible. Finger extension includes stretching the fingers out as far as they can go.
Meanwhile, Harvard University suggests five exercises that can combat repetitive injuries and strengthen hand mobility. The exercises mentioned include flexion and extension stretches, pronation and supination, and wrist radial/ulnar deviations. The latter exercise involves moving one’s wrist in every direction possible. The final exercise they mention is the finger/hand tendon glide. In this exercise, one curls their hand into fists at varying positions to strengthen tendons.
Workers who employ these strategies throughout their work days may be able to prevent themselves from suffering through the excessive pain, stiffness and tension that can accompany repetitive motion injuries.