Wellness

Moves for Wrist Health

Moves for Wrist Health

Regardless of our best intentions to sit with perfect posture, occasional sore wrists happen. And texting ad nauseum certainly doesn’t help. We turned to our resident integrative specialist, Lauren Roxburgh for some tips on lower arm health. (For more from Lauren, see The Secrets of the Pelvic Floor, Undo the Day, Fascia: The Secret Organ.)

by Lauren Roxburgh

After yet another long day at the computer, who hasn’t experienced sore and achy wrists? It’s a common problem—and one that hopefully goes away when you get to take a break from the keyboard.

As someone who deals with fascia and alignment every day, my perspective on occasinoal achy wrists is a bit more holistic. Since fascia is a continuous web that wraps around every muscle, tendon, ligament, and joint, I’ve found that issues in one area can often be traced back to problems in another area. And because the median nerve actually originates in the neck and shoulder area, I like to look at the entire shoulder girdle and the pathway the median nerve takes down the arm to the wrist.

What I’ve observed in clients is that it is actually postural problems that are the real culprits. Think about it for a second: We spend so much of our day driving, texting, or typing and this often causes our arms to rotate inwards and our heads to slump forward, knocking our posture out of alignment.

Here are a few simple tips to help to unwind the rotation of the arms. Creating space and bringing the body back into a healthy alignment not only boosts circulation, it also helps “lubricate” the connective tissue, and muscles of the chest neck, shoulders, forearms, wrists, and thumbs, which can have huge benefits.

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1. Palms Up Restorative Chest Opening

  • Lay on the roller the long way so that your entire spine is supported from head to tailbone. Begin with arms out to the side with palms up and chest expanded. Inhale deeply as you reach your arms up overhead slowly and with control, keeping them as close to the mat as possible and parallel to the floor.

  • Exhale completely as you draw your arms back down by your hips and gently exhale the C02 out of your lungs.

  • Repeat 8 times.

Benefit: This move opens the chest and brings circulation to the upper and middle back, shoulders, and helps align the neck.

2. Shoulder Blade Mobilization Slide

  • Lay on the roller the long way, so that your entire spine is supported from head to tailbone. Reach your arms up over your head as close to the floor behind you. Inhale as you slightly slide your upper body to the left. Exhale as you slide your upper body slightly to the right.

  • Repeat 8 times on each side.

Benefit: This boosts circulation and blood flow to the deeper muscles of the upper back and shoulder blades while opening the chest and front of shoulders. It helps align the neck and head and reduce the feeling of heaviness on the shoulders.

3. Arm De-Rotation

  • Place the roller behind you with your palms down on the roller and your fingers pointing behind you and your legs extended long in front of you with inner thighs together. Keeping the roller stable, inhale and bend your right elbow and lean over to your right hip bone keeping the left arm extended and chest open. Exhale as you lean to the other side.

  • Repeat 8 times on each side.

Benefit: This moves helps unwind the internal rotations in the shoulders, arms, and forearms and helps open up the collarbone and reveal a more elegant posture.

4. Crossed Leg Chest Expansion

  • Keep the roller behind you and cross your legs in front of you. Reach both arms back with thumbs rotating out. Inhale as you press your hips forward and up keeping your heart open and the roller stable.

  • Repeat 8 times.

Benefit: Opens the chest, heart, and fronts of the shoulders.

5. Rolling Forearm Release

  • Come to your knees on the mat and place your upper forearms on the roller just below your elbow joints and palms up with thumbs out to the side. You should be in a table-top position with hips over knees. Inhale as you lean your body weight into the roller and roll down your forearms while the roller comes closer to you. Exhale as you return back to your starting position.

  • Repeat 8 times.

Benefit: This move is like a forearm massage. It helps promote circulation and blood flow to the forearms and hands.

6. Hand and Thumb Roll Stretch

  • Come down to your knees about hip-width apart and bring the roller about a foot away from your knees. Lean your upper body slightly forward and place your fingers on the roller, bending at the root of your fingers and stretching the palm. Inhale as you roll the roller a few inches away from you into the hook of your thumbs. Exhale as you return back up.

  • Repeat 8 times.

Benefit: This move stretches the fascia of the hands, thumbs, and the wrist.

Related: Foam Rolling Exercises

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