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  • Writer's pictureshannonkyeager

Yoga for Stiff and Sore Wrists

Updated: Mar 8, 2023

Stretch and strengthen your fingers, hands and wrists to relieve tension and pain.



In 2017, I tore the cartilage in my wrist from a snowboarding accident and eventually needed to have surgery. The injury fundamentally changed my yoga practice, as I was unable to bear weight on my wrists for over a year. The doctor wasn’t sure if I’d ever be able to do a handstand again (which quite frankly was fine with me), but I worried I wouldn’t be able to plank or downward facing dog. Through physical therapy, consistent home exercises and a modified yoga practice, I eventually built up the strength in my wrists and was able to get most of my mobility back.


Wrist stiffness and pain can be caused by injuries, carpal tunnel syndrome, osteoporosis, arthritis, or even repetitive movements like typing. Taking the time to stretch and strengthen your fingers, hand and wrists can help reduce tightness, increase blood flow and improve mobility. In the below video, I filmed the sequence that helped me heal. I still incorporate these stretches and exercises into my weekly routine to reduce discomfort in yoga and weight training. Make sure you are cleared by a doctor or physical therapist before practicing yoga or exercising.



You can also try the movements from the video individually throughout your day.


From a seated position:

  • Rest your hands on your thighs with your palms face down. Flip your palms over so the back of your hands rest on your thighs. Repeat this process 10 times

  • Rest your hands on your thighs with your palms face down. Gently move your fingers side to side, bending your wrists. Repeat this process 10 times in both directions

  • Extend one arm out in front of you with your palm face down. Grab hold of your fingers with the other arm and gently guide your fingers down so your wrist is extending. Hold this position for 10 breaths. Then repeat on the other side

  • Extend one arm out in front of you with your palm face up. Grab hold of your fingers with the other arm and gently guide your fingers down so your wrist is flexing. Hold this position for 10 breaths. Then repeat on the other side

  • Make fists and gently move your hands in a clockwise direction 10 times. Then change directions. You can also clasp your hands together and roll out the wrists in circles, changing directions after 10 circles


From a table top position:

  • Come onto hands and knees with your palms on the ground and fingers facing forward. Begin to rock gently forward and back 10 times

  • Move your fingers to the sides and begin to gently rock side to side 10 times

  • Keep your palms on the ground but move your fingers so they are pointing toward your knees. Gently rock forward and back 10 times

  • Flip your palms to face up with your fingers pointing toward your knees. Gently rock forward and back 10 times

  • Plant your palms on the ground with your fingers facing forward. As you inhale, lift your finger pads off the mat. As you exhale, lower them back down. Repeat 10 times


I recommend starting with just the stretches before adding in any rocking. You can take breaks in between postures to gently shake out your wrists. You can also use yoga tune-up balls or a massage gun to massage your forearm and areas around the wrists. Be patient with your body and over time, you’ll notice your wrists will become less tense.


Please reach out to me in the contact form of the home page or leave a comment below and let me know how this sequence felt. I am here to support you, answer questions and guide you through a safe practice. If you found the routine helpful, make sure to share it with your coworkers, friends and family.


With gratitude,

Shannon

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