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When we think of an exercise routine, the first thing that comes to mind is the desire to lose weight and tone muscles to look good and improve our general health. So, with so many parts of the body that we are concerned with and want to improve, it is highly unlikely that we will include a specific workout for the hands and wrists, even if we use and exercise them anyway as part of any other activity.
However, it is very important to spend a few minutes in that area, especially for those of us who spend many hours dealing with the keyboard and mouse, on an assembly line, sewing or doing any other job or sport with our hands that may increase the risk of contracting carpal tunnel syndrome. Once someone has this condition, exercises alone are not enough to alleviate symptoms: treatment should include advice from medical specialists with special devices, medications, habit changes, and in some cases, surgery. But we can contribute to avoiding it. In addition to taking care of the conditions that are linked to this disease, such as arthritis, diabetes, obesity and alcoholism, and using ergonomic objects and tools,some basic exercises will help usavoid potential damage.
Five prophylactic exercises
Incorporate these exercises into your warm-up or stretching routine, or sitting at your workplace before starting the activity for the day.
1. Squeeze a ball. Sitting with your arm flexed and your forearm resting on a table, squeeze a soft ball or a ball of modeling clay or cloth. Play with the ball by moving it with all your fingers.
2. Rotation of the wrists. With your forearms supported or arms outstretched, gently clench your fists and rotate your hands outward in circles. Do eight to ten repetitions and change the direction of the rotation.
3. Stand with arms outstretched, palms down, open and close fists by clenchingas much as you can each time and relaxing afterwards.
4. Stretch your arms with your fingers crossed. Rotate your hands orienting your wrists forward, and hold the position for about ten seconds. Repeat several times.
5. With the pad of your thumb, touch the pad of all the other fingers several times. Finish each time by opening your palms and spreading your fingers as far as you can.