One of the hard lessons we’ve learned in medicine is that Repetitive Use Injuries are real.
We don’t have to have a traumatic incident to incur an injury in a joint, muscle or tendon. All that has to happen to seriously wound a joint or muscle is repeated use day after day without proper maintenance and recovery.
Realizing this, one area that takes a pounding in modern life is the hand & wrist! Day after day, between using the computer to writing to driving, the hand & wrist never get a break! And who takes the time or even knows how to perform maintenance on this vital body area?
Pain free hands & wrists are not to be taken for granted! Just ask someone with wrist or hand arthritis how their quality of life has been affected … typing, mousing, driving, writing, eating, intimacy, turning door knobs, opening windows, opening jars, opening anything … If you aren’t taking good care of your wrists, you are neglecting very important body maintenance.
Enough said – let’s get into it. We already know from the name of this newsletter that the culprits will be muscles. So where are the muscles that cause pain and dysfunction in the hand & wrist?
Most are found in the forearm, both top and bottom!
The muscles that control the wrist and cause it to bend and twist are located in the forearm and can be divided into two groups: 1.) The Posterior Forearm (backside/dorsum) and 2.) the Anterior Forearm (underside/belly). We’ll address the belly, the Anterior Forearm, in this issue (part 1) and the Posterior Forearm next issue (part 2).
The muscles in the Anterior Forearm we will cover are the Wrist & Finger Flexors and the Pronator Teres, as shown. Both are important in healthy hand & wrist function. The Pronator Teres has also been covered previously in the issue on Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
If you are experiencing wrist symptoms already, don’t wait until permanent joint changes have already taken place. And even if you have no symptoms, it is still important to do these simple preventative exercises that take mere minutes.
*The information in this article is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition and does not substitute for a thorough evaluation by a medical professional. Please consult your physician to determine whether these self-care tips are appropriate for you.