Miracle Hand & Wrist Cure Part 1

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Anterior Forearm

The Miracle Hand & Wrist Cure(Part 1)

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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.

 

(3) Quick Self-Tests to Tell if You have Trigger Points in Your Anterior Forearm:

TEST 1:  Finger Press Test

 

          Passing                     Not Passing 

Some muscles of the Anterior Forearm stretch when the wrist and fingers are extended backward.  They are called the Wrist & Finger Flexors.  When they are functioning well, they should be able to stretch enough for the hands and fingers to press flat against each other with forearms in line, as shown, without any pain.  If your finger and palms cannot press flat against each other as shown in the picture, or there is pain on doing so, it indicates trigger points and myofascial dysfunction in your Wrist & Finger Flexors.

TEST 2:  Wrist Supination Test

 

           Passing                     Not Passing 

Another muscle of the Anterior Forearm stretches when the wrist is twisted outward, called Supination. This muscle is named the Pronator Teres, because it twists the wrist inward (Pronation). If the Pronator Teres is shortened and tight due to trigger points, your wrist will not supinate (turn outward) fully. Hold a ruler or pen in your hand with your elbow at your side. Keeping your forearm parallel to the floor, twist your hand and wrist outward (supinate) as far as you can.  A Passing result is if you can reach the point where the ruler is parallel to the floor or beyond. A Not Passing result is if you reach less than parallel, indicating trigger points and myofascial dysfunction in the Pronator Teres.

TEST 3:  Palpation of the Anterior Forearm

Use your fingers or tennis ball or another self-care tool to press into areas of your Anterior Forearm. The X’s mark common areas where trigger points are found in the Wrist & Finger Flexors and the Pronator Teres.  Check for tenderness and taut bands, as well as any referred pain.  Cover the full area, making note of where you find spots that need treatment.

 


Simple Self-Care Remedies

Here are simple self-care tips for relieving myofascial pain and dysfunction in your Anterior Forearm:

Step 1:  Warming Up with Moist Heat

To relax and warm up the muscle fibers, soak your forearm in a warm bath or wrap it in moist heat such as a Fomentek bag for 10-15 minutes.

Step 2:  Compression

You can use several self-care tools to compress the Anterior Forearm.  A proper self-care tool with knobs works very well.  Also a tennis ball, baseball, golf ball, or rubber ball will do.  You can also use your opposite elbow, as shown in the picture.  As always when you find a tender spot, press in to tolerance and hold for 10 seconds while completing at least two full breaths in and out.  Then continue searching for more tender spots until the entire area is covered.

Step 3:  Stretching & Range of Motion

You can stretch your Anterior Forearm very easily by using your opposite hand to apply comfortable pressure while pulling your hand and fingers backward.  Hold for 20 seconds and repeat three times per day on each side. Afterward, you can roll the wrist around in gentle circles, ten times in each direction.

And it’s as simple as that!  You have covered in just a few minutes half of the Miracle Hand & Wrist Cure.  Next issue, we will cover the second half, the Posterior Forearm, and you will be empowered to keep your ever so important hands & wrists as healthy and pain free as possible! 

Happy self-care!

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