Wrist Exercises for Arthritis Pain Relief

If you’re experiencing discomfort in your wrists while typing on a keyboard, learn how to curb those arthritis symptoms with these wrist exercises.

Person holding wrist in pain

Two things that don’t mesh well: a day job that requires typing on a keyboard and arthritis pain. If you’re one of the many individuals who happen to be served up both of these things on a regular basis, you know you’re anything but lucky. Wrist arthritis can be a very painful experience—especially when your daily activities are exacerbating the situation. Chances are you’ve tried icing the inflammation and maybe even wearing a brace, but have you tried a topical treatment? Rub some Voltaren Arthritis Pain Gel on both wrists at the first sign of a flare-up following the directions for use on the dosing card. It’s a powerful, medicated gel targeted to treat the site of arthritis pain.

Another remedy to try? Exercise! “If you have joint pain because of arthritis, exercise is going to be a beneficial tool,” explains Blake Dircksen, PT, DPT, CSCS, orthopedic physical therapist at Bespoke Treatments Physical Therapy & Fitness in New York City. “And the best exercise you can do is one that you’ll do most often and with less pain.”

That being said, we asked Dircksen to share some of his top picks for wrist exercises for arthritis pain. “The goal with these exercises is to improve function and decrease pain,” says Dircksen. Try his exercise suggestions below.

[NOTE: Before trying any exercise, consult with your health care provider to be sure these movements are safe for you.]

1. Finger Spread-Aparts with Rubber Band

Wrap a rubber band around each of your fingers. Pushing against the resistance from the band, spread fingers as far apart as possible. Hold for one second, then release. Continue 10 times, then switch the rubber band to your other hand and repeat.

2. Dumbbell Windshield Wipers

Place your forearm on a flat surface like a table or chair. Hold one end of a lightweight dumbbell (two to five pounds) in your hand. Rotating your wrist from right to left, lift and lower the dumbbell in a windshield wiper motion. Continue for 10 to 12 repetitions. Switch the dumbbell to your other hand and repeat on the other side.

3. Wrist Circles

Grasp your hands together in front of you, interlocking all of your fingers. Slowly make circles with your wrists in one direction. Do 10 repetitions, then switch and do 10 repetitions in the other direction.

Adding these exercises to your regimen should help minimize your discomfort and help decrease your arthritis pain.


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