Typing is one of the repetitive motions that can have a significant impact on the functioning of the arms and hands. One common injury that can develop after prolonged and repetitive typing is carpal tunnel syndrome, which is the compression of the median nerve that leads to wrist and forearm pain. Nevertheless, there are also other forms of injuries that can develop after prolonged typing and send you to your local Lutz chiropractor.
Forearm stretches especially reduce tension in the wrist area leading to prevention of carpal tunnel syndrome. It also prevents the tension in the forearm itself that results from the prolonged hanging of the forearm above the desk during typing. If you are doing office work or you are working in front of the computer for significant hours, forearm stretches can be done in just a matter of minutes and can be done without interrupting much of your work. The following are the forearm stretches that you can do:
- Wrist Extensor Stretch
Hold your arms in front of you with the palms facing the ground. Bend your wrist downward so your fingers are pointing at the ground. Using your opposite hand, apply pressure at the back of the hand to make the fingers point towards the forearm. Next, apply pressure on the pinky to add stretch on the wrist extensors. Hold the stretch for at least 20 seconds and repeat on the other side. This stretch also stretches the forearms and the outside portion of the elbows, which are tensed when doing typing works.
- Wrist Flexor Stretch
Hold your arms in front of you with the palms facing down. Bend the wrist upward so your palms are facing away from you and the fingers are pointing upwards. Using the opposite hand, apply pressure against the palms to make the wrist bend more towards the forearm. Next, apply pressure on the thumb to stretch the wrist flexors. Hold the stretch for at least 20 seconds and repeat on the other hand.
- Fist Rotation
This stretch helps circulate blood flow in your arms and hands. First, extend your arms in front of you with your hands in fists. Rotate or move your fists downward and inward or in a clockwise manner. After sets of 10 rotations, rotate the fist in counterclockwise manner.
- Forearm and back stretch
When your forearms are strained, your shoulders and back also become tensed. This exercise helps you achieve a more flexible arm and shoulder joints and also helps relax the upper back. First, sit comfortably and put your arms out in front of you. Rotate the arms so the palms are facing away each other. Interlace the forearms together and curve your back and your head bent towards your upper arm. Hold the stretch for 20 seconds and release.
While doing the above forearm stretches, make sure to keep the exercises gentle to prevent straining the wrist more. Also, make sure that you feel tension during the stretch, if not, stretch some more and make sure to do it for at least 20 seconds for a more effective stretch.
You can do the above exercises while standing or sitting depending on your comfort. It is advisable that you do the stretches at least twice throughout your work hours.