Your healthcare provider may recommend exercises to help you heal. Talk to your healthcare provider or physical therapist about which exercises will best help you and how to do them correctly and safely.
You may do the stretching exercises when the sharp wrist pain goes away. You may do the strengthening exercises when stretching is nearly painless.
Wrist range of motion
Flexion: Gently bend your wrist forward. Hold for 5 seconds. Do 2 sets of 15.
Extension: Gently bend your wrist backward. Hold this position 5 seconds. Do 2 sets of 15.
Side to side: Gently move your wrist from side to side (a handshake motion). Hold for 5 seconds in each direction. Do 2 sets of 15.
Wrist stretch: Press the back of the hand on your injured side with your other hand to help bend your wrist. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds. Next, stretch the hand back by pressing the fingers in a backward direction. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds. Keep the arm on your injured side straight during this exercise. Do 3 sets.
Wrist extension stretch: Stand at a table with your palms down, fingers flat, and elbows straight. Lean your body weight forward. Hold this position for 15 seconds. Repeat 3 times.
Wrist flexion stretch: Stand with the back of your hands on a table, palms facing up, fingers pointing toward your body, and elbows straight. Lean away from the table. Hold this position for 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times.
Forearm pronation and supination: Bend the elbow of your injured arm 90 degrees, keeping your elbow at your side. Turn your palm up and hold for 5 seconds. Then slowly turn your palm down and hold for 5 seconds. Make sure you keep your elbow at your side and bent 90 degrees while you do the exercise. Do 2 sets of 15.
When this exercise becomes pain free, do it with some weight in your hand such as a soup can or hammer handle.
Wrist flexion: Hold a can or hammer handle in your hand with your palm facing up. Bend your wrist upward. Slowly lower the weight and return to the starting position. Do 2 sets of 15. Gradually increase the weight of the can or weight you are holding.
Wrist extension: Hold a soup can or small weight in your hand with your palm facing down. Slowly bend your wrist up. Slowly lower the weight down into the starting position. Do 2 sets of 15. Gradually increase the weight of the object you are holding.
Grip strengthening: Squeeze a soft rubber ball and hold the squeeze for 5 seconds. Do 2 sets of 15.
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Adult Advisor 2015.1 published by RelayHealth. Last modified: 2014-06-09 Last reviewed: 2014-05-07
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
Wrist Sprain Exercises: References
Hagert E, Hagert C. Understanding stability of the distal radioulnar joint through an understanding of its anatomy. Hand Clinics [serial online]. November 2010;26(4):459-466. Available from: CINAHL with Full Text, Ipswich, MA. Accessed December 29, 2011.