Bending the wrist backward into full extension is very common, but it is the number one motion all wrist pain sufferers should avoid. When you bend your wrist backward into a hyperextended position, the carpal (wrist) bones and joints approach their most compromising position. With that in mind, you probably bend your wrist backward into full extension more often than you’ve been aware of.
Think of all the activities in which you extend your wrists to their maximum. Activities such as playing with small children as you place your palms flat on the ground, when using your hands to assist yourself up from a seated position, or when using your palm to push open a heavy door. In fact you probably bend your wrist into this compromising position several dozen times every day.
Most people have probably never considered wrist extension to be a stressful position for the wrist and hand, but it is.
Wrist extension alone causes great stress to the nerves and joints, but when you add pressure to the palm it greatly accentuates the strain and trauma. If you engage in several activities each day that cause you to use a significant amount of wrist extension, you have an increased risk for developing one of many different wrist and hand conditions. Carpal tunnel syndrome is one of the more common conditions that people will develop.
The carpal tunnel is a tiny passageway within the wrist through which a major nerve (the median nerve) passes. Excessive wrist extension over time can have a negative impact on the median nerve. The median nerve is the major nerve that controls the hand, and it is the one that becomes compressed with carpal tunnel syndrome. Consequently all this can lead to pain, numbness and tingling in the wrist and hand.
To avoid undue stress to your wrists, try using your fists instead of bending your wrists into extension. Let’s assume you were planning to do some pushups for exercise. As opposed to using your palms on the ground, you should try using a fist and place your knuckles onto the ground while keeping your wrists completely neutral.
A common mistake to be aware of is to avoid bending your wrists backward into extension even though you are keeping your hands in a fisted position. Keeping your wrists straight will make them stronger and more relaxed. It may feel awkward at first, but after a week or two you will get used to this healthier wrist position.
Maybe you won’t be doing pushups any time soon; however there are many activities throughout the day where you may be inclined to place your palm onto a flat surface. It’s in those instances that you should use your fists while maintaining straight wrists.
Even though you may attempt to do all the right things to prevent a wrist injury, it’s still possible to develop a health problem due to repetitive stress, sustained use or other microtraumas to the wrists and hands.
There is a solution for those who suffer with wrist or hand pain. Specific, gentle chiropractic adjustments to the tiny bones and joints in your wrists and hands are effective for treating many different pain and numbness conditions. Chiropractic can alleviate the stress associated with your hand condition and give you a long term solution to your problem.