Sore wrists keeping you down?
By: Dr Caitlin Davidson
Over the past few months I’ve overheard quite a few of you talking about wrist pain during certain exercises/poses (sorry not sorry for eavesdropping). During our day-to-day lives we tend to put little, if any, weight through our wrist joints. Then we come to class and do things like planks, burpees, mountain climbers, push-ups, arm balances, and downward dog flows, all of which put at least half our body weight through our wrists. That can be quite a shock to those joints!
If you find yourself experiencing soreness in your wrists during any of these exercises and you don’t have a specific reason for this pain (like a wrist injury or other pre-existing condition) then consider the following for preventing wrist pain during exercise:
Strengthen your wrists: specifically strengthening the muscle groups that move your hands and fingers will provide support to your wrist joints during exercise. Here’s an exercise you can try: Sitting in a chair holding a light hand weight (a water bottle works great too), simply rest your forearm on your thigh with your palm facing up, and bend your wrist up toward your face then back down to neutral 10 times. This will strengthen your wrist flexors. Then flip your hand so that the palm is facing down and again bend your wrist up toward your face and back down to neutral 10 times. This will strengthen your wrist extensors. Repeat twice per wrist, 2 times a day for a week.
Stretch your wrists: specifically stretching these same muscle groups will help keep them limber and prevent soreness after exercise. Here’s a simple stretch you can try: Holding your arm straight out in front of you at shoulder height with your hand in a “stop!” position, use your other hand to gently pull your fingers/hand back towards your face and hold for 30 seconds. This will stretch your wrist flexors. Then bend your wrist downwards in a “check out my engagement ring” position and again use your other hand to gently pull your fingers/hand back towards your face and hold for 30 seconds. Repeat twice per wrist, 2 times a day for a week.
Talk to your instructor & modify: If an exercise simply isn’t working for you, your instructor will always be able to recommend a modified version or a different exercise altogether to give those wrists a break.
Get them checked out: If your wrist pain persists, consider having it assessed by a chiropractor. You may benefit from an adjustment to alleviate restrictions in the wrist joint, from extra support via kinesiotaping, or other therapeutic modalities to help speed up healing. If you have any specific questions, feel free to hit me up after class!
Dr. Caitlin Davidson, BSc (Hons), DC
Dr. Davidson graduated Magna Cum Laude from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College in 2016, while being co-president of the ICPA Pediatrics Club and teaching in a Senior’s Chair Yoga Program. In 2017 she also became a Certified Animal Chiropractor. She is a member in good standing with College of Chiropractors of Ontario. Dr. Davidson is passionate about helping your entire family live your healthiest, most balanced lives. And she loves to practice what she preaches, which is why you can catch her in all styles of classes at Yogathletix!